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Guitar: Removing glossy finish

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Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 05:33 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 05:42 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 05:44 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jun 10 - 05:55 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 06:08 PM
Leadfingers 21 Jun 10 - 06:44 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Jun 10 - 07:12 PM
Micca 21 Jun 10 - 07:14 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 07:17 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 07:31 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Jun 10 - 09:18 PM
Rapparee 21 Jun 10 - 09:34 PM
Melissa 21 Jun 10 - 11:25 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Jun 10 - 01:19 AM
Gurney 22 Jun 10 - 01:46 AM
Melissa 22 Jun 10 - 02:20 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Jun 10 - 04:45 AM
Melissa 22 Jun 10 - 05:49 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Jun 10 - 06:20 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Jun 10 - 10:12 AM
Rapparee 22 Jun 10 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,The Walrus 22 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM
Amos 22 Jun 10 - 11:13 AM
Melissa 22 Jun 10 - 05:23 PM
Gurney 22 Jun 10 - 06:25 PM
Rapparee 22 Jun 10 - 06:25 PM
Melissa 22 Jun 10 - 06:32 PM
Gurney 22 Jun 10 - 06:43 PM
Murray MacLeod 22 Jun 10 - 06:45 PM
Melissa 22 Jun 10 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jun 10 - 01:00 AM
Murray MacLeod 23 Jun 10 - 01:19 AM
Gurney 23 Jun 10 - 01:20 AM
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GUEST,leeneia 23 Jun 10 - 09:20 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Jun 10 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jun 10 - 01:32 PM
Melissa 23 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM
PoppaGator 23 Jun 10 - 03:34 PM
Melissa 23 Jun 10 - 03:41 PM
Acme 23 Jun 10 - 08:57 PM
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Gurney 24 Jun 10 - 02:37 AM
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Murray MacLeod 25 Jun 10 - 09:03 AM
Melissa 26 Jun 10 - 02:37 AM
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Melissa 26 Jun 10 - 05:23 PM
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Gurney 27 Jun 10 - 12:05 AM
Melissa 27 Jun 10 - 12:32 AM
bubblyrat 27 Jun 10 - 05:57 AM
Acme 27 Jun 10 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Old Techie 27 Jun 10 - 08:01 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Jun 10 - 08:41 AM
Murray MacLeod 27 Jun 10 - 08:51 AM
JohnInKansas 27 Jun 10 - 02:43 PM
Melissa 27 Jun 10 - 05:19 PM
Acme 27 Jun 10 - 07:34 PM
Murray MacLeod 27 Jun 10 - 08:21 PM
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Gurney 29 Jun 10 - 02:36 AM
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Melissa 29 Jun 10 - 02:52 AM
Melissa 29 Jun 10 - 02:56 AM
Murray MacLeod 29 Jun 10 - 03:07 AM
Gurney 29 Jun 10 - 03:08 AM
Melissa 29 Jun 10 - 03:30 AM
Gurney 29 Jun 10 - 03:35 AM
Gurney 29 Jun 10 - 03:42 AM
Melissa 29 Jun 10 - 03:56 AM
Gurney 29 Jun 10 - 04:00 AM
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Subject: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 05:33 PM

At the moment, I am oddly attracted to really cheap guitars. I bought myself one as a toy and ended up getting a couple more for two niece birthdays..and one of those has caught my eye.

The finish is absurdly shiny and looks thick. I am thinking about getting one for myself and removing the finish to make it look more like a small old-time guitar.

I'm putting this thread in BS because I consider it to be a wood/plastic question.

How would I figure out what kind of remover to use to take the finish off? I would want something easy (smear-on/wipe-off would delight me) that isn't too expensive (under $20)

Thanks,
M


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM

Steel Wool. Or, better yet, a plastic scouring pad (Scoth-Brite, or the like)


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 05:42 PM

Like SOS, Dick?
Do you think it would eat through the finish without breaking my arms off scrubbing?

I did think about a small sander but wasn't sure how easy it would be to work on the curves and corners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 05:44 PM

I was wondering about nail polish remover.
It's designed to take off layers of plastic coating..


