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Natural Finishes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowman, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. I'm looking for some advice on a new bass I bought. Its all fine and dandy except its got this somewhat dorky puple paint-job. I was thinking that I could sand it back to the wood and then finish it like a Warick.

    My main question is how do you do it? I know there's oil involved at some point, and I'm pretty sure its not the motor variety, but thats about it. Is there some hideously complicated technique to it all, or is it just a case of: "Grease me up, Woman!!"?

    I'd be grateful for any advice on how to go about this. Oh, and the body is basswood, if that makes any difference.
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Basswood dents easily, and isn't much of a looker to start with. I'd keep the paint on.
  3. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I'd have to agree with Oysterman.... Basswood good as a tone wood, but it isnt very strong and it definatly doesn't look that great. The following is what Warmoth says on Basswood.
    So all in all, I think if you don't like the color, either look at maybe refinishing it to another solid color (I woulden't bother wasting my money though).
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I never realized before that Tilia and Basswood were the same. Especially since basswood is considered cheap, but G&L uses it for their L-2500s.
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Basswood is pronounced like the fish, but superb for the instrument bass!!!
    And for colours and such, some like koa, some like birch - and who is to say one is right and the other one wrong on such a thing?? Not me!!

    The drawback of basswood is the hardness, or lack of it. It dents very easily.
    Hence, a solid laquer is less good, as it will crack when the wood is dented. The harder the finish is the more crack problems!

    If you absolutely want to refinish, I suggest a nice stain and a polymerized oil. Topped with carnauba (sp?) wax, for some surface hardness.

    Ahmm, and, according to your lack of routine on this job, lowman....do a lot of practise scrap pieces, before you go on to the bass. A stain is not easy to apply! For further discouraging, have a look in Roger Siminoffs book on constructing a solid body guitar. This is by far the hardest task in building a nice guitar!!"!
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Furthermore, since basswood is pretty soft, I wouldn't recommend sanding the existing paint off. I think you are much less likely to damage the body using a chemical stripper.

    Better yet, call a few furniture refinishing places and find out what they would charge you to dunk it in their stripper bath. I have heard some charge as little as $20. You'll spend close to that in materials.

  7. I'm considering doing the same with my newly acquired yellow jazz bass (vintage white). I would
    like to make it a natural jazz. But I'm investigating
    other options like getting a special pickguard from
    pickguard.com to enhance the appearence also.
  8. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I've always thought that Black, Black Perloid, or the classic Tortise Shell always looks good with a White or Vintage White guitar.
  9. I think that dye and transparent colors look real cool. But that a natural oil and gloss finish are much nicer lookin on certain woods.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I don't like chemical solvents, in principal, but I think Chas is right this time (too!).
  11. OK, so I thinks thats pretty much a consensus to leave it well alone. Maybe I'll just cover it with stickers, or get a can of spray paint. Hey I might even get enthusiastic and actually take the fittings off before giving it a spray.

    Alternatively I could just learn live with the purple. Hmmm, it is a deep purple. No, thats no good, my hair's not big enough and I'm not old enough.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have a Dean Edge 5 Bass that has a (figured) basswood body and a transparrent black finish. It's beautiful.:)
  13. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I had a old fender jazz that i took to a car painter and he did a great job painting it! You might look into that!
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Philb, I think that your Dean probably has a figured maple top over the basswood. Basswood has no figuring to speak of.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Actually there's no laminate at all (the finish is clear all the way through), and the figuring is very subtle. It's definitely interesting.
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    mmmmm, i love the look of burl and spalted maple....
  17. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    First, I think only hard woods are figured. Second, the Transparent Finish on the Edges, are like the one on the Ibanez GSR 100/200. The grain is enhanced on the guitar, and a finish is put over that. Basswood is known for having mineral streaks in it, I think what they do to acomplish the transparent wood grain, is to enhanse the mineral streaks ( I don't know this for sure).

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