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How do I repair this dent !!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bazza99, Apr 18, 2015.


  1. bazza99

    bazza99

    Aug 19, 2009
    I've got a knock to the horn of my bass (see photo). What I'd like to know is the simplest way to fill, colour and smooth this. I'm not a skilled woodworker with a workshop full of sanders etc. so can anyone suggest a neat and simple way of mending it and matching the honey-ish colour??? I'd be happy with any improvement to what's there now!!
    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

    • Dent.
      Dent.jpg
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  2. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Since it is a dent you you could try steaming it out, you might have to sand the finish of to do that though. What kind of finish is it?
     
  3. bazza99

    bazza99

    Aug 19, 2009
    On reflection it is slightly more than a dent as it feels rough to the touch, like exposed wood. The finish on the bass is a gloss lacquer type, in a honey colour. I would be happy to just level it and match the surrounding colour and then apply a bit of varnish but I need guidance on that....
     
  4. tjh

    tjh

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    .. to minimize the area of anything I did to try to repair it, I would probably use something like a small emery board that is used for fingernails ... just take the finest side and lightly 'touch' as you move with very short strokes over the worst of the affected area, and then increase your work area to the edge of the damage ... be careful not to go deeper than needed, your objective here is to take as little as possible until the damage is at a point you are satisfied ... once you are at that point, then consider slightly smoothing the 'edge' of the area you just worked (if it appears to be 'raised') so that it blends a bit into the non-worked area ... the small emery board will allow you to have more 'control' and a better visual of your work than with sandpaper ... slow and easy is the theme ..

    If possible try to figure out the type of finish, even contact the manufacturer if you cant find anything in print ... then with a very tiny craft/model type paint brush, apply that finish to the work area in a very light coat, you will likely need more than one, just make sure it does not drip/run ... any exposed wood in the repair area may soak in the finish, where it will sit on top of non exposed wood area ...

    The repair area may need to be 'buffed' in a bit when cured, this may help it blend with sorrounding area a bit better too ... in any case, just to get rid of the 'black' and smooth it all out should make a big improvement ... ;)

    JMHO .. as always
     
  5. bazza99

    bazza99

    Aug 19, 2009
    TJH - first bit sounds like good advice. But do you mean that I should fill the indentation with some kinda gloss varnish and build it up after each coat has dried?? Or should I fill with something else and then buff down ready to varnish. Pls explain a bit more.
    Many thanks, Barry
     
  6. tjh

    tjh

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    Barry, keep in mind, I am talking through this without seeing it first hand, so any comment should be taken as general, based upon the picture, where depth of damage can only really be estimated ...

    I wouldn't add any fill, I would be more inclined to sand until smooth (or acceptably close), with a slightly 'feathered' edge into what has not been sanded ... you keep using the term 'varnish', which is something I cringe at when I read it ... the finish is likely poly or lacquer, and as mentioned, try to determine which from the manufacturer, so whatever you apply over the 'smoothed' area is compatible with existing finish on the body ... again, work with a light touch, take your time with a goal of keeping the repair area as small as possible .. depending what happens to the 'color' after your repair, you may want to consider adding a bit of 'tint' to try to match ... a way to test this is a little saliva on your finger will simulate a gloss finish while wet and give you an idea of what finish will look like ... very little dampness on it, and then wipe dry and wait until completely dry before applying finish of course ...

    With all due respect, it appears to be in a good place, where the strap may actually cover/hide at least part of the repair, and it's a bass body, not museum/show piece ... you use it for what it is intended and it likely won't look perfect for very long anyway ... ;)

    still JMHO's ...
     
  7. bazza99

    bazza99

    Aug 19, 2009
    Thanks again TJH for taking the time and trouble to give me sound advice. I will follow it...on a "gently does it" basis and will keep the repair area as small as possible. Unfortunately the manufacturer (Samick) cannot find any details now of what finish it was (my guess is a clear poly) so I don't know if trying a poly based varnish would match it up or not. However, as you say, it's an instrument, not a work of art for hanging on a wall, even though it is a beautiful burr walnut finish on the front which is why I love it. Thanks again
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I'd take out pieces of broken poly, clean the area as much as possible, fill the hole with several layers of superglue and sand the excess afterward.
     
  9. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Most epoxies will turn a bit amber, but getting just the right tint is luck. System 3 will come close, is easy to use as filler/builder, and contour/blend into the surrounding shape. It'll never get knocked out, either.
    But, as mentioned above, you've gotta get all the 'black' and broken poly chips out, however deep they go. Epoxy can be a good, permanent fix. After it's filled to just a little proud of the surrounding shape, tape around the area, use a file to get it close to contour, then those multi-grade fingernail shaper/polishers (they are resistant to loading up) to finish up.
     
  10. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    If it is like my Samick it's a clear poly.
     

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