Squier VM Jaguar refinish project

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tim Hall, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Last year, I bought my wife a Squier VM Jaguar short scale for her to learn bass on for a new acoustic trio project. She loves it, and we're having a great time. But her favorite color is purple, and her bass is red. So ... here goes a refinish project.

    I just bought a cheap used VM SS Jag from Ebay and am waiting for it to show up. In the meantime, I'm reading the Rattlecan thread, the Reranch forum, and looking around for materials. I'm trying to decide between the ReRanch Crown Royal Purple and a Testor's automotive purple that's available locally, albeit in tiny cans. Cost will probably be about the same, and I've heard and seen good things about both sources.

    Her birthday is in June, so that's the target date for completion.

    Currently not planning to strip the poly finish, but to just scuff sand and start with primer (either ReRanch or BINS white shellac).

    Will update this with progress and pics as it develops.
  2. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    The project bass arrived yesterday. It's in pretty good shape. I disassembled it and found a couple of surprises.

    Headstock with tuners and string tree removed.

    Removing neck. Look at the angle that screw's coming out!

    Because, it turns out, the factory broke a screw in the neck, and rather than replace it or drill it out, just decided to angle another one in there :rollno:


    Which leaves me with a choice - should I drill out the screw, plug the holes in the neck and redrill? Probably so, but thats for another day.

    Got the rest of the hardware and electronics disassembled without too much effort. Next is to clean and sand the body, then start with primer. I don't think there are any scratches that wont sand out or will need to be filled - it's pretty clean.
  3. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    I was planning to use BINS white tinted shellac for primer, but haven't been able to find it in rattlecans locally. If I have to start ordering stuff, might as well go full ReRanch and get everything from them to minimize shipping cost. Will do a little more legwork here locally this weekend, then pull the trigger one way or another. We have houseguests in town, so probably won't have much time for work on this in the next few days anyway.
  4. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Good luck! Purple is my wife's favorite color too... Post pics. when done!
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    The Re-Ranch stuff it all very good quality and compatible. Stick with their products.
  6. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Had some down time today so got out the naptha, sanding block and 320 grit and scuff sanded the body and headstock. Also ordered the new personalized waterslide decals from Rothko and Frost. Next job is to order the color and clear and rig a spray booth for the job. Will be spraying outside or in the open garage during the day and am thinking of converting a large U-Haul packing box to a spray booth to keep dust, bugs and other nasties away.


  7. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Sounds like you're following all the right steps. I did the exact same thing with an old Squier body for my first refin, and it came out great.

    When it comes to Reranch products, I'd advise 3 cans of clear. I used 2 when I sprayed mine in Surf Green, and I wish I'd put another can on there. The clear goes on fairly thin if you're spraying properly, and mine chipped fairly easily. I suspect it was because I didn't spray enough, but it could have also been beginner error.
  8. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Two setbacks - weather's been crap here lately and Reranch is closed to do their taxes! So impatience got the better of me and I decided to try masking and spraying the headstock with the BIN tinted shellac primer. Shellac is a good primer; I've seen decent reviews of the BIN stuff, and today the weather was perfect. If it fails, I can just use alcohol to take it off. So, learned a couple of things. First, I suck at masking. We'll see how it looks after a couple more coats and I take the tape off. Second, folks who've said the BIN stuff sprays heavy were right. No runs, but it really does blast out of the can. Third, I suffer from the temptation to do just "one more pass" when the coat really should be set aside to dry. Need to work on that for the actual color and clear where runs would be more likely and more damaging.

    I also went on Amazon and bought a 360 degree rotating head vise that I plan to screw to my Workmate and use as the work holder when I start on the body.

