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Warmoth bass needs finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by LowEndWooly, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. I've ordered a P bass body from Warmoth. It is Black Korina wood with 1 Stingray rout, 2 9v battery box and a tele bass 3A Birdseye maple neck and fingerboard that has the Nitro finish.

    My question is, what is the best way (step by step for a beginner) to finish the body?

    I'm wanting to do a Daphne blue (but a little more pale). Gold hardware with a red tortoise shell stingray pickguard.

    I've done some research, and basically narrowed it down to this:

    1. throw 2-3 coats of primer on. Sand between each coat

    2. apply 3-5 coats of paint on. Sand between each coat.

    3. apply 2-3 coats of clear coat. Sand between each coat.

    4. Polish.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Also, I need to know what kind of sand paper to get and what grit for each process.

    Any advice on a particular primer, paint or clear coat? I ordered an oil based sealer/primer.

    What do I do to polish?
  2. Also, adding links to products helps a ton. Thanks
  3. Good finishing is a little more complicated than you described. I would suggest you go to the ReRanch website and study at length their finish tutorial 101. Also there are many good videos on YouTube on finishing. There are very, very few products that you can buy at the big stores that are suitable for great guitar finishes. I like Nitro Cellulose because it is easily repairable if you make a mistake. And believe me mistakes are common. Most true Nitro is only available from specialty stores.

    Also check here http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Books,_DVD.html
  4. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    if you want a good finish on the body you bought practice your entire finishing schedule on scrap first. If not, you will mess up
  5. +1 on the ReRanch site. Lots of good info there!

    Honestly I find finishing to be a big pain. It is time consuming and easy to make mistakes. If I had spent what you did on that body I would probably go ahead and pay a professional to finish it for you.
  6. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    and I know how to paint but I've found that paying a pro to do it always comes out better and not much more expensive.
  7. Okay.... I'm a beginner myself, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

    Do you want to learn to finish instruments yourself, or do you want color on your body for less? If you want to learn to DIY, by all means, proceed. If you want color on the body, suck it up and get a pro to shoot it.

    If you want to DIY you have to figure out whether or not you want to get into your own spray equipment or go with rattlecans. If you just want color on the body, I don't see a justification for the drama of what it takes to make a rattlecan come out nice. Get a pro to shoot it.

    Spray equipment is expensive. Like seriously expensive. As in if you want a proper hvlp setup, the compressor alone will run you about a grand. You can use a smaller compressor with an LVLP setup, but since it's pretty new, there is isn't a lot of info on proper use relative to HVLP. I use an LVLP setup and the little compressor I use cost about $350. I have a few guns that only cost like $50 each. Of course you also need hoses, connector hardware, a pressure regulator, a oil/water separator, and cleaning equipment.

    There is also the matter of overspray control, and ventilation. You can kill yourself without proper ventilation and an industrial grade respirator. I also spray with a tyvek suit, a full face shield and latex gloves.

    Now... If you decide you want to get your own spray gear I can talk about next steps.
  8. CustomTech


    Aug 25, 2010
    if you ordered it from warmoth, they have finishing services that are much cheaper than taking it to a professional finisher. your best bet is just pick the finish you want on their site, and have them do it before it gets shipped to you......
  9. Thanks, guys. I love the input.

    I have checked out the reranch site. Very cool. If I end up painting myself, this is where I'll order.

    Bought one of the illustrated books as posted to check out the process. My desire isn't necessarily to do it cheaper or anything like that.. it's more of a satisfaction thing.

    But after thinking about it, you guys are probably right. I've ordered the body already, but I'll email them to see if they will add a finish to it.

    Thanks for all the help!
  10. If you love to DIY, Finishing is a very rewarding challenge. The spray can is definitely the best route for the amateur. Ordering from ReRanch can be expensive. Always get 4-6 cans at a time. They have a minimum charge for shipping. I think it's $11.00 whether you order 1 or 10. For starters, one can of primer, sealer, a grain filler (if needed) one can of color and 2-3 cans of clear. You will need at least 2 cans of clear for the final clear coat, maybe more. Prepping before the color is the most important part to get right.
  11. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    As always, try your finishing on scrap first. I'm pretty good at finishing the furniture and turned objects that I create, but when I'm working on a finishing technique that I haven't done before or it's been awhile, I always try it out on scrap wood first. If you don't you will mess up. If you're spraying a finish make sure your arm travels in a straight line and not an arc.
  12. I'm confused. Why did you order Black Korina, if you wanted a solid finish? Was it on sale in the showcase or something?
  13. I'm glad someone asked that question, because I was about to and want to know as well.
  14. Rocken17


    Jul 30, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Yes, it was in the Warmoth showcase. I was just a day late pulling the trigger on it, guess it was 'Wooly here that beat me to it. Pretty sure it is the same one, rather unique which is what I liked.

    (BTW... I was going to go with a simple clear gloss myself and leave that exotic looking wood)

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