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The Restoration Thread-Show off that restored bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by A-Step-Towards, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    I constantly find myself searching for old threads of restored basses to see the photos of a bass truly brought back from the dead. The purpose of this thread is to showcase all these basses that have been given a second life and show what a basket case can turn into with some elbow grease.

    If you have before , after and even during restoration photos, please show them regardless of what make or model your bass is.:bassist:
  2. reep


    Sep 24, 2006
    Duncan B.C.Canada
    I found an old 4001 basket case nailed to the exterior wall of a trading post almost hidden by horse bridles. It was pretty sad.....All that was there was the body/neck, a set of old damaged tuners, and a corroded bridge with the mute crudely hacked off. There were several coats of paint brushed onto it. I negotiated a trade for the maple neck I'd removed from my CV Duosonic, and brought the bass home........


    I managed to scrape down the paint and salvaged the original mapleglo finish and checkerboard binding. I scratchbuilt the pickguard and truss rod cover. I replaced the missing hardware with new Rickenbacker stuff....pickups and covers, bridge, knobs, and electronics. The only change I made was converting the pickup blend pot with a five position varitone......

    Ethanearl likes this.
  3. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Was that a real Rick? The horns look wider, but it might be the viewing angle. It seems wierd that the original owner would fill in the neck pickup cavity.
  4. vdub75


    Feb 15, 2013
    even if it's not real... you did amazing work! from a piece of charcoal to a pretty rick!!
  5. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Not quite "nailed to a wall" level restoration, but I picked up this old Warwick SS1 a while ago. It hadn't been looked after at all, a dirty and jaundiced yellow with a stripped and useless truss rod and a cracked fretboard with the neck bowed like a banana. The frets had been butchered to the point of being almost level with the fretboard, apart from a small hump of fret under each string. It really was in a sorry state.


    I spent a good deal of time carefully sanding and cleaning 20 years worth of crud, gick and smoke out of it. Then I waxed, probably for the first time since it left the factory in 1991.


    I replaced the old aluminium truss rod with a heavy duty iron one, refretted it with proper Warwick brass frets and glued up the crack in the fretboard. I cleaned the electronics, got the scratchyness out of the pots and replaced the input jack, which was dodgy. I kept the old hardware, which was mechanically sound, (there's a certain charm about a tuner which says "Made In West Germany" to those of us old enough to rembember such a place) just need a thorough cleaning and, finally, gave it a good setup. Now it plays and sounds as good as it looks.

  6. reep


    Sep 24, 2006
    Duncan B.C.Canada

    I puzzled endlessly over whether it's a genuine Rickenbacker or a clone. There was so little left of it that it was hard to tell. The neck rout in particular seemed really weird....If you look close, you can see that the rout is right at the end of the body, almost shaped around the end of the neck. I know that can't be right because all of the basses I looked at online when I was making the pickguard seem to have the guard butting up against the end of the neck.....This one, I actually had to extend the guard slightly around the heel of the neck in order to cover the rout. That seems wrong to me, and the actual rout itself was pretty crude and appeared to cut into the structural part of the neck tenon where it extends into the body.


    I have a suspicion that whoever hacked the hole for the neck pickup realized belately that they'd located it too far forward and weakened the structure and that's why that hole had been patched. When I rerouted the cavity for the neck pickup, I moved it further away from the neck.

    There are two possibilities, I think.....One, perhaps it's a clone and that's why it's non-standard....Or, two, maybe it was a 4000 that somebody tried to add a neck pickup to. There were so many things that were kinky about the bass.....As I mentioned, there was an original bridge that somebody had hack-sawed the mute off. The bridge had been remounted further forward and the original bridge saddle unit had been removed from the baseplate, and replaced by a different style of saddle carriage that had been mounted by drilling holes for a couple of screws.


    You can also see that someone butchered a shallow cavity in the body right in front of the old half-bridge and I never understood why. There were lots of unanswered questions I had about why so many of these things had been done.

    I've discovered that when I start a "rescue mission", there are almost always surprises, and this was a classic example. More than once I had regrets about taking the project on as I discovered more and more strange mods that had been done with no apparent justification.

    The payoff in the end was that it plays as well as the new 4001 I owned in 1976, but definitely sounds much better......The varitone was an excellent upgrade. It's certainly not perfect, but I was fairly happy with the result.


  7. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    John Kallas 1966 Fender Jazz Restoration:


    And a glamour shot:

  8. I'll play.
    Heres my 65 P I bought here in the classifieds.
    It had quite a few more issues then I thought.



    After a Candy Apple Red nitro refinish, and a refret, new nut and complete rewire



  9. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    Great thread idea! These are fantastic looking saves.
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I paid 10 bucks for this shared on ebay I was just going to redo the body slap a bolt on neck on it and call it a day. The body starterd life as a '67 Thunderbird II, it somehow lost it's neck and was converted into a guitar with a bolt on neck. The for the final indignation smashed in a parking lot in a proper geetard hissy fit. In for a Penny in for a pound. 100_1979. JOHNNYSMOKEBuffaloNYwaterfront8-19-13082. 67PelahmblueTbirdNolas.
  11. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    That is one sick looking T-bird!
  12. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    That is one of the nicest CAR finishes I've ever seen. Is this Pat Wilkins work?
  13. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    There wasn't much of that left! It reminds me of an EB-2 I saw restored from fire-damaged remains somewhere.
  14. Subscribed. Love seeing beat up instruments brought back to life.
  15. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    My latest restoration:


    Came to me not working, as all the pots were black from burn. Not sure what caused it.

    I replaced the burnt out electronics and swapped all the flaked and corroded gold hardware with all black. Cleaned the whole bass several times to get all the muck off of it.

    1987 NJ Series BC Rich Warlock.
  16. I contacted Pat. He cannot do nitro, i guess due to some California laws?
    I was going to have someone else do it, but could not afford it.
    There is a guy I know, but did not know he did nitro.
    He did an amazing job, at a great price.
    Besides the refinish, he also had to do a refret, cut a new nut, and redo most of the wiring
    With all that... I really do consider this a restoration.
    I could not be happier with how it turned out.
    The guy is Kevin Caton. Kevin I believe is the shop manager at Lakland Basses in Chicago. He also builds guitars.
  17. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Nice work on all of these. You should be proud of your work. Sub'd
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I bought this 1955 Fender P-bass from the late great guitarist, Rick Hickman in 1973 for $240. He had picked it up while in Nashville for $125 from a pawnshop. It had been sprayed with pink enamel over the tobacco burst nitro. He stripped it by sanding, and refinished it "natural" as was the style then to make it presentable, and sold it to me. Thread here about it here:


    Before with worn "hippy natural" brushed on urethane refin':


    After 2007 restoration and nitro refin' by RS Guitarworks of Winchester, KY:

  19. Rickenbass


    Oct 14, 2013
    My 4002. Man what a project.

    Attached Files:

  20. Rickenbass


    Oct 14, 2013
    My 1965 4001. Needed a bit of TLC, not too bad.

    Attached Files:

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