Author Topic: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I  (Read 3576 times)

mica

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Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« on: January 26, 2006, 02:58:13 PM »
We received this bass at the very end of last year, and have been thinking of ways to repair it. This is bass 73-30, and it spent some time underwater after a hurricane. It is pretty badly damaged as you would expect.  

  Most obvious is the body laminations separating:

  Kinda funky around the jacks:

  Of course the bridge suffered some corrosion:

  The plates need some help:

 

  Peghead doesn't look bad from the front:

  But on the back, the veneers are separating, though not really visible in this picture:

  It's really hard to see how the neck shrunk in a picture, but here's a try:

  So we've got several ideas on what to do here.   I wish it never happened style: 1. replace the neck 2. saw the body apart, smooth gluing surfaces and add an accent laminate to make up the thickness 3. clean up the brass 4. refinish in oil 5. repair electronics  I'm pretty sure we have a Maple/Purpleheart neck from 1976 that we could use on this project. We'd have to make a new neck to use the same woods as the original.   Hurricane tribute style: 1. smooth the neck for playing 2. glue and clamp peghead joint 3. inject epoxy where the body lams are separating, but leave the separation as part of the history of the bass 4. clean up hardware to useable condition  5. repair electronics  At least one person here wants to leave it alone, mount it like a trophy fish and leave it as a decoration.   I personally vote for the first option, but you'll have to decide how aggressive you want us to be on the repair, Michael. It won't ever be the same, but we can make it a functioning part of your musical life again.

Bradley Young

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2006, 03:24:12 PM »
My vote would be for the Hurricane tribute, provided it won't affect playability in any severe fashion.
 
We all carry our scars, right?
 
Brad

David Houck

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2006, 04:55:35 PM »
Sigh ...

lbpesq

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 05:01:59 PM »
Michael:
 
I saw you bass today while visiting at Alembic.  What a trip!  I thought it came through surprisingly well, considering the extended bath.  If it were mine, I'd probably go the hurricane tribute route.  It sort of reminds me of a number of years ago when I saw an ad for Mesa Boogie that depicted (I believe it was) Mac Davis' amp that survived the MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas, looked like hell, but still worked.  Even with all the damage, it is still a very cool looking bass.  I love the old ones.
 
Bill, tgo

dela217

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 05:30:08 PM »
Of course I would like to see it perfect again, but I would hate for it to turn into George Washington's hatchet.  
 
I wish there was some way to resurrect it without replacing the neck.  I know, that was an option in the tribute style.  I just thought it could be sanded down and then the gaps glued and clamped around the body.  I guess that would be tough though!  I just was hoping the damage would not be visible.  Oh well.
 
Any more votes on the tribute style?  Wish it never happened?
 
Hindsight being 20/20, I know that this will not happen again!  I have been through many hurricanes and have prepared better in the past.  Next time ALL of the instruments are coming with us.

dela217

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2006, 05:31:59 PM »
Hey!  Just curious, do the electronics still work?  I never tested it before I shipped it.
 
Michael

811952

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2006, 06:27:28 PM »
My vote is for hurricane tribute style.  Otherwise, you've pretty much replaced it with a new bass.  Ultimately, if it's possible to saw it apart and do everything listed in the I Wish It Never Happened Style EXCEPT don't do a *new* neck and instead keep the old neck, then that would get my vote.  Something of this sort was done on 811952 way back in the day (although they put a whole new body on my neck instead of reusing the unusable original body wood) and it worked out well.  Regardless of what you ultimately decide, it's an incredible bass with an incredible history.  I can only wish everyone else in your home town had fared so well.  Glad you and it are still with us.
 
John

bsee

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 06:48:19 PM »
Condolences seem to be flowing freely this month.  Michael, I hope this was the worst of what you had to face.  Good luck with the restoration!
 
-Bob

bsee

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 07:26:15 PM »
Michael, I think the question has to come down to your intentions for the instrument.  If it is a sentimental piece to be more cherished and displayed than played, I would lean toward keeping it as original as possible.  If, on the other hand, you're planning on it being a serious player's instrument again, then I would take the advice of the Wickersham family in preserving as much as possible while returning it to top playing condition.  I am afraid that would be the replacement neck route.
 
If it were mine, I'd take the tribute route.  If I wanted a playable bass, 70's vintage instruments come available regularly for less than it would likely cost to go the full restoration route.
 
Just my opinion, follow your heart.

811952

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2006, 07:34:46 PM »
Michael,
 
It occurs to me that quite probably it will still be imminently playable if you do nothing more than fix the electronics, squirt some glue under the headstock lams and tweak the neck with some heat.  That would make it truly a historical piece.  Like Bob said, though, follow your heart.  None of us can even remotely second-guess whatever you decide, especially given your well-documented commitment to these early instruments.
 
It also occurs to me that if it were mine I'd really be tempted to play it out every chance I had, in as close of condition to it's present state as possible.  A friend of mine has a huge (5/8th's) German upright that survived a couple of world wars, albeit with some significant burn marks.  It is the absolute coolest bass I've ever touched, and it has been on fire.
 
john
 
(Message edited by 811952 on January 26, 2006)
 
(Message edited by 811952 on January 26, 2006)

bigideas

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2006, 07:43:37 PM »
i vote tribute. to be honest, i love the way the finish on the bridge and tailpiece has changed. the green and gold of the tarnished brass look old and strong.
 
(Message edited by bigideas on January 26, 2006)

bsee

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2006, 07:49:56 PM »
Oh, I probably would break down and at least change the strings though...

811952

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2006, 07:55:38 PM »

jlpicard

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 08:26:27 PM »
Definitely Hurricane tribute. Replacing the neck to me makes it an different instrument. I wouldn't do it. So sorry Michael, I love the old ones too.

flaxattack

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Re: Resurrecting Michael's Hurricane Damaged Series I
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2006, 08:53:14 PM »
flaxs 2 cents....
i would  ebony fill the joints in - sand the neck, fix the back
replace the rusty screws and remove just the rust off the bridge at the base- the saddles etc LEAVE
- the bridge and tailpiece esp should stay as is,.,they're PATINATED PIECES- us stain glass guys kill for that color green- i think i might replace the plate in the center, but would leave the back- it has character- makes it looked very aged,
replace the electrronics...
all yours for $29.95.......