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Adler Bodies left unpainted?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    I want to strip a fretless SX fretless bass of it's sunburst paint and stain the body walnut (med. brown, like my '74 precision) or leave it natural, just clear coat it.

    I recently got good advise about stripping the paint. Will be using aircraft paint remover. However, is alder good to stain or leave natural? Don't know what it looks like.
  2. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    No really dramatic grain pattern, but I like it just fine.
  3. The natural bodies I have seen have been made from aesthetically appealing cuts of wood, but most alder is ugly. Very ugly.

    Since your body is sunbursted, you should be able to see what kind of grain you are dealing with, unless there is a thin veneer over it. Does it look ok to you?

    Keep in mind that lower priced bodies are often made up of four or five pieces of wood, randomly joined together, because it is less expensive to use pieces of scrap than to do a nice one or two piece construction. This doesn't look very nice if you don't cover it up with a finish or veneer top.

    If you get lucky, you can pull off something like this.
  4. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK
    It looks...OK.


    I don't know that I would call it ugly, but it's certainly not the nicest looking stuff out there. It's possible/likely that the body is made of several pieces of wood, possibly covered with a veneer, which is notoriously difficult to salvage during stripping. So it might look a little screwy once you get the finish off. But it might look OK too.
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  6. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Definitely not as nice looking grain as Ash for a natural finish.
  7. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    I want it stained walnut, my '74 precision was walnut, as long as it absorbs stain nicely the grain isn't too much of an issue. I think by 74 Fender had already switched from ash to alder anyway ???????? Loved that brown black & tan! I guess I will also have to paint the pick guard black, as I might have trouble finding a small scale replacement pick guard.
  8. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    I know SX is famous for using one piece of beautiful ash on their natural bodies & charging a fraction of the price that Fender charges for 2 or 3 laminated pieces. However thanx for alerting me to possibility that painted bodies might be scrap.
  9. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Alder stains easily, but it will come out patchy. Check out Fender's Elvis Costello Jazzmasters for an idea of what Alder does with Walnut stain.


    On a multi-part body, expect each constituent piece of wood to take the stain slightly differently, highlighting the joins in the wood. I still think it looks good however! Walnut stain and Tru Oil would make for a nice organic-looking finish.
  10. lovethegrowl


    Oct 30, 2013
    Actually I found out it is one solid piece! Only 100 bucks

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