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Old 04-22-2017, 02:55 PM
matt_h matt_h is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 3
Default Care/cleaning of old finish

I picked up a cheap 1950's archtop to mess around with, and the finish is definitely showing its age. There's a fair bit of wear, and some scratches above the strings where someone was a little too enthusiastic with upstrokes.

I'm fine with how it looks and don't want to refinish or anything, but is there a polish or product I can use to protect and clean the finish?
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:39 PM
Mr Fingers Mr Fingers is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 1,008

I use some of Mothers' automotive cleaners and polishes. I don't have the names with me, but their product line includes some very, very fine cleaners and a truly excellent, very light carnauba polish. I hate wax and buildup, and this stuff leaves virtually no product on the surface. For a really worn finish, it is possible to do a quick, minimal French Polish and restore beauty without any real buildup and while maintaining the vintage wear. Dan Erlewine mentioned this casually in one of his videos and I tried it on a really old, worn, beautiful Gibson and it restored depth to the sunburst and luster everywhere without any of that oversprayed, refinished look. I was astounded. Good luck getting yours spiffed up. I really love the look of an old, played, but clean guitar!
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:02 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Glorious East SF Bay, CA
Posts: 481

Stew-Mac shows how to use amalgamator to melt out scratches in old finishes in this video:

Mamie Minch. who demonstrates the process, is an artist with this technique; she erases scratches so well that the finish looks like it's never been cracked.
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  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

archtop, care, cleaning, finish, vintage

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