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Tips for Headstock Refinishing?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Squirefan01, Sep 29, 2010.


  1. Hi all,

    I have an awesome 80's Japanese Seiwa Rockman P-Bass, my first bass which I have had since around 1988. It's actually a Frankenstein bass now as there is nothing left original on it except the body & neck. It's got all top notch components and sounds terrific. The headstock face is painted blue to match the body and has a nasty gold Seiwa logo on it. Finally, I am planning to sand the headstock down to the wood and just apply a clear coat over the natural finish. I also ordered a custom headstock decal that I will apply to it.

    A few questions:

    1) When I remove the strings and tuning heads, should I loosen the truss rod too? When I replace strings i don't bother but there will be no string tension for at least a week while I do this.

    2) It's just the face of the headstock that is painted so I will mask off all around the edges and especiall carefully around the nut will hand sand down to the natural wood (maple I believe). Any comments on sandpaper grits to use through this process?

    3) To finish, I would think a satin polyurethane would be good. Comments on a type and how much to apply? the rest of the neck is a satin (it used to be glossy but I went over it with steel wool to speed it up). I also need something that the decal can adhere to well.

    4) Wondering if applying something over the decal once it's on the headstock should also be done?

    Thanks for your time and advice!

    Greg in MA
     
  2. Bump
     
  3. Well, in case anybody is interested here is what I ended up doing....

    1) Removed strings and machine heads from headstock. I did not touch the truss rod.

    2) Masked off around the edges of the headstock and across the nut plus about 1/8" above the nut to really protect it. Only the top face of the headstock needed any work.

    3) Sanded the paint and clear from the headstock using medium grit sanding block until I hit bare wood, then fine grit after that. After all paint gone, hand sanded with extra fine grit paper.

    4) Removed all tape. Final sanded closer to nut but never touched the nut with sandpaper. Used forced air can to blow all dust away (like the cans you get to blow out computer keyboards, etc.). Then went over it with a new tack rag.

    5) Re-taped just across the nut to protect from polyurethane.

    6) Applied 3 coats satin polyurethane with foam brush. Sanded between each coat (waiting at least 8 hours between applying coat and sanding) with fine sandpaper to get imperfections out. Re-blew with forced air and hit with tack rag between coats.

    7) After poly had dried (overnight), applied a custome headstock waterslide decal I bought online.

    8) Sprayed over decal and headstock with sating clear spray lacquer. Let dry overnight.

    9) Put hardware back on, tightened strings and observed no issues with the neck (so loosening truss rod was not necessary). I did this in a dry basement so humidity was not an issue.

    10) Looks and plays great!!

    Hope this can help somebody else out in the future.

    -Greg
     
  4. bobunit

    bobunit I'm here. Now what?

    Jul 15, 2008
    Idaho
    Got any pics?
     
  5. I should have taken some through the process but did not. I just have a finished picture at home that I can put here later.
     
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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