Questions for luthiers...refinishing a '79 Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Bassman1985, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Bassman1985

    Bassman1985 NRA member

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    I've been looking into refinishing my '79 Jazz Bass for a while now. I don't want to shell out several hundred bucks for a pro job since that will be more than the bass is worth, and I've decided to do it myself.

    I'm looking for tips and suggestions from those who've done this themselves. This bass had already been refinished before I got it, from Olympic White to an odd shade of light red with a bit of sparkle in it (not exactly my ideal choice of colors). I'm looking at black or a medium shade of blue (not necessarily factory color options).

    I know lots of sanding will be involved, but as far as the repainting/finishing process, I'm not sure of the full extent of what's involved. I'm also looking at going without a pickguard, and filling in the screwholes from the existing black one. Any tips for how to properly do that will also be appreciated.
     
  2. Bassman1985

    Bassman1985 NRA member

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  3. Starbelly

    Starbelly

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    The guy who builds my guitars is AMAZING I am going to PM you his email address and he will be happy to help you out with some tips.
     
  4. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I would say, don't do it, but since it has already been refinished, it doesn't really matter. In that case, a better finish could even increase the value (as opposed to ruining it, if original).

    Go check out Stewart McDonald's guitar shop supply for everything you need. The 70's finishes are really tough, but once you get it off (being careful not to mess up the body contours as you sand) a nitro lacquer finish will add value of done well. Stew-Mac has spray can nitro or cans to spray through your gun (but don't bother with the "brushable" nitro - you'll never get a finish out of that stuff). refinishing takes a lot of sanding and spraying and polishing, but Stew-mac also has books and videos that will help you.

    They have wood filler, pickup trim rings to replace your pickguard, and anything else you could possibly need.

    One warning - a good guitar finish requires a lot of time, work and expense, so you might come out ahead having a pro do it. I doubt it would cost "several hundred."
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  5. Paul_J

    Paul_J

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    Edit: Just read the post above!

    You can get a lot of information on Stewart-MacDonalds website. They sell all the finishing supplies as well.

    http://www.stewmac.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  6. Milky

    Milky

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    Try www.talkbass.com

    They have a whole subforum on luthiery/refinishing

    Fellow bass player here
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  7. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    I agree with the earlier posts; when you refinish a guitar, all collector value is gone. Changing from a front control route to a rear doesn't look to hard on a J bass. I'd do this first. If I were doing this, I'd route clear through the body to move the opening to the rear. Next sand down to bare wood around the top of the control route, then glue in a 1/4" piece of hardwood flush with the top. Then sand until it would be invisible after painting. I'd then route a landing for the rear cover plate about 3/8" wide around the edge, so the cover plate sits flush. Cover plates are easy to make out of pickguard material.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010