Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gracie…the other 1944 Kay M-1

So earlier this year Penelope (now nick named Penny) the 1944 Kay M-1 packed her bags and relocated to the land down under, Australia.  Now her twin sister Gracie is ready to leave the collection as well.  Gracie is a fine, well preserved war time, 1944 Kay M-1, serial number 11456.  The new owner auditioned her on Saturday; she is destine to make some fine bluegrass music in her future. 

Some bass players like perfection and want all the cosmetics of a bass to be perfect.  Other players are “looking for a tool” to make music, looks are secondary to the sound of the bass.   And then sometimes you get bass players who is looking for very specific things in a bass…it needs to be a Kay, pre-war, no neck breaks, very clean original finish and yeah, it needs to make the windows rattle.  Ohhhh…that specific circle of surviving Kay basses is dwindling every year.

This Kay bass is getting a mini make over to suit the new owner.  Her left volute went missing long before we owned her and we had not replaced it not knowing what the next player would want.  Lonnie did a few minor touch ups to Gracie by adjusting the string height, detailing the bridge to make sure all the strings were at an even height and giving her a replacement volute (volute-ectomy).  Lonnie glued the new stock replacement volute into place.  He detailed and reshaped the profile to better match the original volute on the right side.  A little bit of color, a little bit of distressing and poof!…she looks balanced once again. 

Gracie front

Gracie back

Before the new volute

New stock replacement volute glued in place

The bridge with a slight crown adjustment

First coats of color, distressing yet to come

Pretty good match after some reshaping and sanding

Gracie will soon be packing her bags to relocate in eastern PA where she will make some great bluegrass music…I am guessing there will be lots of fabulous Don Reno style banjo accompaniment in her near future.

She is in very good hands and has a great future a head of her…Go swing it girl!

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