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 05:55 PM

Satin-finish polyurethane (Varathane is a popular brand name) might give you the finish you want. you probably should dull the surface of th existing varnish with fine steel wool before you varnish.
I would use the traditional oil-based Varathane - I haven't been happy with the water-based stuff, which is more like clear house paint. This page (click) has some pretty good pointers.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 06:08 PM

I'll clean it down to wood before I refinish.
Have you run across a type of polyurethane that doesn't feel like a plastic coating, Joe? I like the protection of the stuff and it is easy to apply..but just can't stand the way it feels.

I suspect when I get the finish off, I'll find that I need to stain it (surely the pretty color is fake) and I was kind of thinking about sealing it with an old-fashioned furniture wax.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 06:44 PM

You may well find that clearing the Varnish improves the sound ! In which case , the less you then add , the better it will be !


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:12 PM

On some of the really cheap guitars I've seen, it looks like the finish is about all that holds the things together; and a really thick finish may cover up things you'd rather not ever see.

If you just want to "rough up" the existing finish to get rid of the shine, fine sandpaper, steel wool, or a scouring pad may work, although with some of the cheap guitar finishes it may take some serious work just to break the surface so that the grit can get to work on it. Since you'll need to "break the shine" in order to have much success with putting any additional finish over the old stuff, or to remove the old finish completely, this would be a good starting step.

A flexible sanding disk arbor on an electric drill would let you choose a fairly fine grit sandpaper, or - once the surface is "broken" - a courser grit sandpaper disk should grip enough from a steel wool pad to let you "power steel wool" on it. You can also get ready-made "disks" made from the same stuff as some scouring pads, althugh the more aggressive of these may be a bit too much for what you want to do.

A flexible disk pad should let you get to most of the curves on a guitar, with only the little details to do by hand. Note that the "disk arbors" are also available in stiffer varieties that might not let you do as many of the curves.

You could also get a "buffer arbor" for the same drill that would let you put a cloth buffing disk on it; but for some of the finishes I've seen you'll need a fairly aggressive "compound" on the disk. An arbor shouldn't be more than a couple of bucks, but I use a 1/4" bolt about 3 inches long, with the head cut off and a pair of nuts and fender washers.

If your local lumber yard/hardware store doesn't have a good suggestion for a "buffing compound," an auto parts shop could probably find an old tin of "valve grinding compound" that would be gritty enough, although it might leave oil behind that you'd have to clean up if you decide to refinish.

If you want to go the "specialized tool" route, the currently popular vibrator type "corner sanders" might work well, and there are a number of other kinds commonly touted. Those of us with TAS (like GAS but for tools) could justify the $30 (US) to $50 cost as "research," but you'll likely want to consult with an informed seller. If the lumber yard/hardware store has a demo set up (many in my area do) they might let you bring the victim in to see whether their tool works to your satisfaction on an inconspicuous tiny area.

Regardless of the method you use, and whether it's by hand or with power tools, any abrasive process for removing or even "scratching up" material (especially when you don't know what it is) should be done with appropriate eye protection and a dust filter. And keep the coffee cup far enough away so you don't end up drinking the dust. Even if you don't make enough dust to look like a problem, you'll have to shake off the tool occasionally, and the "shakings" will get to places you haven't imagined.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Micca
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:14 PM

Nail varnish remover has Acetone (Propanone) as its main ingredient and can be diluted with methylated spirit (UK) Industrial alcohol if to "violent"!! and may well work. if the varnish is cellulose based you might need Cellosolve (2 Ethoxyethanol) but Care!! with this it, like Acetone, is VERY Flammable and both have a narcotising vapour and can produce headaches!!and has a very low ignition temperature, so use in a well ventilated area with room to get away make sure there are no flames or hot surfaces etc, and the solvent will strip the paint on a car to bare metal in minutes , so do not get it on ANY painted surface you want to remain pristine, even a few drops can cause damage, but it really works on cellulose paints and varnishes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:17 PM

I have been wondering what it might do to the sound to take off a couple pounds of plastic coating..hope I don't find out the finish is what holds the thing together!


Want to see it?

I'll get the walnut version. It's finish seems to be different than on the others--it takes fingerprints and various smears differently.
I've played three of these and none of them are duds. They're far from Great, but I've taken mine (pink!) out in public and wasn't ashamed to play alongside Name guitars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:31 PM

That does it!
I'm ordering one..

If it works, I think nail polish remover would be my easiest thing to use..so that's probably what I'll try first.
Whatever I end up doing, I bet I'll do the work outside because I hate stinking up the house almost as much as I hate cleaning up powdery messes.


