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Help refinishing a bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassist4christ, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    I heard that you can't take a power sander to a bass bodie, is that true? If not how is a quick way to remove the old finish? Also if I was to make wood pick up covers do the posts on the pick ups have to show? Any help would be great guys thanks.
  2. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    Come on guys with all of the knowledge and experience in this place not one of you knows how to do this? Come on guys help a guy out.
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    You should use a chemical stripper to remove the old finish. It depends what kind of finish you have as to what stripper you'll need.

    Wooden pickup shells don't require holes for the poles to show through. As long as the pickups can get close enough (i.e. the wood isn't too thick) then it's fine.
  4. Dugz Ink

    Dugz Ink

    Oct 23, 2005
    About the stripping... I would say it depends on:
    1) The finish and the body
    2) Your definition of a power sander
    3) What finish you want to use

    Chenical strippers can cut down stripping time, but they can also make a sticky mess... and they usually have to be used outside because of the fumes. (Opening a window isn't a "well ventilated area.") Also, the wrong chemicals can have an adverse affect on plywood.

    Some people use heat-guns or hair-dryers, and they say that certain finishes can be scraped off with a spatula... but I've never tried it.

    Sanding works, if you're patient and careful. Using a 5 amp belt sander can turn your guitar body into an ugly looking bas-relief carving faster than you can say "OH S**T!" Using a cute little palm sander can take as long as building the pyramids.

    If you're going to go with a "natural" wood finish, then you're probably don't want to sand down your old body. You'll get better results (and have less frustration) if you build/buy a new body.

    If you're just putting on new paint, you may be able to sand out the imperfections in the old paint, and shoot something over top of what's left.

    It all depends on what you have and what you want.