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Vinyl wrapping a bass


hankhill

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So after playing Fender basses for 40-odd years I decided to give my back a rest and look for something lighter.  After months of waiting, a Yamaha RBX-A2 came up on eBay which I bought and loved, then a second really tatty one came up which I got for £135.

I don't have much guitar tweaking experience beyond the odd pickup swap, but on the basis that I had little to lose I decided to have a tinker.  This poor bass was quite badly abused although the neck only had 2 dents which I drop filled with Superglue.  I filled a much bigger ding on the body edge with epoxy putty.  Then I decided to try vinyl wrapping it with a carbon fibre look.  I’d never done that before and I’m pleased how it came out, although how long it will last is anyone’s guess.  Has anyone else vinyl wrapped a bass?  The Yamaha is flat topped which makes it easier, I can’t imagine how you’d wrap a curvy Fender.  I couldn’t avoid the odd tiny crease at the edges around the horns, so I covered the edges with car pinstriping tape, which seems to work well and should help to stop the edges lifting.  Photos attached.  For a £135 bass I don’t think it looks bad, and it plays and sounds great.  If anyone’s interested I’ll report back in a few weeks, after a few pub gigs, as to how its bearing up.

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Edited by hankhill
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Yes, I used a heat gun, and watched plenty of YouTube vids. I think one mistake I made was not having enough overhang on one side to pull and stretch, which led to some of the creasing.  I did have enough vinyl to pull it all off and start again but decided to leave it for now.

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My bass is off having the front wrapped at the moment. I was too scared to do it myself. It’s having the Joker (The Killing Joke) image below put on the front and orientated so it’s the right way up when being played.

Its going on the the front of my black SR800 and can always be removed if I get bored or want to sell. Hopefully it will protect the paint.

A09B6FB5-5631-46A7-B363-2FFE9C542059.jpeg

Edited by Silky999
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The actual wrap only took 20 minutes, but stripping, filling chips, and rebuilding took maybe 4-5 hours spread out over 2 weekends.  Drip fills need to dry before sanding so its the waiting that takes most time.  I only finished it today as I had to order a new jack socket. Its not perfect, the back is still fairly scratched, couldnt be bothered to try and polish it all out.

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A pal of mine works in the vinyl Industry and has wrapped a number of guitars/basses. He already has a sideline supplying customised bass drum heads, (he is a drummer), and has also wrapped a number of complete drum kits.

He did a stunning design for a guitar for my son and also a couple of scratch plates for various people. The fact that the original instrument is preserved and if you get fed up you just pull it off makes a load of sense to me. Also very cheap compared to a respray. Here's a guitar and bass he did.

psychbass1.thumb.jpg.49465d425d3101fd00549ad8fa1b3bca.jpg999165048_CaptainAmerica.thumb.jpg.4e72b09a32e352e46f72188280ec8978.jpg

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2 hours ago, hankhill said:

They look great. Did he wrap on top of the scratch plate on the strat, or did he use two copies of the same image and line them up?  Also I’d love to know a technique for wrapping all round a curved body. 

I honestly don't know. I would suspect the scratch plate was wrapped separately. It was done some years ago so suspect he may not remember but I'll ask him when we next speak.

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I work as a signmaker, with vinyl since over 30 years, and have wrapped 12 - 14 basses and guitars.

I must say that for being your first try, you did an amazing job! And it seems like you learned enough this time to make it perfect next time.

The only way to wrap both sides is to wrap the back first and then the front with 1 - 1 1/2 centimeter of overlapping along the edge of the instrument.

Edited by baa
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Looks amazing, good job. 
 

As an aside; years ago I sold various surface finishes for a living, one of them was a self adhesive flexible laminate film made by 3M called Dinoc. I always remember an installation training session where the guy completely covered a football with one piece, with no wrinkles of creases at all, seriously impressive. 

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  • 1 year later...
On 23/02/2020 at 15:04, baa said:

I work as a signmaker, with vinyl since over 30 years, and have wrapped 12 - 14 basses and guitars.

I must say that for being your first try, you did an amazing job! And it seems like you learned enough this time to make it perfect next time.

The only way to wrap both sides is to wrap the back first and then the front with 1 - 1 1/2 centimeter of overlapping along the edge of the instrument.

Is it possible to do a non-overlapping seam along the side, using e.g. 3M knifeless tape? Or does there always have to be an overlap to prevent peeling at the edges if there is a seam at the side? I've seen some impressive butt joints using vinyl but wasn't sure if the butt joint then had to be covered over. 

Edited by funkle
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