Bass delaminating

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hammertime3, Aug 26, 2018.


  1. Hammertime3

    Hammertime3

    Apr 23, 2008
    Delaware
    The finish is coming off my MIM P bass in chunks. I had it stored for a few months in a padded gig bag, and when I took it out recently I found the clear finish peeling off. It's a natural finish, and the wood is well grained so it will look fine re-finished. I anticipate having trouble getting the remaining finish..clear coat..off and am looking for tips on how to proceed. Would appreciate any and all help here.

    Hope I have this in the right spot.

    Thanks...Bob
     
  2. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2018
    East Tennessee
    I was endorsed by Gallien Krueger and ESP in 2002 but am no longer on either company’s roster.
    Haven’t fooled with stripping an existing finish since I was a mere slip of a youth (sometime during the Cretaceous Period). Back then, I sanded it off. Ugh. Never again.

    You might try heat. According to the apocrypha I’ve seen recently, using a hair dryer or heat gun on the lowest setting will lift the finish enough to get a scraper under it relatively easily. Be sure to keep the gun moving and don’t linger in any one spot too long.

    I’m sure somebody here has posted something on this technique.
     
  3. Heat is a good place to start. Use a plastic, nonmetallic scraper so it doesn’t dig into the body.
     
  4. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Heat can be dangerous. It can soften the glue that holds the body parts together.
     
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2018
    East Tennessee
    I was endorsed by Gallien Krueger and ESP in 2002 but am no longer on either company’s roster.
    Do the MIM P’s use heat-release-type glues on their bodies?
     
  6. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I don't know. I've had a couple of people more knowledgeable than I warn me about that possibility.
     
  7. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2018
    East Tennessee
    I was endorsed by Gallien Krueger and ESP in 2002 but am no longer on either company’s roster.
    I don’t know either. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As for the OP, if there is ANY doubt about body glue, I probably wouldn’t use heat. Your only other choices are sanding (again, ugh) or some type of chemical stripper. Any stripper you use needs to be pretty robust; the one I tried lo those many years ago just laid inert on the finish, which I could hear softly chuckling underneath. Hence, the sanding.
     
  8. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    This be truth. I once tried stripping a Squier body. Gave up and took it to a pro. He got it done, but complained about the difficulty.
     
  9. I’m sure I’ll be corrected but you need a pretty decent amount of heat gun or hair dryer heat to cause problems with the glue on most any newer, mass production instrument. Discoloring and burning the body wood type heat. Keep the heat gun moving and use the lowest setting and it should be fine.
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    A random orbital sander with some low grit will make quick work of sanding it with much less mess than heat or strippers... :)
     
    Gilmourisgod and joselorellano like this.
  11. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    If it’s a modern poly finish, only a truly evil stripper, like “aircraft” stripper, will touch it. My son just stripped a 90’s MIM P Bass, black paint over primer, using a heat gun, The black paint came off in sheets, the primer?.....not so much. That stuff is bulletproof, but not used on clear finishes. He got a few burn marks, which doesn’t matter for a new painted finish, but you have to be really careful on clear. I’d try a hair dryer first, step up to heat gun if that doesn’t work. Plastic spatula, take your time, keep the heat gun moving. You’ll still end up doing some sanding, hard to get areas like inside of horns. I think you’d burn the wood before you get it hot enough to loosen the body glue joints. Might want to ditch that gig bag, sounds like it’s off-gassing some kind of solvent.
     
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Sep 18, 2021

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