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Oops: How to fix an Epi EB-0 top delamination?

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

  1. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    I was stripping the paint on a translucent red EB-0 body. 90% went great (for a first time), but in two spots on the top I put too much heat into it and the top laminate (+/-1/8" thick top lam) popped up. Both are about 2-1/2"x1" wide areas. After cooling, they went down enough to not be visible, but if I tap on it, I can tell it's delaminated. They're about 1" in from the edge of the bass, so I can't just squirt some new glue in.

    I'm hoping to do a natural finish, but I'm also making a pup plug that I don't expect to be a perfect match, so I'm not looking for a perfectly clean top.

    Any ideas? It's probably not something like hide glue that could be re-wetted, I'm guessing? Sand through to solid wood and plug it locally? Hmm... Maybe if I sand down the top, I could stick a cap on it to cover all sins?

    Pictures coming... TIA.
  2. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    Pics. Here's a typical one, the other one is very similar. The bubble (before cooling) is hopefully visible in the center of the pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. maturanesa

    maturanesa

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    better if you publish this on Luthiers's forum
  4. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    Reposting from the Repair Forum. Maybe some more input over here:
    After, with the loose areas circled:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

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    I can't really see the issue in the pictures, but things like that are difficult to photograph.

    Anyway, are both areas that have popped over the electronics cavity? in which case you could drill a small hole from the inside and inject some glue. Just make sure that you don't drill too far.

    I'm not sure what kind of glue that would work, though. I would guess thin epoxy or superglue could work.
  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    I'm not seeing anything that suggests delamination; it is almost like the photos are loading in from the left and the OP didn't allow them to fully upload.

    What wood is that anyway? It looks like Alder, hidden under the thick tinted clearcoat but I could be entirely wrong. Speaking from experience, SX released a line of bolt-on SG copies at some point. I picked up a junked one to practice refinishing skills. It was Alder as well, but tinted cherry. It looks like the wood didn't take much stain, with the colour being in the lacquer itself.

    It looks like OP used a heat gun. These are ok for taking off clear and colour coats, but they suck at removing the fullerplast diamond-hard sealer coat underneath. What tends to happen is this stuff gets sticky, but the water content of the wood evaporates and blows out the molten fullerplast like popcorn. The fullerplast then re-solidifies is a series of peaks. I think some of this is going on in the bottom picture on the edge of the rib-cage contour, and OP's heat gun has charred the wood slightly.
  7. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    The body is neck-pocket-down in the photos. One spot's over the electronics cavity. The other is near the lower left bout / arm rest area. I was thinking of drilling from the front -- from the back is probably cleaner :D.

    Syringing in some warm epoxy from the back should do the trick.
  8. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    I still don't think this is a delamination as much as the fullerplast layer lifted up by expanding steam below. You are not down to the bare wood in any of these pictures, so I wouldn't treat this as a wood repair.
  9. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

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    Should be easy enough to test. If you tap lightly with a fingernail on the areas that popped up do those areas make a different sound than all the other areas of the body? (The area over the electronics cavity will probably already make a different sound, but id the wood has delaminated there should be a even higher pitched sound.
  10. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    +1 Smilodon. That's exactly it. Thanks for the help.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    That is a perfect bass to relic ... the bass itself has already started the process for you ...

    Here is my Reliced SG parts bass ...

    [​IMG]
  12. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    Yup Ric5. Your EB's are awesome.

    This was a CL find, pre-mojo'ed, no extra charge. :D Wiping a damp tack cloth over the dyed wood looks really good actually. Similar to the faded Gibson. So I might just clear and sand/buff to juuust enough. Was also considering TO, but now I'm getting OT.
  13. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Are you down to the wood man? Pics please! I want to see where this ends up.
  14. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    More or less. A few spots at the edges I unintentionally got through the stain and probably sealer sanding. Some small bits of the poly to hand sand off. Otherwise, 99% to the sealer / stain depth.

    I'm thinking I might rather try injecting from the top through a needle. Small mark, but will disappear more easily than a 1/8" hole in the back. And relative to the pickup plug I'm planning...
  15. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    I was looking at it more closely the other day and realized there was separation at the edge of the ply. I used a cutter to slice about an 1" slit and tried dripping some CA glue is from there. It worked ok, but it didn't flow all the way down. :/

    Given this was a beater bass and a learning opportunity for me, I figured I'd use the brute force method of fixing the problem:

    [​IMG]

    And after, lightly wetted:
    [​IMG]

    I took the whole top veneer off like this with a ROS. It almost looks like it was suppose to look like that, except the natural wood and red look terrible together... I'm leaning towards a solid color now (which I know if I had planned that from the beginning, 95% of the work I've done could have been skipped).

    Any other finish ideas? I'm looking to put a maple fingerboard neck on this frankenbass, btw.
  16. pfox14

    pfox14

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    Make sure you use plenty of grain filler and sealer on that mahogany. Very porous wood.
  17. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

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    That bass would look great with the maple fingerboard if finished in white nitro.
  18. astack

    astack Supporting Member

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    Big +1 on white. That was my original plan with the maple neck. I had already ordered the can of Duplicolor Oly White.

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