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Dent in poly finish repair

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Technicality, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Technicality

    Technicality

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    So, I've managed to dent the front of my L-2000 Tribute. as far as I know its a thick poly finish (looking around the output jack it appears to be maybe just under 1mm thick). Its only a small bit of damage that doesn't bother me hugely, but its around the area where my hand sits to play, so I can feel it and it is starting to collect dirt.

    It already has a small dent in an inconspicuous spot near the endpin which I filled with CA glue and scraped/sanded smooth, but whilst the surface is smooth you can still see the damage (bits of white etc).

    I thought before I went and did the same again I'd see if anyone has any ideas for repairing it that blends with the finish better.

    If anyone has done something like this before and has any advice, or knows a good online resource for dealing with this sort of thing it would be very helpful!

    Should I try to remove the fragments before filling it? Prep the area in any way? Use something other than CA glue?

    Here's a picture to show the size:
    [​IMG]

    And this is a close up:
    [​IMG]
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

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    Before performing a drop fill, remove the cracked pieces of the original finish. A number 11 blade in an Exacto knife works well. Sharp dental probes are also candidates for this kind of work. Instead of seeing damage the wood will show through.
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Here is a great video

  4. Kerry_King

    Kerry_King

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    Disclosures:
    Artist Relations: Get'm Get'm/LOXX USA
    I've used this technique/video with great success as well.
  5. jmlee

    jmlee Supporting Member

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    Me too--and most recently on a G&L Tribute L2000 just like yours!
  6. jmlee

    jmlee Supporting Member

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    I'd like to also emphasize the need to remove the damaged coating first, ideally without scarring the wood underneath. For my part, I was using this Tribute bass as a bit of a testbed for learning this technique from StewMac. It really does work. The superglue is *very* hard when it sets and if you get too much in there so that it beads up above the level of the original finish, it's very difficult to get it levelled out without marring the surrounding finish. I found that a simple hard, clear nail polish, applied in thin layers to the wound--not with the brush in the bottle but with a fine modeller's brush--produced the best results and was easiest to get a nice final finish without the surrounding finish being much-influenced. Do get all the very fine sandpaper grades from a hardware store in the automotive section (Canadian Tire up here...) and some polishing compound. Be patient, and it works an absolute charm.
  7. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

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    Creating a mound above the finish is the basic idea behind drop filling. The only way to create a flat finish is start above the surface. To not do it is to create more problems. Simply, you cannot grind what is not there.

    As far as marring the surrounding finish, that will be taken care of during rub out and buffing.
  8. jmlee

    jmlee Supporting Member

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    True; however, my experience with the L2000 Tribute in particular is that the set superglue is *much* harder than the finish per se. Therefore, polishing down too great a drop is problematic. YMMV.
  9. Technicality

    Technicality

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    Thanks everyone for all the tips so far, this is all really useful advice.

    I had seen that video before as it happens, but as he does it on an acoustic with a finish that looks considerably thinner than mine I wasn't sure if the technique would translate to my instrument. Its fantastic to know that jmlee has had success using it on exactly the same model.

    So to fill a thicker finish I can put CA glue/nail polish on in layers and it will stay clear? Or is it better to do it all in one go?
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    That's why you make a scraper like shown in the video.
  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

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    Poly finish = CA

    Nitro = lacquer/nail polish

    Why? Lacquer finishes have a slightly amber base color. Over time and exposure to UV the drop fill will match nicely. Polys tend toward the white/blue spectrum unless tinted. CA is a much better match.

    The Tribute series is finished in poly.

    It is better to build layers. The resulting drop fill be clearer. Thick layers can end up with pockets in the mound resulting from uncured CA.

    When using lacquer, it is a good idea to leave the drop fill material in an open container for a few days before using. It will thicken and be much easier to use. Leave plenty of time (at least a week) to cure.
  12. jmlee

    jmlee Supporting Member

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    Oh, I did! The razorblade scraper trick is only completely effective on totally flat surfaces like the acoustic top in the StewMac video. Perhaps I let the superglue set too long but I found it to be very hard, too hard to cut manageably with the blade. I built up the polish in layers with not too much time between them and there was no evidence of layer interfaces: a nice clear fill. Again, I built it up above the surface, then did the blade and sandpapers as shown. Worked great, even on quite a bit defect near the jack on a very curved surface.
  13. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

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    Allowing for your experience, this just is not so. Razor blade scraping is used on curved surfaces as well as flat.

    One of the problems that occurs is when the mound is not even. That calls for using a small file to flatten the surface before scraping. Same goes for an inordinately high mound or when accelerator is used and it causes sharp peaks or dips.

    Many use the scraper naked-without tape. Especially when the mound is high. The blade can be flexed into a curve allowing for a high degree of control.

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