    B940E2D0-041E-4FD9-851E-9BBDFAE97B57.jpg 7046D826-1D97-4D6D-BE1E-D568BAEC6533.jpg 7EAA224A-28DD-4959-AC0D-443F6559BDE0.jpg
  9. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    I also got email notice that my new headstock labels from Rothko & Frost have shipped. Same style, white lettering with hollow large logo and solid smaller text. I'm trying to decide whether to stay with the black headstock like the original bass or match the body. Thoughts? I'll probably decide when I have them in hand and can see what they look like.
  10. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    FWIW, I like to see the maple. RWFB or not. Just my opinion tho...
  11. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Here's the vise with the body attached for painting. It will be screwed to my WorkMate knockoff bench and probably weight added to the frame for protection against tipping while painting. 7A18AF32-78EA-49E1-AB82-A74D6D12B259.jpg
  12. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    More progress on the headstock. I decided because of my inexperience masking to stick with black for the headstock, which was its original color. I took off the old masking and used a q-tip dipped in alcohol (95% everclear) to clean up the overspray in the poorly masked areas. Then remasked carefully.

    I decided to try using the Testors acrylic lacquer on the headstock because it'll be a different color than the body and I don't need as much paint; plus its a smaller area to re-do if I screw it up. So I put the masked neck in the workbench clamp and sprayed light coats.


    And here it is next to its sister bass.
  13. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    So a question for anyone listening out there. I'm planning, based on several reports on the web, to wait a few days and topcoat with Minwax clear gloss lacquer. Does this color coat get sanded to smooth (say, 600 grit) first? I know I'm putting nitro over acrylic, which I've read is OK if we wait for the acrylic to cure first, but not sure about the sanding schedule. The paint is clearly more textured than the glass smooth poly factory finish, and I'm not sure if I rely on the clear to get that smoothness or if I need to sand the acrylic color. I'm going to be putting on a new waterslide decal once the first coats of clear are on.
  14. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    You can do that, but I'd use an extremely light touch. If you sand through, you can always re-spray and start over at this stage. I've only done one headstock before, and it was to match a metallic color body, so sanding the color wasn't needed.
  15. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    I was very happy with the performance of the Panavise adjustable vise for positioning the body while priming this weekend. I primed the body, and will sand (a few spots not quite 100% covered, plus low-risk sanding practice) while waiting for the weather to improve so I can finish the priming. Here are a few pics of the vise in action.
  16. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    The body is primed. I sanded the first primer coat to get rid of a few blemishes; primed again then sanded with 600 to flatten it a bit. It's ready to go. And the water slide arrived! It's freaking huge. May need to cut it into two sections for positioning. I bought two copies, so not as much anxiety about getting it right the first time. It's hard to see, but it's silver lettering.
  17. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Waterslide applied. Ended up cutting it into three pieces because of the curve of the headstock. Not perfect but pretty good. Didn't need the backup copy (yet- haven't clearcoated). C16A8233-1E9B-4107-B150-36DEE235F281.jpg
    nerkoids likes this.
  18. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Color coats going into the body.
    nerkoids likes this.
  19. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Slow progress lately, but here's the latest. Body is color coated, except for a couple of lighter color spots that I've found after repeated obsessive inspection, so I'm doing one more round of color and hoping not to screw it up; then clear coating. Unfortunately the weather's been difficult lately so not sure when that will happen. Here it is hanging in the rehearsal room:


    The headstock is clearcoated over the waterslide. I had lots of anxiety about sanding through the clear to the decal ink when trying to sand out the edge lines, but I think I've got it now. No new pics of that yet. It's sanded flat to 600 and I can't see any of the edges, so I'm going to start wetsanding in finer and finer grits and try to get it back to gloss. Just bought automotive papers up to 2500 today. I keep reminding myself I still have the backup waterslide, but I'm really happy with how this one looks now so don't intend to screw it up (famous last words?).
    Malak the Mad and nerkoids like this.
  20. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall

    May 23, 2005
    Getting there! Clearcoats on the body; waiting to sand and buff. Here it is next to the stock red one. Wish me luck.
    Dec1975, Bugeyed Earl and Ronbeast like this.
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