Advice Wanted On Cleaning An Ash Corvette

Discussion in 'Bass Hardware, Setup & Repair' started by verb, Dec 7, 2017 at 12:23 AM.

  1. verb

    verb Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Hi Folks,
    I picked up a 2009 ash Corvette standard yesterday, and would like some advice on cleaning it.
    I usually just wax the body and lemon oil the fretboard of my other Corvette, but this one is rather dirty.
    I have searched the forum and found some info, but wanted to check if it is still the best option.
    As I said, I lemon oil the fretboard, but can I also clean the neck with Lemon oil?
    The ash body is a bit dirty and has some thick wax residue in places as well as a few dents.
    What would be the best way to remove the dirt and wax, I'm not looking to do a complete refinish, just get it cleaner.
    I have read of using steam to raise dents, could somebody explain how this is done please.
    I will refinish with Warwick wax, would it be best to apply the first coat heated to a liquid?
    Any advice would be welcome.
    Thanks in advance
    verb
     
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  2. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Supporting Member

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    I just got a beautiful Swap Ash Vette also.......I'd like to know to
     
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  3. DemBoneZ

    DemBoneZ Supporting Member

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  4. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Supporting Member

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    Here's mine.....it didn't come with the W Bees Wax. Mine is new though not really what OP is asking about a 2009

    20171123_141524.jpg
     
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  5. Augie

    Augie The Desert Bass-ape

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    That Ash vette you have RIP is a satin finished one. putting wax on it will only gunk it up. NOT TO WAX THE SATIN!
    But as for cleaning ash (assuming its a natural oil finish), I have cleaned my natural Jazzman (half ash, half maple) with lemon oil on a cloth or even a gentle scourer. The lem oil will dissolve the old wax, finger scum and general filth, then i wipe it down and apply wax as normal. I use the scouring pad to basically sand away the real stains where my thumb rests. I also use oil on the back of the neck, as I find wax on the neck makes it a bit sticky.
    one thing to note is that as ash has lots of open pores and distinct grain dirt can get literally ingrained in it. The back of my JM has pores and grain that I reckon is just stained now.
     
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  6. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Supporting Member

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    Thank you @Augie I was thinking the same thing
     
  7. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    What I would do is take the bass apart, sand the body smooth with fine sandpaper, something like P600. Before doing that I would steam out any dents and dings so that they are completely leveled and cleaned afterwards by the sandpaper. Sandpaper would function more like a cleaning agent than a wood removing one. Then I would finish with melted wax, applied very quickly as it dries fast. The reason I am suggesting light sanding (which will make your bass clean and looking good as new) is that you 're prepared to do the melted wax application anyway. The only big fuss is taking the bass apart carefully.
     
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  8. DemBoneZ

    DemBoneZ Supporting Member

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    And if its that bad and you need to spend $$ by a professional, i would go for a refin. A solid white with black HW!
     
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  9. verb

    verb Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    It's not that bad, I'm not looking for perfection, just a bass that feels loved :D
     
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  10. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    I wish I had the ability to say that verb. "Not looking for perfection". Drives me nuts all the time.
     
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  11. verb

    verb Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I'm fine with taking the bass apart, I intend to change the pickups at the same time too.
    How do you steam out the dents?

    I know what you mean, I can't let go with my Fortress, damn high polish finish :D
     
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  12. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    So @verb, you can use the soldering iron you 'll be changing the pickups with, heh. You use a piece of wet cloth, perhaps an old underwear shirt, place it on the bass where the scratch/ding is, then place the iron on the shirt. If your mark is good, you 'll push steam into the wood fibers, they will swell, and most of the ding will be gone. After you 're finished with all scratches/dings you can start sanding. I would go for something like 220, 320, 400 and if you want 600 although I don't think it's very necessary with ash. In order to not take off too much wood you can use a soft pencil, as soft as you can 3B, 4B, 5B, draw a criss cross pattern on the body then erase it with the 220. Then the same, criss cross and erase with 320, and finally with the 400. Be very careful with the coarser paper to not utterly destroy any edges on the body, for example the neck pocket. It's a trap you can very easily fall into. If you remove minimum amount of wood and take reasonable care you will be fine and have a body that is good as new (with a sixpack perhaps?) :)

    Take your time and have fun. If you figure out any tips about working with ash let us know. I have an ash vette I want to restore this way, but I don't have the time currently. In particular the melted wax refinish will be unexplored territory for me.
     
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  13. verb

    verb Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    20171207_222904.jpg



    Not the best photo
     
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  14. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    It will be after you 're done with it, heh. Interesting grain there.
     
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  15. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member Warwick Endorser Supporting Member

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    Beautiful bass, mate!!!
    I#d remove the hardware, electronics and neck, and use some fine steelwool. #0000
    The swamp ash body is quite soft, and higher grade sandpaper or steelwool will leave scratches!
     
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  16. Augie

    Augie The Desert Bass-ape

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    Its definitely an oil finish? looks like the white dents you get on satin finish. make sure its oil before you sand. If its a clear satin finish you can'y just spot sand it.
     
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  17. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    That's what sandpaper does Flo, it removes material by SCRATCHING it, haha. Then the next higher grit removes the scratches of the previous grit till you get to somewhere where it's smooth enough. A few days ago I removed the color finish off of one of my two Rockbass Corvettes as it was pretty battered. The bass is alder and I went up to 600, and it's as smooth as a baby's bum! No scratches anywhere, I believe the pencil trick makes that a certainty. I don't know if alder is harder than swamp ash though, do you guys know? It seems to be pretty soft as I could easily mark it with my fingernails which I decided to cut short while working on it. Swamp ash is known to vary wildly in weight and also it's an open pored wood, so things may indeed be tricky. Starting from a bit higher grit and being reasonably careful should be safe I think. But I can provide no guarantees.

    My suggestion was a complete sanding of the body then a melted wax finish that seems to work well with swamp ash. It's up to verb though. Flo's suggestion seems closer to what verb wants in terms of final result and fuss needed.

    My RB while it was getting some love, the primer was a real pain to sand off:

    IMG_20171205_180719.jpg :
     
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  18. jester

    jester Moderator Moderator

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    An interesting table with hardness for different wood species. Not sure if this directly translates to scratch resistance though.

    Janka hardness test - Wikipedia
     
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  19. verb

    verb Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yes, it's definitely a wax finish.
    The white marks are where a thumb has rested and worn into the wood.
     
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