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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Brightening Clay dots on an old Jazz Bass.

Gumbeat

United States

May 17th, 2010 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was wondering if anyone has experience brightening the clay dots on a pre-cbs fender instrument. I have a 62 Jazz bass that I really have a hard time seeing the dots when playing a poorly lit stage. I cleaned the board with lemon oil, tried naptha and mild solvents with a toothbrush, but they are still pretty dark. I hesitate using anything stronger because I don't want to dissolve the clay inlay. Does anybody have any ideas? It would be much apreciated.

Iconoclast
Contributing Member
*****

The bitter comes out

...batter on a stollen guitar!
May 17th, 2010 03:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No. She's 48; let her look 48.

Look at it this way: Anything else you try will devalue the bass by more than the amount you would need to buy a beater with bright white dots for dark stage use.

'62 Jazz with bright, white dots...

Danny Nader

usa

May 17th, 2010 03:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The fading of the dots will be all the way through. They're not that thick. Nothing you can really do about it.

Danny

edmonstg
Contributing Member
*******

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
May 17th, 2010 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I agree with Danny and clast.

Part of the charm and character of an old Fender neck is the look of the dots, that brownish, been-everywhere look we see so often. Because of this, I've actually come to not like so much the shiney white of the reissue dots, but have sometimes overlooked this because some of the newer reissue necks feel so fine as to make the dots of very little importance.

Danny makes a particularly good point about the discoloration of the dots seeping all the way through so that it's not a surface-thing that can be brushed away with cleaner or polisher.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 04:51 PM, May 17th, 2010)

Gumbeat

United States

May 17th, 2010 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I suppose I will leave it alone. I surely don't want them bright white, however if they were 5% lighter it would be a little easier to "check" myself when making a big fretboard jump. It is not the end of the world. I have plenty of backups and this is only a minor inconvenience. The way the bass plays and sounds otherwise more than makes up for the dark dots. Thanks guys.

WoodyJ
Contributing Member
*

Atlanta, GA

May 17th, 2010 05:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My "dark stage" trick is to dab a dot of white correction fluid ("white out") on the side of the fingerboard, on top of the existing small dots.

Works great and comes off easily without damaging the finish.

Danny Nader

usa

May 17th, 2010 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you want to clean them a little bit, use 4 nought Steel Wool. Clean them gently w/ a little bit of naphtha. Then re-oil the board w/ mineral oil. This is as clean as they will ever be.

Danny

cripula
Contributing Member
***

canada

May 17th, 2010 06:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have used little sticky dots from Staples on my road warrior 62 P bass. They come right off and any sticky residue wipes right off.
Obviously this is on the side markers, not the fingerboard dots.

RoboChrist

Toronto ON

May 19th, 2010 07:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Don't do it.

(This message was last edited by RoboChrist at 07:36 PM, May 19th, 2010)

Gumbeat

United States

Jun 2nd, 2010 12:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Update: I talked to a local luthier and he offered me a helpful hint. He said to use an eye dropper with a 50/50 mix of water and bleach, and drop one drop on each dot and let it sit. Then wipe it off and clean and oil the fretboard. I was a little scared so I created a mixture and just soaked a Q-tip with it and gently rubbed the dot and wiped it away quickly. It worked perfectly. It brightened it just enought to make it comfortable to play again. It is still dingy enough to look cool, but light enough to play. It has almost been a couple of weeks and no adverse side effects. I know it seemed like a crazy thing to do, but now she is not on the sidelines and is getting played again. Clay dots Rule!!!!

stobbart

UK

Jun 8th, 2016 04:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi all. My 63 P bass clay dots were very dull indeed but not wishing to remove the 'funk' I left the main neck dots as they were and with a 'Baby wipe' and my fingernail removed the side dot dirt in seconds - be careful to rub just the dot though, on my first one I slightly cleaned the wood however the result is perfect with a very surprising amount of dirt removed and no damage or chemical just a gentle clean.
Hope this helps someone.

JackL
Contributing Member
**********

Chico CA

If you rest, you rust.
Jun 9th, 2016 08:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow! An update of a six year old thread that contains posts from some folks that haven't been heard from years.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 29th, 2016 11:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another vote for leaving them alone. It's character.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Brightening Clay dots on an old Jazz Bass.




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