Re: refinishing a englehardt EC-1

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Posted by John Cook on October 15, 2001 at 12:27:19:

In Reply to: refinishing a englehardt EC-1 posted by Bobby daniel on October 14, 2001 at 08:49:34:

: Does anyone have any expierience in refinishing a EC-1 Englehardt?
: The reason for inquiry on one particular model is the problem of the Sunburst type shading on the EC*1. Well this is actually the part I want to refinish.
: Doing away with the sunburst all toghether and making it more of a blonde.
: Any info would be greatly appreciated.
: Bobby D.

FIRST: My bass (I paid $200 for it) was all unglued and really a mess after 10 years of storage in damp basements and hot attics...I was considering tossing it. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to glue it back together and refinish it. It is a 35 year old german laminate bass that originally had the sunburst finish.
SECOND: Most people will tell you...NEVER to touch the original finish!

With those caveats...

I wanted to make it a "blonde" type of finish. I stripped off the old lacquer with paint remover and a scraper (carfeul not to gouge the wood). I needed the heavy duty stuff because there were so many coats of lacquer. I was left with clean wood.

My local luthier allowed me to use her shop to glue it back together. After that I sanded with sandpaper grades 100, 150, 220, 400. That was the easy part. It took a lot of research to find what I needed to do to finish it "blonde". One luthier suggested clear white shellac which is what is sounds like...I thought that would make it like a packing crate. I spoke to a couple of others who both suggested seedlac.

I settled on Leif Luscombe because I could speak to him over the phone and he was willing to provide all the step by step info for a beginner. He provides the ingredients premeasured which requires denatured alcohol for reconstitution. Directions to make the shellac are also on his is pretty easy. The first coat was pretty disappointing, it is very clear (like polyurethane on pine) but with more and more coats it becomes a golden color...similar to, but not quite the same as some of the old Kay basses I have seen. It is a unique finish that will certainly stand out. If I could do it over, I would add a touch of color (maybe yellow or brown) to get a darker "golden" color. Leif could probably tell you what coloring to add.

You can find the shellac premade from stores in the US (Canada has some sort of restriction about shipping alcohol). The premade shellac is more money. Regardless, I wanted to do everything myself from scratch.

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