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 modding my t-40

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PostSubject: modding my t-40   Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:28 pm

no, I'm not going to cut the horns off it like the guy on ebay...

I've got a great condition 1979 t40. (I put pics in the photo section) I love the way it sounds, but not the way it makes my middle age body feel after a 3 hour gig. A few years ago I picked up an extra body for it. Not great condition, just an old body with some scarring on it.

Here's my idea, I'd decided to cut a forearm contour into the topside, and tummy cut into the back. I also routed out some of the extra material under the pickguard.

Right now it's almost 5 pounds just for the body by itself. Every little bit helps, and if I can put together a T40 that is around 10 pounds, I'll be happy. the one I play now is a little over 12, but I think the extra body isn't as heavy a wood as the good condition one. I'll weigh it after I get it apart

I'll still leave my nice body alone, only experimenting on the junk body I have. that way if I decide to sell it someday, I can leave it up to the new owner which way he would like it.

I'm also going to do a sunburst finish on the new body when I'm done sanding it.



Last edited by 58mark on Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:30 pm

here's pics of the progress so far







So far the bass is about a pound lighter. I was hoping for a little more, but it helps.

I also compounded the pick guard with a very light compound, and it looks almost new again

Next up, the sunburst!

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:11 pm

Looking good!

Chip did several T's in the past like this. He's also took some weight out of the back as well. He went one step further on what we called the Skeleton where he route out a greater majority of the body and part of the face of the headstock. I played it a few times and it is much lighter and it didn't really sound any different. Well, other than Chip had clipped the red wire to get a brighter sound.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:55 pm

new progress!

I sanded it down smooth, put in grain filler. Sanded lightly

then I used a little amber tinted clear as a sealer. why amber? because I then sanded it down again, and the color contrast between the amber and the wood grain showed me where it wasn't totally smooth

then I re sealed it, and got it ready to spray the black edge




mask in place



the black is sprayed already, but I didn't take pics yet. I will tonight
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:59 pm

here's the latest

I'm not happy with the transition from the black to the red/brown. I'm going to keep adding the brown until I get a better graduation between the two

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:54 pm

I really like that. How does it look with the pickguard sitting on there?

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:14 pm

I'll do a few more coats trying to get the blend right and I'll try it
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:39 pm

this is after the first coat of clear. I'm hoping to get 12-15 total coats to make s good foundation for sanding and buffing



don't worry, I'm not going to take a photo after every coat, LOL


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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:58 pm

Looking really good!

I've got a T-60 body that is going to get modified. I'd love to get a cherry sunburst (think Les Paul) finish on it.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:42 pm

sanded the lacquer down, and then used 3m super duty rubbing compound on it, followed by maguires show car glaze. there's still some squirl marks I'd rather not have, so I'm going to try something else to get them out

but you have to hold the bass in a certain light to see them, from 12 inches away this thing looks great, if I do say so myself




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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:05 pm

That does look great!

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:39 pm

DONE!



plays great, better than before because I messed with the neck tilt while I put back together.


and the weight? this is very interesting...

This body was 5.2lbs when I started, an I got it down to 4.2. I just weighed the old body by itself, and it said 6.4! so I saved over a pound just by switching bodies. Between the lighter body and the routing that I did, the new bass is...

9.6 lbs!!!

that's about a 3 pound loss, which I don't really understand because I thought I only lost a pound because of the routing, but three pounds lighter is HUGE

I was hoping for a little less than 10, so this project has been so worth it. I'm thrilled


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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:01 am

Hi.

Been watching this, top job!!

I'm doing a similar thing but adding another pick-up, sort of
T-40 meets T-45. Very Happy


Very Nice!!

Cheers. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:18 pm

That's a beauty!

Eric - a triple pickup T-40? I've had a triple pickup T-60 (I call it the T-63) project on the bench for a few years now.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:52 pm

thanks guys. I am so in love with this bass right now. It looks like the bass I've always wanted, it sounds like a million bucks, and it's less than 10 lbs.

what's not to love?

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:32 pm

Exactly. Having your own holy grail instrument is truly something to enjoy.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:04 am

I've played two four hour gigs with this bass, and the weight difference is incredible!

here's a picture from last night's gig. can anybody see my latest mod?

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:27 pm

Very cool! Did you do actual inlays or are those decals? It looks great.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:36 pm

just decals, but I put them on using a dial caliper, so they are very straight. Decals get a bad rap because they are usually put on by what looks like a blind monkey

picked them up from ebay, some seller from china. I can post more info if anybody is interested

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:23 am

I've been interested in the decals myself for quite some time. Been wanting to put a set of lightning bolt marker decals on my T-63 project since it's inspiraton was Ace Frehley's guitar.

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:20 am

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:08 pm

Very cool! Thanks!

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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:39 pm

Fantastic post bro..beautiful results! That is a sweet mod on the bass!
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:13 pm

Nice work! I love the mods and the paint looks nice.
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PostSubject: Re: modding my t-40   Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:38 am

After doing all of that work on the t-40, I still found I didn't play it on a regular basis because I missed my 5 string so much, also, the string spacing going from a 5 to a side 4 was more difficult than I thought it would be

to solve both of those issues I have decided to convert the t 40 to a 5 string bass.  I already have the extra tuner, I have the Kahler Bridge on order, so all I have to do it mod the nut to accept the 5 string set, or get a new nut made
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