Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

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Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:45 am

Hello All, this'll be my first time on here so HELLO.

Right, I've got two Thunder A Basses, one active ('83ish) and a passive natural wood version ('84/85and I'm currently re-finishing the body. I am now at a point where I could do with some advice of the finish (among other things)

I've taken it down to the wood down to an 'aggressive' 2000 grit so it looks pretty nice BUT where and what way should I go with it ? Do I stain it (as its very very light coloured wood) or a clear rattle can varnish or do I go out and get wacky and go for a groovy colour ? How much is the original finish an important issue ?

Next, the neck and headstock. I obviously want to match the headstock with the body. I've got an A4 page of correctly sized waterslide decals that I will use if I do remove the logo and re-finish the headstock but the question is....Do I chance it, do I remove the originality of it.

And lastly, I have a nasty hole by-the-side-of the jack socket hole. How do I start to attempt repairing that ? I'm not a wood worker so a lot of this, is really winging it.

The offending hole by the jack socket. The story behind this was the guy who sold it to me (for 60 quid) had put SD's in it. By the time it got to me, he had put back the original PU's but damaged the socket hole in the process. So any possible help would be cool regarding a repair.



Many thanx in advance :-)

Dean
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by corsair on Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:32 am

First off, welcome here; you'll find loads of expertise and opinion in here.... here's my tuppence worth!
Firstly, finish is a private thing between you and the guitar - you've already sanded it back so originality is compromised anyway and besides, that hole at the output is a bugger of a thing!! What I normally do there is tidy it up a bit - remove loose bits etc. and glue and clamp a small piece of thin wood over the entire hole, from inside the control cavity ready for filling and re-drilling, or in my case, I reposition the jack from the front to the side. I then fill the hole and sand it smooth... Unless you can find a piece of wind that looks similar to the body - and have the skills required to inlet it! - patch and fill might be your only choice!

I'm a fan of painted finishes anyway - I've only done one resto back to bare wood; all the rest are painted finishes, and not shot on by me, either!! I know my limitations and painting is not one of my skills so a friend here does whatever I fancy doing!

Staining is another option; I've only done one with stain and found it strangely satisfying!! Mind you, it was green stain... :-)

Think of the guitar as a blank canvas and ask yourself...
"What sort of finish would encourage me to pick it up and play it?!"

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:01 am

Short and concise...I like that. Good advice ! I'm just a tiddy bit funny about westone's kind of staying the same. I think thats partly the 'mojo' thing (if it exists). 

The more I look at it the more i'm torn between stain, full-on dye or just a straight varnish.....grrrr, decisions, decisions....I might live with it for a week or so and make a rash decision on the spur of the moment.

Yep, the hole is truly buggersom. I think i'll go with the patch from behind and then fill it etc. I did have the idea of relocating the output socket to the side and may still do but for the time being, i'll stick with sorting out the finish  Very Happy.

Many thanx for the reply

Dean
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Barry on Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:54 pm

Hi and welcome!
We have quite a few members who have had good luck refinishing the Thunders with translucent water based stains in a variety of colours. They turned out very strikingly beautiful end products, thanks mainly to the beautiful grain on these things.

Many others have restored the original natural look by sanding and resealing with products like Danish Oil. Equally beautiful.

Like corsair says, whatever suits your fancy. But of course it's that bloomin' hole that's the issue. Depending on how well you are able to camouflage it I think that will dictate the approach.

If it's still an eyesore than perhaps a solid finish or at least a heavy translucent may be your only option. Have a look at the Spectrum SX series for some examples.

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:04 pm

If you are planning to go the natural wood look satin clear lacquer is the way. If you use an oil it's there forever on that wood which is Sen, Japanese Ash.
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:20 am

Thanx for the replies guys, lots of info and food for thought. 


I'm actually of thinking with going for an amber stain from Crimson guitars. It seems to be pretty close to the original finish but still haven't decided yet.


My one worry is the wood running down the centre. I have sanded and sanded and it still looks and feels like it has some kind of finish on it. As mentioned before, I know nowt about wood so i'm probably missing something (or nothing at all). I'm going to guess that its a tight and very closed grain hence the already 'shiny' finish.


I'm gonna jump in and go for it...


Thanx again


Dean
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Adey on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:47 am

With regard to the damage to the jack hole, can this not be repaired with some suitably close matched veneer cut in and glued, and the back reinforced?
Once the jack socket has been re-drilled and fitted, there wouldn't be much of the repair left "obviously" on view.
And once the jack plug and lead are installed it would barely be noticeable.
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:11 am

The original finish was clear.
It just yellows with age.

The wood in the center is maple with walnut stringers. Same as the neck timber.
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:30 am

Yep, I've had a look at a few vids, not actually guitar repairs but wood all the same. So I think i'm going to have a go at at tidying up the hole (square it off a bit) and glue 'n' clamp and let the socket etc do the rest. 

And thanx for the info on the wood :-)

Thanx again guys
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:32 am

Hey Westone, you up in Redbridge, as in Wanstead ?

Ha ha, i'm just down the road if its the same Redbridge.
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:02 am

That's right, Ilford...small world... Cool
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Adey on Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:06 am

And I'm currently sitting in Battersea Power Station offices, looking across the Thames...

It is surprising how "local" the world wide web is sometimes!
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Nice afternoon for gazing across the Thames...
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by corsair on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:14 pm

I'm not gazing over the Thames... 

... world seems pretty big from here!! :-D

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Adey on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:27 pm

It was a fantastic view!

The silvery waters of the Thames, and the barges going in and out of Cringle Dock Waste Recycling Station, and the aroma of rotting, wafting in from time to time on the breeze...

Cool
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Barry on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:49 pm

Sounds romantic. Roll on Floor Laff

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by corsair on Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:28 pm

Don't it, though?! Laughing

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:33 am

You soppy sods.... Wink
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:16 am

lol, nice one. I'm just down in Walthamstow (wood st, if you know it) 18 floors straight up and the view is something else. Six years and i've never been bored with it.

Yeah, what a small world and even smaller with the web.

Anyway, heres a pic from the balcony and my wonderful view of Canary Wharf

D
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:47 am

Wonderful view of a Photobucket lock out. Neutral



edit later that day:
All pix displaying now


Last edited by Barry on Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:54 am

Grrrrrrr, no idea why it does that
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 am

Can see the photo perfectly and I DO NOT pay their subscriptions, 'king robbers.

Good view from there.
You in Northwood Towers??
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:58 am

Indeed I am
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by Adey on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:06 pm

The view from my desk...




The containers full of London's waste are in the bottom right corner of the first picture.
The funny metal tower on the right is actually a tower crane mast. All that is on the top of it is the temporary home of Battersea's Peregrine Falcons.
And as the Thames disappears out of view, you can just make out the MI5 building - but keep that a secret... (they have done a good job of repairing it after it was blown up in "Skyfall" film!)

The red building on the right of the second picture is another one I worked on. Last year it was voted "London's Ugliest Building of the Year" Cool Cool
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Re: Thunder-A Bass restoration...Advice if poss...

Post by fictionuk65 on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:40 pm

Nice view even though you have the delightful stench of London's filth :-(

Maybe there should be a new thread..... 'members views from their window' ;-)
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