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I got this old P Bass copy from one of my friends who completely abused it, then ripped the wiring out. It was $10, so hey, why not? For those who want to know, it's a Suzuki M model. Yea, I've never heard of it either, nor can I can info about it. I don't have any pics of it beforehand, but you know what a P bass looks like. It was black with a white pickguard. The neck is in pretty terrible condition, but should still be playable. Frets are coming off, it's scratched to hell, etc. But it is not warped, and that is good news.

Anyway, I am currently painting it purple, probably with a matching headstock. How do you think that would look?

What is done:
- Took it all apart
- Sanded the body down to the wood
- Primed it
- Started the top coat

To be done:
- Finish the top coat
- Apply a clear coat
- Sand it smooth, buff it, etc.
- Figure out what hardware I can salvage
- Get new pickguard
- Get new pickups

And of course, reassemble it and hope it plays well!

I'm thinking about a black pearl pickguard, which I think would complement the purple color nicely. As far as pickups go, I was thinking the DiMarzio Split Ps would be nice. The bridge looks like it should be fine, but the tuners I'm kind of skeptical about. The hardware is all chrome and I'm trying not to spend too much money on it. I've already got some new pots (can't remember if they were 250k or 500k), I have a crapton of input jacks, and a bunch of capacitors (.05 microfarad). I still need to get some wire (22AWG stranded copper). I'm also replacing the nut, since it was broken. I've got a nice bone nut that is already slotted. Pics will be up as soon as I find the cable for my camera.
Last edited by Ironflippy at Jun 12, 2006,
Got some pics now

After priming

After a couple coats of purple

The paint splattered a bit, gonna have to sand that out when these coats dry

The neck. I really like the headstock, still not sure if I'm going to just leave it natural, or if I should match it with the body color or what

I accidentally broke part of the fretboard while trying to take out the old nut. I glued it in and sanded it smooth. If I end up matching the headstock with the body, I'll paint until the nut so the glue doesn't show.

The official Fender replacement nut. It fits nicely

Well, give me your input guys. Sorry, I don't have any pics of it before the primer, didn't really think of it at the time. I know the pics are dark, but my camera sucks and I didn't feel like photoshopping them or anything.
looks great , can you tell me how you painted it?
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This looks like a good project. It looks like your going abit thin if thats what the body looks like after a couple of coats.
Yeah, if that was a couple coats your going really thin man, make those coats a little thicker and one coat should at least cover the body completely. Unless your going for that look. Gibson, he just sprayed it with lightly and moved over the body really quickly with the can.
Yea, I thought it was going a bit thin, but I didn't want to risk getting runs. Tomorrow I should be finishing the top coat, I've been away from home since I started the thread. 600 grit should be fine for getting the top coat nice and ready for the clear coat, right? One question: should I do wet or dry? I'm going to need some help from you guys when it comes to buffing the clear coat, I'm not very clear on it (pun intended).
Yeah, jsut get some 400/600 and knock down the orange peel in the color coat, spray yoru clear coat ( abotu 6-8 I guess) Let is cure for about 2-3 weeks. Then Once its'cured, wet sand it with 800 grit until it's smooth, then move up to 1000 wet sand and take out the scratches from the 800 grit, then to 1500 wet sand doing the same thing, then 2000 doing the same thing (takign otu the previosu scratches)

By then you can wipe the stuff off your gutiar with a towel and admire your handy work. Then get some rubbing compoung for 1200 grit scratches rub that in, and use your buffer and work the stuff in there, dont' stay in one spot too long or else the lacquer will melt and pick up onto the pad. Then use a swirl remover rub that in and do the same thing. Then let the body cool for 30 minutes or something. Then you can apply something to protect the lacquer like some car wax or something, just apply that like normal. Then your done, if you sanded enough you shoudl have a really nice finish.

Warning, dont' sand too much or else yo uwill sand throguh the clear coat then you'll have to re spray it.

Also, wipe down the guitar after you use the compounds to see how the body is going and to keep the body clean and stuff like that... yeah.

