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Chip in neck

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Ethan Philion, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Ethan Philion

    Ethan Philion

    Mar 5, 2016
    Hello, I left my bass on stage at a gig and when I returned from the break between soundcheck and the concert there was a small chip in the neck. I've included pictures below. I'm wondering what the best course of action to fix this is? I have wood filler but I am hesitant to use that since I assume I will have to sand it to remove the grainy texture and I am worried about sanding the neck. Any ideas?
    WIN_20160305_23_15_56_Pro. WIN_20160305_23_16_07_Pro.
  2. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    You could look at it as one of the little "character marks" that accrue to every bass. I realize that your thumb is liable to pass by it constantly and can see that it could be an annoyance. Wood filler would be a really poor choice - there are wax-based filler crayons available to match nearly every stain color. One pass with the crayon, a little buffing with a rag, and you'll forget the ding is there. In time.
    Seiki likes this.
  3. vejesse


    Apr 8, 2006
    Madison, Wi
    Double Bass Workshop
    If it's a dent I bet you could steam most of it out. If that's not possible maybe you could fill it with something durable like sawdust mixed with slow cure epoxy. Fill it in higher than the hole then level it after it's hardened.
  4. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    Remyd likes this.
  5. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    This won't goof up the neck finish? If there's a more important place for that not to happen, I can't think of what it might be.
  6. Your best course of action is hunting down the injurer, tormenting them, and having them beg for salvation. I'd be so ticked if something like that happened to the neck of my bass - especially on the neck, where things are happening.

    Your second best course of action is to consider steam if it's a seemingly minor dent. If it's an actual chip, you can get wood fill or make your own. If you make your own, you can use sawdust from the same kind of wood the neck is made of (if you wish; it helps reduce the egregious nature of fills, unless you want it to stand out), then spot sand to smooth it out and try to refinish that area. Figuring out what finish to use is the hard part though
  7. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Steam might mess with the surrounding finish. It might be worthwhile to put a drop of water on the ding (leave it a few hours if possible) to see if the wood fibers will swell back to their original shape. If so, a quick swipe with a matching touchup stain stick (not a bad thing to have anyhow) followed by a bit of paste wax (leave real finish work for those who are good at it) ought to take care of it.

    I second Seiki's suggestions for dealing with the perpetrator, though stronger action might be appropriate...
  8. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    It looks like it chipped the finish off more than it is a dent, right? Maybe a drop of clear poly to fill the hole and then sand it smooth with some very fine sandpaper and a block to see that it is really flat.
  9. JamesAdams


    Aug 6, 2013
    Reardan, Washington, US
    Teacher : Barefoot Music Studio Budding Luthier
    On dings I've acquired over the years I just lightly sand off any sharp edges and leave them alone. Eventually they wear nicely and you won't even notice them anymore.
  10. It does not appear to be where it will bother your thumb. Avoid any sanding as this will increase the area that you have to touch up and color matching is not easy. I suggest only darkening the dent/scratch to deeper than the neck color. This will quickly remove it from your consciousness. Old basses are covered with little blackened dents.

    Cheers, DP
    misterbadger likes this.
  11. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    If it is under your thumb, you notice it every time you are in that part of the neck, and it doesn't become a useful landmark that you actually take advantage of, then take it to the shop. Any DIY repair is going to leave you with a look you might not be happy with or a bump or other undesirable feeling under your thumb potentially worse than what you are dealing with now unless you absolutely nail the repair and make it perfectly flush. Our hands can feel incredibly small deviations in texture and to eliminate that you would have to fill it in, smooth it flush, and then refinish the surrounding area. If it bothers you and you don't want to ever notice it's there, professional help is your best option.

    If it isn't under your thumb and the only issue is cosmetics, crack open a walnut, and rub it on the spot. The oils in the nut will darken it so it doesn't look much different than the surrounding area without a texture change or weird colour contrast between the neck and whatever other type of finish you would be interested in. Total cost? 10 seconds of time, and a few cents for the walnut. Or you buy a bag of walnuts for a few dollars, fix the problem, and have a nice snack after you're done.
    arnoldschnitzer likes this.
  12. neilG


    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    Typically, that part of the neck doesn't have any finish on it.
  13. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Mine has finish there, maybe not as polished, but certainly more than tung oil or whatever

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