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Help with wood swelling/painting

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Psychotisis, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Okay, so lets start this with the fact that I have 0 budget but plenty o' tools.

    I've sanded down my bass and found that there are nicks in the body that somebody painted through.

    I heard there is a technique to pull the nicks out by swelling the wood with a wet rag and saudering gun.

    I've looked on google/youtube with little success (possibly bad search words) what is the proper way to do this and can/will it damage the body?


    I plan on having a friend come by and drawing on the back of the body. What utensils should we use, and should we do something to the wood that would help it stick but with zero bleeding if we used ink? We will be clear coating it after this whole ordeal is finished. just so that's clear. :rolleyes:

    Please no flaming, i'm new to this whole ordeal. Anything helps.
  2. bump?
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Since anything helps, it's not saudering gun, it's soldering gun. ;)
  4. Ahaha, Thank you. Do you have any idea of what to do though?
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    The concept of soldering iron and wet rag is accurate, but I've done a similar procedure using a tacking iron (small iron) and damp cloth. A soldering iron puts a lot of heat into a very small area... use with some care. And I'd suggest not using a wet cloth, but one that's damp. I'm sure more qualified experts will chime in on this one. :smug:

    As to drawing on wood without bleeding. Pencil or ball point pen will work. Magic markers or sharpies will definitely bleed into the wood.

    Have fun. :bassist:
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The first thing I'd do is just dampen the area of the ding and let it sit for a few hours, keeping it wet. The wood fibers should expand.

    Heat accelerates it...use a wet rag...lay that across surface - apply the tip of a hot iron if you don't have a soldering gun. I'd rather use the iron, myself. You can burn through the rag and burn the wood with a soldering iron if you leave it in contact too long.

    Whether or not you raise the grain successfully, you will need to sand the area because all the wood fibers around the ding will also expand and feel rough.

    Unless you're trying to to a transparent finish, just use wood filler and skip the wet rag thing. It's not needed if you're doing a solid color.
  7. What I plan to do, Is have my artist friend draw a large 3 dimensional car onto the backside of the body. I'll just have him do thicker lines witht he pensil. I would like to run a clear coat over all of it to keep the wood finish WITH the drawing on the back. :bag:
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Try googling "steaming dents in wood". I come across a tutorial and video from a woodworking instructor at some tech school. He also recommends gently scraping the dent to loosen up the fibers. He.uses a clothes iron. The water expands so rapidly into steam it re-inflates the hollow wood fibers that have been crushed.

    Why not have a painting done instead of drawing?. A hard pencil drawing by a good artist would work well too. Markers will bleed. I would use a spray sealer on the first couple of coats rather than brushing it on until the drawing is sealed so the brush and liquid don't smear the drawing.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I've used a damp rag and a flat (clothes) iron to pull dents from old gun stocks, but they were military and the wood was always loaded with linseed oil. Never tried it on plain wood, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

    I'd be very sure I had any excess water out of the wood however before I sealed it under any kind of finish, especially a clear one. Any excess moisture you leave can cause a bloom (irregular whitish looking spot) in the finish. If it's urethane, like a clear wood finish from your local Home Labyrinth, you can use heat to make the blush go away, just be careful not to burn the finish. Don't know if that will work with any other type of finish, but I've used it to clear up several pieces of furniture I've refinished and applied a clear urethane topcoat to.
  10. I will definitley be checking into this.

    The spray thing is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. As for the untensils, me and my artist decided that a hard pencil had been the best idea. however, for the neck we're going to use a colored pencil set.
  11. Be careful trying to clear coat over pen or ink drawings. The vehicle in the clear coat may attack and smear the drawing beyond recognition.

    Sharpies and Magic-Markers will bleed badly with little provocation!

    Most colored pencils are water-soluable and if you get the newer VOC-compliant clear coats they. are water-based.

    I see a great possibility of total failure here if you don't pretest every stage of this attempt.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I agree with the two posters before me - pre-test by doing a test drawing/painting on wood and then coating it with your intended finish material. You may or may not see effects that you like.
  13. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification and and Martin Keith Guitars
    indeed, do test that drawing procedure first on a piece of stray wood of similar density. It is the only way to make sure you are not going to ruin either the body and/or artwork.

    I am myself testing silkscreening on a maple body. 5 coats of gun stock oil-silkscreened pattern in black ink- +10 layers of gun stock oil. So far, results are excellent.

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