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You guys will probably kill me now

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Haderian, Oct 5, 2003.


  1. Hello everyone, I am writing from Sweden and just love reading all this stuff. Anyways, just bought a great-sounding carved bass (for $2500) that the seller told me is German and 100 years old. It may well be, it´s all blackened from age and terribly scratched and worn. But not in a charming been-through-two-world-wars kind of way. For instance, some moron has put a big sticker on the front and the glue has ripped much of the finish off. Anyways, this may sound like a sacrilege to you people, but just what do you think would happen if I would get some sandpaper, smooth the surface out (all over the bass I mean) and then apply some varnish or oil or whatever you should use? I restore a lot of old motorcycles to mint condition so this is the kind of thinking I have in me. Now tell me I´m a complete idiot for even thinking about it, so I´ll leave this century-old jewel alone... or does anyone ever restore the finish of these oldies?
     
  2. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
  3. Thanks for the tip! Man, I had this childish idea of just sandpapering away until all the original varnish was gone, just plain smooth unscratched wood left -- that shouldn´t take away too much of the would, now wood it? ;-) -- and then give `er a coat of oil or varnish or whatever you guys here will recommend. But now I guess it´s more complicated than that...

    Anyways, good to see there are (or has been) other basses looking at least as terrible as mine! Wish I could care about the sound only, but my nature is when I see some nice shiny things I just want to improve the ugly junk I have, like I successfully do with my cars and motorcycles. But at least I try to get the opinions of more experienced people before I start ruining an old classic -- at least when it comes to this bass. I can see the beauty within and want to bring it out! You know?
     
  4. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I know what you mean. But I can't help you much I'm afraid, I've never done anything like this myself. Take a look around the Setup-section, or do a search on 'refinishing' or similar keywords. This subject has been discussed before. It may depend on what kind of varnish is on the bass and such...

    Good luck.
     
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
  6. Packinmn

    Packinmn

    Jun 21, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Sounds like a good idea, but what should he do about the bass? (ba-dum tsh!)

    Hey, someone had to say it!
     
  7. Thanks very much for the serious advice...