Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

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Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

Post by DrSteve on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:37 pm

Hi all -- first post.

I have an Electra-Westone X695JB "Dual Concept" bass, 1984, bird logo, the one with swappable necks.  I only have the fretless neck.  Replaced the stock PJs with EMGs.  When I moved away from home I loaned it to a friend who wanted to learn fretless; I got it back years later in somewhat less good condition than loaned out.

Plays great but numerous cosmetic issues I'd like to address in phases...  There is a scrape at the pointy lower corner of the far end of the headstock that I'd like to repair, but the instrument's neck and headstock don't seem to be painted so much as coated in 2-3mm of black plastic.

Has anyone ever repaired a deep insult to the "paint" of one of these black-necked Westones?  What is that stuff?  How did you do it?

Thanks --

DrSteve
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Re: Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

Post by corsair on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:52 pm

Oh, that's paint, alright... Matsumoku did a great job of coating them, didn't they!! 

I've repaired small dings and scrapes with nail polish of a "near-enough" hue and I'm sure the other fellas will chip in with hints and tips!!

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Re: Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

Post by Barry on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:30 pm

Hi DrSteve and welcome.
You're not the first to be gob smacked at the finish on our beloved Westies.

Calling the finish "paint", is like calling the Titanic a "boat"!  Laughing
The majority of models were done in a catalyzed polyurethane, trade name Imron, a product typically used in automotive and aircraft finishing. It's bloody tough and a total bugger if removal is on your mind.

Fortunately most ding and dent repairs are cosmetic fixes and respond well to a technique called drop filling. You can read about the process in these two posts, or Google for more info:
 http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t3278-drop-filling-a-ding
 http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t3691-drop-filling-how-to-video

Pictures would help when you're able.

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Re: Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

Post by DrSteve on Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:57 pm

Thank you, corsair and Barry, for the prompt responses!

Your assistance put me on a path that led me to a very productive day's work of restoration on my Spectrum LX 695 "Dual Concept."  This had more emotional resonance for me than a normal polish job, so let me explain how you've helped me...

This was the first instrument I ever bought with my own money (16-year old me cutting yards in Memphis, where it's 90F in May).  Wanted it from the moment I saw it, even among the Arias in the same shop (can't remember the guy's name, Summer Avenue, had a lot of Matsumoku instruments).  Played it at events all over downtown, from the fun run to the Skyway Ballroom on the roof of the Peabody Hotel... but babied it.  My parents raised us all to be fanatical in the care of our instruments... for school horns (for example) they'd buy quality and they'd buy it ONCE.  I'm sure you know the type.

At one point I decided to replace the stock pickups with EMGs.  Now I can't even remember why.  I took the guitar to a world-renowned luthier in Memphis, I won't name the place (you'll see why soon)...  a place where the big names on tour bring their guitars for repair when they're in town.  The guy who did the work determined he needed to rout the J channel a little more to accommodate the EMG J -- didn't call me to confirm I wanted to have him take this step.  He did the routing work with NO PROTECTION for the finish on the guitar.  None.  Not even a towel and some masking tape.  He also did a fairly awful job on the rout.  So I get the bass back with a crappy rout, and a constellation of circle-shaped chattermarks all over the top -- which had been filled in with Sharpie.  Like I wouldn't notice or care.

Are you sick to your stomach yet?

I can't tell you to this day why 17-year-old me accepted delivery of my poor contused and abraded darling rather than pitching a hissy right there in the shop (I mean, they could have fixed it in an afternoon -- they could have fixed it before they put the new pups in!), but I did.  And I kept on playing it until grad school, when I moved away and left all my instruments at home.  Loaned it out, as I said, and further damage was done to the headstock.

I spent yesterday dry sanding, polishing, drop filling and touching up, and I'll post on that in a different thread.  I am very, very pleased with how it turned out.

It still looks mostly like a 30-year-old instrument.  But I have erased all the damage except that done by time and normal play, and I can look at it now, pick it up and play it without a toxic stew of anger and resentment.

I cannot thank you enough for helping me achieve that.

DrSteve
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Re: Neck coating (?) on an x695JB

Post by Barry on Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:49 pm

Beautiful!
And as always, I love a happy ending.*sniff*

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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