Stripped my Geddy Lee's body... what is this strange wood top?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Buchada Azeda, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

    Mar 25, 2009
    So, I took my GL jazz to the ol' luthier to get rid of the thick poly finish and have it refinished in nitro.

    I expected an all alder body, but seems like I'm wrong:

    View attachment 3181288

    View attachment 3181289

    Correct me if I'm mistaken but is that an agathis veneer on the top and back? I'm in Brazil and my luthier knows nothing about these woods (he knows everything about our native lumber though). I guess sunburst or a transparent finish is out, now.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  2. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Looks a whole lot like a 1994 MIM I stripped.

    Exactly like, in fact. I didn’t fret much, since I was going opaque.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    This is interesting to me, because I just bought another SR300E that I had considered having the local luthier refinish in natural.
    They're supposed to be mahogany, but this one is only 7-1/2 lbs..
  4. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    That looks veneered, with the actual wood of the body visible in the contours. Maybe the black and sunburst Geddy basses come off the same pile? The veneer is there to make the wood in the middle of the sunburst look as though the bass is made from one piece of wood?

    Either way, a lot of Fender bodies are a hot mess once you strip them. They don't lend themselves to natural finishes for reasons like this.

    Thick poly isn't the issue. It looks like OP's bass body is still covered in that epoxy sealer coat Fender use. A thin nitro refinish adds nothing if the body still has that sealer coat on it. Heat guns barely shift it, so belt sanding might be the best option.
    Buchada Azeda likes this.
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, my son stripped an MIM P, it wasnt veneered, but’s it’s three piece, and that epoxy sealer is impervious to strippers, you have to sand it off.
    Axstar, Buchada Azeda and RobertUI like this.
  6. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I tried removing that epoxy stuff with a heat gun. The wood scorches while the epoxy only softens. You do sometimes get a jet of steam shooting out the wood, which raises a sort of mountain range on the epoxy.

    I've seen some stripped bodies with a sort of leopard spot appearance from somebody patiently cooking the epoxy off, inch by inch.
  7. In the OP's case, he would probably want to avoid using a heat gun as it would likely also soften the glue that is holding the veneer top to the body.

    Also, my general warning I give to people who use heat to strip paint or other finishes: in the mid 1980s my dad spent a summer burning about 10 coats of paint off the outside of his house. After a few months of work he grew incredibly tired and had terrible stomach and gastrointestinal problems. He dropped 30 pounds off a frame that didn't have 30 pounds to lose, and wound up in the hospital. Turns out some of those layers of paint had lead in them and he gave himself lead poisoning. Messed him up real good for about a year (but hey, the repainted house looked fantastic!)

    While I doubt any Fender has lead paint from the factory, who knows what nasty stuff is contained in the fumes of burning finish. I learned from my father's mistake and I avoid using heat to strip anything.
    Bugeyed Earl, Robertron and Axstar like this.
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