John,
I can't afford to catch TAS, but you reminded me that if I have a hard time breaking through the protective coating, I can send it to my bodywork guy and let him have at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 09:18 PM

But Melissa, starting with a simple "refinish" leads to "adjustments" which ultimately leads to "modifications" which leads "repairs," and of course then to building your own.

Eventually, you'll NEED those tools (and a bunch more), and it would be a shame to have your dreams of being truly creative hindered by the need to get them all at once. You NEED to accumulate them over some time, in anticipation.

(Of course I have nearly all the tools. I just can't afford a decent piece of wood to use them all on.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 09:34 PM

JiK, I'm in the process of urethaning a "box" I've been making. Do what I did: built it from pieces. You find a nice piece of wood here, but maybe it needs a little length so you biscuit another piece on -- doesn't even have to be the same kind for the neck. As for the body, don't bother steam bending wood -- just angle cut the ends so they sorta fit together (I don't recommend using any lumber less that about a quarter inch thick, half inch is better). Old pine or plywood or even chipboard can look nice with the the right stain -- used motor oil is good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 11:25 PM

You're right, John..I DO need bunches and loads of tools so I think about making all kinds of neat things!


I hope you're making something like this square-body guitar, Rap. It starts around 1:45 and sounds pretty dang good to me.
boxy guitar


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 01:19 AM

Thar ya go agin Rap ...

but maybe it needs a little length so you biscuit another piece on ...

That thar biscuit jiner is one of the tools I never really needed bad enough to find a place for, and it's a real P.I.A. whittlin' them tenons with a li'l pocket knife.

'Sides that, I've got a pretty good wood bender - home built, of course; and I have bent 1/4" thick thick planks with it. I'd rather stick to stuff a little thinner, since I never quite "finished" the bender, and electrocution is a possible side effect if ya get to rasslin' too heavy with it; but so far it's made a couple of simple instruments. (Lap dulcimer sides are too easy to be much of a challenge.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 01:46 AM

Melissa, there are proper paint strippers that are specifically for softening varnish, usually available anywhere that sells paint. You will also need a blade from a Stanley knife and some 80-grit or finer (bigger the number, smaller the grit) sandpaper, safety glasses and rubber gloves (paintstripper is corrosive) and a couple of brushes to apply the stripper. In a ventilated area.
Processes that have worked for me are:
Don't remove anything except the belly varnish, the sides and back make the job tedious, and achieve little acoustically.
Mask around the guitar with plastic electrical tape and polythene to prevent paintstripper 'fingerprints.'
Apply stripper and give it time to work. Remove softened varnish with blade, trying not to gouge. Use a big artist's brush around the awkward places, it will probably take several attempts to get all the varnish completely off.
Neutralise the stripper according to the instructions on the tin. Probably sponging with water.
Allow to dry thoroughly.
Sand if neccessary ONLY in the same direction as the grain. Use the sandpaper wrapped around a block, cork or rubber. DON'T use the sandpaper just with your fingers, unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Thin the varnish to the recommended maximum.

I'm only giving this advice because you are obviously determined to take the job on, I actually recommend that you buy a better box in the first place.(:<))


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 02:20 AM

Gurney,
I already have a better box (I'd be sad if I didn't!)..this one is just for fun. Yeah, I am somewhat determined--it'll be ordered tomorrow and I might get to start scratching around on it by the weekend.

Stripper won't eat electrical tape?
Will it eat glue?


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 04:45 AM

Acetone, which you can buy from a boat store that deals in fibreglass boat, building materials. This should, with a swift wipe, remove the surface gloss, leaving the finish dull. Don't scrub, don't overwet the cloth, keep using a new bit of the cloth, as it may clog up with the stuff you're wiping off. Put it on the cloth, not on the work, as it's very runny and can't be controlled in direction or effect.
Lastly, wear a face mask, and do it either outside, or in a very well ventilated room.
Acetone is highly flammable, and volatile, but benign if handled correctly.
Test a small corner first of course, just to make sure it will do what you require.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 05:49 AM

Would boat store acetone be the same stuff as nail polish remover, John M?


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:20 AM

Yup, but a less adulterated version.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:12 AM

Nail polish remover frequently has added "exotic oils" that you are supposed to believe do something special to your horny parts. They don't tell you what's added, or even what exotic things they're expected to do.

