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The Mutilation of a Squier P-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HWK2, Sep 18, 2000.

  1. I have a squier P-Bass Affinity.. It is just wonderfull... I mean it really. It plays well, and I will prolly put some tape wounds on it, and play some cool jazz type stuff with it (now that I have begun to learn some theory) and I will keep it around for its sentimental value (it is a year old, my first bass, *sniff*) What I REALLY want to do it though, is I want to strip off this blue finish. The bass is beaten up pretty bad (it actually came with some dings in the finish, but I didn't care) and the area around the bridge is quite beat up from strings snapping and having the bullet chip it up. Anyway, I've read about the techniques for stripping said guitars, but my question is this: The body of this guitar is "Solid Hardwood". If I strip away this finish, am I going to find out that what I have is a punch of plywood? Can I check this by looking under the pick guard (seems silly in retrospect to call it that, since I play with my fingers). If I do succeed at stripping away this wonderfully beat-to-****e finish, has anyone got any ideas how to go about making a trad. sunburst pattern on the guitar? Any ideas what kind of stain I need to use? Anything? Any tips? Please.. Anyway, I am 16 and I've taken more woodshop classes than i care to share, and I have a very talented, artisticly, mother, who is quite good at doing this SORT of thing, but I doubt she has ever done this exact thing. Any tips?

    PS: I am free to do whatever I need to do to this bass to make this work (That is the goal afterall) So I know I've got take out everythign and seperate the neck and body, and do all that neat stuff.. I just need some input and instruction. This seems to be a popular topic :D

    William Katz
  2. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    You should be able to tell if it is plywood or not by taking off the neck and checking the unfinished wood around the sides of the neck pocket. While not playwood, I know some of the Mexican Fenders are made of thin (about two inch wide) strips of hard wood with a veneer on top. I found this out when stripping a MIM Jazz bass that most of the paint had been removed from the body before it reached my hands.

    As far as refinishing, just about everything you need is available at Stewart McDonalds Guitar Shop Supply (stew-mac.com). Correctly refinish a guitar, especially sunburst can be a big undertaking. Basic steps are:
    1) strip finish via sanding...try not to ever use chemical sovents if possible
    2) fill in any gouges with either grain filler (if really tiny) or wood putty
    3) level with sanding block up to 320 grit
    4) optional spray with sanding sealer and level again
    5) spray with transparent yellow
    6) optional thin spray of clear laquer
    7) airbrush (from outside in) your transparent blend tone
    8) optinal thin spray of clear laquer
    9) airbrush (from outside in) your edge color (sometimes a transparent tone, sometimes an opaque black)
    10) 2-4 (depending on how many clear coats are on it) layers of clear coat
    11) sit for 3 days and level to 400 grit
    12) 3-4 layers of clear coat (usually aim for a total or 6-8 layers or clear coat...too thin and you will have hardly anything on the guitar by the time you level it, too thick and you can get finish cracking problems later)
    13) sit for a week and level to either 1200 or 1500 grit
    14) buff with medium and fine compound
    15) polish with a good guitar polish

    Dan Erlewine's book on guitar repair has a very good section on doing all of this. In fact, I believe he is in charge of the technical department at Stewart McDonald's.

  3. Thanks SMG, I guess this is going to take some time. I will try to post a pic of it when I done =)
  4. Hmm. Ok, I am going to tear up my Squier, and now I only have one question left. Umm.. where can I get, or where do you suggest I get, the finishes and the clear coat I need? I didn't see any of this stuff on http://www.stewmac.com



  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Stew-Mac will send you a catalog for free with lots of stuff in it you don't see on their website.

    Also, I saw for sale somewhere (maybe it was E-Bay?) a G&L bass that had been stripped. It was made of three or four big blocks of wood that were different colors. Nothing wrong with that, as long as it was painted, but I thought it looked kind of stupid stripped. Some stripped basses look good, some don't, I guess. Of course, if yours turns out to be really ugly, you could paint it some color you like.

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