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Stripping and refinishing a EB-0

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by benlauziere, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Hello guys,

    I would like to stripped the paint off my old Epiphone EB-0 and refinish it in natural. I had this idea because I don't really like the cherry paint on it and I prefer natural finishes...

    It's my first big projet. My first project was to install a fretless neck on my Jazz bass and it turned out pretty good! I know this project is a lot more difficult but I want to try it. My dad is pretty good with wood so he will help me getting this done.

    My questions are:
    1) For removing the finish, should I use a paint remover and when the thinner has done is job, sand of the paint that remains?
    1.1) How to sand? Sand paper with my hand? With a sander?
    2) Is there a special varnish for instruments or it's the same as normal wood?
    3) When removing the neck, how much should I loosen it so it doesn't twist?

    Thanks a lot! :bassist:

    Ps: Sorry for my English, I'm from Quebec and it's my second language
  2. DRay521


    Aug 2, 2007
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Check out my thread on this, there's some great information from a lot of TB guys. I can't post a link to it now cause I'm on mobile.

    Fair warning, this project was really hard, but I've learned a lot. You can get the clear coat off with a gel stripper (I used citristrip), but under that is a red tinted polyester coating that is about like titanium. Sanding WILL NOT WORK on this, as it just melts the coating and doesn't remove it, just ruins your sandpaper. I found some success with a painter's retractable razor blade, but you have to get it very flat so as not to gouge the wood. I'll stop there for now, if you get past this I'll chime in on the finish.

  3. ^^ Agreed. If you must do this (and I definitely would NOT), use paint stripper, don't sand unless it's just to get residue off. A heat gun will loosen poly and you can remove it with a plastic scraper...if you don't burn the wood with the heat gun.

    Again, bad idea...and you may not like the way the wood looks with the finish off.

    Finally, if the neck is a set neck DO NOT remove it. I know most Epis had bolt-on necks, but if it's a set version, do not even think of messing with it.

    Please, read the threads in the link I posted earlier. We don't need to re-write a book to answer this.
  4. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    If it's a set neck, I would also be apprehensive about taking a heat gun to the bass.
  5. DRay521


    Aug 2, 2007
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Pilgrim's right, this project is a risk. It's very difficult, and eventually took me 3 peoples' man hours, a professional sanding job, and over a year to complete. I got really lucky (or blessed) and it turned out great, but if I did another one, it'd be a solid color. I wouldn't take back what I went through for it because it makes me love and appreciate it, but still...you've been warned haha.
  6. I agree. Thanks for pointing out something I missed. Heat would likely loosen a set neck.
  7. Just refinished my jazz bass neck. Initially it had a heavy polyurethane finish a little to light in color. Sanded it back to bare wood starting with 120 then 240, 360, 400, 600, 800, 1200, 1500, and finished sanding with 2000 grade wet and dry. Tried tung oil, shellack, spray poly with no luck. At the end I bought wipe on poly and after sanded it back for the 664th time :) I finished the neck with such ease waiting 6 - 8 hours between coats giving it a quick once over with 1500 grade sandpaper. Wipe debris off and with a lint free (micro fibre) cloth just wipe poly on. After about 5 layer cure it for 48 hours and sand it even with 2000 + wet and dry. Let it dry, wipe and buff it to your liking with the finest car polisher. Clean it off when done and wax and polish if you want. The finish will be as nice as any. I use the same method to do the body as soon as I have some time to prep it.
    josue sanchez likes this.
  8. If you have to sand (no heat, no paint stripper) the goal is not to alter the body in any way. No rounded edges, no alternation of the contours. This could make for a very lengthy project as noted by timobee4.
  9. hey guys im a noob at this as well, i have a Fender Precision black top. I dont mind the color but i would prefer it being natural wood, but i have been reading forums left and right, and i gotta say im pretty confused. i have a few questions hopefully you guys can help me.
    • Should I use grain filler, clear nitrocellulose laquer, sanding sealer
    • how to go about sanding it or removing the coat
    please help guys
  10. 1) The wood may not look good when you strip it. Solid color bodies often have unattractive wood. If you strip it, be ready to paint it a solid color again if needed.
    2) Finishes are up to you. There are many options. Read the threads I linked earlier and read Dan Erlewine's book on guitar repair.
    3) Paint removal is covered in this thread and in the ones I linked earlier.

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