Here is an epic repair work. It’s a very simple story: its owner has had the bass stored somewhere and decided to give it as a gift to his niece. Nothing fancy at all…
Since all its screws were broken, I opted to install the pickguard 4mm closer to the bridge so I could use new ones without messing with the corroded remnants of the originals. Yes, the correct procedure would have been to extract the original, set in a dowel, level and refinish the body. But that would have cost more than the entire guitar, so I chose to do a less expensive work.
Since the pickguard screws were so corroded, I inspected the rest. Well, EVERY SINGLE ONE was completely busted. The screws that hold the neck, the bridge, and even the ones anchoring the strap buttons: all were rusted beyond repair. All this stuff was really dangerous, I was afraid to use the strap fearing their screws could simply break themselves. Even the upper horn strap button collapsed when I tried to unscrew it by hand: go figure.
So, I decided to repeat the procedure described above and install new screws beside the old ones everywhere. Eventually this led to a repositioned pickguard AND bridge.
To file off the ones under the bridge I used a Dremel 431 sanding drum with a 60-grit value. Why not a cutting wheel? Because rust was so deep the wheel just threw them fragments everywhere! Using a sanding drum I was able to slowly grind the rusty screw out of my way.
The screws used to adjust intonation at the bridge were also replaced fo newer ones, of bigger size. You can see here the old & new screws.
As you can see, what was a simple setup work ended up being a much expensive one just because I needed more time to cope with all that rust… just because he left the instrument unattended during years. The moral of the story? KEEP YOUR STUFF CLEAN!
And there are even more corrosive stories about this bass… stay tuned.