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few random questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JacksonsMen, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. ok, so im planning on rebuilding and refinishing my p-bass over the winter break and had a few quick questions.

    first off, whats the best thing to use on the fretboard to clean dirt and grime (its rosewood)?

    second, i want to strip the old finish off of the bass since a lot of it is already chipped off due to buckle rash and whatnot, are there chemical strippers that will take off that thick paint without damaging the wood underneath, or am i going to have to strip it by hand?

    third, will automotive urethane paint work as far as finishing goes? or is theres something special i need to use?

    fourth, like i sad, a lot of the paint has chipped off, and it seems like theres a sunburst finish underneath the paint, is that normal for a MIM p bass or is something up with this?
    (see picture)

    tips and techiniques for what im doing would be great too,
    thanks guys

    this is kinda what im goin for, the red one that is (bad photochop)
  2. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    dude, your P bass got owned...by something.

    I only know of sanding off the paint/finish. I've heard of some people using steel wool, but I think sandpaper would do.

    Hambone would probably know this kind of stuff, he's like a dictionary for luthiery (sp?)

  3. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    You'll probably have good luck cleaning your fingerboard with naptha (lighter fluid). Use a rag and scrub like the wind. er... scrub like the ...um... well, scrub hard.
  4. gotya,

    yeah, when i bought the pbass it was in great condition, but i guess i just play a little rough on it. have to remind mself to wear smaller belts now with my spector, dont want the same thing happening

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    hope you will post some pics after shes done. Good luck!!
  6. definately, but i really havent had any answers yet

    im not really sure what i want to do as far as the color and graphics go, i was thinking maybe putting an ace of spades in the finish, clearcoat over it ya know, i only know that its going to have all black hardware save the tuners and knobs, black/red/black pg, all new electronics, (alredy replaced the pickups over the summer, so those will stay) and evenutally i would want to get a new neck with some interesting inlays, but we'll see
  7. mahrous


    Aug 13, 2005
    i dont really know of any other way of removing paint. depending on the original paint material, you might want to try kerosine or thinner to help with the removing process.

    i believe with the use of such materials, you can use only cotton wool dipped into kerosine/thinner. that way, if you dont have much experience with sanding, you wont be hurting the body wood or make other mistakes.
  8. if you look closely at the first picture you can see that the body has some decent dings in it, so im going to be sanding and filling anyway, and since the finished product will be a solid finish, im not too worried about the petina (sp?) of the wood.

    im still curios about that sunbustish finish on the body though
  9. this question may be better suited for another part of the forum, but would this pot work properly in the volume position? i get the idea that its intended for tone control, but it sounds like something i would use, with the 1-9 being a regular sweep, and "10" being a lock in setting
  10. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    For cleaning the fingerboard I'm a big fan of lemon oil. Some might disagree, but I like the smell of lemons over naptha. Just put a bit on a rag and keep rubbing until no more dirt comes off, then rub some more. A bit of 0000 steel wool can be used if a more aggressive cleaning is needed.

    There are all sorts of powerful chemical paint strippers that will probably work. If your finish is nitrocellulose then just about any furniture stripper should be fine. If it's poly (much more likely if the bass was made in the last 20 years) then even the chemical strippers are going to have trouble. At that point there's nothing to do but sand 'til you can't sand no more.

    Finally, automotive finishes work great. The biggest factor in getting a great finish is the surface preparation. If you're working from a well prepped surface, just about anything you spray or brush on should end up fine.

    www.reranch.com is a great resource for the refinishing side of our little hobby. They've also got a forum with all sorts of experienced folks who answer questions like these all day long.

  11. thanks for the info bud, the more i think about it, the more i get the idea of chipping the paint off, if i could get something to get between the paint and the wood (doesnt matter if it breaks down the paint or not) then i could pretty much just carefully break it off. with all the paint that has already come off ive found myself fiddling with a loose bit and taking a large piece off of it without even trying (or meaning to)

    and if urethane paint is a good choice, what about a primer/sealer as well, or is there really no need?
  12. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Like I said, check out www.reranch.com. There's a tutorial (called ReRanch 101) that should answer all your finishing questions (at least for the surface prep side of things).

  13. im reading it right now actually, great site btw, its insanely helpful
  14. I you'll get a heat gun or good hair dryer and a thin spackling knife, you can heat the poly coat up to soften it and get the blade under it to pry it off. If you're careful not to tip the edge of the blade into the body wood, you can get the cover off without dinging the wood underneath - which you would have to fill to repaint. Keep heating until soft and prying until it comes up and breaks off.