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Removing a respray from 1974 Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lo., Apr 1, 2006.


  1. Lo.

    Lo.

    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    I have a 74 Jazz that was oversprayed before I got it in 1982, with a red colour on a grey primer. Can anyone recommend how to sand away the respray and polish up the original sunburst finish? The bass has had lots of knocks and there's quite a few areas where the paint has chipped off, but I'm not bothered about repairing these - I just want to reveal the original finish.

    I guess the bass must have been stolen at some point before I got it 'cos the backplate was replaced - I assume it's a 74 'cos the pickups have 74 at the end of the stamp on them. It's a 4-bolt neck without the skunk stripe, and the thumb rest holes are above the strings.

    Sorry if 'how do I sand a bass down' is a stupid question, BTW - I guess I just want to know whether I'm wasting my time even trying it!
     
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I'd be pretty surprised if you were able to remove the paint and primer without also removing the finish below it.
     
  3. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    I think that in 74 fender had gone to a polyurethane or polyester finish.
    If the respray was done in nitrocellulose or acrylic lacquer you may be able to dissolve it with acetone without affecting the original poly finish.
    try it somewhere that does not show.
     
  4. Lo.

    Lo.

    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Maybe, but it's hard to resist, knowing that the original sunburst is just 1mm or so away....

    I don't want to use chemicals, or water if I can help it - there's too many chips down to the bare wood that I don't want soaking when I sand it.
     
  5. Lo.

    Lo.

    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Thanks! I shall investigate at my own risk and let you know!
     
  6. Lo.

    Lo.

    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    ..the finish is hardly affected with acetone - sanding is the only option I guess I want to try.

    Anyone out there suceeded in doing this?
     
  7. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    If acetone won't soften it enough to remove it, but does soften it a bit, then try paint stripper, the gel type which won't dry out before it gets a chance to work. You need to leave it on 15 minutes or more in a warm room for it to work and if it's working, then the finish will start to crinkle and lift. Then you scrub it off with a plastic scrubber and rinse it down when it's all off with paint thinner. Wear gloves and eye protection and make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Stripper can burn skin, damage eyes and the fumes are toxic. There are so called "green" or enviromentaly friendly strippers on the market but I found them to be slow working and not as effective.

    However, if the respray is a 2 part catalyzed finish nothing easily available will soften it. You'll never sand the respray off without going through the original finish. A complete removal and refinish would be your only other option. Your original finish is almost certainly a 2 part finish and, in my experience with Fenders, will not be harmed by paint strippers, at least the brands sold for home use.
     
  8. Lo.

    Lo.

    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Thanks very much for this info - I'll definitely try the gel before I try sanding then....

    I'm not sure why you think the overspray can't be sanded through though - I did a tiny bit of it and got through its primer down to the original finish no problem. I would need to polish the fine (1200 grade?) sanding marks out of of the original finish somehow though - are you saying it's this that isn't possible without ending up with a mess?

    One other thing for fender gurus - does anyone know if the sunburst 74 jazz had a tort' pickguard, or was it black?
     
  9. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Hey, if you can sand it off without going through or harming the original, go for it. Yes, polish it up with progressively finer paper with a water or mineral oil lubricant. If I finish sanded at 600 grit, I then go to 800, then 1000 then 1200 and up to 2000. Then a polishing compound for final gloss. When wet sanding you have to wipe off the gunk frequently to see how much you've accomplished.

    I had a mid 70s sunburrst jazz that I bought new. It had a tortoiseshell guard.
     

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