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*sigh* another Warwick finish question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moon-bass, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. moon-bass

    moon-bass Up to the moon and back Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    I e-mail Warwick about this, but thought maybe someone here had some experience ...

    I recently bought a '93 Warwick Thumb 4 string fretless. First of all, the bass is awesome - I think it may be one of the best fretless basses that I have ever played, just an incredible mwah, great neck ... I love it. And, I got it for a steal.

    However, I mentioned it was a '93, and unfortunately the bass looks like it hasn't been waxed since '93. There are two "light areas" on the bass that coincide with where the body meets the bass, so I am assuming they are sweat/moisture marks - these are areas that the wood has lightened considerably more than the rest of the bass. No cracks or anything, but the bass needs a wax desperately.

    I plan on oiling the back of the neck and the fretboard with linseed oil (same as i do with my other basses). No wax for those areas. But for the body -

    Should I oil the body before I wax to put some moisture back in the bass, or should I just wax it? I am sure it will need several coats of course, but the wood looks a little dry ...

    How do I get rid of the "light" areas on the bass? The Warwick site says to try steel wool on the neck for "chalky" areas, but this seems a little different, plus it looks like the white areas have been there for awhile.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    The warwick forums should help you with your request. I've read several of them 'restauring' their warwicks like that. They will even tell you their factory procedure for finishing thumbs and the likes.
  3. moon-bass

    moon-bass Up to the moon and back Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    Wow, I already heard from Warwick. Fast response time ...

    I didn't cut and paste the e-mail since it was a private exchange, but I asked them essentially what was in my OP. I see no harm in sharing the details, so here's what they recommended -

    Steel wool or very fine grit sandpaper for the light spots - 400 grit if the steel wool doesn't do it, but then 1000 or finer for finishing to smooth it up.

    Once that is done, I should oil the entire bass, since it looks like it has been awhile since it has been waxed. This will restore the moisture and lustre of the bass. Once the oil is dry, they recommend a good coat of wax or two, and he gave me a tip - he told me to go over the bass with a hair dryer after waxing it, then buff it. This will melt the wax and allow it to penetrate deeper into the pores of the wood.

    Sounds like I will be busy this weekend.

    Also, kudos to Warwick/Dana B Goods for the quick response ...
  4. dumbdrum


    Sep 19, 2006
    Did warwick recommend a type of oil?
  5. moon-bass

    moon-bass Up to the moon and back Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    Not specifically, but I said that I was using linseed oil and he didn't object.

    I have heard linseed and tung from different luthiers ... I have been using linseed for the past 7 years or so on all of my basses fretboards with good results ... it's easier to find than pure tung. I haven't used anything else.
  6. moon-bass

    moon-bass Up to the moon and back Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    Just an update - i tried his suggestions tonight, and it worked like a charm (BTW, if you haven't tried the bump removal method - wet towel and a soldering iron - it REALLY works).

    I sanded the light spot - it started getting darker almost immediately. I spent a while sanding it, and it made a huge difference. It doesn't look quite the same yet, but it's close, and I think that I will leave it the way it is - I think it adds character. It made a huge difference though - the wood before was almost white. Plus, oiling the rest of the body really made it shine and really made the grain come out. It looks great. I am leaving the oil dry tonight, and will wax it tomorrow.

  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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