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Damage repair help

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I discovered a horrible gouge on the front of my Rick Turner tonight (see photos).  The family were here today but needless to say nobody else knows anything about it- it's been unanimously agreed that consistent with my senility I must have done it without realising it.  I'm not that precious about these things, but it couldn't be in a worse place so I'd like to try and mitigate it if possible without spending a fortune, so the question is do I take it to a luthier or have a go myself?  I did think about carefully painting in some clear lacquer, but would it need some form of colourant first (the wood looks like spruce)?  The one thing I don't want to do is make it worse.  Advice from one of you bass genii out there would be most appreciated.

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Ouch :( Possibly a good furniture restorer if a suitable luthier is not available. Some dings you can take out yourself, others not so.  I have fixed some really well, the last one I sorted was not a good result.

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You could try the damp cloth and soldering iron trick to remove the ding before refinishing. I've had good luck with it.

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.... as the wood seems to have a finish on, I'd be careful about applying too much heat as this could damage this. I've used the damp cloth and soldering iron trick on a few of my Warwick basses in the past (with no finish, apart from the wax) that worked wonders. However my Warwick Stage 1 5 string has a coloured oil finish I couldn't get it to work at all (they have some hard finish applied over the coloured oil).

However for your type of instrument I'd personally edge towards a professional repair. I'd not want to cause any further damage.

Peace.

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This is a new one on me, I've not heard about the soldering iron trick.  I'm a relatively new member, was it the subject of a previous post?

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It’s quite a deep gouge, You could use a wax repair stick ,  which come in many different colours , we used to use them in the joinery shop for furniture repairs, you warm the stick then fill it , then the wax sets 🙂

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Posted (edited)

The steaming method is used on bare, non lacquered/varnished/whatever finishes. You take a damp rag/cloth, place it over the offending area and then apply a soldering iron to the cloth over and around the damaged section. The steam permeates the wood fibres making them swell up and flatten(ish). Some light application of wire wool, or similar abrasive is sometimes used to finish off. Whether that will work in this instance is unclear, as the top looks like it has been sealed. However, if there are cracks in that coating, it may allow the steam to get in and do its magic, it could also make it look worse. Rotten thing to have happened ☹️.

EDIT: Just seen @Reggaebass’s suggestion; I’d go with that.

Edited by ezbass
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They look like this, I had the full set, the hardest part is colour matching, but it will definitely fill the gouge 🙂

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Yes I do have some of these but only about 5 or 6, so I may not have a suitable colour, I'll check it out, probably worth buying some more if necessary.  I'll let you know how it goes.  From YouTube, the pro's seem to set some store by using Superglue ss a filler, then levelling with a shielded razor blade, then sanding and polishing locally With multiple grades of wet/dry.  That sounds like the sort of thing I should try on an old piece of polished wood first.

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I've also written to Rick Turner for advice so I'll see if they respond.

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Paging @Grangur who I believe used to restore furniture ?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

Paging @Grangur who I believe used to restore furniture ?

You called, Sir?

Hello. Hmm this looks interesting. The popular thought here of "sweating" the wood is what I'd try. The idea of the soldering iron I've never had success with. I use a household steam iron.

Not certain if this will work though. Sweating works when the grain fibees are bent in, this has been hit with a sharp, curved object like a metal tube. The edge gas cut the fibres. Also, as someone else has said, you would damage the lacquered finish. The lacquer also has a colour to it. So rattle-can clear lacquer won't be able to do a great job. 

Wax, as suggested by @Reggaebassis good for cracks and such, but once you have pushed it in here, theres not much for the wax to hold on to. With regards to matching the colour, you use the wax by melting it in your hands and different colour waxes can be blended. So colour is no problem. But it probably won't hold.

The best solution IMHO would be an epoxy-type hard filler and a good colourist would be able to fill it and replicate the grain in the stain used to make it almost invisible.

I would search locally for a furniture finishers or French polishers. They will be best equipped to deal with it.

If you simply want a cheap solution, then I'd simply use a thick superglue epoxy, but that instrument deserves better.

Edited by Grangur
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Bummer, man. I have had good luck filling deep scratches with superglue, building it up gradually and then fine sanding very carefully around the scratch. I thing Grangur is right about the wood fibrous being cut, though, so sweating probably wouldn't work.

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On 30/06/2020 at 07:11, Grangur said:

You called, Sir?

Hello. Hmm this looks interesting. The popular thought here of "sweating" the wood is what I'd try. The idea of the soldering iron I've never had success with. I use a household steam iron.

Not certain if this will work though. Sweating works when the grain fibees are bent in, this has been hit with a sharp, curved object like a metal tube. The edge gas cut the fibres. Also, as someone else has said, you would damage the lacquered finish. The lacquer also has a colour to it. So rattle-can clear lacquer won't be able to do a great job. 

Wax, as suggested by @Reggaebassis good for cracks and such, but once you have pushed it in here, theres not much for the wax to hold on to. With regards to matching the colour, you use the wax by melting it in your hands and different colour waxes can be blended. So colour is no problem. But it probably won't hold.

The best solution IMHO would be an epoxy-type hard filler and a good colourist would be able to fill it and replicate the grain in the stain used to make it almost invisible.

I would search locally for a furniture finishers or French polishers. They will be best equipped to deal with it.

If you simply want a cheap solution, then I'd simply use a thick superglue epoxy, but that instrument deserves better.

This pretty much covers it. That's a gouge, not a dent, steaming will have very little effect and could easily wreck the finish making it a bigger problem. A good furniture restorer would be my first call,.

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On 30/06/2020 at 11:00, songofthewind said:

Bummer, man. I have had good luck filling deep scratches with superglue, building it up gradually and then fine sanding very carefully around the scratch. I thing Grangur is right about the wood fibrous being cut, though, so sweating probably wouldn't work.

I've done this. It's something folk who're into woodturning recommend. It's OK. It's better than using a filler of the wrong colour. To be honest, my experiance of this is the glue takes the sanding dust and makes it darker. It also won't have any reproduction of the look of the grain. So, to be honest, given the beauty of the bass in question, I'd not do it in this case.

Solution: get a pro in and check the household insurance.

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