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Repairing Plywood Bass Back

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by SteveFreides, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Any suggestions on how to go about a repair to the chipping at the bottom? I'm not terribly handy but I bought this bass, a 1/4 size Kay, for $300 and would like to try my hand at this if at all possible.


    Attached Files:

  2. Wood veneer from a hobby store and hot hide glue.
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  4. Well, I know where the hobby store is, I think - what sort of wood veneer? (Is there more than one kind?)

    I could ask my piano tuner, too - I know he uses hot hide glue, and I think he's done enough rebuilding work that he's probably run into similar things.

  5. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    In this case I don't think hyde glue is necessary. It's used on any seam that you may want to reopen or have give way due to temperature induced size fluctuations so the top doesn't crack. ( Not an issue with plywood basses.) Unless you see a reason to remove the veneer in the future, wood glue wood be fine.

    I would take some more of the peeling laminate off to get some clean sections to work with.
  6. I found a sheet of poplar veneer at my local crafts store for a couple of bucks.

    As far as the adhesive is concerned, in my mind the question was less "why use hide glue" than "why NOT use hide glue?"
  7. What about color? Do you varnish/shellac after you cut and glue the veneer? Forgive me but I'm clueless. And is poplar the right choice or does the wood really not matter, as long as it's veneer thickness?

    As to glue - wood glue is simpler, particularly if you don't do a ton of this sort of thing like me. You just keep a bottle of it on the shelf. My piano tuner has extolled the virtues of hot hide glue, too, but I've yet to use it.

    Thanks for all the help, folks.

  8. The plies on that bass are poplar (except the outer spruce and maple veneers), so yes.

    Wood glue wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but cleaning it up is a pain.

    I didn't bother doing color on the Kay I worked on. It was beyond dog-ugly in general.
  9. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Hot hide glue is pretty easy to work with. It has a bit of a learning curve but is reversible so you don't have to be a jedi master on your first attempt. You can get it at your local woodworking store where you will find your veneer. Upton has a video on YouTube about preping it.
  10. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    If you use hide glue don't buy the liquid pre bottled stuff. Get the grains that you have to melt.

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