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Turning my Jazz Natural

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rutgers Bassist, Nov 23, 2004.


  1. Ok, I have a pretty stupid question here but I feel its time for a change. Three years ago when I bought my jazz I was in love with blue basses. Now they dont do anything for me. I was wondering if i could somehow change it to a natural color bass, and if I can how would I go about this? Thanx Mark
     
  2. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Hmmm.... this seems like a suspiciously easy question. So, basically, you don't want any paint (except for a clear coat)? The quick way would be to take a sander to it, but that could potentially ruin the body by puting marks and gashes in it. Unless anyone knows of a better way, I would use some sort of high-strength paint remover, put on a stain (if you want a different color/tone), let it dry, rub on some tru-oil and/or tung oil to bring out the shine, add layer after layer of clear coat. Minwax Helmsman Spar clear coat is pretty good, but I'm sure there are better finishes out there.
     
  3. Exactly what I want. But you know how like Warwicks for example have a natural feel to them? Not like a coating type feel is there any way to get that?
     
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Sanding wont leave any marks unless you finish it off with really rough sandpaper.

    Just start with a rough sandpaper and finish it up with something nice and smooth.
     
  5. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    The oil finishes he mentioned will get you that.

    Just sand and use that. More info can be found in the luthiers forum.
     
  6. i want to do this to my bass also, it is blue and i hate the color, but the main enemy when sanding a bass like myn is the acrylic that they pile on there to coat it, you CANT get acrylic off with paint remover, you have to use some kind of dissolver, obviosly it has to be extremly powerfull to disolve acrylic, but i dont know what it is.
     
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Sandpaper.

    Most finishes arent easily busted with paint removers of any sort. They're meant to deal with the worst acids from players sweat and years of abuse.
     
  8. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Sandpaper and elbow grease will take off ANY finish... unless the finish is actually a coating of titanium. :smug:
     
  9. Wouldn't this look kind of sloppy though? What kind of wood is under MIM's Is it nice looking wood with like the wood lines in it and everything? Thanx
     
  10. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Alder. Alder is under just about ALL of Fender's instruments, except for some, if not all, of the transparent finishes, such as butterscotch blonde. That's swamp ash under that. But you said it was blue, so it's going to be alder.

    Alder isn't the prettiest wood, but it DOES look like wood, and once you put on the tru-oil and bring out the grain, it will look great!
     
  11. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Here's a pic of a natural alder body. I believe this one has an oil finish.
     
  12. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    But yours won't be that pretty. There is usually a reason why a bass has a thick opaque finish.

    Expect your bass to look more like a butchers cutting board.
     
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Depends how old it is.

    Just a few years back Fender was using Poplar.
     
  14. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Fender and poplar?! I didn't know they used that (at one time).
     
  15. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Don't do it. It's a lot of work and you won't be able to get it just right. Plus, they choose the less good looking wood for painted basses-- and the better pieces for natural. So, if you do end up getting it done, it won't look as good as you'd like. I'd either just sell your bass for a new one, keep it in case you have second thoughts, or just buy a new natural body.

    I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but it will save you some time and dissapointment.
     
  16. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Yeah, I agree. I didn't think about the wood they use for painted basses, but what Deepest said is right... they do use the not so good looking pieces for painted bodies. Ever think about a refinish? IMO, white or wine red looks realy nice on jazz basses. Otherwise, you could always go to Warmoth or MightyMite and get an unfinished jazz body.
     
  17. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    +1

    When I just started to read this thread, I was hoping someone would explain that.
    Woods are selected on their natural beauty. The most beautiful ones are used for natural or transparent finishes, while the least beautiful ones are used for opaque finishes.

    This means a blue bass turned to natural will probably never look as fine as a "real" original natural one.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  18. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    They often use a few pieces of not so pretty wood for the bodies on solid finishes.

    Also look into selling it and getting another used natural finsh MIM jazz. They're making them in natural finish too now.
     
  19. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I feel I should dig up an old thread of mine.

    Here.

    See, it can be done.

    I did this on a whim, I think there was a three-day weekend or something and I had nothing to do so I spent it sanding.

    At first I tried a powerful paint stripper to get it off. I used some latex gloves to prevent it from getting on my hands. Well after about 8 pairs of melted gloves, burning hands, and a paint job that was unscathed... I busted out the sand paper.

    While it can be done, don't think it will be easy. Even with an electric sander, this was a pain in the ass. The paint on there was like 6 coats of some kind of black-epoxy like paint. It took forever to sand off.

    Underneath the paint was some kind of clear sealer coat, which I did not sand through everywhere, but did make a few holes through it on accident. It caused those spots to be a tad lighter.

    I rubbed some mahogony stain onto the bass, let it dry, and then applied multiple coats off a satin poly-urethane finish.

    To do this, you'll want sand-paper of many different grit. Start with the roughest to get all of the paint off, then smooth the wood out with all of the different grits, working towards the least rough. The rough paper will gouge tiny scratches into the wood and you're using each lighter paper to remove the scratches from the previous, rougher paper.

    Then you'll stain it, buff it with some 00 steel-wool and then if you want put more stain and buff. Then you apply as many coats of finish as you want and buff with the steel wool in between each one. Make sure you let it dry each time.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Tee, I think you're mistaken here. This looks much more like a clear ash than the usually mild grained alder.

    Alder also has a slightly warmer color than ash