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Confused After Much Research

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Stevie_Jr, Nov 9, 2012.


  1. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Hello all,

    I recently bought a used 1991 Peavey Foundation. Overall, it isn't in bad shape. There is some paint missing in certain areas, and some dings and dents (link to pictures below). I would like to strip it and keep it a natural wood color, providing the wood underneath is cooperative. I have been doing a lot of research, but so many people say different things. I would like to not use chemicals if I don't have to. This is what I think I would need to do. Please correct any areas where I may be wrong.

    Neck: I have no clue what or how to do the neck.

    Body: Remove all hardware (Strings, Pups, Bridge, Etc.). Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Use heat gun on lowest setting, moving back and forth to not burn wood.
    Use Plastic/regular Chisel or Putty knife carefully to remove old finish.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Sand Bass using 60 Grit.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Sand Bass using 120 Grit.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Sand Bass using 220 Grit.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Sand Bass using 300 Grit.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Sand Bass using 400 Grit.
    Clean Bass using Naphtha/Denatured Alcohol.
    Apply Howards Wax to the body.
    Wait 20 min and sand with 400 Grit and clean with N/DA
    Let sit for 6-24 hours
    Repeat until wax surface becomes hard.
    Apply coat and let sit until I am happy with the finish.


    Ok so thats what I think I need to do. Here are my questions:

    1) Is there a major difference between Naphtha and DA?

    2) Is the wax sufficient enough, or should I use a mixture of something else? Shiny is nice, but I don't want it to look like plastic.

    3) Since the neck has scratches as well, how do I go about sanding that? It has some sort of clear finish on it. Do I need to Defret (which is when I will hand the Bass to a pro)?

    4) If I was to just clean it, would Naphtha or Denatured Alcohol work for the entire Bass?


    Sorry for the long post. Thank you in advance.

    Steve

    Photos:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/103758752633700873675/albums/posts

    Some Links that I gathered my info from:
    http://www.stewmac.com/tsarchive/ts0151.html
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/diy-natural-wood-refinish-448455/
     
  2. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Couple thoughts...

    1) You may not like the "bare wood' you find underneath the red paint. It could be as many as four or five slabs of unmatched origin glued up to form the body width.

    2. Wax alone isn't going to offer you any sort of lasting durable finish, at all, ever. Especially on a maple neck and fingerboard.

    In terms of the body, I think you'd be best served using the heat gun to get the red off, and then evaluate what you've got to work with on the body to decide which direction to pursue based on the underlying natural grain pattern/direction/color.

    For the neck, the simplest and most effective route would be to use Tru-Oil gunstock finish, applied with your finger in successive coats (4-5 evenly applied coats will get the job done in building a protective film). Wax can go on after that.

    Lonnybass
     
  3. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I am hoping that the wood underneath is decent. If not, then I will paint it. Do I need any wood filler for parts of the body/neck? If so, what kind?
     
  4. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Too early to know what you'll need for sure until you know what shape the body is in once you get the red off. I'd save yourself the trouble of buying stuff you may not need until you know what you are dealing with.

    Lonnybass
     
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  6. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Does Naphtha have any advantage over denatured alcohol? Or are they both the same in terms of cleaning?
     
  7. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Naptha is petroleum based DNA isn't, DNA is used to clean oils and waxes before finishing
     
  8. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    So I was taking apart the hardware and under the saddle there was a wire protruding from under the wood as seen in the first picture. Is that normal or do I have to remove it? Also, how do I remove the pots internals? They seem to be glued to the wood.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Ronbeast

    Ronbeast

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    Placentia,Newfoundland,Canada
    That wire under the bridge is the ground wire, it's there to eliminate humming that is caused when the metal parts aren't grounded.

    And, yes, it is normal for it to be in that spot. Fairly sure all of my basses are grounded in that same way.

    -Ron
     
  10. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Thats what I figured. My only concern is do I need to remove it before I sand and clean with Naphtha? Thanks for the reply.
     
  11. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Your best bet will be to fully remove all wire, hardware etc. before sanding and cleaning. Chemicals and wood dust will create an unholy mess and the last thing you want is to have to find ways to work around wiring and anything you are hoping to re-use once the bass is ready to be put back together.

    Lonnybass
     
  12. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Thank you Lonnybass. So far so good. In order for me to remove the pots and pups, I need to desolder then solder them back on. Do you have any tips on how to do these two steps? I've soldered little things before but nothing this major. Technically I only need to desolder 2 spots. I understand a little of tinning. Should I use flux, desolder braid, or both?

    I believe I have seen 3 ground wires: 1 to the first pot, 1 one to the second pot, and 1 to the bridge. The ground to the first pot was just sandwiched between the pot and the wood. The second was soldered to the top of the pot with the black (Hot?) wire. Should I put them back the way they were or put both the same way, ie either both soldered or both sandwiched?

    If soldering is to difficult, I have seen videos of people wrapping the hardware in bags and then tape them. Maybe?

    Sorry for all these questions. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything correctly. Thanks again.
     
  13. Stevie_Jr

    Stevie_Jr

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    I have taken the finish off of the bass and sanded it down for now with 60 Grit. I like the look so far. All the wood is the same! I did leave the primer(?) along the sides because I like the look and would like to have a dark red finish on the side. I will sand that down once I figure out how to have the paint rounded like it is now.

    Here are two pics:
    https://plus.google.com/photos/103758752633700873675/albums/5810433325114148721
     
  14. Snort

    Snort

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    A Brit Abroad Halifax Canada
    Hi Stevie with regards the wiring, a few tips, make a diagram of the pots, jack socket, pups, and their connections. Make a note of which wire goes where and the colour of the wire.

    Before you remove any wire connections label each wire with its destination connection (I use masking tape).

    You dont need to desolder in the guitar cavity, simply cut the wire right next to the connection you need to free to allow removal access.

    If you have a non scratch plate type of bass it will have wire cavities, if so Before you pull out the pups, assuming all of their wires are cut, group each pups wires together and put a piece of masking tape to keep them in a tight bundle. Then tie a piece of string to act as a pull through over the end of the masking tape end. Now when you pull the pup the wiring will pull the string through the wire cavity (assuming you have one) you then cut the string and leave it taped in place. this will give you something to pull the wires back through the cavity when you put it all back together.

    Once you have all of the electronics removed you can clean the pots much easier out of the guitar including pre tinning the contacts. You can also trim, strip and pre tin the wire connections, again so much easier out of the control cavity than in it. This way will now only need a quick touch with the solder iron to connect both tinned connections together.

    You mentioned that the pots are all grounded together. this is as it should be, also the wire running to the bridge should connect to the same ground.

    I take this one step further and also connect all of my cavity screening (metal tape) to the same ground (Earth for the UK people) The easiest way to do this is to create a dedicated ground stud and wire everything to it.

    I would take the opportunity to replace the pots whilst I had it stripped down possibly the tone capacitors as well, but that may not be absolutely necessary.

    Did you play the bass before you stripped it down? if so and it was noisy the replacement of pots would possibly cure this.:D
     

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