The acetone from the boat shop should be just acetone. You may also be able to get fairly "pure" stuff at a paint store, craft shop, or any place that sells "artist paint supplies."

Common rubbing alcohol (propanol) usually will remove varnishes of the kind typically used on fiddles, and is cheap and easily available. I find it less irritating to work with, but the stuff used on guitars often has "hardeners" added that make it more resistant to the milder solvents, so you may need to use acetone or a "stripper."

A really cheap guitar may have a lacquer finish rather than varnish, and for "heirloom work" you might want a different solvent; but in the present case almost any commercial paint/varnish remover should do a satisfactory job of removing the original finish.

As with any such stuff, test on an inconspicuous area first; and do the mask, ventilation, and removal of ignition sources when working with any solvents.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:16 AM

Depending upon the glue, yes, acetone could dissolve it. Acetone is used to remove the adhesive when folks "super-glue" their fingers together. I don't know about epoxies or other glues, but I'd be careful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,The Walrus
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM

If you're worried about the solvents attacking adhesives or other parts, simply try painting the surface with wax (beeswax is best but parafin wax should work) dissolved in white spirit then, when it drys, polish it back with 0000 grade steel wool and finish with a duster - that should 'knock-back' the gloss a little.

Any help?

Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 11:13 AM

As regards sanding the curvaceous body, I submit a small palm sander with an orbital motion, or a "mouse sander" or an oscillating tool like a Frie (pricey, though) may serve you better than a whirling pad at the end of a drill. Better control and less risk of random gouges from the outer edge of the disk tilting into the wood by accident. Especially with thin wood for which you want to preserve the outer look.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 05:23 PM

Thanks, guys! In combination, the lot of you gave me enough information to boldly launch into the project.

Guitar is ordered, I got some nail polish remover. If it works, that's probably what I'll use (craft store would be a long drive and I wouldn't even know where to look for a boat shop)
I have a jug of stripper and that will be the second thing I try.

I'd be kind of timid about diving in if you all hadn't picked up this thread.
Thank you,
M


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:25 PM

Melissa, stripper COULD attack the adhesive of electrical tape, but is unlikely to migrate through the plastic tape, so just be careful around the edges of the tape, and use stripper sparingly, and finish off with scraping. The stripper I use is a gel, so not runny.
It attacks the adhesive of every tape I've tried, but as your obtainability seems limited (as was mine) it is the first option I would try.
The very last bits of the varnish are a bugger to get, but if you don't get them, the new varnish will be patchy.
Don't forget to mask everything you are leaving alone, and do it carefully. A guitar is lightweight, and you will unthinkingly hold it to stop it moving about. Been there, done that, got the fingerprints.
Around the bridge needs careful work too. Expensive guitars have self-coloured wood, but cheap ones, not often. It's unlikely that the glue holding the bridge on will be affected, but why take a chance! another case for sparing use of stripper.
Hope this helps. Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:25 PM

Acetone can usually be found in the paint department of hardware stores.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:32 PM

So, if the polish remover almost works, I could go someplace like walmart and find regular acetone? Would a small lumberyard be likely to carry it?

Thanks, Gurney. I still haven't decided where to mask the thing, but if I do mark some of it off, I may run some strips of various tapes across an area I know I'll be stripping..to see which kind holds best.
So far, I'm leaning toward cleaning the whole thing. It's small, and I really don't like the way the finish feels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:43 PM

The other component often used in nail-polish-remover is Ethyl Acetate. 'Acetone-free' NPR contains a lot of it, or used to, in the days when I worked for a contract bottler. It isn't any better for the nails than Acetone, and catches the throat much the same way.

Nail polish/varnish/paint is not intended to come off easily.

My comment about expensive wood above: I meant the wood that the bridge is made of. It will probably be painted. I'd try hard to leave it alone! There will be a build-up of varnish in the corner between the bridge and belly, and the bridge will be too little to mask, and awkward to strip. And repaint.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:45 PM

jesus, this thread is one reason why I rarely venture south of the line.

the only efficient way to get rid of your finish, (which is a thick polyester coating btw) is by using a cabinet scraper.

quick, clean and effective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 07:44 PM

What's a cabinet scraper, Murray?


