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1962 Fender Jazz Bass

Here’s a really nice bass in need of a little help...an early ‘62 slab board Fender Jazz, the body has been refinished in a ‘not too bad’ lake placid blue and has aged somewhat naturally, but the owner decided he’d like it returned to it’s original colour...fiesta red.

The body is in good nick, not over sanded and still has it’s original contours and detail. The neck finish is original but looks to have been oversprayed at some point. The frets look to be the originals too.

The hardware and pickguard all look good, no repro stuff. The pickups and electrics also look to be fully original too.

Time to strip off the parts and remove the finish from the body...it looks as if it’s nitro-cellulose so shouldn’t pose too much of a problem...

Here it is with all the parts removed, all looking good so far, no nasty surprises under the pickguard like extra routs, etc.

As you can see, the original fiesta red is clearly visible in the neck pocket, pickup cavities and control cavity. It’s nice when a previous refinisher has the good sense to preserve this...and likewise, I will be doing the same...

The lake placid blue paint came off fairly easily to reveal a relatively clean body. There has been some ingress of dirt and sweat into the screw holes which has crept along the grain, but that will be hidden by the fiesta refin anyway. Also interesting to note that the body had been bleached ready for a sunburst finish, you can see a darker area on the lower horn in the pic on the left, that bit was obviously missed...and being under the pickguard...didn’t matter...

All that means is that it was considered to be good enough for a sunburst finish, but ultimately got sprayed fiesta....!

The pictures above and left show the next stages...above left is the sanding sealer coat, above right is the white undercoat which most custom colours had. This was done to brighten the colour and also cut down on cost, less paint is required to opaque a white finish than wood grain...

As usual with restorations, I filled the pickguard screw holes with wooden dowels so the holes can be re-drilled to suit the pickguard skrinkage without stain.

When there is original paint present, getting a good match becomes a bit easier, I think I got fairly close to the original colour....

The mutes holes had been filled on the previous refin, at the customer’s request these were reinstated...something I would have also done if it were my bass...

Just a case of letting the lacquer harden off for a while before some subtle distressing can be added to suit the neck wear...

Well, here it is in all it’s glory, back to how the bass would have looked when it left Fullerton back in 1962...with a tad more wear and tear!

I went light with the distressing, just subtle lacquer checking and a few dents and chips around the body edges,etc. Played but looked after. The neck was in pretty good shape so I didn’t want to make the body look too overdone.

The bass played beautifully, the neck was a peach, truss rod worked perfectly with minimal tension...very nice bass.

The customer was delighted...job done....