1942 Kay M1 Double bass CLeanup

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by SMollock, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. I am brand new to acoustic DB. I have owned a custom EUB with actual 3/4 DB neck, Bridge,ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, saddle, and endpin plug. So I am familiar with the parts, just not the instrument.

    I just purchased a 1942 Kay M1 DB. Before purchase I had the seller take extensive pictures of the bass. No cracks, or any other visible structural damage on the bass. Not even major scratches, or huge worn spots in the finish. It looks amazing for a 78 year old DB. The DB is missing the bridge, so I will have my luthier locally carve and install a new bridge for it. All fittings are ebony except of course for the endpin plug which is metal.

    My question is... Before I turn the bass over to my luthier, what can I use to first clean the body, and neck, fingerboard without damaging the finish on the body. Also is there anything that is recommended to possibly revitalize the finish and ebony fittings? For the finish I was told guitar polish would work fine for the body as long as there is no silicone in the polish.

    What are your thoughts with this?

    Thanks in advanced.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  2. The finish, if original, is nitro to use whatever you’d use on an old Fender or Gibson.

    Lots of things can be used to treat ebony. Linseed oil, bore oil, pure lemon oil...just make sure the product is free of wax, which many furniture polishes are not. Don’t saturate the board as you may end up dissolving the glue adhering it to the neck.
    SMollock likes this.
  3. 42Hertz

    42Hertz Commercial User

    Aug 11, 2020
    Connecticut, USA
    Owner, The Beeracks, Craft brewery and live music venue
    I just picked up a 1966 Kay M1 and I used Murphy's Oil Soap with a rag (no water) to clean up the body and fingerboard just to get the crud off and it worked great. I used Nev-R-Dull wadding to scrub the brass tuners and tuner plates and that got rid of the oxidation junk very well.
    SMollock likes this.
  4. Simple Green works well also for cleanup of the grime of an old bass. And brasso shines the brass right up with a little elbow grease. :)
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Gentlemen, you do know the site rules, right? No pics, no beautiful old Kays. Cmon... it’s a pandemic. Entertain the peanut gallery with some eye candy!
  6. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    My luthier recommended Meguiar's plastic headlight cleaner for my oxidized old Epiphone. Mildly abrasive, it did a nice job of cleaning off the film of scuzz, which regular cleaning products didn't want to touch. Amazingly, it works well on headlights too!
    SMollock likes this.

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