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Manton Customs

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  1. If you want to know if it’s Nitro just dab some acetone on an inconspicuous area. If it dissolves, it’s nitro....no need for any fire 🔥. Poly is impervious to acetone. That does mean that if it is Nitro you can strip in in about 10 minutes with acetone and a rag. Though I agree it doesn’t sound like Nitro based on what you’re describing. Nitro had also been phased out by the 70s on most mass produced instruments due to the fact it’s more labour intensive and less hard wearing than Poly.
  2. And has your tech tried adding a washer or two under the truss rod nut? That may be all that is needed to buy back some more adjustment. As mentioned above you might want to get someone else to look at it.
  3. It would depend on who did the work really. The only potential concern would be the block inlays, but the warp would have to be quite severe to risk going through those. No, the whole fretboard is planed in situations like this, you're probably thinking of correcting a ski jump when the last frets are levelled. Is the issue a twist, or has the truss rod just ran out of adjustment?
  4. Not really an issue, refinishing a fretboard isn't a huge job.
  5. This is what I’d do if I couldn’t solve it by another method (which I’d try first). Planing and refretting the neck would be guaranteed to work though as it’s letting the wood do what it naturally wants to do and not trying to correct it by forcing it straight. If it’s just the truss rod that has run out of adjustment that can be fixed without going this far though. Thats a very common problem on Fender necks.
  6. I make my own finishing oils, but thanks. What I was getting at is that it's far easier to spray a (decent) gloss than rub one. So what I do when it's a stock build and I have a choice, is to use oil when the build suits it (e.g natural woods which pop from oil) and my spray rig when gloss or paint is needed.
  7. There's a few things you can do to aid drying time, such as heating and air circulation, but after 8 weeks it's pretty safe to say it won't ever cure properly. It was probably caused by spraying it on too quickly without giving previous coats enough time to gas off (as suggested above), the instructions on the can are rarely accurate! Or it could be just a crap product in the first place, the British DIY type finishes really aren't usually up to much. The Poly on guitar and bass bodies these days is actually Polyester rather than Polyurethane but Polyurethane is used on some areas (often necks). However these are quite different than the stuff you get from a DIY store and use a (dangerous) catalyst to make them dry super hard. You could try wiping it down with some white spirit or lighter fluid (presuming it's the oil based poly) and see if it removes any of the tackiness. But if it's just soft rather than tacky I think you're going to need to strip it back unfortunately. Strip it back to bare wood and thoroughly clean any residue of the old finish, then get some Nitrocellulose aerosols which should give you decent results and are fairly user friendly. Alternatively if you're after a satin "woody" finish you could use something like Truoil or Danish Oil. But if you're going for a gloss, it's easier to get gloss out of an aerosol (Nitro) rather than these.
  8. Fall away is something that’s often done during fret levelling - basically the higher frets are uniformly ever so slightly shorter than the lower frets. On guitar it helps get rid of some buzz high up the neck and makes it less susceptible to choking. I like an extremely minor fall away, just a couple of extra strokes with the levelling beam over the frets which extend into the body. If it’s done right you wouldn’t know it’s there. Get carried away and it’ll move the buzz which you would have been getting on the higher frets towards the headstock direction.
  9. Fall away is not really relevant here as 4mm is on the extreme side, so you certainly don’t need fall away to bring that down to even half that. The benefits of fall away on bass are debated fairly often and it’s not as straightforward as “it’s better”. It makes a bit more sense on guitar, but the person doing it has to know what they’re doing, otherwise you can end up with a mess and effectively moving the buzz in the direction of the lower frets...which on a bass are typically used more. I’d start by lowering your action before thinking about removing the shim. If it won’t go any lower without lots of buzz you may have excessive relief which will cause buzz at higher frets even with higher action. Though really it sounds like it’d be well worth paying for a setup or checking out the Basschatter prepared to fix thread in the repairs section.
  10. Can we see a pic of the chip? Sometimes the best way to disguise a mark is to hide it in plain sight...eg make it look like a natural defect in the wood. I’d certainly rather go that route before painting quilted Maple. You could also consider a dark transparent finish, or a burst if it’s at an edge.
  11. Water is fine if you don’t use too much or get any in any unsealed holes. You can plug them up if you’re worried about it. Pre soaking has never really made a noticeable difference for me, but it wouldn’t hurt. Naphtha evaporates pretty quickly and is not very good for you. Something not a lot of people use (but works well) is olive oil. Provided you don’t use too much and you’re going to buff after (which will remove all traces of it). That’s not harmful and will not swell or crack anything. Buy good quality papers and they don’t clog very easily even when dry sanding. Halfords own is particularly crap, Klingspor and Norton (Halfords sell Norton also) are both good. I don’t use anything under p800 after it’s cured. Best to make your final coats of lacquer as good as possible to reduce on sanding and buffing, which in turn reduces risk of burning through and nasty scratches (which have a habit of remaining invisible until you get to your final grade of sanding!)
  12. As mentioned above, the body looks like it’s already been refinished, the original finish wouldn’t have worn/checked like that either. So you could do what you want with the body colour wise (within reason!) without detracting from the value anymore than the current refinish already has done. A body refinish would likely be somewhere in the £250-£350 range depending on the type of finish you go for.
  13. Your finish looks like Nitrocellulose lacquer based on the wear and heavy checking. As far as I’m aware, MM wouldn’t have been using Nitro in 79. I don’t think they’d spray a sunburst over an opaque base at the factory either.
  14. Sorry I’m not sure who you’re referring to about missing the point? The OP was talking about selling it, so people were posting potentially useful information regarding that in an effort to help. I totally agree that it’s a cool bass, well worth preserving and keeping as original as possible. It’d need to be put right in a sensitive way, which is perfectly doable. But the conversation looked like it had moved onto selling it.
  15. ^ yes I sold a similar bass made by EKO (built at the same factory I believe) had the same finish and a lot of the parts as this bass. I got £350 after a long wait and that had no issues. Actually having Vox rather than EKO on the headstock might add a bit (not that it did on the above) and there are a few old reverb ads where people have tried to get £600, but looks like they never managed to.
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