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Best way to strip a bass body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Sorry if this belongs in the luthier section...

    This past weekend, i picked up a sweet playing Squier Affinity Bronco (which i got to A-B against a 70's Musicmaster, and the Squier, MUCH to my surprise, sounded significantly BETTER). I've never really done much cosmetic work on a bass... only electronic.

    Now, this bass SOUNDS sweet, but i don't like the way it looks... not a fan of red basses.

    So, what's the best way of taking the paint off? Just go to town with sandpaper? Some magic paint stripper? I'm crossing my fingers that it has a good natural grain...

    Also, the pick guard is warped and ready to trash... will a Musicmaster pickguard fit okay? I can't seem to find much in the way of replacement Bronco guards...
  2. THand


    Jun 9, 2008
    A heat gun and a scraper will do the trick.
  3. Define scraper.

    Or else i'll be going to town with a blow dryer and an ice scraper :D
  4. rimtism123


    Mar 25, 2009
    Birmingham, AL
    +1 to the heat gun

    I used the gnarliest paint stripper i could find then got the rest with sandpaper on mine.
  5. Frayed Knot

    Frayed Knot

    Jan 29, 2010
    Manistee, MI
    Use something like a dull putty knife withe the heat gun or you will end up gouging the bass and having to sand a 1/4" of it away.
  6. Awesome!

    I totally have both of those things!
  7. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Why scrape the finish off? Are you going to just paint it another color? Unless you're going for a natural finish, why not just scuff up the surface and re-paint with a color you like?

    Heck, if you look on this forum, you'll find tons of pics of older basses that have three and four solid colors on them before you hit wood.
  8. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
  9. I am indeed banking on a natural finish...

    Buuuuut... shoot, i may just sand and repaint and see if i don't like the new color before going through all the work of getting to natural...
  10. THand


    Jun 9, 2008
    you safest bet would be to make one out of a piece of wood.That way you won't gouge the bass (hopefully ;)) The paint will be melted and hot so keep some distance from your skin and pay attention to the heat gun. Just like a blow dryer, if you keep aiming at the same spot without moving it, it will burn...as in cause a fire.
    As in, catch your bass on fire.:eek:

    Just plan on: how to handle a hot bass, where to put the waste (move the gas cans:D), where you can safely lay down the heatgun in an emergency(move the kittens :D), and be sure your scraper is something you can work with for 15-20 minutes w/o damaging the bass or bursting into flames.
  11. I used lacquer thinner to strip a '78 Precision a few years ago and that worked well. I just let is soak a minute and then used a paint brush to brush the old finish away. I liked it because it preserved the factory sanding job so it was very quick and easy to start putting the new finish on. The Squier's may have a polyurethane finish so I don't know if this method would work for you.
  12. Awesome info, Thanks!!!

    I guess the kitten won't be my helper now... :ninja:
  13. THand


    Jun 9, 2008
    Just saw where you said you were going for natural, so keep the gun moving and don't hold it too close, or you will toast it.
    You could still sand off the toast marks, but why create more work?
  14. Well, after talking to another knowledgable friend...

    I forgot the chance that the squier may be layred plywood... it's looking like a re-paint will be the easiest way to go!
  15. ...hmm...

    Also have a friend that can do a pro-nitro finish. :D

    Deciding between:

    Brown w/black pickguard
    Pale Yellow w/black pickguard
    Seafoam w/Black pickguard
  16. Yeah, I can almost guarantee that the natural grain under the paint will NOT be very attractive.
  17. Oly white with mint PG.
  18. :spit:

    That was not an option... though i AM a fan of mint pickguards... hmm... might do a DIY job and have the black guard, which is b/w/b be b/mint/b... like those cute lil' "Andes" candies that fancy hotels put on your pillow...
  19. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    whatever u do, u should color-match the headstock. looks badass!
  20. What about brown with mint guard?

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