If my description wasnt' good enough here's a tutorial made by the late algeeEater.
Thank you kaplac, exactly what I was looking for.

I think I'm going to make it a bit more interesting than just plain purple. I want to do a black binding around the body, and then make the headstock black. I kisekaed a strat with the colors, tell me what you think.

If you're going to do purple for the body with black binding, you should put some purple binding on the black headstock. That would be pretty sweet!
Yea, I thought about that, but I like just the plain black headstock. I might make the logo part purple, but it's probably going to be white. Since people call me Flippy, I was thinking about using the Fender font for "Flip" and then just the "P BASS" after it, so it reads "Flip P Bass".

EDIT: It's pretty crappy outside right now, so no more progress today. The forecast for this weekend looks pretty grim, so I most likely won't be able to finish up until next week.
Last edited by Ironflippy at Jun 2, 2006,
How would I go about polishing the frets?'s only tutorial on it is from a different website, which isn't up any more. Since I'm on hiatus for painting due to inclement weather, I figured I could at least get something done.
I'm almost done with the base coat now. I'm going to do another coat or two so I have something to sand into. The pictures don't do the paint job justice, so I'll try to take another shot outside tomorrow. The color is actually much closer to the kisekae that I did. I've ditched the black binding idea, so it will be a purple body, black pearl pickguard, and black headstock. The hardware is going to stay chrome, which will accent the black nicely, I think.

Well, after a rainy week, I'm finally finishing up the base coat. I'm putting it on kind of thick because I (stupidly) didn't use grain filler on the body, so I have to sand it really well before I start the clear coat. The back of the body does look kind of cool with the grain showing through slightly. You don't notice anything on the front.

I hate to double post, much less triple post, but this is also acting as a bump so more people can see it and (hopefully) critique it.
Hey man its looking pretty darn nice aye, yeah make sure you do a nice light sand with like 500 grit of more, to me from those pictures it looks like the paint is reaaally think and doesnt look smooth.
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ehh. you might have wanted to be wet sanding in between each coat of paint...........
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Yea, I think I should do that before I start the clear coat. It is smoother now, but it still needs a wet sand.

As soon as I get my next paycheck, I'm going to get some more supplies and start doing the neck. I'm going to stain the back of the neck and headstock a little bit, and paint the front of the headstock black. I'm getting lacquer this time. When I do the decal for the headstock, it should be done after the paint but before the clear coat, right?
Well, the weather has been sucking quite a bit lately. So I've been wet sanding like a madman. I've lost most of the coats of paint, but I think it's worth it in the end. I did have a little painting disaster though. I was spraying a black faux binding and it splattered a bit, causing some bubbles and then the paint started leaking all over my hands and the floor of the basement. So after quite a bit more sanding, i think i have everything fairly smooth. I'll see how the next coat looks when the weather gets better. Figures the one time I attempt to paint inside everything goes to hell. Oh well. I'll get pics later on, prolly tomorrow at some point.
You only really need to wetsand just before buffing. If you are uses soap in the water for sanding that could be causing problems.

For your troubles with spluttering only use the first 2/3 of the can, as you go down further it's more propelant than paint and it may splutter. Have you been cleaning the nossle of the can after each coat?

With bubbling it sound like you are going a bit thick on your coats.
The splattering was a malfunction of the can, as was the bubbling. It was brand new. I turn the can upside down and spray until only a white mist comes out after every time I use the can, wipe the nozzle dry, and I rarely go past the halfway mark.

I was using the water in the wet sand to help disolve some of the paint. It helped a ton. I just use tap water in a bowl. Should I get some distilled water, or should I be fine (the water is clean enough for drinking)?
ok, with a brand new can it is often a good idea to sprayabit on scrap, clean the nozzle, then spray.
When you spray start spraying 2 inches before you hit the guitar and continue untill your 2 inches off, this can help aviod some splattering.

Tap water is fine for wet sanding, but you don't need to wet sand untill just before buffing.
From looking at your last pic now you need to level sand with some 400 grit paper and go onto the clear. The colour coat doesn't have to be thick.
Quote by Ironflippy
The color coat looks really dull after I sand it, will the clear coat remedy this?


