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Removing Sunburst paint w/Aircraft paint remover.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    I am psyched cause I am getting my 30" scale SX Fretless Jazz Bass on Monday or Tuesday. It is painted sunburst, & that paint's got to go so I can stain the alder body walnut.

    Thanx to good advise I got from a previous thread about this I am going to attack the project aggressively & use aircraft paint remover. (It was nice that I was duly warned about health risks that come with using aircraft paint remover. But sheesh, everyone get their priorities straight! What's more important, getting this damn project over with or living?)

    So now the question is, how much should I buy of the stuff? The body's a bit undersized, 12" across. I can order a 16 ounce spray can (Rustoleum aircraft paint remover) or get a quart in a can. I would prefer spraying it, but will I have enough? I will also use a rubber squeegee to scrape off the paint rather than a putty knife.

    I guess I need scrap Adler to test out stains. I want the walnut med-brown, not too dark. I will also have to spray paint the white pick guard black. (Not many small scale Jazz bass pick guard replacements.) Is there an optimal clear coat for glossy spray paint, so the black paint won't scratch off & show white? Thanx
  2. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta

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    Get a shallow box big enough to lay the guitar in line it if aluminum foil, put about a 1/4' of the stuff on it. Don't overly brush it, just put it on and let it work. You will more then 16 oz. and YES WELL ventilated area.
  3. pfox14

    pfox14

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    Wear rubber gloves and a respirator in a well ventilated area. I would guesstimate that you'll need 2-3 16oz. cans.
  4. Beej

    Beej

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    My only word of warning is that it will also dissolve any binding or inlays as we'll, so avoid the neck. It might not touch the sealer coat...
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    I wish I could buy this product in CA (first time I learned of it) - any stripper sold here hardly stings when a drop hits unprotected flesh. Not that I ever want to strip anything (I hate stripping) but when the need arises it would be nice if it actually worked. After watching a youtube demonstration on using a heat-gun - I think that's the way to go. (no toxic sludgy mess)
  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    I would use a heat gun to take off the upper layers of paint. You will waste aircraft stripper getting those layers off. If SX follow the mantras of every other budget manufacturer, there will be a solid layer of fullerplast under the colour coat. This stuff is tricky to remove and puts up a good fight all the way. You may think you are back down to the bare wood but you almost certainly will not be. The fullerplast will not stain well. Aircraft stripper may remove it, but I would try and blister it up first with a heat gun to give the stripper more surface to work into and destabilize.

    Your next trick will be to sand back to bare wood without putting bowls and mounds into the top of the wood....
  7. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Damn you guys are good & know a lot. Guess I'll rent (buy & take back) a heat gun & palm sander from HD. Thanx a million!
  8. freatles

    freatles

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    Makes me wonder what paint remover does that careful job with a angle grinder with steel brush wont...
  9. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    This is getting disconcerting. I am a bit concerned I won't know if I have removed all the fullerplast, will try to stain it & ruin it.

    It's almost tempting to live with the sunburst, take the pick guard off, & make it my Jaco bass, in deference to Jaco. Except Jaco's neck board wasn't maple.

    Heck, what am I saying. I still hate sunburst.
  10. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Word about palm sanders - I've never been able to use one w/o creating a host of swirl scratches in the wood. I might use one at a certain stage but by the time you get down to bare wood - a large flat block of wood w/your sandpaper/emery cloth is more controllable and will keep the face and back level. (no bowls or tapers)

    And bare wood is what you'll need if you want to stain it. It's not impossible, it just takes some time and patience.
  11. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    The more I think about this the more I inclined I am to go down to the "fullerplast" material & just leave it natural, but there might end up with some small bare areas that are unprotected with the fullerplast. Then I would need an effective fullerplast/wood clear coat. Hmmmmm
  12. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Guess I already stated I don't like sunburst. Guess that's because when I first became aware of the bass guitar (late 60s) everyone played sunburst precisions. Even the sight of the fender headstock took on a hackneyed quality to me by the early 70s.

