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  #16  
Old 05-16-2016, 11:26 AM
DanSavage DanSavage is offline
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It's not that difficult to refinish a guitar, even the neck as long as you're careful to stop sanding once you reach bare wood.

You don't reall need a lot of experience and expensive equipment, either.

Here's a guitar I recently re-topped. The old poly finish on the neck and headstock had a lot of surface cracks and dings, so I sanded the finish off using a Dremel 280-grit abrasive buffs. These make the job go pretty quickly and are easier to control than sanding by hand, especially around the heel area. The Ovation headstock is about the most difficult one to do.

WRT applying a new finish, this can be accomplished as easily as using a rattle-can finish.

Here's a couple of pics of my latest project. I stripped the neck and headstock to bare wood, then sprayed the finish using Minwax rattle-can polyurethane including applying a new logo to the headstock.

Stripped neck:


Stripped headstock:


Finished neck:


Finished headstock:


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  #17  
Old 05-16-2016, 11:42 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSavage View Post
It's not that difficult to refinish a guitar...
You don't reall need a lot of experience and expensive equipment, either.
It looks like you did a nice job in refinishing the neck. I applaud your efforts.

Experience in repairing instruments, and what people have brought to me for repairs, has taught me that doing a good job of fine finishing is beyond the average do-it-yourselfer who will generally end up with a result worse than that which they started. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that experience.

If one wants to put the time and effort into learning how to do fine finishing, and feels that one has the skills to do it, by all means try it yourself. The caveat is, "Know thyself".
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2016, 12:42 PM
DanSavage DanSavage is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
If one wants to put the time and effort into learning how to do fine finishing, and feels that one has the skills to do it, by all means try it yourself. The caveat is, "Know thyself".
Thanks for the kind words.

In all honesty, while I'm fairly new to guitar repairs/refinishing my previous hobby was building R/C model airplanes, which provided a lot of practice sanding and finishing wood.

I am in complete agreement with you in that one has to know their limitations and how easy it is to get in over one's head.
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  #19  
Old 05-16-2016, 01:39 PM
tahoeguitar tahoeguitar is offline
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It's been alluded to, but I don't know if anyone really pointed out this aspect. On a laminated (plywood) bodied guitar, there are multiple layers of wood. The outer layer of wood under the finish is often not much thicker than the finish. Even if you strip the finish by means other than sanding, you still need to prep sand the body prior to refinishing. Even during a light prep sanding, those with no finishing experience will find it very very easy to sand through the outer veneer into the core laminate. Looks pretty ugly.

Even those with great experience are not immune. I recently refinished a 1970's S Yairi laminated body guitar that had been re-topped and then prepped for finish by a very experienced luthier. He sanded through the outer veneer in two places next to the binding. (Due to a dispute with him the customer took the guitar back before it was re-finished, and later gave the guitar to me)

Using blocks to sand rather than fingers is standard good procedure for leveling the wood surface and sealer or intermediate finish coats. It is no guarantee of success on an older guitar because it is unlikely the surface will be level to begin with due to 50 years of string tension.
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  #20  
Old 05-16-2016, 07:25 PM
Will Kirk Will Kirk is offline
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Considering its been 6 years since he asked about refinishing his guitar, I'm fairly certain he's done it already or he's moved on to a new project.
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2016, 09:05 PM
DanSavage DanSavage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Kirk View Post
Considering its been 6 years since he asked about refinishing his guitar, I'm fairly certain he's done it already or he's moved on to a new project.
LOL! I didn't realize I was necro-posting. Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 05-18-2016, 12:13 AM
tahoeguitar tahoeguitar is offline
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Oh... those little numbers in the blue line are dates?? No more soup for you !
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  #23  
Old 05-18-2016, 12:51 AM
johna2u johna2u is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Kirk View Post
Considering its been 6 years since he asked about refinishing his guitar, I'm fairly certain he's done it already or he's moved on to a new project.
Yeah he's probably done by now. None the less it is a good topic. An alternative to complete stripping and refinishing would be to refurbish it.
Clean the existing finish
Lightly scuff sand it with 320
Drop fill any dents with lacquer or poly or what ever it is finished with
scrape the fills flat using the edge of a razor blade then sand using a large eraser as a sanding block.
Once flat top coat using a spray can
Sand the finish flat with 600 then 1000
Buff out.

Some scars may still show but if you do it right it can look nearly brand new this way.



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  #24  
Old 05-18-2016, 02:18 AM
nobo nobo is offline
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Actually, thanks for resuscitating the thread: I've still not done it! V low on my priorities list!

Given the current state of the neck, it's hard to imagine it getting worse! The costs of a professional re finish would far exceed the value of the guitar. The body I can live with in a poor state, but the state of the neck basically makes it unplayable. I'm thinking a DIY strip and oil finish (so avoiding the need to spray) on the neck only is the way forward.
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2016, 08:47 AM
Mr LV19E Mr LV19E is offline
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Wipe on Poly is another option for refinishing, easy to apply, go's on thin, dries pretty quickly. Requires multiple coats but is novice friendly.
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  #26  
Old 05-18-2016, 12:39 PM
nobo nobo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr LV19E View Post
Wipe on Poly is another option for refinishing, easy to apply, go's on thin, dries pretty quickly. Requires multiple coats but is novice friendly.
Thanks for the tip - worth checking out. At some point (it'll probably be over a month away), I'll take a photo of the neck so you have an idea what a state it's in!

(BTW, I used to have a Larrivee LV-19CA - great guitar!)
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  #27  
Old 08-10-2018, 09:17 AM
chestercopperpo chestercopperpo is offline
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Default DONíT USE CHEMICALS!

Donít use chemicals! They will take the finish off but they will also melt any plastic binding or rosette. I had a guy who ruined one of my guitars by using methalyne chloride to remove a poly finish on a nice acoustic. He melted the binding and the rosette. Donít use heat guns either. I did another one of my guitars with this and i burned the the wood on the back. There is only one way and itís sanding. You must be very careful. Itís risky as hell but the sound is way better without the heavy polyester polyurethane finish.https://youtu.be/a_MO6Q1bTPo
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  #28  
Old 08-10-2018, 08:06 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Post is 8 years old.
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  #29  
Old 08-12-2018, 08:58 PM
Will Kirk Will Kirk is offline
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8 years later, if he still has not refinished this friggin guitar, it might be wise to trade it off for something else or convert it into a wall hanger.
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  #30  
Old 08-13-2018, 02:50 PM
nobo nobo is offline
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Well, I'm the OP... and to my shame... I've not got round to it yet!
One day, one day!
Too many guitars, not enough time. Day jobs and a child (with another due shortly) seem to have that effect!

Given the nature of the finish damage on this instrument, I think delicate sanding is going to be the way to go to strip it back. I expect I'll only do the neck, and then opt for whatever the most straightforward finish is on that (oil, perhaps?).
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Kostal MDC German/Claro and OM Euro/Madrose
McIlroy A25c custom Cedar/Kew black walnut
Lowden O35cx cedar/EIR , Baritone sitka/bastogne, O12 (for sale) , O23f (for sale) and O12-12
Larrivee LV-09, L-05MT and P-03 (all for sale)
Montgomery fan fret parlour Euro/ebony
Andrew White Freja (for sale)
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