Author Topic: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?  (Read 127 times)

Xepera maSet

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Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« on: November 13, 2019, 08:55:53 pm »
I have a decent Squier MB-4 bass but it has a skull and crossbones on the body and inlaid on the 11-13th fret, which I really don't like. I honestly don't mind getting a sticker for the body, I was thinking of doing a stickers bass for a long time. Anything I need to know about that? Also, what do I do about the fretboard? I'd rather not need a whole new neck... Anything to cover it? Can I stain over it? The wood is too light anyways...

https://i.imgur.com/03YeiCR.jpg

Or if anyone wants it....

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
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Onyx

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019, 05:30:01 am »
Squiers can be great guitars with the proper modifications. I'm not sure about the body decal, but when it comes to the neck I would just go ahead and bolt on a replacement. I would ask about the bass on http://www.squier-talk.com, some knowledgeable people there.

Other things you might consider would be to replace the tuners (unless they are already stable), and if you're handy with a soldering iron there are probably better pickups and volume/tone controls, etc. When it comes to soldering wires, I've used this type for years with good results:

https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-1oz-silver-sdr015

Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but an old friend of mine used to leave a little extra slack on the bass strings, and when they got dirty/old he would boil them in water on the stove for 10-15 minutes. I haven't a clue where he got the idea from but it worked, and saved a ton of money on those expensive strings.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:38:22 am by Onyx »

Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 09:48:56 pm »
My uncle in law does wrapping, like on RVs and cop cars and such. Gonna ask him about that. Will have to learn to do pickups either way, do I just snip the wires them solder it together again after?

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
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Etu Malku

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 11:18:07 pm »
I would just sell the axe and get what you really want  8)
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2019, 03:34:28 am »
I would just sell the axe and get what you really want  8)

Trust me I've been trying.

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
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Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 03:27:09 pm »
Hell I'd trade it in if I thought I wouldn't get seriously ripped off.

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
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Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 04:57:07 pm »
Hey @Onyx , what would I have to do to repaint the body? Just sand the gloss off, paint, and cover it with something clear?

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
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Mindmaster

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2019, 07:56:33 am »
My uncle in law does wrapping, like on RVs and cop cars and such. Gonna ask him about that. Will have to learn to do pickups either way, do I just snip the wires them solder it together again after?

New pickups just have push to fit connections. (Like EMG)

But, you'd be throwing $150+ in pickups in what is probably a $300 bass. Probably kinda silly.

If you save up a bit of money for a better foundation it's worth modding it, but I really wouldn't bother unless the pickups just aren't working.

You could spend that additional money on a really good one and do virtually no work.

Onyx

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 09:43:08 am »
I've never repainted a commercial guitar. One time I refinished an old Musicmaster body but that amounted to running it through the planer to remove most of the paint, a little sanding, and stain/lacquer.

Not to hijack the thread too much, but I posted some images of my guitar-making efforts:

http://orderoftheserpent.org/blogs/Onyx/images/guitar_making/

I finished the black guitar (#2, who I made for a friend) with leather dye and 18 coats of clear spray lacquer. (I documented the build process for that one.) When I was working on #3 for myself, I invited the same friend to make #4 for himself. He stained the front and did black lacquer on the sides and back using Mohawk products, specifically these:

https://www.mohawk-finishing.com/products/wood-staining-finishing/stains-glazes-colorants/ultra-penetrating-ngr-stain/

https://www.mohawk-finishing.com/products/wood-touch-up-repair/aerosols/colored-lacquer-enamels/

It's a lot better than stuff from the hardware store, the black turned out pretty smooth on its own without needing to polish it up.

Concerning the bass, it may be possible to paint over the existing finish, but please ask on a guitar forum first before taking chances/wasting time. Soldering is not that difficult, all one really needs is a 25W soldering iron, some heat-shrink tubing, and I think the type of solder I recommended makes life a lot easier. There are plenty of wiring diagrams and helpful people on guitar forums, Reddit, etc.







« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:39:56 am by Onyx »

Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 01:51:25 pm »
Hand sanding off the cover and paint is insane. I started on an old worthless guitar and it's not worth it

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
- Crowley

Onyx

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2019, 02:10:37 pm »
Quote from: Xepera maSet
Hand sanding off the cover and paint is insane. I started on an old worthless guitar and it's not worth it

I used the planer on the small 3/4 student-sized guitar since the body would fit into the machine. Otherwise I think a handheld belt-sander would do the job as they are pretty aggressive. (It's hard to see in the photos, but on #4 we used one to do the bevel on the front and scooped out area on the upper back (Stratocasters have those features). But then you still have to buy that for around $200 plus all the paint, time, and trouble.


« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:40:53 am by Onyx »

Xepera maSet

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Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2019, 02:49:23 pm »
Yeah with solder, grain filler, paint, etc it was at like $80. Shit that's half way to a brand new starter bass my wife already like. Returned the stuff for now and traded to work on another project - kitchen cabinets!

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
- Crowley

Onyx

Re: Anyone know about customizing an electric bass (or guitar)?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2019, 10:58:43 am »
I've been through kitchen remodeling. I only footed about 25-30% of the bill, but did all of the work. Installing cabinets, flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc, was a pain in the ass. But though the houses around here are small, the kitchens are rather large and I sought to make the most of the space. Overall the whole idea costed around $2000.

I thought I had a "before" photo but cannot find it. The flooring/countertops were 60's/70's "harvest yellow", which was ugly as fuck. And the apparently the previous owners were religious about Z-Brick:

Quote
Z‑Brick, developed in 1956, is the original veneer facing brick which can be easily installed by the homeowner or contractor to create a traditional masonry appearance without the weight, labor, or cost of masonry.

The previous owners had it in the living room and even in the hallways, we got rid of that but it's still in the kitchen. There should be laws against Z-Brick,  sand mixed with wall paint, and anything "stucco". ;)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 11:28:04 am by Onyx »