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#1
So I was pretty bored since I've gotten out for the semester and classes don't start back up till the 7th for us, naturally I searched for a project. About two years ago, before my first year of college, I decided to mod my bass, I eventually de-fretted it and refinished the neck, nothing big. This year, I thought I'd step it up and just go ahead and customize it, in regards to color (a little more is a possibility so far). And I thought it'd be cool if I could take an abnormally large amount of pictures as I progressed, I'll add various captions as I go as well.

Before:






#2
And here we go:

Unscrewed the neck and took it off. Under it was a strip of taped sand paper. I'm not too sure what this is for, maybe to keep the neck flush with the body. Nonetheless, I kept it and will put it back in the same spot when I reassemble.


My incredibly dirty front two pickups, both are connected and then run one wire to through the body to the hardware, making it easier later.


When I took off the bridge I found a bare wire drilled through, I'm guessing a ground wire.


Back panel removed.


What I did was pull both pickups out a bit so when I cut the wires when I sauter them together I will be able to stuff them back through the holes to protect the connection. Also, I took a silver sharpy and put one line on each end of the larger fret wire (when cut) and two lines for the smaller pickups to avoid confusion. And yes, I wrote all these things down.


Here's the back panel once I loosened the knobs and pulled them through. Also to avoid confusion I took a black sharpy and numbered them 1-4 and drew a respective picture with my notes to keep them in the right order.


My naked bass.


To remove the current coat I bought some 60, 100, 150 and 180 grit Al203 (aluminum oxide) sandpaper. This is the front after 20 minutes (with 60).


Back after 20 minutes (with 60).


Front after another hour of sanding.
#3

Back after another hour of sanding.
At this point I'm pretty frustrated that the varnish isn't even close to off, mind you, I'm no weakling either. So, naturally, I get a heavy paint stripper to do the work for me why didn't I think of it sooner?


This is the miracle at work on the front. Pretty strong stuff.


Eating through it like nothin.


I waited about 3 hours for the front to do it's business and washed it off with a hose with cold water, let it dry and began with the back.


You can see this stuff working, it's sweet. Meanwhile I watched Bourne Ultimatum.


Here's the front after it's first coat and removal. I had to buy a flat paint scrapper and a brush strapper to get the loose paint and such off, like taking off butter.


The back came out a lot better.
The wood underneath was very smooth, which was a great relief. I was afraid the chemicals would eat into the wood a bit or at least make uneven bits in the wood; neather were true. Smooth as a babies butt.


Well this is where I am up to right now, I having nothing better to do so I'm sure I'll have more work done tomorrow or the next.
#4
are you going to put in new pups?

and what color do you wanna paint it?
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#6
Sweet! I'm also curious about the colour. What did you have in mind?
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#7
You've got my attention
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#8
Quote by l3p4rd
are you going to put in new pups?

and what color do you wanna paint it?


No, not putting new pickups in it. Those are pickups from my friend's j/p fender. I put them in when I defretted it about 2 years ago, so those pickups are probably worth more than my bass when I first got it ha.

As for color, I've been asking around and even spent a few hours reading about different paint effects, including visiting the local Sherman Williams ha, and here is what I've got in mind:
I was going to strip it down to bare wood (as you can see) and then use a light primer and over that get a very high lustered gold paint. I read online about an effect called "crackle glaze." Usually it is used on furniture to make it look aged. It is something you put on over a paint, let sit for 30 minutes, then put another coat of a different color over it. The glaze will make the top layer form cracks and the cracks will be the color of the undercoat, in my case, gold. The top coat I haven't nailed down just yet, but I'm thinking a deep marine blue or something. Then I'll look into different effect lacquers.

As for the neck, which I haven't started yet, I was thinking of actually getting a white based stain and doing a design on it, but I haven't put much thought into that yet, one thing at a time for now.

Oh, and more ideas are welcome. I'm willing to try various things.
#11
Quote by mttsnb


Oh, and more ideas are welcome. I'm willing to try various things.


