Monday, 16 September 2002

The Project: Short-scale bass guitar - Pt 1: Getting rid of the varnish

So, this weekend I visited my local hardware store and bought a bottle of paint and varnish remover, sandpaper, wire wool, white spirit, a brush, plastic sheeting and protective gloves.

I had already removed all the hardware from the body of the bass, although getting the final screw out of the bridge was a challenge because the Philips style head slots had been totally worn away giving my screwdriver nothing to get a purchase on. I fixed that with the aid of my trusty mini drill.

Setting up a wallpaper pasting table in the garden, I set out removing the finish from the body.
Before: the front

Before: the back

Varnish removing
The varnish remover does its stuff

Sanding down the front...

...and those bevelled edges

...the back

...and the sides

The next couple of jobs are stripping down the neck - after all, I really ought to make it so that it matches the body, and applying a new finish.

I'm still not sure what direction to take as regards the new finish. Seeing as I got rid of all the dark red varnish and that the wood is quite light underneath, this means that I can do virtually what I like with it. I quite fancy the idea of finishing the guitar in blue or green. But shall I stain it and then apply a clear coat over the top, or shall I use some kind of oiled finish such as Ronseal's All In One?

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