Re: Help Me with Staining


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Posted by Reed Ohrbom on June 04, 2001 at 21:46:25:

In Reply to: Re: Help Me with Staining posted by Martin Sheridan on June 03, 2001 at 20:19:40:

Martin:
I first want to say how much I (and hopefully many other readers) appreciate your recent postings in answer to questions from bassists seeking advice on repairing and refinishing basses. My response, when I read your advice to Francis, was: "Is this a great country or what!?" (Never mind that the internet is global!)
Anyway, hopefully you will be kind enough to give me an introduction to something you mentioned in your advice about refinishing. I have always been curious about the two types of varnish: oil and spirit. Could you explain the difference between the two, the pros and cons of each, and when one type is preferred over another. Can either be used to touch up chips on edges and fill in cracking, checking finish? If so, how do I determine which type of finish is on my bass?
I have an older (50? years) German plywood bass. The finish has many small length-wise cracks, giving the appearance of a finish that has "dried out", if you can understand what I mean. Also most of the edges are exposed wood. I'm afraid I did the wrong thing, but I first cleaned the entire bass with Kolstein cleaner, and then saturated the entire bass with the accompanying Kolstein Polish, let it soak in overnight, and then polished it off. Now I realize I have soaked the wood with a very waxy substance, and am afraid I'll never be able to get all the wax out of the wood so I could properly re-seal the finish with either oil or spirit varnish. (I don't want to refinish the entire thing.) The polish seems to work fine on the neck, where there is no checking of the finish; I can polish off any fingerprints. But on the body, wherever I handle the bass, fingerprints seems to imprint into the surface, and I often can't polish them out, no matter how hard I try. I assumed that Kolstein products would not harm my bass, and I have thought about writing to Barre Kolstein, to get his feedback on what's going on, but in seeing your message, I just started writing, and this is what came out.
So I would like to know what I can use to safely and effectively clean all the polish out of the wood and cracks without damaging the original finish. Then, what would be the proper procedure to re-seal and protect the plywood. I had just given up and figured I would have to live with it, but seeing your encouraging advice to others, I got inspired to try and get things right. I really love my bass, and want to give it respect.
I hope this long message is not a problem, I hope you don't mind answering, and I hope some others may find the answers helpful.
Thanks, thanks thanks. Reed


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