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Finishing A Bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Player, Jan 20, 2000.


  1. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    Ok, so I got the Carvin kit (BK5A) and I guess I'll be sanding for a couple days. I was considering different finishes. I'm not gonna paint or stain, just clear over the alder. I was considering doing clear laquer on the body and maybe headstock, but I've heard tung oil is easiest and I like the looks of it. I thought laquer might be a little more protective though. Any opinions?
    p.s. I'm definitely tung oiling the back of the neck. (like the feel)

    ------------------
    Paul
     
  2. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Paul-I "oiled" my '64 P-bass in '76(when I finally had the bogus sunburst finish removed). I also bought a Schecter P-bass in '78 that was oiled...both basses look the same today as they did 20+ years ago. And with a minimum of upkeep from yours truly.
    Good idea, too, about oiling the neck(where your thumb resides)...just remember, a little oil goes a long way.
    Later...
     
  3. Chop

    Chop

    Dec 12, 1999
    I have been building a bass with a luthier that uses tung oil almost exclusively, unless a customer asks for a laquer finish. I have heard him suggest that it is good to oil periodically, like once a year I think..it beautifies too. I will probably follow that as I have seen a bass that was neglected for a while and had cracked.

    I have also heard (from some vintage folks) that the 'reason' some people believe that vintage gear sounds better is because that it is just beginning to 'breath'. I don't know what to think about that. Since I began working with the luthier I think all the laquer stuff that the mass manufactures are producing look cheap and fake. The wood can be so beautiful..it is too bad that people like a 'color' rather than the natural beauty of the wood.
     
  4. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    Ok, I think I'll tung oil the whole thing.
    Chop, I totally agree about the wood thing. I assume they're covering some crap wood with paint. I can see maybe staining, but painting seems counter productive. Thanks for the input.
    p.s. It is real pretty wood. It's not going to require near the sanding that I expected. The maple neck looks glossy, it was sanded so nicely at the factory. I would recomend the kit to any bassist looking for a project.

    ------------------
    Paul
     
  5. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    It's finished! Sanded a little Thurs, 1 coat tung oil Fri, 2 coats Sat, last coat Sun morn. Put it all together Sunday eve. Love it! The oil really make the Alder body look great. It sound great as well. took very little adjustment, no trus rod tweak only string height & intonation. Great project. (and I finished it before my LB75 arrived so, no confict)

    ------------------
    Paul
     
  6. 6-stringer

    6-stringer Guest

    Feb 5, 2000
    Roanoke,VA
    does anyone have any advise on defretting?
    I'm planning on defrettign my Washburn mb-6
    and i dont want to destroy the fingerboard.
    any help would be appreciated.
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Player -

    How do you like the tung oil finish now that it has aged for six months? I'm considering the same on an Alder body, but have been told it may look kind of "bland" (Ken Warmoth's words). Do you have any pics that you can share?

    Did the oil darken the grain much? If I can get the look of natural finished ash, OK by me...

    Thanks!

    ------------------
    "Why sharpen the plow when you can just beat the mule?"
     
  8. Player

    Player

    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    I like it alot. It still looks great. It did darken the grain a bit. I must have put it on heavier than Carvin does because it's seems darker than the tung oiled bass that they did for me. I've been meaning to get some pictures of my basses up. I'll see if I can't get to it soon.

    ------------------
    Paul

     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Thanks, Paul!
     
  10. JDBJJJP

    JDBJJJP

    Mar 3, 2000
    you said you did not want to do stain, but i made a wooden pickguard for one of my basses and i used polyurethane. It made a really nice deep red color. Instead of painting it on i hand rubbed it. I found that two coats or so it enough to protect from your average scratchs or dings. You have to use a cloth that is pretty lint free. This sounds dumb but i used a paper towel but you have to watch it because they wear out and piece could get stuck on your finish. have fun