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Um... yeah. I'd just like a clear finish, please.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by OneMoreRobot, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. OneMoreRobot


    Jan 23, 2009
    Hey all,

    I'm trying to find someone who will put a clear finish on my Warmoth Jazz body.

    My local shop won't, I can't get ahold of Lay's when they ARE open, and this other shop won't call me back....

    Does someone with a reputation (a.k.a a luthier who is known on these threads and won't steal my body :D )want to finish my Jazz bod? It has a thin coat of something I picked up at AutoZone that will need sanded down, but apart from that I just want clear...

    Obviously I will pay you. With food or lap dances or whatever makes yalls happy...
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If you were in Hamilton, Ontario, I'd take you up on it. The lap dance is out though.

    Whoever does it will need to look it over carefully in person before starting the job to see if the "thin coat of something" needs to be removed or not and what the best finish to use would be.

    Good luck with finding someone local. There are several guys on this forum who can do a good job.
  3. OneMoreRobot


    Jan 23, 2009
    Yeah dude, I figured there'd be someone on here who could help me out.

    Would you let me ship it to you? If so, could you pm me a quote?

  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you don't want to finish it yourself? A simple clearcoat is pretty easy...
  5. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I think the cost of shipping both ways is going to be prohibitive. Then there's the border and customs to worry about. If you can't find anyone nearer to you, send me a PM, but I don't like to promise anything without seeing the bass up close in person.
  6. Bassist01545

    Bassist01545 Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    For all of my refinishing, I use Michael Dolan Custom Guitars in Santa Rosa California--the man is a genius with woodworking and finishes. He refinished a 76 P bass in sunburst, and my 69 EB-1----amazing work and more then fair prices
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I've heard a lot of good things about Michael Dolan.
  8. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    I hope I can give you some useful information that will help you get your bass cleared with the highest quality without breaking the bank.

    First, I've worked as a professional painter for over a dozen years and I've sprayed many bass and guitar bodies for myself and for my musician friends. There are three things that need to happen for the final result to be good quality and they are:

    --thorough preparation
    --good equipment and supplies
    --experience and skill

    You may be able to find someone on TB who could finish your bass for you but it will be expensive because of the time involved, the cost of supplies and paint (I use PPG Deltron which is $115/quart) and shipping back and forth. The highest cost here is the time involved in prepping the bass for painting and in finishing it after it's been painted, not the actual spraying itself.

    For example, I just clear coated a maple bass body yesterday afternoon and it took about an hour and a half from the time I started mixing the paint until the time I finished cleaning up and put the paint gun back on the shelf. But I had over ten hours into sanding and prepping the body and I will have about five or six hours of finish work to do to make the bass look its absolute best. This is my own bass but if it were someone else's bass I was painting I would be charging over $100 just to make minimum wage. In reality, the charge should be at least a couple of hundred bucks to make it worthwhile.

    Here's the good news: you can easily do the prep work yourself and also the finish work so that the painter only has to spray on the paint and this is less than two hours of work. It doesn't even have to be a luthier, it can be a local automotive body shop, since they are always spraying clear and it would be easy for them to slip a bass body in for spraying at the same time they're painting a fender or something. I would expect that they would charge you $20 - $40 and if you asked them really nicely and they were really cool about it they may even do it for less.

    If this sounds feasible to you, I could provide you with step by step instructions on how to properly prep the bass body and how to finish it once it's sprayed.

    I've seen other threads where it's recommended to just spray on some paint from a "rattle can" but I would advise you NOT to do this. The result will be a less than good quality finish.

    On a side note, I've occasionally wondered if I should offer my painting services to those in the TB community who were interested, but so far I've decided that in order to make it worthwhile doing, I'd have to charge more than most people would be willing to pay, especially with shipping both ways and few people would find it cost effective. Also, I can think of a lot of potential problems involved with quoting paint jobs for a bass body that I can't inspect first.
  9. zagnut


    Jan 4, 2009
    Back in Detroit
    Nope...4 things.
    #4 --PATIENCE!:D

    Or you can do like the guy that had my bass before me did, just pour some paint from a can onto it. Seriously, that's what he did. No brushing or spraying, just poured it on. :scowl::rollno:
    Wish I had pics of it when I got it.
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Excellent advice.

    That's one of the reasons I don't do much bass refinish work for others. Nobody can afford it. For about 5 years I had a nice part time business going refinishing wood work in high end houses in the affluent neighbourhoods. There's a big demand for that and I didn't even have to advertise. It was all word of mouth. I could charge well for that and could easily clear $300 a day, but those people didn't mind the expense. In fact, checking around, I found I was charging less than a few others did.

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