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Ideas/tips to prevent or slow deterioration on a vintage Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 1SHOT1HIT, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Okay, it was inevitable, I knew it would happen sooner or later , since the very day I first held it.
    Since that day I have babied the bass as much as humanly possible.

    There was absolutely no avoiding it even if left in its case permanently its obvious it would have eventually just crumbled away.

    I honestly can't express in words, the knot I had in my gut watching the tiny pieces flake off and glide onto the carpet.
    Maybe it hurt so bad because I actually witnessed it happen. Depressing none the less.
    And I know, this is the start of the "MOJO" but I'm just not feeling the "MOJO" vibe from it right now.

    The entire lower corner/bout whatever it's called just under the control plate is and always has been VERY VERY delicate. I know before long the entire section will lose it's paint.
    I'm curious if anyone has successfully slowed the process down, or any realistic ideas to prevent it.
    I know it's a stretch, and realistically there probably is nothing that's going to stop it.
    But it's worth a shot to ask. Can't hurt anyway, at least not as much as looking at that spot.

    When I bought it there was a quarter inch piece hanging by a thread, I lost that a month ago, now the surrounding paint just up and decided to jump ship.

    Talked to a buddy over the phone, his idea was to take a glue stick and rub it over the area let it dry then wipe off the excess.
    Lol, I could see where that may get some down in the cracks and bond it, BUT I can also see where the moisture could also loosen those same cracks up and come right off in the process.

    Anybody else dealt with these heartbreaking moments as you've watched your babies age and slowly fall part over the years?????
    How did you cope :D did you turn to drinking/drugs? :)
    Long sabbaticals of extreme seclusion in the forest only to return to society when the pain subsided?
    This is enough to lead a grown man into tears.
    I'm sure some will never understand that and others probably know exactly what I mean.
    I kinda feel like someone just keyed my brand new Lamborghini. Only I can't take it to the shop to fix it.

    ((((I'm not sure if I should post this in basses or the luthier section, so if it needs to be moved mods please do. ))))



  2. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Seriously? Get a grip. It is an old bass that should be playable for many, many years.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    no glue stick :rolleyes:

    it is what it is; any alteration of the original finish is "worse" than the damage.
  4. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Did you completely miss the sarcasm in my OP?
    If so it was chocked full of it.

    My question, is if anyone knows of a way to slow the checking from completely crumbling off.
    The bass is fine, I'm about to plug it back in and play it.
    I never lost grip of anything, why is it there are so many people on TB that feel the need to be so critical of absolutely EVERYTHING they run across?
    Sad part is that I've not typically noticed you to be one of those type.
    Unless I'm mistaken, you've usually been pretty helpful.
  5. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Yeah, that idea came from a friend, it wasn't taken very seriously.
    I can see where his thinking was but probably not gonna solve it, as said previously, just way too much chance of further damage.

    I'm not looking for a magic cure or some Jerry rigged quick fix remedy.
    I'm hoping someone knows of a product, paint conditioner (if it even exists)

    There's a ton of products on the market, to restore and re-condition auto paint as well as other stuff.
    My hopes is that there's something out there that someone has had success with.
  6. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i stopped mine from flaking off by lightly sanding the edges of the paint w/600grt. the nitro smoothed down to the wood and sealed the chipped edges! no more breaks so far. gl.
  7. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    God, that scares me keep in mind this is smaller than a quarter right now.

    But the area that looks bad is that entire corner, if it all fell off it'd be like 5" x 3-1/2" of bare wood.
    Basically a massive section of missing finish.
    Hence why I really really want to slow it down.
    I just don't know that I could even get in there to try that it's so small.
  8. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I did. Some people here tend towards the melodramatic. My apologies.

    I am not aware of anything you could do. Nitro is not all that durable and Leo did not built Fenders to last forever (he touted the bolt on neck as a positive innovation as you could simply attach another neck if the original one wore out or was damaged. You wouldn't need to throw out the whole guitar.)
  9. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Someone I met once was a dirt bike racer and started losing when he got his first new bike after he landed a sponsorship. His riding only went back to normal after the first crash. He figured out he was too afraid of scratching up that shiny new bike and it ruined his riding. From then on he would take each new bike and throw it down a hill before even riding it once, repair it and win races :cool: .

