How to Strip the Finish on an Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV Bass

Written by cecil fontaine
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How to Strip the Finish on an Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV Bass
Strip away the finish on your bass. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The Epiphone Thunderbird IV is a popular electric bass and has a removable finish. Re-paint the body of the bass or to leave it unfinished, giving the instrument a custom look. You can strip the bass' finish in your own home, without having to pay a professional. The process takes about an hour and completely removes all traces of finish from the body of your Thunderbird bass.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Heat gun
  • Scraper
  • Sand paper

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings, bridge, neck, pick guard, volume and tone knobs, jack and strap buttons from the body of the bass. Make sure that there are no accessories left on the body. Once you have removed everything, set all the parts aside and lay the bass down in a well-ventilated area.

  2. 2

    Place the bass face down and turn on the heat gun. Point the heat gun at the back of the bass and have the scraper ready in one hand -- you will notice the a small portion of finish bubbling up after exposure to the heat gun. When you notice this, use the scraper to remove the finish. Repeat this process all over the back of the bass until there is no more finish. Move on to the front of the bass and then the sides.

  3. 3

    Repeat the process detailed in the previous step on the front and sides of the bass. Sometimes the finish in dents or nicks cannot be removed with a scraper -- use sandpaper to remove any such leftover finish.

Tips and warnings

  • As you're removing the finish with the heat gun, don't point the heat gun at any particular point on the wood for more than 10 seconds at a time -- this could burn the wood, damaging the integrity of the body.
  • Heat guns emit heat at a very high temperature -- make sure to use extreme caution when operating the heat gun. Always wear gloves and keep the heat gun pointed away from your skin at all times.

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