Refinishing a 2000-1 Mexican P-bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tractorr, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    I just got a killer deal on a 2000-1 Mexican Fender P-bass at a pawn shop.

    Pickups seem to be good, pots are decent (probably put new ones in eventually), tuners seem good as well as the bridge (I don't mind Fender bridges).

    There are a few nicks in the body and neck but nothing extreme. It needs a new input jack this one seems a bit worn and the knobs are missing.

    The main problem with this bass is the horrible paint job someone tried to do, but this isn't much of a problem for me either as I would really like a wood finish on the bass.

    My question is would the wood of this bass be suitable for a wood finish?

    Also, what is the best way to go about sanding off the current paint? There is a layer of awfully applied black and I can see what looks like stock Fender silver underneath.
  2. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    I should add that some people say their is some sort of veneer on these basses while others claim they are alder.

    Any first hand experience?
  3. Phendyr_Loon

    Phendyr_Loon Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    The wood underneath all that paint is probably alder. It's a decent looking wood for a natural finish, very plain grain and color.

    There are 3 methods for removing the finish down to bare. The first is starting at 80 grit and working up to a 150 grit. Second is a chemical paint stripper and a scraper. Lastly you could substitute a heat gun for the stripper, but you'll still need to to a fair of finish sanding whether you choose a chemical or a heat gun.
  4. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Cool thanks, luckily the black layer is hideously applied it looks like it is just one thick layer and will probably mostly flake off. The factory layer might be a bit trickier.
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    The factory layer will need a heatgun treatment (do a search on that) and the body may not be very suitable for a natural finish. Many MIM bodies that have solid colors actualy consist of several pieces of alder that may or may not sync up visually (most often, they don't), sometimes up to 5 pieces. I know for a fact that sunburst models have a veneer over them, so they are fine for natural but I'm not 100% aside from that on the other ones. I refinned a Midnight Wine MIM a while back that was hideous underneath the paint.
  6. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    whats the full serial #? (PM me if you dont want to put it out on the forum) I can check the files and see what the natural color of it was .. petrus is correct, as the 3TSB were veneer front and back .. edges may be a concern if you were considering leaving it natural ... thats why the belly contours on those were painted all black ...
  7. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Good info to know about the various pieces of alder.
  8. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I have a stripped mim jazz in my hands now. It has a veneer--only up to the contour. Not suitable for nudity
  9. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Thanks so much. Glad I didn't try to go to the wood without asking.

    Turns out I like the color under the black paint and I am going to try and revert it back to that.

    Probably wouldn't be possible but the whoever painted this did about the worst job ever. Looks like they did a single layer of spray paint with no sealant so the paint is coming off with even light pressure.

    I am hoping that I can sand it down and then put some new sealant over the original paint.