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How to wetsand your bass.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by parsons, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    Thought I would share some tips on repairing blemished basses. This stuff is nothing new, just wanted to show people that you can do it on your own with a little patience and a brain on your shoulders. Let it be known, your results may vary.

    I picked up this Stingray from Jared92 in the classifieds for $650 due to the economy and the big blemish on the lower bout.

    After I looked at the pictures of this bass here I hoped there was some clear coat left under the blemish.

    After meeting up with Jared and purchasing the bass, I inspected it a little more closely when I got home. It felt like there was something on top of the finish. As you ran your hand over it, it felt raised. This was a good thing because this might mean there was clear coat underneath in good shape. The source of the blemish was hard to identify, I could only guess that someone tried to put some type of acetone product on the finish. Maybe they were removing sticker gunk? Perhaps there were scratches in the blemish were there first and they thought this might take them out? I could also see 2 scratches on the edge of the blemish that appeared to be going through the clearcoat where someone probably tried to scratch off this blem. This is a bad thing because I may not be able to repair these.

    So I started wetsanding. Used some 1500 grit paper, a bowl of water and some towels. I should tell you, I've never wet sanded anything in my life. This doesnt mean its easy and you should run to your 1500 dollar bass with sandpaper, but it wasnt as hard as I thought. I also didn't have much to lose because this blemish was huge and I couldn't really do much more at this point to screw it up worse. The backup plan wouldv'e been to refinish this bass in a TV yellow color if I would've dropped the ball (all puns intended) here.

    -Its important to keep the paper wet. You need to dip it constantly. This cleans away the debris that your sanding and keeps the paper lubed.
    - You need to stop, dry the area and inspect your work. If you don't do this, you can go through the clear coat into the base coat which will ruin your work. I stopped every 20-30 seconds, like a dentist would drilling a tooth.
    - DONT PUSH DOWN HARD! This isnt a piece of iron your sanding. Its a lady, be gentle to her. Let the paper do its thing.
    - You can sand scratches but only if they dont go straight through the clear coat. You have to have some clear left over to buff up after sanding! I went over the back of the bass and removed all of the scratches from belt buckles in about an hour.
    - Most people will tell you to use 1500 then switch to 2000 grit before buffing. I only used 1500 grit then buffed since I was out of 2000 grit. You should probably not be lazy and use 2000 grit. I half ass my own work a lot, not my clients/ friends. Mine still came out nice though!
    - After sanding smooth, you'll need a rubbing compound. Rubbing compound is used to bring the shine back. After you sand, the areas that you sanded will look like ish! I used some Turtlewax Rubbing compound. Its about 8 bucks at your local auto parts store and it comes in a 18oz bottle which is nice. There are more expensive things out there but this worked fine for me.
    - follow directions for application of the compound. I used a microfiber cloth to apply mine this time.

    So here is how it came out. Pardon the cell phone pics. I was also in the middle of putting in a SD Basslines pickup. Wired that in series and it kills.


    again, BEFORE:

    Not a bad 'Ray for $650, eh?
  2. heavychevy


    Feb 11, 2008
    Central MA
    good job! another tip...please be careful around any edges! it's very easy to burn through the clear.
  3. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008

    Definitely a good tip. Edges would have a tendency to be thinner and create more paper pressure.
  4. Looks great, awesoem bass tooo!

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