Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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surfin_bird
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Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by surfin_bird » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:11 am

Hi,

I posted about this bass before I got it cheap - knowing that the fixing up bill would probably be higher than the bass itself.
The Neck is being fixed up by a very good local luthier I know. Which is a whole problem off it's own. (Refret - leveling, a trussrod reset/new trussrod and a new neck heel.)

The body is... alright. It had a routing on the back and got stripped of it's paint and oversanded.
I just has these weird chips in it and deep scratches. I just don't know how to deal with those. Ideally I go for a clear coat and keep the bass natural but I do would like to fill the damages. Any ideas?

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And for your entertainment:

The trussrod that got drilled out and secured with an old brass lock plate - then plastered with woodfiller.
Apparently 500 euro's later the neck will be a-ok again.
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And the bass itself - which I think has a lot of character. I just like to have it a bit neater and more durable
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marqueemoon
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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:59 am

Small dents might steam out with a soldering iron/wet rag.

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surfin_bird
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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by surfin_bird » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:17 pm

I should give that a try. Does that just raises the grain at one spot? I saw Danocaster giving the same tip I just dont really know what to expect.

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marqueemoon
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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:52 pm

surfin_bird wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:17 pm
I should give that a try. Does that just raises the grain at one spot? I saw Danocaster giving the same tip I just dont really know what to expect.
I used it on a new body I just got that had a few minor dings. Worked beautifully.

I imagine it could be different with dent that have been around longer, but still worth a shot.

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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by ohm-men » Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:52 am

I use a damp cotton rag and a clothing Iron to get rid of small dents.
As this body apears to be Alder, it might also work on deeper dents and scratches.

The dampness of the cotton rag in combination with the hot iron, makes the wood swell. As it's a dent, meaning the wood got "pushed in" it comes back to a state as it was before it got dented. This will work really well. You might want to aply the "trick" several times as deeper dents need a bit more time. Afterwarts you can lighty sand the body to make the raised grain flush again.

On old bodies it goes a long way, as the wood is really quiet dry. I found on newer bodies it's less efficient, due to the age and dryness of the wood.
Alder, Basswood and Ash seam to be quiet forgiving. Maghony is a bit harder to "iron out". (at least in my expirience.

The "dampness" of your rag may vary. I sometimes use a fairly damp rag to try and iron out the deeper dents and scratches.
As for the oversanding part, it looks to be not that hefty. Given the fact you still have the thicknes of the original? paint job.

Good luck and keep us posted. Looks like a great restoration project!

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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by mgeek » Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:47 am

Some of those look more like scrapes and gouges than dings, so not sure the steam thing will have much affect.

Unless you're particularly set on the beater look I'd be tempted to fill the holes with clear epoxy, fill the hole in the back with a new slab of alder and do a solid or maybe even sunburst finish. Wouldn't be all that much extra work but would end up looking more legit imo

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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by surfin_bird » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:36 am

mgeek wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:47 am
Some of those look more like scrapes and gouges than dings, so not sure the steam thing will have much affect.

Unless you're particularly set on the beater look I'd be tempted to fill the holes with clear epoxy, fill the hole in the back with a new slab of alder and do a solid or maybe even sunburst finish. Wouldn't be all that much extra work but would end up looking more legit imo
Thanks for the reply. I did the steaming trick and it did help a bit, but as you mentioned the gouges stayed. Is there any epoxy you would recommend? I'm thinking about routing the hole on the back a bit deeper and then stick in a piece of Alder. Main reason i didn't want to repaint is because of my budget. The neck repair is already going to cost me more than expected so I was hoping to tru-oil it for now. Otherwise I'll maybe have to try to finish it myself. It probably won't look much worse than it does now.

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Re: Help!: restoring a vintage oversanded/damaged body.

Post by Sweetfinger » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:46 pm

If the wood fibers are simply dented or compressed, they'll come back to some extent with steaming. I use a soldering iron on lower heat over a damp paper towel or cloth for smaller dings.
If the wood is gouged or sliced, where the fibers are broken or wood is actually gone, steaming can minimally help by expanding wood fibers adjacent to the damage, but results are usually a lot less than you're hoping for.
On a body like this, you could steam what you can, then let it dry out again, then thickness sand the top, re-work the roundovers, and then take a tip from Fender, and fill what damage you have left with polyester, Fullerplast, or a modern acrylic or urethane clear, then clear the whole thing.
You could also just Tung-oil what you have and call it good.

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