Monday, April 1, 2013

Final chapter on the 1941 Epiphone B-5 named Ruben

Finally a sunny day. After a long winter with very little snow and even less days with sunshine we were bless with a sunny Saturday with 50 degree temperatures that allowed us to get outside for photos…followed by a miserable cold foggy Easter Day.

Ruben the 1941 Epiphone B-5, #623 is finished and being played weekly at our jams. The bass cleaned up really nice and has met all my expectations. The most labor consuming part of the set up was the fingerboard. This bass had DEEP grooves worn into the fingerboard. It took lots of scraping to get the original Brazilian rosewood fingerboard smooth again. Lonnie kept the board fairly flat with out much scoop in case I wanted to change the strings to Spirocore.

Deep grooves still are there after a good scraping

The rosewood fingerboard is now smoothed and ready for the nut to be  re-glued and shaped

This is only some of the shavings.  That is real Brazilian rosewood, a rare wood on today's market

The broken edges being repaired.  This is an early stage before sanding and color

For now the bass is set up perfectly for me with the non-adjustable original wooden end pin and a new crutch tip. The playing height, the strings selection and the cosmetic touch ups are perfect…I would not change a thing if I could. I plan on playing this bass for a while at jams and festivals and enjoy listening to its voice open up. The vintage golden honey color, the highly flamed neck and the loud boomy sound are a joy to make music. Knowing this bass had set silent for 30-40 years makes us so proud to hear it sing again. I love a bass with history and character and this bass surely has all that.

Before in "as purchased" condition.  Note the masking tape around the outer edges on the upper bouts.  A real effort to remove it cleanly.

After restoration


Beautiful golden honey in the bright spring sunshine
The highly flamed maple neck
Lonnie's carved bridge can not see them when you are looking down and playing

                          The End!

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