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Username: brianm

Post Number: 24
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   Edit Post

I'd like to clean up my Epic. I purchased it used and there seems to be some kind of build up of something deep in the grooves of the Wengé wood grain on the top of the bass. I've added a pic so you can see what I mean. In the pic the build up (of what ever it is) makes the finish look totally worn down but actually the wood is in good shape. Does any one have any suggestions as to how I can safely clean this stuff out of the grain of the Wengé top with out damaging it?
Username: brianm

Post Number: 25
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post

Epic Pic
Intermediate Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 176
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 1:53 pm:   Edit Post

I think that's a wax buildup in the pores of the wenge (which are huge). You can try wiping the top with Murphy's Oil Soap (any hardware store should have it), diluted with water per their instructions. It's pretty gentle, so you don't have to worry about this too much.

If that doesn't work, then you'll need to use a solvent to dissolve the wax, which has a higher risk of damaging the finish. I think woodworkers would use toluene or methyl ethyl ketone, both available as solvents in the paint section of your hardware store. Both of these solvents are strong stuff and flammable, so you need to use care when using them. They should be safe for cleaning use on polyurethane or polyester varnish, but you should ask someone knowledgeable about your bass' finish before using these. I think if you had a varnish finish the pores from the wenge would have been filled and you wouldn't have this problem, so it's possible that you have a penetrating oil finish here.

David Fung
Advanced Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 376
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 2:05 pm:   Edit Post

I'll bet the Murphy's will do the trick. I purchased a used Warwick last year that had the same kind of buildup. The Murphy's cleaned it right up.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3938
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 4:22 pm:   Edit Post

This post may be of some help regarding the type of finish. Based on that info and the above picture I'm guessing this bass has a Polyurethane Satin Natural Finish.
Username: mica

Post Number: 3353
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 4:45 pm:   Edit Post

Dave is right, your bass has a polyurethane finish.

You might explore one of the pits with the tip of a toothpick and gently push to see if there is just random junk collecting in the pores of the wood. The pores are big, and they can collect stuff.

The oil soap is a good call, but you may need something like an ultra-soft toothbrush (Preserve makes some of the softest I've found) to get at the stuff in the pores. Be gentle - try one spot first and see if you like the results.

If the bass ever got really hot, it's possible that the finish lifted off the bottom of each of the big pores. Refinishing is all that can cure that ailment.

If you've got a macro lens available, a super-closeup picture might help us identify what's going on.
Username: brianm

Post Number: 26
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 08, 2006 - 10:52 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you all!!!

I picked up some Murphy's Oil Soap and man did it ever to the trick. The bass looks almost new now!!

I'm going to be selling this bass so I can buy some rack mount Alembic gear. Ok I admit it, I'm an Alimbic junkie :-) I'll be posting it (with pics) in the appropriate section of this site along with some other gear I'm selling.

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