    As a matter of interest SX has changed the appearance of their head stocks to look less like Fender. Most people don't like the change, I do.
  13. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    This is what I did on my J. I did go beyond the clear-coat in some places but didn't feel the need to re-seal it. It feels satiny and the alder is nothing special looking but overall has a nice visual 'tone' that match's it's sonic profile. (looks like a bass made of wood and sounds like...) ;)


    [​IMG]
  14. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Yes that's what I might have to shoot for instead of walnut. Now if I can find a undersized black pick guard (one that doesn't need to be cut for lot's of $) I'll be in business. Though I remember in the mid 70s Strats, w/natural ash bodies, maple neck/fret boards were popular. They had white pick guards & didn't look bad.
  15. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    You mean that SX doesn't sell pickguards of various colours for their basses?
  16. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Not for 30" scale. Kurt's not very user friendly when it comes to stuff like that. He doesn't seem to believe in little extra odds & ends for modding stuff. I guess business & life is good for Kurt.

    Frankly, the guys not entirely on the up & up. The 30" fretless Jazz bass I ordered has been on sale at least since the last weekend in December for $99.98. That same weekend he had a 30" scale fretless Precision style for & 89.98. I put both basses in my shopping cart. On January 2, I went to order & recalculate what was on my cart. The $89.98 P bass' price jumped back up to &115.98. I emailed Kurt about that, & he adamantly denied the $89.98 sales price, saying that price was unrealistically low & that I must have been visiting an obsolete Rondo Music website. It was the same damn website I had ordered the $99.98 J bass from. I had never even heard of Rondo prior to New Year's weekend! I really have a problem doing business with shady liars, but the bass seems like to good a bang for the buck. (Why would $90 be too unrealistic for a single split coil pickup when he had --& still has--a two pickup bass for sale for $10 more?)

    When I emailed Kurt about the pick guard he told me anything not advertised in accessories doesn't exist. He was particularly dismissive.

    I also saw a gorgeous natural one piece ash body 6 string (Jazz style) SX Ursa 2 bass for $200. All those full scale J bass knockoffs, boast of having a string spacing of only 1/2' at the bridge. The ash bass says the string spacing is 1/2" at the 20" fret (which is more realistic)

    This was a matter of interest, because I would kill for a 6 string natural ash Jazz bass with a string spacing of less than 16mm. (The 17.5-19mm norm is too wide for me.) I emailed Kurt Zentmaier about the discrepancy, & he emailed me back saying, "No discrepancy"! The string spacing is 1/2" at the 20th fret....AND the bridge. I pointed out that Jazz Bass string spacing flares out, that the spacing at the bridge can't be 1/2", as it would be about 12mm (which is almost like a guitar.)

    I emailed Kurt back, pleading him to give me an accurate measurement of the string spacing at the bridge, & if it's 16mm or less I'd buy it at the blink of an eye, I promised. He emailed back only telling me to stop referring to the SX urthas as Jazz Basses, as it's a registered Fender trademark. No answer to my inquiry about the spacing.

    So the answer to your question about the pick guard is that I inquired about it & got flipped off from a douche-bag who can afford to repeatedly insult my intelligence & sensibilities, & who doesn't seem to want or need my money too much. (I hope someone brings this thread to his attention.) I am a bit angry at myself for not canceling the order too.
  17. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    If I do go with the Walnut stain, I want the strip of metal that covers the electronics black. I found a pair on eBay that actually have the 3 pots too. That would be useful cuz the one major problem with these SX basses is the pots & shielding. But even those black strips are made for a 34" scale. I doubt it would fit.
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    You should transfer this to the SX/Essex thread where there are many disciples. But be warned, I visited once out of curiosity and was amazed at the zealot nature of SX owners. They buy cheap basses but expensive flame-throwers.
  19. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Wet the wood periodically. Wet wood will go one colour, the fullerplast will go stay the same colour. Fullerplast also tends to have a distinct sour smell. When you hit the wood with your palm sander you will instantly see the dust change colour.
  20. Shaky

    Shaky

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    That is too funny. I just started viewing this thread because I am currently trying to remove the paint from my SX. I've tried a heatgun, citristrip, and a palm sander, I wish I had a flamethrower to try on it.

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