Advice Sought for DB with Worn Finish

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jgbass, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    A have an old carved German DB with worn lacquer finish and some very mild dings. I've talked with several people about how to get it looking nicer without ruining the sound and am just seeking opinions.

    I read the French Polish thread. That was suggested by someone and there's someone in town that could do it, but it appears this could compromise the sound and it may not last. Yet, a bass dealer showed me a bass that was polished and it looked great. Is there something besides French Polish to clean up some worn spots? I think a little fine sandpapering might take out the mild dings. Also was suggested to just let it be and not mess with it.

    Any suggestions appreciated. :help:
  2. The absolute GALL to post this drivel in the BG forum...

    :mad: :D
  3. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Hey Hambone,

    This was intended for the DB Lutheir's corner. If it didn't get in the right forum, my error. That was its destination. Sorry, no gall intended! ;)
  4. You probably ended up in the wrong spot because there is no DB Luthier's Corner.

    If you're playing in situations where you need a beautiful bass, that's one thing, but I have to throw in my lot with the "just let it be" crowd. I think it adds character. That's what I'd do anyway; I guess you may prefer a prettier instrument.
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    If touching-up and "French Polishing" your bass changes the tone I'll be happy to eat it. Now I've put French Polishing in quotes because people have many different notions of what this means. My definition is: polishing the finish with a combination of a few drops of alcohol, shellac and linseed oil using lots of elbow grease and a folded-up soft cloth referred to as a "rubber" or "tampon". Don't go getting perturbed about these terms. They are French after all...

    However, some people consider French Polishing to be any type of over-varnishing using a wipe-on or rub-on method, such as with Qualasole or other padding lacquers. I think there's nothing wrong with this for cheaper instruments, but it's not something you want done to your Panormo...hey, where's Jeff B. these days?
  6. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    That's what I had in mind -- the Qualosole lacquer. This is not a Panormo bass by any means, but a good jazz bass, light and easy to get around to gigs.
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I like the Qualasole give it a shot..........t
  8. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the info. Yes, I really do want a prettier bass. There's a large worn off of lacquer spot on the side and lots of tiny dents. I don't think alcohol and linseed oil will help much. I think I'll talk to some bass luthiers here and get their further opinion and discuss the Qualosole work. :)
  9. jgbass -

    Arnold is one of our luthiers.
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I personally like imperfect finishes on old basses. I think it adds to the character of the instrument.