IMO you should sand off the headstock and the body and put on a laquer finish and leave the bass natural.
#13
Cool. I've always wanted to customize one of my basses.
Nice to see the progression!
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#14
Quote by Mutant Corn

Crackle glaze like that? Cool. This will be interesting.


Yea, that's the effect I was talking about, with the cracks being gold and the other color being a blue.

Quote by MarkWolf
IMO you should sand off the headstock and the body and put on a laquer finish and leave the bass natural.


I was thinking that actually as the older coat started coming off. But the curved sides aren't very attractive now that you can see the layers of wood.

Quote by Spaz91
I think some new hardware is in order, black wont go very well with the finish youre thinking of.


Yea, I was thinking that, but the pups I have are still very good, at least to my ear. I was thinking about getting some pickup covers and new knobs.
#15
I think I might buy some fret wire and put some frets back in. I like the sound of the fretless, but I just miss being able to do solos without looking. It's pretty difficult to do that further up the neck. I've seen many different fret wires online. What's the difference between the heights and widths of the wire?

Also, so I've been doing some researhing and reading around. I think I might buy a sheet or two of "Mother of Pearl" and make my own inlay down my fingerboard. The only thing is, before I order it I want to have a pattern down. Ideas anyone?
#17
imstead of doing the crackle glaze all over, i think it might look good if you only did it on the top, and painted the rest of the bass(inc neck and headstock) in white or something
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

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#18
Quote by mttsnb
I think I might buy some fret wire and put some frets back in. I like the sound of the fretless, but I just miss being able to do solos without looking. It's pretty difficult to do that further up the neck. I've seen many different fret wires online. What's the difference between the heights and widths of the wire?

Also, so I've been doing some researhing and reading around. I think I might buy a sheet or two of "Mother of Pearl" and make my own inlay down my fingerboard. The only thing is, before I order it I want to have a pattern down. Ideas anyone?


You can also just take white out or other white substance and mark where the frets are, so you still have a fretless but you can easily tell where the frets should be.
#20
Quote by mttsnb
I think I might buy some fret wire and put some frets back in. I like the sound of the fretless, but I just miss being able to do solos without looking. It's pretty difficult to do that further up the neck. I've seen many different fret wires online. What's the difference between the heights and widths of the wire?

Also, so I've been doing some researhing and reading around. I think I might buy a sheet or two of "Mother of Pearl" and make my own inlay down my fingerboard. The only thing is, before I order it I want to have a pattern down. Ideas anyone?


you could make it fretted/fretless and only fret the top part of the neck

and i would copy the design from my favorite tie onto my fretboard if i could...then wear that same tie in concert and it would be awesome
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Yay fibonacci!
#21
Ok, so I lied, it's been more than a couple days. But I bring pictures of my progress.



Here's the guitar already primed twice and sanded, then this is the second coat of "brilliant" silver paint.


And again..


And again, for the back.


The neck all stripped of the old stain and finish. I also cleaned the wood filler out of the old frets that I had put in a few years back when I de-fretted it.


Tapped off the neck and got it caught up with the guitar.


I used a stain called "Golden Oak." It is supposed to just given the original wood a wet look and over emphasize the grains of the wood (originally Ebony wood).


Whole Neck.


So this is pretty close to where I am now. I'm actually about to go take more pictures of my close to final product
New pictures VERY soon
#22
Looks nice.
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#23
As promised:


The neck with the one coat of "Dragonfire Blue" and one coat of clear gloss polyurethane.


The front. I really love how the cracks turned out on the front, some long and wide, others short and web-like. I really didn't want it to look uniform and standard all through and it looks like I've accomplished it
Also, I should probably mention that I didn't do the directions the can of glaze. I was adventurous and thinned it a little with water and then used a compressor mounting air brush to put the glaze on the guitar as it hung upside down. This is what gave the different kinds of cracks and whatnot. You'll see in the next photo one of the draw backs.


The back. As you can see, I painted the back a bit too heavily and it ran down and shifted the paint down, causing that huge silver crack and also the dark blue area underneath it. At first I was upset, but after looking at it for a while, I think I like it. The back looks really really... I don't know.. original. I don't think I could have gotten that even if I were trying to.