Gurney, I'll need to be even more careful than that about the bridge..I'm pretty sure it's a hideous plastic thing and I have no idea how I'd stick it back on if I spoinged loose!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:00 AM

Okay, Melissa, you want to buy a cheap guitar with a thick, shiny finish and make it look like an old guitar with a matte finish.

Have you ever stripped and refinished a piece of furniture? Do you have the equipment? Workbench? A basement or garage? Ventilation? Because if you live in an apartment, there is trouble ahead.

Then there's the matter of the other materials in the guitar. It could contain adhesives and other finishes which will be damaged by fumes or seepage from the stripper. For example, what will a stray drop of stripper do to the neck?

Somebody recommended acetone. Acetone is very dangerous.

Unless you are experienced in stripping, I recommend going back to the post by John in kansas and doing what he says.

But first I would live with the guitar for a while. You may discover that the shiny finish doesn't really matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:19 AM

"...acetone is very dangerous..."

as long as you don't drink the stuff, it won't do you any harm.

if you go to a nail tech to have your old acrylic nails removed, you will be given a jar of acetone to dip your fingertips in for ten minutes to soften the acrylic.

as far as I know, there have been no health issues reported as a result of this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:20 AM

Not funny, Murray. Melissa is asking a serious question, and guitar bellies are not made of hardwood. Or even thick wood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:23 AM

About the cabinet scraper, I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 09:20 AM

"Acetone is extremely flammable and causes irritation of the skin and upper respiratory tract, narcosis and dermatitis with moderate exposure."

The 'flammable' part is right there on the can for all to read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 11:02 AM

As a former paint chemist, I feel obliged to comment that acetone is a lousy stripper---evaporates much too quickly. A commercial past-type paint remover is much easier to work with. THough if all you're trying to do is cut the gloss, a scouring pad is the safest, easiest method---and doesn't require that much time nor effort.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:32 PM

When I want to remove A from B, I use these things in the following order:

water
detergent and water
Goo Gone
alcohol
paint thinner
acetone (use it outside)
stripper (except I don't strip things anymore)

Acetone is great for getting advertising off plastic mugs so you can sneak sips while in the church choir. I agree with you, Dick, that it is not what I would use to remove a finish from wood.

It occurs to me that it is extremely drying and might dry out the guitar top to the point where it cracks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM

I want to clean it all the way down to wood.
Taking off the shine would make it look better than it does, but I'm not sure it would make the existing finish feel better to me. I really do not like to touch the coating..I don't like the way it feels.

I thought I'd sort of approach it like a very large fingernail..and do the polish remover with cotton balls or something like that. I thought I'd work on small areas. I don't mind the tedious aspect of that idea.

I could slather stripper easily enough. It would be faster and less work.
Maybe I'll run a comparison with both in conjunction with my tape-test. That would probably be the best way for me to find out what I think about all of it at once..


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 03:34 PM

I found this info by clicking the link ~ I don't believe it's been mentioned (explicitly) in the discussion:

This guitar is selling for a mere THIRTY FIVE BUCKS! Can't hardly go wrong at that price.

**********************

If you have the time, and enough elbow grease, skip the toxic chemicals and just sand the thing down (40 grit paper is fine enough), rub on some tung oil, let dry 24 hours, repeat 3-5 times, and finish with a coat of paste wax (such as Johnson's, available just about anywhere in the US, including supermarkets). It'll look great, and still sound OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 03:41 PM

What's the difference between tung and boiled linseed, PoppaGator?

It really IS a cheap guitar and they sound decent. They have a nice size/shape and I want to see what happens when one is naked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 08:57 PM

That's a lot of work on a cheap guitar. The acetone sounds like a way to give yourself a headache and a mess to clean up. I vote for sanding the thing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 09:02 PM

I probably would sand it (or try) but I don't have a sander.


That place sure has fast delivery!
I ordered a mandolin at the same time (yesterday) and it came today. I expect my cheap guitar within a day or two..


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 02:37 AM

Tung oil dries faster.
I make a rub-on finish from equal parts of varnish, tung or linseed, and turpentine substitute. Got the recipe from an American woodworking magazine that found its way offshore.
One application sinks right in and makes the wood relatively safe from dirty fingers and damp, and is touch-dry in 5 minutes. It colours the wood amber-ish. You can add oil-based stain to taste.
Further applications build up into a semi-gloss-varnish-like finish.

