17 minutes from fully functional to totally stripped!
Cool, and not a power tool in sight. What are doing to it on the reassembly?
I named her Gloria… so I’m making her look like Ol’ Glory.
I’m also changing to black hardware, filling the pickup cavities, installing two MGB Box Bucker flat-mount pickups, changing the electronics to master volume, blend pot and 12-way varitone and using custom made red, white and blue knobs.
Headstock is finished…
That looks great with the black tuning machines.
I love your idea for this. Especially with this particular guitar - it’s an amazing bargain buy for what you get, and yet it’s Ibanez so you’ll have a high quality soundwood and neck to start with; basically you took out the parts that made it inexpensive and are replacing them with better ones. This is probably going to end up making an already good guitar into an amazing guitar.
Thanks @howard! Yup, the idea is to make it mo’betta.
My main beef with it was the pickup placement but I figured since I’m taking it apart anyway I might as well go all out. The flag theme idea came from buying it during an Independence Day sale and, although I won’t discuss politics online, I am a patriotic kind of guy, having served in both the Army and Navy.
The bridge and electronics are definitely an upgrade, the tuners are a side-grade(same, just black) and the pickups are… a totally different breed of cat. lol
@Korrigan I really like seeing the step by step pictures and I’m looking forward to seeing the final build. It must be pretty cool to do all this work and then be able to post it on Show Us Your Basses.
Yeah, definitely keep the pics coming as you do each part of this mod - making a bass is just as much a skill as playing one - she’s gonna be a beauty when you’re done!
And that’s a wrap…
Thanks guys! I do enjoy showing off my work but what I really want to do is hopefully inspire the DIY spirit in others. I started building instruments a year and a half ago, so I’m by no means an expert, but I can tell you that starting out it’s about 5% skill, 20% research and 75% just getting up the courage to take the plunge. This was my first time using bondo and my first time doing a vinyl wrap (I bought it like six months ago just because it was on dirt cheep on clerance)… and once I got off my ass and just did it… I kind of wonder why I hesitated in the first place. lol
How hard was it to get the vinyl wrap to be smooth around all the contours? It at least looks super hard.
Definitely inspirational! That’s gotta be a joy to play too, knowing you created it, and it’s one of a kind - better than even custom built, because you did it yourself, and your sweat and your personality are in it. It’s on my bucket list to take a plunge like this someday, maybe first just swap out parts, experiment with very used basses first to see how they’re even put together, without too much worry about breaking something.
Fascinating to watch this.
Building my own bass is on my LIST OF DOOM (all the things I get enticed into but rarely finish). I’ve tried to make a positive step away from all the builder’s blogs etc until I’ve got a few months of solid learning/practice/playing under my belt, otherwise I end up with a half built bass but still not be able to play a finished one.
I’m interested in the vinyl wrap method. How do you seal it for protection?
Should’ve had that done by July 4 though
Looks really great . . .
You’re very talented, @Korrigan
@howard: It wasn’t that hard using my wife’s 300w heat gun, but it did take some time to figure out the technique. When you heat the vinyl you can stretch it around a corner. If you get wrinkles you can lift it, heat it again it will shrink back to it’s original shape and you can try again this time pulling from a different angle. Also I didn’t go that far from the top of the body which made it easier than if I’d have tried to wrap more around the sides.
If you’re interested, this is the video I learned the technique from and, although my vinyl was much thicker, it worked quite well.
@Vik: Yeah, I wouldn’t start out modding your main bass, but if you keep your eyes peeled you can find a lot of used ones very cheep (<$50) on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, sometimes even Ebay if you can catch an auction with no bidders because the poster spelled bass as base.
@PeteP: Good idea on learning how to play first. You’d be astonished by the number of builders in the CBG community that don’t actually play, which boggles my mind… how can you set up an instrument without knowing what feels good in a musician’s hands. If you’re ever considering buying a homemade instrument, sight unseen, your first question to the builder should be “Do you play?” and if the answer is no… keep shopping.
As for sealing the vinyl, it’s not necessary, this is heavy duty stuff used for cars, it has a transparent top layer built in. I might clear coat it anyway though just to get more illusion of depth.
@joergkutter: No worries, it’ll be done by the 4th of July. In fact I might even finish 10 or 11 months early.
@Jazzbass19: Thanks man! But really it’s just trial and error, with a healthy dose of troubleshooting because I have a lot of “Oh shit!” moments that I have to recover from… or what I like to call Spontanious and Unintended Design Elements. lol
What I’m hoping to convey is that it’s less about talent and more about Just Do It! (Please don’t sue me Nike!)
I am guessing if it is like other decal work you might want to clearcoat it around the edges at minimum to prevent anything from catching on it and lifting it off?
In any case, awesome work.
Time will tell but I don’t think it’s necessary. My final decision was to not clear coat it which will make it easier to change the skin at some point in the future.
The new locking-saddle brass bridge, which claims to have “fast tone development, a strong fundamental tone, assertive mids and pronounced sustain” is installed. I’m thinking about taking it off, blacking out the vinyl you can see showing through it then reinstalling it.
What do you do when don’t have a router but want to install pickups? Flat-mount MGB Box Buckers to the rescue!
8k humbuckers that stand only 1/4" off the body. The real test will come after I finish the wiring… will the outer strings be far enough into the magnetic field to not sound weak compared to the middle strings? Stay tuned…