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Body Sanding Question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by joeviau, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. joeviau


    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
    I have a copy of a Fender Jazz, I made it about 20 years ago from a pre-made body and neck. It was finished in nitrocellulose laquer, and I would like to sand it down and refinish with tung oil / Watco Danish oil. I still haven't decided which to use, although I understand that you may get a better shine with tung, while Watco Danish will seep in a little deeper and does not build on top of the wood.

    Anyhow, while I'm there, the body is heavy, and I would like to sand it down to reduce the weight some. I think that the wood may be alder, it's two-piece with no laminated top. My question is, is this a viable approach? The tone of the bass will probably change a little, and I would like to not have a pile of sawdust where a body once was :bawl: trying to get the body down to an acceptable weight.

    As it is, I'm redoing the electronics, switching from old DiMarzios to Bartolini's, so I will have no baseline for comparison.
  2. joeviau


    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Alder should be very light. If you sand the top down the bridge height to neck ratio will change.........t
  4. joeviau


    Jul 9, 2002
    Rhode Island
    Well, maybe the body's ash and I thought wrong all those years. I take your point about the angle changing by sanding the top, maybe I can sand the sides and the back some to get some reduction?
  5. Sanding the body really isn't going to do much for weight, what you're going to want to do is route out some chambers, which presents a whole new group of problems to deal with.
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Alder is light. What colour is the wood? How does the grain look like?
    Sanding the top is not a good idea IMO... You'd also reduce the height of the cavities, and lower the bridge.
    Sanding/planing the back will lower the neckplate, and to keep the neck in place, you'dd need something under the screws after it.

    If you really badly want to reduce weight, you can route some cavities into the back like the Parker Fly... :eek:

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