I've never had the courage to try it on soundwood, though, just because it does sink in. Even different varnishes are reputed to change the tone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 04:17 AM

Gurney,
Why turp substitute instead of the normal stuff?
Does that recipe coat evenly with minimal cussing?


I'm looking forward to hearing the difference in my cheapo naked and again when it's wearing whatever I end up putting on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 04:53 AM

The tung oil I've used doesn't dry faster. In fact it takes at least 24 hours to "dry to touch" and at least a couple of months to harden to the point of beginning to provide "the tung oil surface."

There are numerous varnishes with a small amount of tung oil in them, and lots of those are pretty quick-drying. They may benefit some from the tung oil content.

A "real" tung-oil finish - nothing but tung oil - is virtually invulnerable to water marks, stains, dried crusty spills, spilled medicines, hairballs, and other "piddles-and-crud" but it's not a quick finish.

I had to "re-finish" a table once when a g'kid left a wet glass on it after about three weeks of "cure," but once I got a month or two of hardening on the second pass it hasn't been touched - and seems pretty much "untouchable" - by any of those things that spoil fine furniture, for a little over 20 years.

(Maybe I should give it an oil job just out of sympathy for the abuse.)

Pure tung oil, on the other hand, is among the more expensive materials you can use; and since it hardens to an incredibly durable (hard?) surface I'm not sure it's what I'd think of first for the finish on an instrument. A more conventional varnish with "some tung oil in it" would be worth considering though.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 12:56 PM

What kind of oil is Old English?
Would it be a tung blend?

If I could seal it with that, I could use the rest of the oil on my cabinets or something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: frogprince
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 01:15 PM

John, dumb question # 737: with a finish that dries that slowly, how do you keep it from getting dust in the surface; are you just very meticulous about dusting the area, or?


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 03:17 PM

guitar has arrived..I haven't gone in to town to pick it up yet, but by this time tomorrow, I ought to be up to my elbows in the project!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 04:13 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney - PM
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:20 AM

Not funny, Murray. Melissa is asking a serious question, and guitar bellies are not made of hardwood. Or even thick wood.


Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney - PM
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 01:23 AM

About the cabinet scraper, I mean


Hey, I wasn't being funny, I was being serious.

What makes you think you couldn't use a cabinet scraper to remove finish from a soundboard ?

I've done it several times. You need to know how to sharpen it, and how to hold it, but once you have the hang of it there is no better, or quicker, tool for the job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 04:39 PM

I still don't know what a cabinet scraper is (unless it has another name) so I probably ought to leave that tool alone for now!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 05:21 PM

Murray, obviously you could, and certainly I could, use a scraper on the belly of a guitar, but Melissa is not likely to have the wrist strength and control to use one. I'm judging purely on her name and posts, but she hardly sounds like a 'horny-handed son of toil.' However, around the bridge it would not be easy to remove hard varnish from soft wood without gouging the wood, when using just a scraper.
Remember, this is cheap box with an unknown but probably cheap varnish on it, thickly applied, as she said. I want her to make a proper job of it, and the wood will only be about 4mm thick, possibly plywood with a dark glue, and one gouge would show forever, and show worse if she tried to sand it out. So my comments were aimed to try to give Melissa successful results on an initial venture.
As a parallel to our discussion, some time ago we had a thread on the merits of kitchen knives. I was alone among the guys, I think, in championing the 'Wiltshire' type of self-sharpening knife. My logic was that, although I like to use the perfect tool, my wife just wants cut food.
Melissa, I haven't seen real turpentine for many years. It is made from trees, not petroleum. When I was young, the paint shops stocked both turpentine and turpentine substitute, but not here and not now, as far as I can see. Possibly reformulation of paint to take advantage of the cheaper alternative? My father diluted with real, washed brushes in substitute.
JohniK, my information about Tung oil came from a woodworking magazine. I assumed they knew whereof they wrote. It seems to dry more quickly than raw Linseed oil, but perhaps not faster than boiled Linseed oil. Just my perception, I haven't conducted tests. Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 05:37 PM

You're right, Gurney. At the moment, I'm not much of a horny-handed toiler..but I have pretty strong wrists--I throw tomahawks.

I just picked up the guitar and it's a nice day (less than 600% humidity) so it won't be overly miserable working outside. There's an extra bonus in not needing to worry about dripping sweat stains all over the project while I'm at it.

