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To sand-down or not to sand-down....?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassJase., Feb 16, 2006.

  1. I bought a Yamaha RBX375 about a year ago, and initially i really liked the silver finish, but now i'm on the verge of selling it as i can't stand it. I'd love to keep it as it sounds good and plays great, but i really have no idea how to sand it down.
    It has a solid Alder body (but i have no idea what Alder looks like) but it looks like the silver paint might be quite thick. I also have no idea as to what kind of varnish or laquer to put on it if i successfully manage to sand it.
    Any help at all would be very much appreciated, cheers folks.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Sanding it down and refinishing it will take a lot of work but is do-able. Its all about how badly you dislike the finish. If I was you and it bothered me a lot i would sell it and buy a different bass in a color that i liked.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Yeah, it is a ton of work to do that. But if the bass sounds and plays good, what does it matter what it looks like? But if it bothers you that much, as it has probably happened to us all, just trade it in for something that looks better to you. Make sure the new one though at least sounds and plays just as good if not better.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I'm going to have to recommend not sanding it down. The wood underneath could have nasty gluelines, filler, or any number of other problems. If you don't like the bass the way it is you are better off selling it, and it will be worth more with the original finish.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Too much hassle and it kills any resale you might have in the future. Sell like it is and find yourself one u like

  6. ScoobyGoo


    Feb 10, 2006
    Don't do it. My buddy and I tried it once on his guitar. Big mistake. Wood is joined in weird places and terrible angles, the grain looks awful, it looks glued together in some places, he ended up just repainting it, and those some substantial hours in our life that we will never get back
  7. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    There's a reason that some guitars are painted in solid colors, and others are natural...I'm guessing that you're going to spend hours and hours sanding that sucker down and you won't like what you find!

  8. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    .. and hours and hours and hours and hours sanding
  9. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    yup i took a 200? 400? grit to my guitar and the wood underneath was a ugly yellow-green with no figure to speak off... in the end i had to dump the trans finish i was planning and go for another solid colour. dont do it.
  10. Cheers for the advice all, if i thought i could do a half-decent job i'd have a go, but it looks a little intimidating to me now. Any further help or advice would still be appreciated.
  11. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    I highly recommend NOT doing it. BUT if you want to see how thick the paint is you could take out a screw on the bass and look down the hole. you should be able to see the wood and then the layer of paint.

    but since yours is a yamaha I dont know what screws you could take out....since its not got a pickguard.
  12. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    I've done it before to a P-bass. Don't do it, for all the reasons listed above.:rollno:
  13. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City

    alder is not a particularly attractive wood.
  14. I've got an RBX bass, doin what you're plannin too - the laquer is fairly thin - but it will take a while to get thru tho. My advice would be to get access to a belt sander - it'll cut the time dramatically.
    Mine had a clear finish - and it looked pretty good, just badly pitted from many years of playing. So strip and re-finish. Strip done.
    I'm in the process of dropping the new PUP and wacking a stain on it soon.......
  15. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Basses that are painted are painted for a reason...to cover unsightly wood blemishes and/or laminations/joints.

    Sometimes (not often) you'll find some appealing wood underneath. The P-Bass in my avatar is an MIM that I sanded off the ugly sunburst finish and slapped a tort pickguard on. The alder had VERY little grain and one block of wood is noticably glued up with no regard to matching the rest.

    If YOU want to do it, go ahead, but you've been forewarned.

    Having said that...Wanna make it easy? Two words...

    Belt Sander.

    Just be careful or you are likely to just sand right through to the other side. Sanding by hand or with palm sanders will take A LOT longer (as in you'll think your arm is going to fall off...either that, or you wish it would). Belt Sanders, with appropriate grade paper will go through the finish (and the wood itself) like a hot knife through butter.
  16. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    May I suggest stickers?

    or find an artist to paint some art on it then clear coat it again.

    if you dont mind spending the time with the sanding and are willing to go with a solid color, i'll be the devil on your shoulder and say "go for it."
  17. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    May I suggest an 80's style cat girl motif? Or even better, how about a fantasy warrior on a desert plateau? And don't forget about the porno collage.... classic!

    More good ideas here: http://www.bunnybass.com/e-zine/amusing/amusingindex.shtml
  18. Did it. Regretted it. Don't do it!
  19. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Use a chemical paint stripper and it's not that hard. The only reason to do it is because you are curious and WANT to do it for fun. I repainted a Jazz bass a wild color of orange for fun. The wood under was actually plywood, so a natural finish was out of the question. It's really a pretty enjoyable project if you are in to working with wood and finishes.
  20. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    A chemical stripper will not work on a nitro finish. If it's nitro, your only bet will be a belt sander.

    You won't know what's under it unless you get to what's under it.

    Worst case? You have to repaint it. No big deal. I've done it on many, many instruments. If you don't like the color...change it. It's not very hard to do...no black magic or voodoo to it.