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Skabass build/refinish FINISHED(ish)!


Rich

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Hey all

Not a proper build thread this, more of a refinish and upgrade.
I've had this bass (or rather one a bit like it) hanging around for ever, and finally decided to do something with it while the bands are on enforced hiatus. Imagine this as a Jazz rathen than a P and you've got it. Red body, black hardware/PG. Anyway... as you may have seen in my status updates, I wanted to refinish it but couldn't decide on a colour so I asked the audience. When @TheGreek suggested white, a big lightbulb glowed into life. Black hardware... white bass... 2 tone... I'm in a ska band. Perfick.

So, after a strip-down, the preparation. Sanding, filling, sanding, more sanding, priming, sanding, priming, yah de yah. That's where I am at the moment. Oh, and I've never liked the headstock shape much, so I've subtly reshaped the end.
More details and pics as we go along. It'll be a rattlecan finish so it won't be perfect, but I will be doing my best :D I've never done a proper re-fin before so it's a voyage of discovery! 

before.jpg

Edited by Rich
Turns out it doesn't have a plain fingerboard after all
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The neck and headstock are fully sanded, the headstock primed and the first topcoats applied. More flatting and more topcoat awaits. Here's a teaser pic showing my re-shaped headstock end.

Rather than lacquer the rest of the neck, I'm thinking of something else. Tung oil maybe? What do people think? Open to ideas.

20200908_105520.jpg

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I found these pickups in my spares box. They appear to have come from two different basses, god know which ones :) I thought the plain covers would work well with the black & white vibe. The neck measures at 7k ohms, the bridge at a hair under 10k. Again, we'll see if they work when they're plumbed in. I can always source something else.

20200908_105608.jpg

Edited by Rich
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8 minutes ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

How about a black and white checked scratch plate

Oi, stop spoiling my surprise :lol: 

Seriously though, my actual plan is to use the original black plate (for reasons of cost) and apply some B/W check tape to it. Either covering the whole thing, or just a couple of stripes. I've found some hi-vis stuff that could be really effective under lights. 

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22 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

I saw this one a while back, it looks pretty good 

AA53AE1C-9EC5-403A-86D0-DD634A0727FA.jpeg

Looks good. I like the idea of the check being on the skew rather than straight and level. I might do a similar thing.

A couple more pics:

Primer and more primer!
20200908_205704.jpg.b7660c71630a881ea65f340146a9f917.jpg

The complete headstock. I might do a bit more flatting etc, but it looks pretty good in the flesh. Wood. Whatever :lol:
20200908_205553.jpg.8caabc56c7b4bc343e0fead5eebf05a6.jpg

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Two minor disasters at lunchtime.

  1. I'd just done a bit of flatting on the body ready for the next primer coat, and as I was dusting it off it slipped out of my hands. :shok:  I managed to arrest its fall with my foot before it hit the concrete floor, but unfortunately it grazed against the bench on its way down and has knocked a small dent in the body. >:(  I'm not going to lose sleep, it's not like it's an expensive instrument and I've never been too precious about them anyway -- if I was that worried, they'd never leave the house -- but I still muttered a phrase that would have made a docker blush. I've blown another couple of primer coats and luckily I don't think the dent is going to be too visible once it's finished.
  2. Between coats, I was going through the hardware and have come up short of a tuner ferrule. Four black tuners, three black ferrules. It will annoy the manure out of me if I have to spoil the 2 tone vibe by fitting a chrome one. Wanted ad duly posted. 
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I did consider filling, but in the end I thought "ah sod it, it's gonna get banged up anyway" and left it. It's all mojo, right? :lol: 

OK, the final primer coat has been flatted with flourpaper and the body's top coats have started!
I'm edging towards tung oil to finish the neck, so I'll get some of that and once it's on the neck will hang up in the corner and stay there for a couple of weeks so the finishes can harden off fully. 
I'm planning a special headstock decal for it based on this template, but I'm going to hold my fire on that until it's all back together and I know it works.

image.png.cdca8ea3982fb5328d134cae34d90aa0.png

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On 10/09/2020 at 12:13, Rich said:

I'm planning a special headstock decal for it based on this template, but I'm going to hold my fire on that until it's all back together and I know it works.

image.png.cdca8ea3982fb5328d134cae34d90aa0.png

I couldn't resist the temptation, and ordered it anyway... :D it's on and it looks absolutely brilliant. No pics of it until the bass is finished, soz :lol: 
I would heartily recommend Rothko & Frost's service to anyone. Dead easy to arrange, fast delivery and a really superb product. First time I've used them, but won't be the last.

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Tinkering with electronics today. I'm shoehorning an EMG 2-band eq under the control plate, I've offered it all up and it fits snug as a bug together with the battery. For the moment I'm going to go with just a blend 'pan pot' and no master volume control. At some point, if I can  make it fit I might try a stack knob V/V instead. 

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So while I'm waiting for the two week paint-hardening period to end (this coming Sunday) so I can get busy with the wet/dry, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mock it together and get an idea of what it will look like... pleased is an understatement. God, I hope it works. :D 
mockup.thumb.jpg.7b0e6ed0ec27844f68326fe7e7f3252d.jpg

The EMG eq is squeezed in place under the control plate and just about fits with the PP3 into the titchy cavity.

shoehorn.jpg.f5ecdb00e79be4a51cab0a81cdf09e58.jpg

That's the original black pickguard, with some 50mm reflective checker tape applied. The reflective white bits are very reflective indeed, so I'm hoping it will look pretty good under stage lights.

Also: just how good is tung oil?? I cannot believe I've never tried it before. I am never going to lacquer a piece of wood again.

 

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The proof of the pudding is in the eating I guess 😉 it's all very modular so changing the pickups or the guts will be easy enough. Having said that, all my basses are pretty hot actives including my current go-to gig bass Sire V7. 

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  • Rich changed the title to Skabass build/refinish FINISHED(ish)!

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