My niece was horrified when I grabbed the pick guard and pulled it off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 05:45 PM

Melissa, a cabinet scraper is a piece of steel with sharp edges. Not knife edges, just 90degree edges, and you use it in both hands, bending it very slightly, and pushing it away from you, tilting it so that the edge on the other side from you scrapes off the surface. Along the grain.
There are other types which have handles, which oddly makes them even harder to control for fine work.
As for using oil finish on a guitar, as I said in my 02:37 post, I haven't, and I wouldn't. Not on the belly.
Love it for other things. You just rub it on until it it looks right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 05:52 PM

Tough finish!
Nail polish remover didn't even make a mark..

A cabinet scraper is kind of like a sharp putty knife blade..shaped differently and no handle? Sounds like a useful tool!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 06:05 PM

The sand/steel wool suggestions win this round.
My stripper didn't make a dent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 09:04 PM

No Melissa. A cabinet scraper, in the simplist form, is just a rectangular piece of thinnish flat steel. Google it, and you'll see. You use it as I said above, sliding your little fingers along the surface of the wood and holding the scraper between thumbs and first two fingers.   There are other ways to use them, of course.
You use all four edges until they are blunt, put it in the vise, resharpen it.... edges don't like being used 'sideways.'
You also have to have a 'fixed' job, because you don't have a hand to hold the guitar with.

Anything with a handle, I wouldn't use without something to soften the varnish. Heat or stripper. Too easy to gouge the wood. And with heat, too easy to char the wood.
You CAN use a Stanley-knife blade as an impromptu scraper for small areas, but best to blunt or tape over the two acute cutting points.

If you decide to sand off the varnish, the best (and cheapest) power sander is a quarter-sheet finishing sander, which leaves the finest finish.
All the others are harsher/more aggressive.
Enjoy yourself. Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 09:40 PM

I will just hand sand it..partly because of cost/noise and mostly because it's not a very big project and I'll want to be able to have pretty good control of how hard I sand.

Those scrapers sound handy (except the part about sharpening)..like a woodworking version of the blade-like things for scraping dough from a countertop. I'm surprised I've survived so long without one! (thanks, I probably wouldn't have known about them without being told)


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Jun 10 - 09:03 AM

Melissa, once you use a cabinet scraper, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Just don't ever post a thread on a woodworking forum asking what is the best way to sharpen a cabinet scraper, it's the equivalent of posting a "What is folk ? " thread, on here.*G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 02:37 AM

This project resembles Work!


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Subject: RE: BS: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 03:33 PM

Re Old English and Tung Oil

The Old English label indicates that it contains "petroleum distallates" but it may also contain vegetable oils. The petroleum oil label is required due to toxicity, but they don't have to name the other ingredients. Its intended use is as a "furniture polish" to put a shine on things that already have a "finish." The oil is intended to penetrate the wood, to "lubricate" it and prevent cracking/checking of the surface.

By design, it's not supposed to dry or harden, so it's not really suitable for the "finish" one wants for wooden articles.

That said, the table I mentioned above was an "emergency build," made out of construction grade lumber, and I used the "dark" Old English to color the surface before applying the tung oil to harden it.

I found myself with the task of selling a house with no furniture in it, and the real estate agent complained that there wasn't any place to sit down with a buyer to write a contract. I had two 2 x 10 planks, 10 ft long, in the basement, so one Saturday morning I cut off the 10" end that had a split in it and made a table out of all of the rest. It would have been a "one-nighter" but I ran out of lag bolts and had to postpone finishing the assembly when I got some more bolts on Sunday.

Old English dark gave it a reasonably even color, after which I applied the tung oil.

Most products labelled as "tung oil" actually are mixtures with other "finishing products," with a small percentage of tung oil added as a hardener. The actual tung oil content hovers in the vicinity of 10%, or maybe a little more, for the kinds commonly found; but the application and drying characteristics are more dependent on the "other stuff" in the mix. Most of these actually are labelled as "tung oil xxx" but the xxx may be in very tiny print where it's not obvious.

The tung oil I used was "98% pure" tung oil, as I recall. It was much too expensive to use on this project; but it was what I had on hand.

The "pure" tung oil does dry "to the touch" in an hour or two, and dust doesn't stick to it noticeably then, or fairly soon after. The table was "in use" within about 10 hours after application.

