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What type of finish coating is on the '62 Re-Issue Jazz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JVfenderman, Jul 23, 2016.


  1. JVfenderman

    JVfenderman

    Jul 23, 2016
    My 1983 '62 Vintage Re-Issue Jazz has been my main- and sometimes only- bass I've used since I bought it. It's very roadworn, most of the usual wear spots are down to the wood (alder, I believe). The problem I have is for years I moronically used lemon furniture polish on the body. Now I have a hazy, tacky finish in a few spots and that I can't remove. Tried Simple Green, lighter fluid, white vinegar to no avail; a tech at Sam Ash here in Jersey suggested an ultra-fine sandpaper. It actually affects my playing sometimes and picks up the scent of some of the dives I play. Any ideas?
     
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    Fender has four different 60's Jazz basses Two are polyester finishes and two are Nitro. The Road Worn (#0131810300) and Olympic White(#0131800305) are nitro. The Burst (#0131800300) and Black (#0131800306) have polyester finishes. I have no idea if that was the case in '83 though.

    That said Polyester/Polyurethane finishes are extremely stable. Your tacky surface is something that does sometimes happen to Nitro finishes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
    JVfenderman likes this.
  3. JVfenderman

    JVfenderman

    Jul 23, 2016
    Hmmm, thanks. I appreciate any and all info. Mine is a sunburst and it is pretty old for a Re-Issue. I will experiment with some extremely fine sandpaper in the bottom cutaway.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    if it's a USA vintage reissue it's nitro lacquer.

    avoid the sandpaper! these are kind of sought-after, the last of the fullerton-made fenders before they went to japan. don't go ruining it now.

    one problem with nitro is that over time if it gets dirty and stays dirty for months and years it can indeed get gummy in spots.

    use naphtha to get all the other gunk off of there, then you can use guitar wax to sort of cover over the soft, sticky lacquer and make it reasonably shiny and not sticky to play.
     
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  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    @walterw , I understand that the nitrocellulose was mixed with acetone when sprayed. I wonder if applying acetone after it was thoroughly cleaned might help 'reset' the nirto finish. Would you address that please?
     
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  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    finish work is not really my bag, but i do know that applying acetone to a typical nitro lacquer finish will immediately wreck it.
     
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  7. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Just to back up Walter:
    83 Fullerton is nitro.
    Acetone will instantly wreck a cured nitro finish.

    Just to back up the Sam ash tech:
    The finish could probably be polished back to a shine with wet sanding a sequence of very fine grits followed by a buffing wheel. I wouldn't suggest doing this if you haven't done it before. A finish pro could probably rescue it for you though.

    One thing you might try (at your own risk), is a trick used forever by furniture resto shops to spot restore lacquer shine: toothpaste. I assume the sticky part you refer to is the finish on the neck? Put a dab of paste on a damp cloth and rub a small area until you see a shine then wipe with a clean damp cloth. If you like the results, continue down the neck. Toothpaste is a perfect mild abrasive and cleaner in one. It will also leave a minty fresh scent :) most important, it won't damage a nitro finish.

    Here's a violinist that says Pepsodent works best: Body

    Again: at your own risk, ymmv, and best of luck.
     
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  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i've never had any luck with that once the finish has absorbed years of sweat and dirt and gone gummy; it just sort of smears across the guitar, and i don't doubt i would get through the color and maybe down to the wood before i uncovered a layer of finish hard enough to polish up.
     
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  9. Do not use Acetone. If anything a light cleaning with Naptha may help. Many luthers suggest Johnsons paste wax. It is easy to use and produces good long lasting results. I have been using it for a couple of years. About $5.95 a can at Lowes Hardware. Lasts a long long time
     
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  10. JVfenderman

    JVfenderman

    Jul 23, 2016
    THANK YOU!
    Wow, THANKS EVERYBODY! The neck is clean, I've always wiped it down after songs/ sets. It's the body that has the most gunk, particularly around the cutaways. Where my hand lands from popping/ slapping is a bit gross too. I was rubbing in some cleaner near the upper horn and started seeing the wood grain come through the 'burst so I immediately stopped. I will forgo the sandpaper and try a little toothpaste. I didn't gig or even play it for about 7 years (personal issues...) but been playing again for the last few years. Hot, outdoor gigs have awakened the gunk.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    no toothpaste either!

    the softened finish might absorb it, making it permanently cloudy and yucky. (maybe permanently minty-fresh smelling too :))

    seriously, at this point the only "stuff" that will do anything to help is guitar wax, which will create a thin layer over the gummy nitro that you can polish up somewhat smooth and shiny.
     
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  12. JVfenderman

    JVfenderman

    Jul 23, 2016
    OK, I'm taking all these facts and opinions into consideration and once again THANK EVERYBODY for their wealth of knowledge and expertise. One thing I have to make clear is that I'm not overly concerned with the look, I gigged with this bass alone for almost 20 years straight and it's been through the mill. I just want the smoothness to return, I never realized that the finish coat was the actual issue. Can't go wrong with guitar wax at this point!
     
  13. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    @walterw here's a thought that woke me out of a sound sleep. Acetone, as we know, will wreck a bass finish,and as you probably know it will also wreck fingernail polish. If you go into a fingernail shop it will have a spray can or three of a product that can be sprayed on your fingernails to help them dry (cure actually) and I believe make them harder.
     
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  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    Oh reeeaaally?

    That would be awesome.
     
  15. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Halethorpe, MD
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016