    So I'd take a rock and whack that sucker until it doesn't bother you to play it anymore :bag: :bassist: :D .
  10. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Yeah, it hurt watching it crumble away but it definitely wasn't the end of the world.
    I was intentionally being over dramatic, it's like one of those things that belong in the first work problems thread in OT.
    I bought a 62 Fender Jazz for $100, it's lost a dime sized section of paint, :) hell even if it lost all the paint I still am left with a 1962 Fender Jazz that cost me $100, nothing to cry over that's for sure.

    Thanks for the attempt at answering.
    I kinda have a feeling it's just gonna go when it goes, and there's not much that can be done to stop it.
  11. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Lol, can I use a hammer?
    We don't have many large rocks around the yard that I've seen?
  12. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Completely off topic, but did you ever figure out if that pink nitro is factory original or an old refin?
  13. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    A hammer will give your bass a more "metal" tone :D .
  14. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Clear nail polish to reseal the edges of the paint.
  15. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    I gave up, the owner flip flopped about it and said one thing but then completely said something else altogether that lead me to believe his memory was just not all there.
    Originally he said he had it sprayed at a body shop, then says that was his first bass (a 50's precision) I've asked about getting a notarized letter from him, but haven't gotten a straight answer.
    Still working on it. Most of my talking is channeled through his daughter which is tough as she is extremely busy with her job. It works but at times it's a bit like playing telephone.
    It's one of those situations where you really need cold hard facts and someone summing up a conversation from the week earlier isn't quite gonna work.
    I shouldn't say I'm giving up, it's just kinda slow going, the old man loves to tell his stories, he seems like a really nice guy, but a simple, to the point question sparks an endless line of memories for him.
    Keep in mind, my need for a letter is simply for documentation and absolutely nothing about monetary gain.
    It's very hard to ask for it and not seem like I'm out for some big pay day. So I've not been real pushy either. They're really nice people and have gone WAY above and beyond what most would have done. I finally got copies to her of all the case contents as well so she was thrilled about that, so IDK hopefully the question gets a definitive answer one way or the other.

    George Gruhn, was the one to recommend the letter, I wish I had thought to request it right from the start but I had no idea something as simple as a notarized letter was worth it's weight in gold as far as authentication goes. I need to find a notary that will make a house call, I really don't think he's going to go running around for my benefit.

    So to answer your question, with all the drama on here when it started I typically just say refin, everyone calmed down when they thought it was a refin. That works for me. Besides that's what the daughter told me upfront.
    But that's kinda changed back and forth as the story has been told. So who knows???

    I find it interesting though that it's obviously a sunburst under the pink, do to obvious locations of black around the neck pocket and above the back strap button you can slightly see a spot that reveals black.
    However, the area where this paint is chipping (a place that should be ALL black underneath, as it's right on the leading edge) there isn't a trace of black at all. It's bare wood and yellow sealer.
    If Fender used messed up sunburst bodies for custom colors that kinda would make sense.

    But again, I guess what I should say is I've given up worrying about it, it's not getting sold EVER so in the end, does it matter? Ehhhh, not to me, Not really. Would it be cool in a historical aspect? Hell yes, but I'm gonna love it and play it the same either way.

    Sorry to be so long winded. I guess I coulda just said, I don't know? :D
  16. solderjunkie


    Jan 27, 2008
    Nashville TN
    If you want it to remain "original", then leave it alone.

    If you want to preserve it, disassemble it and lightly clearcoat with nitro.
  17. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    You know, that would work as it would seal it like a tomb for another 50 years, even if I had it professionally done.

    BUT that would absolutely kill its old appeal.
    I think I'm just gonna let it ride and see where the chips may fall, no pun intended. :D
  18. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    ^ That would kinda be like having your best friend Rover put down and stuffed so he'd stay forever young :rollno: .
  19. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Good point, it's like taxidermy (Jazzidermy??) for basses.
    I wonder what kinda pose and mount I could get them to do it in?
    Maybe something on the ferocious side? Except it's pink. :-(
  20. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    I think the most durable option would be to have the chip fill in, lay down another coat of pink and then hit it HARD with clear coat. There's not much you can do to slow it down, but you can redo it like it never happened.

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