A while ago I wrote about a project I was going to undertake- an older carved Chinese bass that took a ride down a flight of stairs in a bag with a bassist on top of it. I didn't get that bass after all- it went to someone with more spare time- but I did just pick up another project bass. This one is a Kay that has two problems: One, it needs a new neck. The old one was actually spliced together from two different necks (!) and was a mix of maple, some unknown softwood, and a large amount of Bondo and Titebond. The splice was done by someone without a lot of luthery experience, I think; it consisted of a 45 degree scarf joint with a thin spline of something dark, and wood putty. The lower part of the neck was maple, but the upper half appeared to be made of some softwood. Very odd. It had a thin "ebonized" fingerboard with a hard black finish that didn't resemble anything I'd ever seen on a Kay. We sawed and chiseled off the neck at the heel and found the usual Kay dovetail, with suprisingly large gaps filled with hide glue. Shouldn't be a major problem to fit the new neck with some careful shimming. My question has to do with the body. It feels solid enough, and tapping doesn't reveal any large Bondo patches or loose plies. But the whole thing has been sprayed with a heavy two-tone coat of what is probably auto lacquer. I'd like to take this off, but my luthier says "you may not want to know what's under there". He suggests just sanding it and putting a top coat on of my desired color. I'm not *too* concerned with sound, as I have a nice solid wood Gliga. The Kay is intended to be the bass I take out when I don't want to subject the Gliga to extremes of weather, outdoor playing and that sort of thing. Playing outdoors I'd probably amplify it. But it would be nice to take off some of that paint and let it vibrate a bit more freely. Any thoughts?