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Thread: My first build - YB-4

  1. #1

    My first build - YB-4

    Having gone a little bit guitar mad during the Sydney lockdown I was looking for something different to do... an inspired afternoon and I picked up a YB-4 kit. I wanted a bass and figured building one could be a bit of fun.

    After navigating Aus Posts delays the kit turned up and I got straight into sanding and staining it. First mistake was using Dingotone... I'm not an expert on the subject but I didn't expect it to get lighter with each coat. I laid down a couple coats of blue and then the intensifying coat just stripped it all away. The nice blue I had was gone. The wood just wouldn't hold the stain. At this point I considered sanding it back and using a different stain but decided to persevere.... I'm not patient and didn't want to start over again. The finishing coat was even worse. 4 weeks and it just wouldn't cure, it stayed sticky. Eventually I gave up and ordered some tru oil. Tru oil was magic. It dried quickly and with a nice shine. I got a little over zealous a couple times and had to take to it with the steel wool. Eventually I got what I was looking for.

    The build was pretty straight forward, everything goes where you'd expect.

    Electronics were simple enough that someone who hasn't done any soldering in 15 years could manage it, but challenging enough that I wasn't sure it would work when plugged in (pleasantly surprised when it did). The wiring diagram had me saying "huh?" a few times so winged it a little with the basic knowledge from having recently swapped out some pickups.

    Ultimately I'm not unhappy with the outcome. I was hoping for a much different blue, instead I got a natural colour with blue accents in the grain. It plays and holds tune so I can't really complain.

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  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
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    Reading, UK
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    Hi and welcome.

    You've certainly ended up with a very nice looking bass, even though it's not quite what you intended when you started out. Well done.

    Dingotone is very hit or miss as to whether it works and dries. As a result its not something that the regular forum members would normally recommend. It seems very climate and condition sensitive as to how quickly it dries. Sometimes it's two days and sometimes never.

    I've never heard of the Dingotone basically coming off the guitar before though. What grit did you go up to when sanding the body before applying the DT? P240 seems from people's experience to be the finest grit to use before you can start getting issues with the wood being too polished to easily accept the wax/stain, though it may also depend on the wood itself.

    Basswood is a closed pore wood, so sanding with a fine grit will leave a very flat surface with almost no small pits for the stain to penetrate and latch onto. An open pore wood like ash will still have a lot of small holes so, can probably take a finer grit before stain take-up is an issue. But every piece of wood is different, so there are no guarantees and it's best to play safe and not go too fine with the sanding before staining (with any stain or dye). You want the flat body surfaces to be flat without any undulations, so that needs dealing with first. Then you want to remove any factory sanding marks. After that you'll smooth the body, but I normally stop at P180, as for general woodwork, that would be considered a fine sandpaper. You want to save the really fine sanding for the final finish before polishing.

    There are certain finish styles, especially if not staining, where finer sanding does pay benefits, but generally before staining, less is more.

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