Stripping satin finish...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Erlkoenig, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Erlkoenig


    Jul 12, 2019

    I recently bought an Ibanez TRB-100 Leftie, for 40€ in good condition that I'm converting to fretless.
    (don't try to stop me, as the frets are already out)

    I have a battle plan, and a goal, that is a completely blacked out bass.

    To achieve that I want to strip the satin finish and dye the wood black.
    From what I saw there are 3 main options, heat gun, thinner and paint stripper.
    From these the last one seemed most effective to me. But I've seen it mostly used on flat surfaces like a body.
    How would one approach the back of a neck?

  2. Biffa

    Biffa Inactive

    Apr 16, 2019
    County Durham, UK
    I'd use sandpaper and elbow grease
    kentiki and Beej like this.
  3. Erlkoenig


    Jul 12, 2019
    That's an option. Is the residue toxic?
    I'd prolly be better off binding it in some way and using a mask.
  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    You can just apply the stripper with a cheap brush and then wipe off the finish as it comes. Those Ibanez basses were sealed with a thick polyester seal-coat (like a Fender) and it will not come off with strippers, thinners or the like. People use heat-guns to take it off, but there is also a risk of blackening/burning the wood surface if you're not careful. :) I personally find the quickest way to strip a guitar is with a random orbital sander with 60 grit, but that will also take off a lot of body quickly if you're not careful. :) Check that body, the two that I've had and taken apart were both solid maple bodies.

    The neck also has the polyester seal-coat, but it should be thinner than what's on the body. I agree with @Biffa that just sanding it off will be quickest and easiest.

    Side note: the pickups on those basses sound fantastic IMHO... :D
    Erlkoenig and Biffa like this.
  5. Erlkoenig


    Jul 12, 2019
    I don't have an orbital sander myself, but I know someone who has. I won't strip the body, only the neck.
    Sounds good.

    Do I have to wear breathing protection?
    Beej likes this.
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    There's lots of evidence that occupational exposure to wood dust (and dust) leads to long term breathing problems, so along with hearing protection, I always use at least a dust mask when sanding. Thankfully both dust masks and ear plugs are cheap. :thumbsup:
    Vinny_G and EatS1stBassist like this.
  7. Erlkoenig


    Jul 12, 2019
    Right, thanks.
    But the laquer and it's dust is not particularly bad?
    I don't want to fill the place where aj do the work up with that.
    Because for example burning it off releases pretty disgusting gasses.
  8. heat gun and an assortment of scrapers (one inch rigid and three inch flexible) much easier. just stripped almost an eighth of an inch (in some places) of polyester finish off a squier body
    i probably paid more for the scrapers at the big box store as i did for the heat gun at harbor freight

    you're welcome to sand but i find it difficult to put the extra sawdust back onto the body so it's heat gun for me
  9. Dudaronamous

    Dudaronamous Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    Bothell, WA
    Yes, the finish and it’s dust are toxic and you should definitely use proper respiratory personal protective equipment.
    Vinny_G, Erlkoenig and Cutter8 like this.
  10. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    You can either get a stripper, some scrub brushes, scrapers, and have a whole lot of fun creating a huge gigantic mess, and eventually end up just sanding everything that's left regardless. Or, you can just skip all of that pain in the butt and start sanding it off with 180 grit (or 150) sand paper. Then hit it with 220. Then 320. Then 400. Then 800. Then 1000. Then however higher you would like to go before staining it.
    Erlkoenig and EatS1stBassist like this.
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    On a neck I find it hard to believe that the finish would be all that thick Sandpaper is a much safer way to go than heat or chemicals, in terms of not making a mess out of the neck.
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