Not sure what cleaner / polish to use: Unfinished Fender P Body

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by tj7, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. tj7

    tj7 TDPRI Member

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    I feel embarrassed to ask but I have no idea what to use to safely clean the grime from my '74 fender P body - it's effectively unfinished (It had more of a sheen when I bought it but looks pretty dry now). The finish feels quite dry and I am concerned that I can easily stain / damage the wood. God knows why I didn't research this until now.

    .. and once I've cleaned it, what shall I use to give it some protection? Lemon oil...?

    Any advice will be much appreciated.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/191/mf3v.jpg/

    Ben
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    Sand it lightly until the wood looks new and put some True oil on it.
     
  3. tj7

    tj7 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, have just looked it up and it appears to be a great solution!
     
  4. robert spencer

    robert spencer Tele-Holic

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    + 1 tru-oil
    do a search on the finely finished forum here for ways to use & apply. it will not only protect but will bring out the grain of the wood as well. thats a nice looking bass!
    take care. bob
     
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    tj7, you asked for a cleaner/polish. Tru-Oil is neither. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a surface finish, not a cleaner. And despite how the manufacturer markets it, it's not an oil, either; it's a wiping varnish.
     
  6. backporch guy

    backporch guy Tele-Afflicted

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    Try naptha first to clean it (Zippo Lighter Fluid). It's a fairly mild solvent that generally does not damage finishes used on guitars. It;'s used a lot in luthiery to wipe down bodies and necks between coats. (how the hell do you spell luthiery?:D) Then put on the Tru Oil
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    I know but, looking at the picture it seemed to be unfinished wood. No amount of polish or cleaner can take the discoloration from it. It will be dirty looking unless you sand off the exposed wood down to the new wood and seal it with a finish. I assumed he liked the wood grain (because I do), so in my mind the best finish would be Tru Oil.
     
  8. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

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    Is the bass a factory stock finish, or has somebody sanded it back to bare wood then simply not bothered to, or minimally, finished the body?
     
  9. robert spencer

    robert spencer Tele-Holic

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    Dave W wrote " And despite how the manufacturer markets it, it's not an oil, either; it's a wiping varnish".

    Actually Dave it`s boiled linseed oil with a Japan drier added.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_drier
    been using it since early seventies on gun stocks and more recently on guitars with great results.

    Take care. Bob
     
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with you, just pointing out to him that it is an actual finish.
     
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    I've been using it since the 70s too, but it's a varnish, despite Birchwood-Casey's deceptive marketing. Boiled linseed oil with a japan drier will never dry hard. Tru-Oil dries hard.

    A varnish is an oil and a resin combined chemically. The "modified oil" in the MSDS for Tru-Oil is a buzzword for an alkyd resin. Putting "modified oil" and linseed oil separately in the MSDS is done to give the impression that it's an oil and drier. It's not.
     
  12. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

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    With Tru Oil, I think a healthy dose of Caveat Emptor is in order. Firstly, Warmoth don't recognise it as a hard enough finish that they will accept warranty claims on products finished with the stuff. Secondly, it was the totally hip finish on the Reranch forums a few years ago, so there is a certain element of Emperor's New Clothes surrounding the product. I personally feel it is reported too widely as a 'catch all' finishing product, and is even reported as being a lazy way to get a good natural finish. Some guys have gained excellent results going to town carefully buffing the stuff out, but then again you could focus all your energies on getting brilliant results out of wipe-on Poly, or a single-stage Enamel finish.... you can but it takes a lot of work. I didn't personally enjoy using Tru-Oil that much, but maybe that's me.
     
  13. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    maybe leave it alone? it looks awfully good as is...
    if you want a shiny new bass, we can trade :p
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    If Warmoth says that, they're wrong, but I can't blame them. When you market something as an oil, many people will believe it's an oil. And an oil finish can't build coats so it's never as durable.

    OTOH there are more wear resistant varnishes than Tru-Oil. An alkyd resin formula usually isn't as durable as a urethane resin (e.g. wipe-on poly). But it's reasonably hard, easy to apply and build lots of thin coats, and it looks nice on most woods. It certainly protects wood better than thin skin nitro.

    I agree that it's not a catch-all finish, and not for anyone who's lazy. Any good finish requires work.
     
  15. tj7

    tj7 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.
    My bass had its original finish removed before I owned it, and I have no idea
    how the current "finish" was completed.
    I can tell you it's too dry and porous for my liking as it is too easily absorbing
    my sweat etc and is becoming discoloured.
    I believe it does need a light sanding.

    I have ordered some tru-oil and intend to give it a go!
     
  16. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a '73 P-bass that was the inspiration for this bass. I can tell you from experience that Tru-Oil is not necessary. There is definitely a finish of some sort [maybe oil] on your bass from what I can tell from the pix. Using Tru-Oil is going to be messy, smelly and pointless. Its only really useful when there is nothing on the wood to begin with. Considering that your bass is 40-years old and doesn't even have any obvious wear marks on it [from what I could see] I think that you're good to go just using 0000 steel wool to clean it up a bit and some Howard Feed-N-Wax.

    FWIW - I use it twice a year [Sept. & March]. Since my neck has never had a finish on it I'm particularly adamant about sticking to that schedule.
     
  17. robert spencer

    robert spencer Tele-Holic

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    tj7 since you have ordered the tru-oil i wanted to introject this comment. another thing i like about tru-oil is that you can select the amount of sheen desired to be either gloss or satin finish. use 0000 steel wool after each application to take it back to the pores. after a few applications the pores will be filled & a glossy finish will become evident. if you like gloss leave it there, If you like a more natural finish use the steel wool again to produce a satin finish. Either way the wood is sealed & protected, Apply with finger tips & rub it well into the wood each time. take care. bob
     
  18. tj7

    tj7 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks again -
    I do need to stock up on some of that steel wool!
    What to people think of Osmo Polyx oil? It did wonders for my tongue drum
    but may not be appropriate for my bass. I completely forgot I had some left until now.
    Anyone use this before?
     
  19. robert spencer

    robert spencer Tele-Holic

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  20. tj7

    tj7 TDPRI Member

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    Have made a start with the Tru-Oil. Much easier than expected. Managed to get 3 thin coats applied today (weather conditions were perfect) and it's already looking good without having buffed / polished. +1 for the Tru Oil :)
     
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