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Meinel/Musima bass refinishing: purfling and F-hole

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ErikvanD, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    As you might have read I am currently trying to make a choice between three basses. One of those is an East-German Eberhard Meinel on which I have some questions. See pictures


    If I decide to keep this bass some work needs to be done. Amongst others I would like the neck to be trimmed down a bit as I do not like the thick "V" shaped profile and the bridge and fingerboard need to be given some more curve to allow for easier arco. All this work I would have a luthier do.

    After that I am thinking on refinishing the bass. It looks kind of OK in the pictures but in real life the color is a kind of a "radioactive glow in the dark orange". As the bass was not expensive I might have a go at refinishing it myself. And about that are my questions:

    - Does anyone know whether the purfling on this bass (Musima, Meinel, Eberle) is painted or laid in? So far I have not been able to tell. Might be handy to know if it will come off when I strip the paint or not...


    - The outer side of the bass side F hole lies a little bit higher than the inner side. Perhaps top has sunk a little bit. When the bass is paintless would there be a way to correct this without taking the top of? Perhaps making the wood wet in that place and use steam, heat, pressure or something to force it down a bit? Or am I talking complete rubbish here (which is quite possible)?


  2. In between I have established that the purfling is in fact laid in. I have also looked at the bass in different angles and it actually does not seem that the top has sunken. The curve looks the same on both sides. It looks like the outer edge of the E side f hole just has risen a bit.

    Any idea on a possibility to correct this without taking the top of? I know it is mainly cosmetic but nevertheless I would like to know if this can be done.
  3. The F-Hole issue you describe is actually a very common feature with most basses, they are built with it. I don't think you should be concerned.
  4. I am not so much concerned with it, it is purely a cosmetic question. I consider refinishing this bass and I just wondered that when the bass is without paint I could correct it.
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Goodness, no. I suggest you leave it alone.
  6. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    Don't modify the neck in any way. It is already twisting a bit from what I see in the pictures. If you get the fingerboard planed, make sure the luthier doesn't take a bunch of meat off in the process, you need as much ebony as possible to get that neck to stay put. Better yet, reinforce it with either a graphite rod or a piece of wood with diagonal grain.