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name that wood.....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JacksonsMen, Dec 13, 2005.


  1. ok, its not a gameshow (although that could sell, hell if puffy has a show, why cant i?) but i was wondering if theres any way to for sure know what my MIM Fender P-Bass is made of, and is there a possibility that i would find the same wood (grade and so on) at a hardware store

    basically before i go and try to refinish the body, i was hoping to try and get a couple practice runs in on some scrap wood similar to or the same as the body itself
     
  2. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    Puffy, as in puffy ami yumi?

    Anyways, regarding your wood, at least 90% of fenders are made out of these 3 woods:
    Alder;
    Ash;
    Basswood;

    If it's ash, the finish will probably be clear and the wood itself is pretty porous. If you body is painted, it might be alder or basswood, and if it has a sunburst, it's probably alder. They're all fairly easy to find in lumber stores, though I've never seen alder here in Montréal.
     
  3. its painted, but under the paint there seems to be a wierd sunburst thing going on (wouldnt have known unless half the paint chipped off)
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I worked on a black MIM P-bass body a few months back. This body had a few battle scars where I could see the underlying body wood. In several places there was what appeared to be a reddish/maroon primer under the gloss black finish. Is this what you are seeing as well?

    All the best,

    R
     
  5. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    A lot of solid color MIM Fenders are poplar, though I think they might not be using it any more. The sunburst ones are alder.
     
  6. [​IMG]
    this is what i'm seeing
     
  7. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Obviously black sprayed over a sunburst finish. Could have been done at the factory, but I doubt it. I'd bet the body is alder.
     
  8. thats really strange, the finish on it seemed way too good to have been done by a previous owner.......but why the hell would they take a sunburst body and paint it black at the factory?
     
  9. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Maybe a knot in the alder or the sunburst fade didn't come out looking right. Could be any number of imperfections.
     
  10. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    agreed - could be any kind of imperfection that caused a sunburst finish to be rejected ... and what way to better resolve the issue than to paint the body black. kinda like vinyl tops on american cars - got a sheetmetal/paintimperfection in the roof ... cover it with a vinyl top and charge more!

    All the best,

    R
     
  11. alright, that makes sense.....but yeah, so were going with alder then as the most probably wood?
     
  12. Ed R

    Ed R

    Oct 25, 2005
    I think most Mexican-made Fenders that had a sunburst finish are poplar jenga games (multi-piece bodies )
    with a veneer on them.
    It's AWFULLY had to get a Fender poly finish off, and there's litle reason to when it saves hours of preptime just laying a color coat over the clearpoly of the last finish.
     
  13. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Yeah, i vouch for that. I had a junky p-bass I tried to get the finish off, I tried every solvent/remover I could find at the hardware store and the finish was bulletproof. I just decided to give up and make it a junky/punk/relic sorta bass.

    I guess the wood under yours is Poplar.
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I've never seen a modern over-sprayed fender sunburst like that...I know that they used to do that with either custom color jobs if they didn't have any available blanks at the time or when a SB job didn't make QC. Anyone else ever seen a modern overspray like that?
     
  15. ive got a pretty decent plan of attack for stripping the finish, first one is from Hambone, using a heat gun to soften the paint, then a flat spackle spreader to lift the softened paint, if that doesnt work, theres a product called Aircraft Remover thats suppoesed to work for fender finishes.......i mean the stuff can disolve binding and inlay material......so i think it can handle the paint :p