You can buff the clear coat if you wish though, i'm pretty sure fender does/did buff the colour coat, but it's not nessasary. If you do buff the colour make sure not to use a compound that contains silicon, read the label. Silicon can cause finishes to "fish eye" if they are contaminated.
I'm going to be doing a black binding like I said I wasn't. I had to sand off so much of the purple paint to get it nice and flat anyway, I thought I might as well do the binding. So I sprayed black around the edge of the body. I'm trying to decide whether I want the binding on the top of the body or on the curved corner part. I'm leaning towards the corner, what do you guys think?

Will masking tape make the edges sharp enough, or is there a special type of tape that is used? I'll give a test piece of wood a shot with the different tapes I have and see which one works best.

EDIT: sorry for double posting so much in this thread =(
I got some detailing tape from my dad's friend who paints cars. I'm thinking about using two lines that weave in and out of each other over the corner of the body. I'll take pics of the progress when I start.
Finally, a clear day again. I've got the body all taped up and the first coat of purple on.

This is it hanging up, just before I sprayed the first coat of purple. Sorry the picture is so dark.
Thats looking good man!
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It's pretty hard to find someone as hardcore as Tom. The race for hardcore supremacy would be pretty close but i think Tom's got his nose just in front for now...
I'm about halfway done with the clear now. It's lookin pretty nice. I also placed the order for the pickguard, pickups, wire, knobs, and screws. Next step is to get some stain and get workin on the neck. It's all sanded down now, just needs a finish. Here's the body as of now:

That first pic makes it look terrible, but it's really just the lighting. This is also right after a coat went on, so you can see the streaks. Those will be sanded out before the next coat tomorrow.

I wish my camera would do the color of the purple more justice. It looks like poo in the pics.
Last edited by Ironflippy at Jul 11, 2006,
I got all of my parts in finally ^_^. I'm now doing the final sanding of the body. Here's what it looks like with the pickguard, and I must say it looks damn sexy.

Everything is going to be chrome, except for the pickguard screws, which are black. I have to clean the tuners to get rid of all the crap that been been piled on over the years. What do you guys suggest? Soaking it in vinegar?
wire wool is what i use, then a bit of chrome polish (i presume you mean that theyve rusted a bit or something similar)
That's pretty damn sexy!
Looks nice and purple/shiny, but not too shiny if you know what I mean.
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Quote by thesumoftwo
wire wool is what i use, then a bit of chrome polish (i presume you mean that theyve rusted a bit or something similar)

What coarse wool do you use? And where can I get chrome polish? I assume just a hardware store, but I could be wrong about that.

Ippon, good idea with the WD40, didn't even think of that. I'd take a pic with the neck, pickups, and bridge, but the neck is all taped off now, awaiting its own finish.

Speaking of taping off the neck, I want to stain the back of it because it'll look nicer with the overall dark color scheme of the bass. Should I mask off the entire fingerboard (including the sides) or just the top? I'm not sure if any finish or stain should go near it. It's a rosewood finger board, btw.
just find a medium to heavy coarse, I used some stuff i found in my shed and haven't had to buy any recently. And chrome polish you can normally get from any hardware store yeah.
Alright, thanks guys. And by the way, that picture in no way represents how it truely looks. The false binding never meets the pickguard, which gives quite an awesome effect. Plus, that pic was taken right before I started getting to work on the final sanding. One of these days I'm going to have to use my girlfriend's camera for a nice high quality pic. Of the bass I mean, I know what you all were thinking, you dirty bastards ^_^.
I'm going to get started on the neck when I return from vacation next week, but I'd like to at least get the supplies before I leave. I want to stain the back of the neck a bit, since the pale color of the wood doesn't go well with the dark color of the body. Can I use just regular Minwax stain, or does that contain something harmful to the guitar? I have a can of duplicolor lacquer for the clear already, as well as the black for the front of the headstock, but I might not use that. What do you guys think? If I stain the neck a relatively dark color, should I go ahead an stain the front of the headstock too, or paint it black? I think black might look a bit tacky.
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