This was this bass' second visit here at the shop. The first trip was for some re-wiring. This time it came in to be re-fretted. It's a joy to work on, though it does come with some issues. The fretboard was misshapen in a way that left the fretboard radius concave in the center. I had never seen this before but Bill Comins had mentioned he has seen it on classical guitars in the past.
Ideally, the fretboard should have a radius but my instincts told me to leave the board the way it is. To sand the fretboard into the proper radius would leave too little fretboard material and I would risk sanding too close to the side position markers, possibly sanding through them. The customer is also the original owner of this bass and has grown accustomed to the feel of this bass. So the solution I came up with is to plane the top of the frets flat wit no radius to make up for the height lost in the middle of the fretboard. It came out great and I really enjoy this bass.
Taken from the Travis Bean website:
Travis Bean. It's the name of a California motorcycle enthusiast who decided in the early 70's that aluminum would be a step forward in guitar design. He thought that it would be a much more stable material for the necks. Using a neck-through-to-the-bridge design also improved the sound and sustain of the guitars. While Travis played some guitar, he was a drummer and kept a drum kit set up at the factory to back up players when they were there to check out equipment.
The company was founded in 1974 and lasted five years, closing in August of '79. They produced about 3650 guitars and basses which are as viable an instrument today in the '90's as they were when they were built.