With this being only the first coat of Polyurethane, I'll put some more up tomorrow or the next day when it's got more of a gloss and in better light.

Let me know what you think.
#24
The bit of sandpaper in the neck is a "shim" which is used to keep the neck at a correct angle to the body.


I am surprised that you used paint thinner to remove the paint, for mine I simply used a power sander and muscled my way through it.

Also, did you notice a sort of stain on your body after you removed the paint?



As you can see, underneath the black paint of my pbass I found this tan colored stain, and furthur underneath that is the lighter colored wood.
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Last edited by kranoscorp at Jan 4, 2009,
#25
Quote by kranoscorp
The bit of sandpaper in the neck is a "shim" which is used to keep the neck at a correct angle to the body.


I am surprised that you used paint thinner to remove the paint, for mine I simply used a power sander and muscled my way through it.

Also, did you notice a sort of stain on your body after you removed the paint?

As you can see, underneath the black paint of my pbass I found this tan colored stain, and furthur underneath that is the lighter colored wood.


Yea, underneath the red was a silver, almost metal, primer that created the really glittery finish before. Underneath that the wood was, I believe, oak. Oh, and it was a lot more powerful than paint thinner, it was stripper that I had to leave on for 5 hours that ate away at the lacquer, that was the pain when sanding.
#26
Here is after 3 coats of Clear Gloss Polyurethane, a HUGE difference in luster.


The neck, very smooth. Still waiting on my fret wire to put back in.


Base of the neck cracks.


Trying to get the shine with the lights in the garage but the flash drowns them out. I put it in ISO mode so it won't flash, that's why the next 3 might be a little blurry.


Shiny


I don't know if you can tell, but it looks as though the cracks are coming out of where my pups are going and also where the knobs are. That's probably my favorite thing about it, that the cracks resemble lightning around the features.


The very unique look of the back, a friend said it looks like a work of art, probably the best compliment yet
#28
That's a pretty stunning finish. Not what I'd do for myself, at least not with those colours, but it's damn cool.
I agree with you - the variation is what gives it character, and at first I thought you must have done the back like that deliberately.

Good project!
#29
Quote by Deliriumbassist
power sander?

PAINT STRIPPER?

I manage to strip bodies in about 45 minutes with some good ol' elbow grease and sandpaper


Well arent you amazing

To Krono? i used a power sander as well, that colour underneath the paint is the primer, if your doing a stain, take that off as well.

If i use sheelac sand sealer, and stain my bass, will the sheelac stop the stain bleeding into the wood. So i can take it off later.
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#31
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Oh calm yourself down. I wasn't being serious.

i thought you were





I like the build TS, what more are you gonna do to it?
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I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

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#32
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Oh calm yourself down. I wasn't being serious.


Im sorry.
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#33
I really like this effect...

Hmmm, I may have to do a Gold/Blue on my Fender precision and route out a Jazz pickup hole on it.

That may be epic!
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#35
Black/Red crackle+Tort pickguard? and a vintage maple neck/fretboard?
on a P-bass?
totally superpunk.
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#36
Quote by the humanity
Black/Red crackle+Tort pickguard? and a vintage maple neck/fretboard?
on a P-bass?
totally superpunk.


superpunk? or do you mean RIVER OF MAGMA (with a log on it)

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Yay fibonacci!
#37
That is a sweet looking paint job man.

I would love to see that done in black/yellow or black/orange, or even red/white (The second of each the colour of the cracks).

I seriously would pay heaps of money to have that done for my bass - It'd be something original every time (since no two will be exactly the same), and it looks phenominal.
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#38
Quote by Deliriumbassist
power sander?

PAINT STRIPPER?

I manage to strip bodies in about 45 minutes with some good ol' elbow grease and sandpaper


stripping your boyfriend isn't as hard as stripping a guitar though
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#39
wow dude thats freakin incredible. I might have to steal your idea, maybe change it up a bit. maybe do something with 3 colors lol
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#40
Quote by skater dan0
stripping your boyfriend isn't as hard as stripping a guitar though

He has to take his time and go carefully, though. One must enjoy the moment.
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