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Sanding down my Ibanez GSR

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ashtray9, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. ashtray9


    Aug 1, 2002
    Tempe Arizona
    Hello. I have a ho-hum Ibanez gsr200 that I recently defretted, and I am now going to sand down it's ugly metallic blue finish.

    I was hoping for some advice on how to get started. I was just going to get the coarsest sandpaper I can find to rip through the finish, and then go to a finer grade to get it smooth. I will HAVE to look better than it does now.

    Will the tone improve with no finish, just wood? Can something bad happen to the wood, like splitting, if I don't protect it somehow?

    Thank you very much
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    A couple suggestions:

    1) wear a dust mask.
    2) you may want to try some paint stripper to remove the paint.
    3) wear a dust mask.
    4) the wood underneath might not be much to look at.
    5) you will want to protect the bare wood some way. Formsby's tung oil finish is an easy, easy-to-find finish.
  3. ashtray9


    Aug 1, 2002
    Tempe Arizona
    I did a search, but could not find an answer...

    What are the hazards of not wearing a dust mask? Is it extremely dangerous? I am thankful for the advice of wearing one, as I probably wouldn't have thought of it, but I am curious as to how bad it is to breathe in wood dust. Thank you.

    Oh, will a regular cheap dust mask be sufficient?
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Well, breathing in wood dust once in a while is not generally going to set you back, but breathing in metallic paint dust is bad news.

    Any dust you breath in will collect in your lungs. Depending on what the dust is, it may cause more or less difficulty, and your lungs may have more or less difficulty getting rid of it.

    Certain wood dusts are sensitizers and will cause an allergic reaction in some people. It's unlikely your bass has woods that are serious sensitizers, since it is mostly exotic woods that cause the problems.

    But, again, the real reason you want a mask is that you don't want to be breathing in the paint particles if you decide to sand the paint off.

    If you'll only be doing this one, then a cheap disposable mask will do. But, the more you work with airborne particles, the more you want to invest in a good mask.
  5. Ashtray:

    I refinished an old G&L awhile back. I wouldnt attempt to sand through the finish, get some stripper and get through the paint. Then just sand the wood. I left mine natural with a tung oil finish, it was great, and I sold it for more than I paid for it.

    yes wear a mask. of course with a name like ashtray, your lungs are probably already shot :p
  6. Jon Maghini

    Jon Maghini Commercial User

    Aug 15, 2002
    USA Terryville CT.
    Owner / Builder M Basses
    Paint stripper is the way to go when removing the top coats and base color, you might find that the paint stripper has little or no effect on the sanding sealer that Ibanez uses which is a polyester based product, that usually has to be removed by sanding.
    So wear you dust mask....
  7. kimstevens


    Nov 12, 2002
  8. kimstevens


    Nov 12, 2002
    uh, maybe that didn't work too well... do a yahoo search for wood dust cancer. Not good stuff for our lungs.
  9. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    For every type of paint, clear coat, primer or whatever there is a solvent that will take it off. Someone gave me this link so check it out


    Just make sure you've got adequate ventilation. Some of these solvents kill brain cells faster than Oprah eats twinkies. Spend half an hour breathing in this stuff and bingo!, you're a guitar player:D
  10. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'd go for a scraper over sandpaper to get off the coats that paint stripper won't remove. Its more satisfying and less noisy.
  11. when i stripped a guitar i used a belt sander, files, and sandpaper. i didn't wear a dust mask at first; i figured out that i should after a whilke. the dust from thw wood sucks- the dust from the paint and finish KILLED my lungs.
  12. i'd be careful about stripping of the paint...for the sake of economics, some manufacturers (ibanez included) use multiple pieces of wood (scrapwood) for their lower end bodies, and odds are that the grains aren't gonna be matched if this is the case on you GSR... on my Hamer Blitz, i can see the slightly raised glue lines under the finish. look for em on you bass before you begin.