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Taking the bass apart.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bass_tool, Dec 15, 2001.


  1. Well this is a sort of continuation on my last thread (Oil finish).
    I think using the heat gun method, and then peeling the blistered paint off would be the easiest way. So now I'm wondering if taking the neck off would hurt it in any way? Would it warp or something?

    Thanks.
     
  2. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Taking it apart won't hurt it, and will make the job easier (assuming it's a bolt-on, of course ;^) ). Everything has to come off in order to strip the bass (pickups, electronics, controls, bridge), and if you have to strip the neck as well, then remove the tuning machines, any string trees, etc.

    Which Cort model is it? If it's one of the basswood ones, don't expect pretty wood. Basswood is also soft, and an oil finish is really not a good idea. And if it's a Cort Curbow, punt. Those are made of Luthite.

    elwood
     
  3. It's the Cort Action 5 string model, its made from agathis.

    They do have clear finishes for agathis and it looks fine. Now i just need the tools and I'll be off.
     
  4. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Just wanted to mention that in some spots the finish may sit harder, and will be difficult to get to blister without burning the wood around it. Have a scraper available just in case.

    A straight putty knife is a handy tool for scraping off the paint as it comes loose.
     
  5. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    sounds like you're good- that wood should look nice. Good luck with the stripping. Poly can be a bear.

    elwood
     
  6. Now that you've heard from some others, here's the real skinny on what your going to attempt:

    Agathis is a member of the pine family of woods. It is not very hard in relation to true hardwoods. You MUST be very careful when removing the poly because, even with diligent care, you are likely to scar the body by crushing the fibers of the wood. This is going to make your refinish much more difficult. I've successfully SANDED down poly finishes using 60 and 80 grit papers but it takes an investment in time for this approach. It does, however, pretty much eliminate problems with bunged up surfaces.

    If you're removing an opaque finish, you might be surprised by what you'll find underneath. Opaque finishes are rarely used over nice wood or interesting figuring. What I suspect you'll get is 2 or 3 slightly mismatched pieces with different grain patterns, and colors. The amount of mismatch will determine how good they would look as a natural finish. You might find yourself having to refinish in an opaque color just to hide some hideous wood.

    Just so you go into this with complete disclosure :)
     
  7. That post really scared me about this whole process :eek: ;)

    I have a pretty big gig on Christmas eve so I think I'll leave the mutilation until after then. I don't want to go on stage with a hidious piece of wood.

    Thanks for everyones help.
     
  8. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    I'm not familiar with the history of the Action bass, but presently the red is listed as transparent. Can you see the grain? If you can, then wysiwyg. There is an alternative to the heat gun method in that you can use chemical stripper. There is only one stripper I know of that can handle it, Aircraft Remover by Kleenstrip, and it is expensive and dangerous (concentrated methylene chloride). Consider sanding if you are handy that way. Putty knives can tear up soft wood to the place where you will be in a world of trouble trying to fix it. Also, the oil finish is not good for soft wood, once again.

    elwood
     
  9. I noticed that "transparent red" colour option. My colour is completely solid. If I could see the grain it would be such an easy decision.
     
  10. punkfunkfreak

    punkfunkfreak

    Dec 16, 2001
    yeh, i agree with the others, if its transparent, then u have a more likely chance of finding a nice wood underneath. My dads a furniture restorer, and customised my fender jazz for me....it was dark sunburst, its now natural gloss, with a slightly quilted effect. very nice ;)
    Any way, u might burn the wood if u use a flame, i advise strong stripper (!use gloves!).
    just slap it all over ure plank, then watch it bubble. and periodically remove any eccess with a PLASTIC scraper, and add more stripper. repeat the process until virtually all the laquer (or, sometimes itll be plastic coating, either way a good stripper should get rid of it) is gone. any slightly unremoved parts can be sanded off later. i wouldnt reccomend oils either, as the soft wood wouldnt be very receptive to it. just laquer over the sanded wood with a gun, in the thinest layers possible. itd take quite a while tho...ive seen perfectionists take months over it, doing a little bit every night!
    sorry about the long and rambling post! :rolleyes:

    luke
     
  11. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Lucky guy to have a dad who refinishes furniture! Bet it looks great.

    I stripped a Japanese poly finish, and I'm not kidding, the poly is tough. Formby's poly remover did not touch it, period. Aircraft Remover did, but it took 3 applications, and the stuff is highly poisonous/carcinogenic. I used a plastic scraper as you suggest. Several of them, actually, as the stripper dissolved the scraper. Lacquer comes off easily with a lacquer stripper; all you do is dip steel wool in it and rub the finish and it is gone.

    elwood
     
  12. punkfunkfreak

    punkfunkfreak

    Dec 16, 2001
    yeh, u get thru the scrapers pretty fast! ;)....but it seems safer than screwing up the wood!!
    oh yeh, and when uve finnished stripping, make sure you neutralise the wood before you apply any laquer, or ull end up with a mess!

    good luck!
    :) :D