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PaulKing

Vintage refinish project

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Never touch the finish on a vintage bass right? Right. Of course. No way. But if someone already beat you to it ... what's the harm in having another go??

1937 King Mortone (sexy), previously refinished in simple light brown varnish (really quite nice, but, meh).

Target: Strip varnish, replace with sunburst copied from original (nitro spray or hand rub TBC), add nitrocellulose top coat (gloss or satin TBC).

If I can't get my hands on a glorious '37 King in original factory condition (you know who you are!!) ... well second best is to attack my own. How much of a disaster could it be?? (HA!) 

Step 1: Will the varnish come off clean?

Verdict: Yes. See below (pic 1 of many more to come ....). How long will this take me? Place your bets now.

IMG_1547.thumb.jpg.a0310e1e1aab82160e9b35b6cc824052.jpg

Next steps

- Disassemble bass

- Complete varnish removal

- Light sand

- Practice sunburst application on blank plywood (trying nitro aerosol vs hand-rub water-based stains)

- Practice top coat (clear satin or clear gloss nitrocellulose aerosol)

- Probably no sealant ... wanna keep all those dings.

- Sunburst pattern, light sand

- Nitro top coat, 2 or 3 coats 

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I’m looking forward to seeing how this progresses! It makes my half-hearted attempts to dull the finish on my ES165 look easy... so why have it still not finished it!!

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Step away from that Dremel Multi ...

 

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Loads better, but only on the bottom 3 strings and a bit of the g...

the sound is somehow, lighter, almost naked...  ;o)

D855BA33-8237-4B8C-A38F-F9BC8E3A1E3D.thumb.jpeg.5b8e750182ba1724422b60bf2e693aa4.jpegCAD230AC-80CF-4821-8DCB-25481752D92E.thumb.jpeg.d0f2e93984a4e6f45fbb2bf81af70eae.jpeg

Edited by PaulKing
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Very nice - and ambitious! Thanks for keeping us in the loop...

 

I am just adding my own King bass for the hell of it: rolled out of the H.N. White American Standard factory in 1935. A Monster Bb rotary valve tuba with a recording bell. And it too has been refinished in its lifetime, as it happens.

 

 

7.jpg

Edited by Duckyincarnate
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Checking nitro colour... nice.

drawn on purfling, now that could be a challenge too far. At least it doesn’t bleed under the nitro...

big shout to Steve at Manchester Guitar Tech85AA06D7-595A-4E52-A690-C6ADB8C9B00B.thumb.jpeg.e4fc32ba633147a2dc31da8a54f793e1.jpegFBF38463-6E8E-4CC6-B0B2-DD272833846D.thumb.jpeg.a6f1e6323054d0662dca64d0db32c547.jpeg 

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Yeh I noticed ...!

the 60s King I tried out a while ago (beautiful... see relevant thread .... still for sale) was very gloss.

Kings were finished in nitro though. I’ve done a test in gloss and satin to see which I prefer. I’d prefer it to look worn rather than factory fresh, so think I’ll prefer the slightly knocked back sheen of satin finish. Using my Kay as a guide.

 

The Sunburst pattern on early Kings (and Kay’s for that matter) was pretty crude ... I think even I can match that.

Now, purfling ... that’s gonna be a different kind of challenge!

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42 minutes ago, PaulKing said:

1816BB94-27CF-47F2-99C2-8ACE7B6D851D.thumb.jpeg.3fd69e0fc9fa0b287ff204af9e7064bc.jpeg34D01A69-CFE4-4298-9F21-E8A1485DE4FC.thumb.jpeg.fc1278cd19e2ced28d4feca9c5fe64c2.jpeg
 

Rough / quick practice... Wickes ply is a bit more rosy coloured. 

You’ve given it boobies - well played sir!

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... and I thought you were going to chisel two neat little grooves all around the outside and hammer in little strips of dyed maple .....

Looks great btw (certainly better than mine); probably needs a coating to keep it wipe clean, but otherwise it could stay that way.

IMG_20191209_203102.jpg

Edited by NickA

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