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Matt Freeman body transplant

Rexel Matador

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I have a Squier Matt Freeman P-Bass that I never use because it was the victim of an early attempt at "refinishing" and frankly looks a bit sh*t. Also one of the tuners is held together with superglue.

But, the thing absolutely sings and the EMG GZR pickup that is currently gathering dust on it really deserves better. So I'm going to make a new body for it.

My last couple of builds have been totally from scratch and to my own design, so this is a bit of a break from that level of intensity, but I'm just hoping to put what I've learned into doing something relatively simple and doing it well.

The bulk of it will be a reclaimed scaffold board, to which I will add a top - something relatively restrained - no fancy flaming this time - with a layer of dark veneer in between, just for a little accent. I'll be adding a colour stain because I don't think the bare wood and the rather Trump-esque tint of the neck will go together very well.

I haven't decided whether to keep the scratchplate (black) or just have the pickup and controls set directly into the top.

Pics to follow in due course, naturally.

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Experimenting with an idea I read somewhere online. I cut a neck pocket template slightly oversized and then filled it in with epoxy putty with the neck in place to make a nice close fit. Tomorrow I'll try and use this one to cut a second one sans putty, so I can be absolutely sure it won't fail when I'm routing the actual body. It turned out pretty well anyway - so far so good.


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  • 1 year later...

2 years later...

I've finally moved house and am no longer attempting to make basses in the tiny spare room of tiny flat. Got my workshop set up in the garage and thought this relatively simple project would be a good way to ease myself back into it. I had a chunk of mahogany that I bought for another project but it wasn't right. Planed down it's pretty gorgeous. More pics of that soon.


So far I've just cut it roughly on a bandsaw and am now routing the shape using a template




The new Bosch vacuum is no match for the router, it would seem 🤣

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Not bad for a day's work. I messed up the pickup cavity a little - thank god for scratchplates. The wood doesn't look so great in its rough sanded form - before I sliced into it it was a beautiful red colour. I'm hoping with more sanding and an oil finish it'll look pretty sweet. Whether it looks good with that shiny yellow neck remains to be seen. It'll be nice to have this bass (or a version of it) back on the squad



Edited by Rexel Matador
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  • 2 weeks later...
42 minutes ago, Richard R said:

Looking good. And the workshop is pretty cool too 😀

I have to say, it's an absolute game changer. I've been very fortunate. I built my first six or so instruments in the spare room in a little flat - my very patient wife accepting me indulging my passion and at least trying to clear up all the dust! Finally having a garage to fill with machines is a whole new world.

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And there you have it - just a quick project really, to get this bass up and running again. The body was a bit thicker than the old one and I realised the screws wouldn't actually be going very far into the neck - so rather than getting longer screws or reshaping the body, I decided to use ferrules instead because I happened to have four spare ones. I sometimes find impatience to be the mother of invention (not that I invented ferrules, of course).


Anyway, I love it - it looks so 70s to me. If I was Matt Freeman I would have had it sold like this from the start!









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5 minutes ago, PaulThePlug said:

Nice... Nice touches with the Dark oil finish, High mass bridge with Brass saddles and Wood knobs... Gives it that 'evolved over time look'...

Although i'm a 'Thumbs on Top' kinda guy...

I don't actually use the thumb rest and, to the best of my knowledge, neither does Matt Freeman - it's just there for a bit of vintage flair, I think

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