Pedulla Thunderbolt 4ET Neck Finish Repair

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gfkfloyd, Feb 16, 2022.

  1. Gfkfloyd

    Gfkfloyd Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2017
    I recently picked up a Pedulla Thunderbolt and have been attempting to do a light "restoration" on it (replacing all the stripped out screws, deoxiting the pots etc.) and next on the list is the neck finish. It seems to be some sort of oil finish, opposed to the poly on the body of the bass, and it has a few spots that look worn though to the bare wood. Does anyone know what type of oil finish the neck originally had/what I can use to touch up the finish?

    Also, I know the square truss rod nuts on these basses are prone to stripping if not handled carefully, mine looks a little rough but has no side to side play when coupled with the wrench and I would like to keep it that way; any advise on how to keep it from wearing down or what it takes to repair if it does start slipping?

    Beej likes this.
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    IIRC and from quick googles it was an "oil" finish that was produced with polyurethane. So probably a thin polyurethane finish that was not buffed out and instead brought up to a high sand and rubbed to a sheen. I have not done a rabbit hole dive into Pedullas and know that he was a stickler for details, and used durable polyester finishes for bodies.

    This is a bolt-on, right? I'd remove it, do a light scuff sand of the neck with something like 600 grit dry and do a hand-wiped Minwax Wipe-On poly finish. You may need to go to a lower grit like 400 but I'd start up at 600 or so. Maybe just two to three light coats of satin poly and when it's dry, burnish it with a brown paper bag and maybe a coat of Johnson's or other paste wax for that satiny feel.

    For the truss rod, just go slow, always make sure it has really good solid contact before putting any force on it, and don't try to bodge it with other wrenches and it should last ages. :thumbsup:
    Gfkfloyd likes this.
  3. Gfkfloyd

    Gfkfloyd Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2017
    Thanks for the great advise! You can definitely tell he paid attention to every detail with his work.

    Yup, mine is the bolt on version of the Thunderbass. Ive used wipe on Minwax before so it shouldn't be too much trouble getting a workable finish out of it.

    The truss rod wrench (not original) that came with the bass was chewed out so the corners of the socket were rounded out and it would turn a 1/8th of a turn before it would engage which is what sent me down the truss rod rabbithole.
    The replacement wrench (autoharp tuning tool) from Stewmac is a solid fit so hopefully the other wrench didnt do too much damage to the nut.
    Matt Liebenau and Beej like this.