Suggestions Needed DIY Refinish on Warwick Corvette-5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jefferino, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    Greetings everyone! I'm new to the group, so I apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong sub-forum, but here goes.

    I recently purchased a Warwick Corvette 5, its a bit of an ugly duckling, but having owned a Warwick in the past, I know how great they are, and there's tons of potential with this one, so my goal is to strip/refinish the body- and get it as close to new looking as possible. Its made of Swamp Ash and the original finish is called Nirvana Black Oil. Not sure if that's a type of finish or just a clever name, but any advice on refinishing this would be greatly appreciated. The type of information I would need is, why type of material used to strip it, and restain it, it doesn't necessarily have to be the same color- in fact, I would prefer a more woodgrain look, since that's Warwick's trademark look. Will removing the strings to access the wood easier screw up the tension? If the tension is out of whack after removing the strings, can a skilled guitar tech re-adjust it without incident?

    Thanks in advance, pics attached.

    Attached Files:

  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It’s safe to remove the strings for your refin. project. I would also recommend removing the neck, electronics, and hardware. ;)
  3. You will have to remove all of the hardware to properly strip the body so don't worry about setup at this point. That will be done after the bass is back together.

    I would completely strip the finish. Try Citri-Strip. It has no odor (actually it smells like oranges) so you won't bother anyone with fumes. I find that Citri-Strip doesn't dry out the wood like harsher chemical strippers.

    Once you see what the wood looks like underneath you can decide what to do with the finish. If the grain is really nice you can just put a few coats of Tung oil or gunstock oil on the body and put it back together.

    Post some pics of the body after you strip it and I'm sure you will get all sorts of conflicting opinions. That always makes it much easier to decide what to do.

    Rick B.
  4. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
  5. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    GREAT- info...this will be my first DIY project, I've never taken a guitar completely apart before, I always hear stories about messing up the truss rod and what not... I would'nt even bother but the closest business that refinishes guitars is like half way across the state. lol
  6. Warhawk

    Warhawk Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    South of Heaven, Ohio
    If it were mine I'd just clean it up and play it.

    A proper refinish is much more than wiping the dirt off and spraying cheap paint from a rattle-can.
  7. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    Oh is it?

    So you wouldn't suggest some cheap paint thinner and brown Krylon? :thumbsup: Geeze. Come on dude- give me at least an ounce of credit. I owned a Thumb-5 for 10 years. I have a very strong understanding of what I want the final product to look like. ;)
    BasBeestNL likes this.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

  9. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    BasBeestNL and Pilgrim like this.
  10. Warhawk

    Warhawk Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    South of Heaven, Ohio
    Well, if you know what you want it to look like and have the experience to do it go right ahead.

    I'm just trying to help new people.
    way_of_opiatism and K-2 like this.
  11. Warhawk

    Warhawk Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    South of Heaven, Ohio
    Has the troll left the building?
  12. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018

    I asked for info in a very polite fashion, and the MATURE folks on this board were more than happy to help with great information.
    Epitaph04 likes this.
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    super helpful.
    Jefferino likes this.
  14. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    Thuper Thuper. :roflmao:
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. ale_vanlager

    ale_vanlager Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2004
    Frederick, MD
    618DA663-FE76-4923-97FD-AF811DA6A19A.jpeg 986FD434-AAFF-4292-967F-8F71B19226D9.jpeg 25BACD0F-EDF5-4FE7-ACD7-3D454671C46E.jpeg B5F442BD-C958-407E-8DF3-6C20419E7EC5.jpeg The oil finish on Warwicks are easy to remove by sanding. I refinished a ‘98 Thumb as a project a few years ago. Take all the hardware and electronics off, sand with a block or a cheap orbital sander. Be careful with the wood dust as I learned the hard way that some of the woods can be very irritating. Wear a dust mask amd gloves and work outside if possible. I did use a rattle can to refinish mine, turned out just fine... It should be a fun project!
  16. Before you completely remove the strings, you may want to loosen up the truss rod since the strings will be off for a prolonged period of time.

    I don’t think you’d have anything to worry about in regards to loosening the truss rod (it’s usually tightening it incorrectly where some people have experienced issues).
    MattZilla and Jefferino like this.
  17. burgerdj


    Dec 4, 2006
    This is the same bass as in my avatar. I sanded down and re-stained it with a mix of tru oil and a bit of StewMac dye. Fantastic results. Be mindful with the sander - it’s easy to screw up the contours. Patience prevails...have fun!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    Jefferino and Matthew_84 like this.
  18. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    You can see my limited edition Warwick in my avatar - the light maple finish looks outstanding. Although the dark woods have their own character, I like the lighter finishes better.
    Stefan Verbeeck and Jefferino like this.
  19. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    Thats cool! Yeah yours is badass. Im thinking sort of a satin charcoal, similar to the original in my picture but more of the grain coming through.
  20. Jefferino


    Mar 12, 2018
    Im not a wood worker by any means.. ill definitely be sure not to over do it... i read with swamp ash its kind of easy to do... My thumb 5’s body was Bubinga - damn thing smelled like chocolate. lol
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