Long time listener, first time caller. So I've played bass leisurely for ten years or so, punk bands ect here and there. I've always been a fan of rockabilly/psychobilly music, so I decided I would like to learn to play upright. Currently, I'm deployed on a US Navy ship. I ordered a Stagg electric upright to be able to take it anywhere and practice quietly and whatnot. But recently, I had my mom chase down something from a craigslist ad, and I landed the worlds ugliest old upright for $50. I'm serious ... its atrocious. I guess the old guy who owned it claimed he cobbled it together from plywood and parts ... and he proceeded it give it just the most irredeemable paint job in history (watch my luck and he'll be a respected member of this forum or something ) ANYWAY, this was kind of perfect for me. Because, being a punk transitioning to 'billy (they say rockabilly/psychobilly is the punk rock retirement plan, right?) I kind of wanted an old beat up bass that I could paint a wild design on without feeling like I was ruining a perfectly good instrument. Obviously, a beauty this aint. Problem is, the front wood (the panel with the F holes) my mom says "feels like pretty thin wood". Again, I'm deployed right now, so I haven't even seen the thing in person. But I'm thinking I need to probably chemically strip the thing, to avoid ruining it by sanding. SO I guess I was just wondering what approach you guys would take to getting this thing down to a baseline where I can prep it for paint and go wild, without screwing it up too much? Obviously, I can only go up from here ... Here's some pictures of it - had to have the little sister hold it up for the pictures, and apparently she wanted nothing to do with her face showing, haha. Thanks in advance for any input!