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Sanding down a bass body.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jiant., Jul 22, 2005.

  1. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    I don't know if this goes here, so if not mods please move it. So now that I have my new Fender Jazz, I've decided to just try to make my old bass better. I want to start by taking it apart, sanding it to a natural color and then put in a new pup and a new pre amp or somthing. Anyway first things first. If I want to sand it down and go with a natural look, what exactly should I do. I know to take everything off of/ out of the bass, but when sanding it, is it ok to use an electric sander, or just sandpaper? Then once I get it sanded what kind of clear coat is best to put over it? Thanks and God Bless.
  2. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    What is your old bass? I would make sure that the wood will look good before you sand it. Some woods don't have the "natural" look that most people expect. Most people mean ash or alder.

    P.S. I like your sig ;)
  3. Xanaptabil


    Jul 18, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Sand paper will take a very long time. I've bought all types of solvents and tried 60 grit sandpaper. none of it works. The 60 grit would take ages. I found the best way is to crack the coating and chip it off with a blade.

    Is there anything in a can that will dissolve that horrible coating on cheap basses?
  4. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    If it is that old of a bass, it probably doesn't have much of a clear coat. Personally, I'd advise against using 60 grit - at least after the initial clear coat is gone. It can be more of a diamond cut into the wood itself and you'll spend some time buffing out the deep scratches. I did this to a thick clear coated guitar. As for the finish - it might not be best, but I just used a wood finish.
  5. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    If you can find it, use Aircraft Paint Remover... it's supposedly the best and will work. I used a foam stripper myself when I stripped an old body that was originally painted black. Black is THE TOUGHEST color to strip. Try a paint supply store for the remover, and be sure to wait for the solvent to work before trying to scrape it.

    After you strip, you'll probably have to sand the body multiple times using 100, then 200, then 400 grit paper.

    Good luck. There are other sites out there that can help also...

    http://reranch.august.net/phpBB-2.0.4/phpBB2/index.php (Reranch's forum)
  6. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    Ok, thanks for all the advice...as for it having the natrul look, I never thought of that and it might not seeing as it is a cheap Jay Turser. I'm still going to strip the paint and if I don't like it natrual like that I'll get it repainted somewhere.
  7. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I'd like to see some pic's of your progress as I'm considering doing a similar thing to a pink Yamaha Attitude I have.. I want to get it back to wood, then get it sprayed with black 2-pack paint..
  8. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I once stripped a Yamaha fretless. First I used a paint stripper, applying it with a brush. After the paint started to bubble and peel, I used a metal scraper to get most of it off. (don't dig too hard into the wood) It was a pretty heavy red polyester finish. Then I used a small electric sander with a triangular shaped head. I bought one of these from Home Depot for under $30. It was really worth it, it got everything off and left a smooth, even surface. The triangular head made it easier to get into areas like around the horns. Then I used Tung Oil finish which gave it a medium-dark, natural look. It turned out nice. If you don't want it darker, use a clear oil finish.
  9. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I sanded 2 guitar bodies... You are right, it takes FOREVER and a DAY...

    Get past the paint to find... Yay PRIMER!

    Anyways, I used all sandpaper, I recommend not doing that,,, go with the stripper.
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Hahaha, I just bought some sandpaper before even looking up any threads on this topic!! :)

    Anyhow, what I originally did to mine is, spraypaint the (black) body silver, then cover the whole body in epoxy resin (as I had a bunch left over from defretting my board and coating it with that- only way I knew how to fill up them danged holes!! :meh: ) and put some sequense on it. It didn't look all that bad or really even sound that terrible. But, after about 4 years of it looking as such (I did the whole thing for a Speech class, believe it or not, and still got an effin' B!! :eyebrow: ), I decided to rework it too. It's a Peavey Millenium II 4 string, so it's not too terrible of a base to build upon.

    I just spent the past 4+ hours trying to take off the epoxy and ended up breaking about half the pickguard b/c the screws were epoxied into the coating. I was pretty careless when doing it, but ah well. It's finally all apart right now, so I'll be maybe lookin' for some new parts... Any quick suggestions to some links?? I'll need a new pickguard (for a P-bass body), possibly new bridge, and especially pickups. Something possibly pretty cheap, but that'll work well with a fretless neck.

    Oh, and I'm takin' progress pics too. :)

    Off to sanding...