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-   -   DIY refinishing? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=190505)

nobo 07-29-2010 09:29 AM

DIY refinishing?
 
I have two Sada Yairi classical guitars (B&M Soloists) from 1965, one of which is cosmetically very beaten up and needs some repairs. (Still sounds great!).

I was toying with the idea of sanding the whole thing (neck, body and headstock down), which would help remove some of the worse scars. It'd be then down to the bare wood, so would presumably need to be treated in some way (?). I'd be very happy for it to look natural or have a satin finish. Is there an economical, DIY means of refinishing/sealing which doesn't require expensive equipment or materials or loads of time. I seem to remember something about boot polish!?!?

Any pointers on how best to sand the guitar down also appreciated (the top in particular is what concerns me, since I don't want to thin it too much for obvious structural reasons).

If this is an entirely crazy idea, let me know! I don't suppose it's worth a huge amount, given its condition and I have another, so it's not the end of the world if it doesn't turn out brilliantly.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Kitchen Guitars 07-29-2010 09:44 AM

If its laminated live with it. Solid wood, its still thin. You gotta have a good touch or you might sand the strength out of her. Explore French Polish for home refinishing or finishing. There is a great free tutorial on the net and many other sources.
If you want it sprayed a fellow AGF'er here Joe White does awesome guitar finishing. He does the final finishes for many famous and non famous builders.
I have seen a lot of his work. Great stuff.
Oooops, just saw you are in the UK. Joe might cost ya a bunch in shipping.

John How 07-29-2010 09:50 AM

I would recommend not refinishing a guitar, the final thickness of the woods are part of the builders plan as is the finish and adding or subtracting to/from either will affect the tone in an unpredictable way. I do recommend cleaning it up with a slightly damp cloth and showing off your scars!!!

gitnoob 07-29-2010 12:35 PM

I would pay attention to John How's advice.

However, I did refinish the neck on an inexpensive guitar, so I can offer the following:

Sanding is difficult. Especially around the heel and the bridge. Some people have had good luck with a heat gun and scraper, but there is risk to braces, bridge, and other glued areas when applying heat.

You do need to refinish after removing the old finish. Otherwise, the guitar will get filthy and it will be exposed to moisture effects.

I've used Tru-Oil with good results. It's easy to apply, and it dries to a hard finish. It's the same stuff used to finish gun stocks.

Kitchen Guitars 07-29-2010 07:15 PM

OK, so (some of) the pro's glop on epoxy to fill the pores. Sand off the epoxy, put on another coat of epoxy on. Sand. Spray on a finish, sand it, reapply, sand reapply...... Whats the magic????
On level surfaces never use your fingers behind the sand paper. You need to use sanding blocks. A light touch is required. Sand the finish, not the wood. It can be done. Like everything in Guitar build, repair, restore it takes work, tenacity and patience. It can't be fast and sloppy. If the wood is stained it can be next to impossible to match. Time for a Black guitar?
A heat gun? No way in my book.

Bob V 07-29-2010 09:32 PM

Have you ever refinished any piece of woodwork in your life? Believe me a guitar is not the place to start. Sorry to be harsh, but anybody who thinks that sandpaper is a way to strip finish is asking for trouble. Please don't sand anything down. A professional would use chemical strippers formulated for the type of finish on there, or would use a heat gun and careful scraping - but sanding is not how it is done. And no, there isn't any good way to get a glass smooth finish on a guitar without equipment, experience, money, and time.

Ok, don't take my advice. Go ahead and ruin a vintage instrument. But before you do, read up at reranch.com.

Kitchen Guitars 07-29-2010 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob V (Post 2300105)
Have you ever refinished any piece of woodwork in your life? Believe me a guitar is not the place to start. Sorry to be harsh, but anybody who thinks that sandpaper is a way to strip finish is asking for trouble. Please don't sand anything down. A professional would use chemical strippers formulated for the type of finish on there, or would use a heat gun and careful scraping - but sanding is not how it is done. And no, there isn't any good way to get a glass smooth finish on a guitar without equipment, experience, money, and time.

Ok, don't take my advice. Go ahead and ruin a vintage instrument. But before you do, read up at reranch.com.

Yep I have. Chemicals suck

Bob V 08-26-2010 01:16 PM

Yjunkie, you, I trust. It's the OP that has me worried. I can just picture someone trying to strip poly with a beltsander...

Kitchen Guitars 08-26-2010 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob V (Post 2327444)
Yjunkie, you, I trust. It's the OP that has me worried. I can just picture someone trying to strip poly with a beltsander...

You learn more doing it wrong. One sweep with a belt sander puts it on the Bad list Lol

martinedwards 08-27-2010 02:03 AM

I wouldn't put a heat gun anywhere NEAR a guitar.

I've seen what heat does to glue!"!

nobo 08-27-2010 08:43 AM

Thanks for all the responses. Given the value of the guitar, and my inexperience, looks like it will have to stay as warts and all as it definitely doesn't warrant a pro job. Thought it was worth asking on the offchance that there might be a cost effective solution, but I feared it would be a silly question!

Zigeuner 08-27-2010 02:33 PM

I have a 1970 Saduo Yairi Classical guitar. It's got a solid spruce top with laminated Indian Rosewood back and sides. AFAIK, they are finished with some sort of poly finish.

I would advise against doing any sanding on a laminated guitar (or any guitar for that matter) but that's just me. If you were to strip it, you might consider using some form of chemical stripping, and then perhaps fine steel wool to prevent thinning the wood. this is especially important with a laminated guitar. I've seen some where the owners sanded through the outer laminate. It's not pretty.

They are a very nice instrument and belong to a different Yairi series that the other one...I forget the initial of the other Yairi company.

musicluvah 02-11-2011 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob V (Post 2300105)
Have you ever refinished any piece of woodwork in your life? Believe me a guitar is not the place to start. Sorry to be harsh, but anybody who thinks that sandpaper is a way to strip finish is asking for trouble. Please don't sand anything down. A professional would use chemical strippers formulated for the type of finish on there, or would use a heat gun and careful scraping - but sanding is not how it is done. And no, there isn't any good way to get a glass smooth finish on a guitar without equipment, experience, money, and time.

Ok, don't take my advice. Go ahead and ruin a vintage instrument. But before you do, read up at reranch.com.

Thanks for posting this link! http://reranch.com/

gryans 02-20-2011 08:17 AM

Here is an idea I got from an excellent furniture refinisher purchase a scrap piece of wood (same type as the guitar) sand it finish it then remove the finish and refinish. See what your results are. If it's no good there's no money lost. It's always a good idea to practice before you tackle the real deal.

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Easymac 05-15-2016 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob V (Post 2300105)
Have you ever refinished any piece of woodwork in your life? Believe me a guitar is not the place to start. Sorry to be harsh, but anybody who thinks that sandpaper is a way to strip finish is asking for trouble. Please don't sand anything down. A professional would use chemical strippers formulated for the type of finish on there, or would use a heat gun and careful scraping - but sanding is not how it is done. And no, there isn't any good way to get a glass smooth finish on a guitar without equipment, experience, money, and time.

Ok, don't take my advice. Go ahead and ruin a vintage instrument. But before you do, read up at reranch.com.

Yeah, you're all kinds of wrong. And obviously know nothing about refinishing guitars. Time and skill are all that are needed to refinish any wood surface correctly. For little to nothing, at that.


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