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get those scratches out

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by steve_man, Jan 9, 2003.


  1. steve_man

    steve_man

    May 15, 2002
    I currently own a black fender jazz bass and I'm wondering how I should go about getting scratches and dull spots out of the finish.

    I've recently found out that using car polish is supposed to really bring back the shine however, I don't know anything about abrasives, how hard or soft I should polish it, the list goes on.

    Also I'm wondering does Carnube wax have any similarity to car polish?

    How would i go about doing this?
    :confused:
    (I'm looking for recommendations)
     
  2. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
  3. steve_man

    steve_man

    May 15, 2002
    I seen that discussion.

    and even though it aswered a lot of questions I'm still wondering what should I use.

    I don't know a lot about car products not to mention about how hard I should rub.

    I guess the first thing I need to decide is if I should use a wax or a polish but I'm not sure what they would do.

    Any suggestions?

    :confused:
     
  4. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Ok, since I have a black Fender now also, I'll try to supplement our other discussion thread. Without knowing how deep your scratches are it's hard to say. If they are very light, before going to a scratch remover, you might try a good cleaner wax like "3M Cleaner Wax". It has very very mild abrasives and you can pretty much rub until the cows come home. It will take out light scratches and also bring a good shine to the surface all in one application. For deeper FINISH scratches, you can move up to a scratch remover. I use GS27, but there are several available made by companies like Blue Coral, Simonize etc... All for the same purpose. Always lean towards products that say "Safe for Clearcoat finishes" You'll want to do it in stages. If it looks like the scratch is being improved, keep at it, if not, stop. Some are just too deep. Something you can do for deep scratches that are through the paint is to use scratch filler or touch up paint. Scratch filler is like a little crayon looking thing in the same color as your finish that you rub over the scratch which fills it with scratch filler. It's not perfect, but at least the scratch won't be as deep or a different color than the rest of your bass anymore. You'll have a hard time wearing through the finish even with these slightly harsher abrasives as long as you don't put a couple of hundred pounds of force behind it. If you wear through the finish, you'll start to see dull instead of shine. For the dull spots, the 3M cleaner wax or any good wax might do the trick. The difference between car polish and car wax is that polish forms a molecular bond with the finish and has optical enhacement properties to enhance light reflection etc... Most "polishes" assume you have a good finish to start with and simply serve to enhance and protect that finish. Waxes on the otherhand sit on top of the finish if you will, forming a coating. More suited for a finish that is less than perfect in that the shine comes from the wax layer more so than the finish itself. You should always do any experimenting in adequate lighting as dim lighting may cause something to look good, but as soon as you're under some bringht UV lights or in the sun, it looks like Swirl City. Again, per the other discussion, best to experiment on the back to see how products work and don't try to completely fix it all in 10 minutes. If you do it in stages and take your time: Scratches first, clean next, polish/wax, final buff, it will look great. I could use my bass as a mirror. All of the above is strictly my opinion based on showing cars in shows. Your results may vary and there is no express or implied warranty from me! Do it at your own risk! :D
     
  5. steve_man

    steve_man

    May 15, 2002
    I was checking my bass last night and I have a few dull spots and some scratches that do not look deep. They look really fine. You have to go under a bright light to see most of the scratches with the exception of a couple of dull spots (where my thumb rests on the pickup and one on the back which I don't know how got there?? anyways)

    So I think I might give that 3M stuff a shot.

    Do you think this would void my waranty with fender?

    Also I polish my bass a lot so before I go to do this should I get a damp cloth to try and remove any existing polish?

    Thanks this was a boat load of help
    :D
     
  6. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    If you use a "Cleaner wax" like the 3M stuff, you don't have to strip off the old stuff first. It does it as part of it's process. As far as your warranty, I'd say that even if you scratch the hell out of it, the working operation of the bass and the electronics would still be covered. Simply an assumption though. Again I have to relate back to cars where the only thing that is voided is when the failure is caused by your enhancement or modification. In otherwords if your pickups fail or the neck snaps, you're covered, but if you make a claim that all of your paint came off after you sprayed it down with industrial strenght wax stripper you're probably screwed! The 3M Cleaner wax is very mild and should not hurt anything at all though. I use it on an old 94 Ranger I have for my daily driver and the thing looks brand new:

    http://home.carolina.rr.com/fillmer/cobra/index.htm
     
  7. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Just took a pic of my bass. Last time I really cleaned it up was for a Christmas show, but you'll get the idea. I think it looks ok for a 3 year old Ebay special. Sorry for the picture quality. That is a little cheapo 30.00 camera I use for Ebay sales and is very low on the pixel/quality scale. Ok, I must get back to work now! Later.
     
  8. steve_man

    steve_man

    May 15, 2002
    :eek:

    I'm gonna try it. I may never be able to have a spot light shown on me during a gig but I'm gonna try it!

    :cool:


    thanks
    :D
     
  9. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    That is a really cool looking photo.