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Luthite bass guitar - how far to sand down?

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I have an old ibanez edb600 bass, which has a luthite body, that I about to refinish. I started sanding the body, based on but am curious, how far down should I sand? I'm not sure where the clear coat ends and the luthite body starts. Here are some photos of what I have so far


My main concern is in that second photo, I can't tell if the white layer is the luthite or some core layer that shouldn't be sanded. Any tips?

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I googled luthite and the pictures show a yellowish material, like your middle layer. However I find it very unlikely that the yellow stuff is the luthite "wrapped" around some other core material. As Luthite can be molded I would not bother with a different core material. That would up the production cost considerable. However this is pure speculations...

Is the white stuff solid and won't dent easily (according to Wiki, Luthite is harder than natural wood) I would assume that is the luthite.

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I found this:

"I asked Jim Donahue about Luthite once a couple of years ago, and he described it to me as basically a dense slab of solid foam-like material."

So the white stuff is Luthite actual. The yellow stuff is either a heavy base coat or an "exoskeleton". Cant tell you what is actually is. I found several pics of guitars where the finish ans a similar yellow coating had chipped of and revealed a whitish core. So the chipping is common. I would hesitate to sand through the yellow stuff. Heck, I would hesitate to try to refinish anything like that at all. Maybe you should send Westheimer Corporation an email and ask, they make the stuff and can probably tell you how to do this.

Edit: I cannot read. This is what Wiki states; "it possesses considerably less resistance to impact than its wooden counterparts", so yeah, the white stuff is the luthite. The yellow is probably a polyester base coat so I would try to patch the chipped areas with a hard epoxy (make sure to test on a very small area first so that the epoxy doesn't dissolve the luthite :unsure:), sand that flush and put a finish on top of that.

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