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Re: Removing finish from neck

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Posted by Bob Gollihur ( on March 30, 2002 at 11:13:20:

In Reply to: Removing finish from neck posted by Scott on March 28, 2002 at 16:16:02:

: I have a new Romainian plywood bass and would like to remove the finish from the back of the neck(too sticky). Does anyone have some advice for me regarding this process? Does the wood need to be sealed after the finish is removed?

I've not ever had to do that to any of my basses, but since nobody has popped up with an answer, I'll take a shot with what I'd do if I were in that situation.

I'm a big fan of the 3M finishing pads- kind of like synthetic steel wool, available in various grades. They have come in handy for a number of woodworking chores on my basses, including the electric upright bass I built.

I believe I'd get 2-3 of them in medium, light, and finish grade (whatever they offer, I don't recall, and there are other brands) and use one curved in my hand, wrapped around the neck, to gradually remove the finish. Some basses I have a feathered transition between the finish and "unfinished" area, other that are sprayed often have a hard line where the masking tape was obviously applied. A transition may be the easiest, but it's hard to know how cosmetically pleasing it will be.

Maple gets ugly as a result of skin oils penetrating it, turning grayish and black, so you'd need to apply something to protect it. I'm a big fan of the Minwax rub-on poly- it comes in semi-gloss, and I've used it on the body and back of the necks on my homebuilt EUB as well as electric basses. Easy to apply- see the last few paragraphs of my web site showing my EUB.

That's what I would do, but I've not actually done that to an URB, so take my advice accordingly.

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