The tung oil continues to harden for quite a long time, and remains somewhat easy to "scratch and dent" for a week or two. It remains permeable to water and other liquids for a while longer, and the white ring water marks seen on furniture where an iced glass has been left for a while are possible for quite a while. It probably would be susceptible to "finger marks" if handled a lot during the cure time, as would be the case on an instrument neck at least.

As mentioned above, one of the kids left a glass of juice on my table about three weeks after the original finish was applied, and it left a really ugly ring. Breaking the surface of the finish with a belt sander, and reapplying the Old English + tung oil, completely removed/concealed the mark.

Once the tung oil hardens fully though, perhaps after 6 weeks or so, it's almost impossible to "mark" it without extreme measures. We never use "coasters" under the glasses, and it's had about everything one might imagine spilled on it, with no visible change in the finish.

I did, incidentally, get at least three serious offers (up to $300) to buy the table before the house sold. One person (who didn't want the house) came back after the sold sign went up to ask if I was ready to sell the table. We're still using it, 30 years later. It still looks like new - i.e. home-made crude and ugly, but very sturdy. (Recollection is that it weighs about 84 pounds, but it's been a while since I checked.)

John


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 05:23 PM

I got an oil stain.
I'll follow the directions on that and it may be a while before I put on a finish. Do I need to oil the stain to seal it?

John:
Your table reminds me of one I saw in a historical house tour. The guide made a point of telling us that the table weighed a half-ton. It was neat enough..but that's an awfully heavy table! Kind of makes your look like a lightweight.


Ha..I try to avoid WIF threads like diseased toenails. Thanks for the scraper-sharpening topic warning, Murray. I'm not likely to visit a woodworking conversation site--but I'm sure glad to know what to avoid just in case!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 05:24 PM

Hey, how did this get upstairs?!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 12:05 AM

Oil stains and oil finishes are different. Oil stain colours the wood and then dries, and you use very little of it, but oil finishes sink into the wood to preserve it, and you use quite a lot. Both enhance the appearance of wood. There are spirit-based stains, too. You apply stain by rubbing it in with a pad of rag, not painting it on.
To confuse the issue, there are coloured oil finishes which both colour and preserve, as I implied in my 02:37 post, but as I've posted twice before, think carefully about using an oil finish on soundwood. The tone comes from the structure of the wood, and the dried oil will change that.

Professional Luthiers use varnish on the guitar belly which pretty much floats on the wood, and doesn't sink in much, so yes it needs to be sealed eventually, but a Luthier friend of mine actually plays instruments for a while before he finishes them. He is careful to keep them clean, though. Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 12:32 AM

I was mostly wondering whether I needed to hurry and put some kind of finish on when I get the thing stained..or whether I could let it sit a while.

This guitar isn't made of good wood. I'm not sure the finish will make much difference in the sound. I'll just want to put something on it to make it not get scratched too easily and not feel icky against my skin.
I'm afraid if I tried varnish or something like that, it would end up full of dust and cathair because I don't have a place set up for that type of job.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 05:57 AM

Take a look,historically,at somebody famous who has gone down the same road, albeit with an expensive ( Martin) guitar. Actor Andy Griffith got hold of a guitar (gratis !) used as a prop in a film in which he played a character called,I believe,Lonesome Rhodes ; anyway,he didn't like the gloss top,and removed it by,I think, patient hand-sanding ( Martin themselves have the full story ).I would NEVER use strippers or solvents on ANY guitar !


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 07:17 AM

Google search on "cabinet scraper". None of these (on page 1, anyway) seems to look like what has been described.

I think this does belong above the line. It is about refinishing a musical instrument, and this certainly is a question that might have searchers landing on Mudcat.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,Old Techie
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 08:01 AM

I seem to remember John Lennon stripping back one of his semi acoustic Epiphones to bare wood in the late 60's/early 70's and claiming it sounded better. Possibly the same instrument he went on to paint white. He used a cabinet scraper and glasspaper. Wonder how much that would be worth now?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 08:41 AM

Stilly: The Bahco, 2 Cherries and similar are all exactly what was described. The Stanley and other models with the blade slotted into handles look more like what I'd call a "spoke shave" but are probably cabinet scrapers sitting in holders similar to spoke shave design as Idon't see the knurled nut adjusters you'd get on a aspoke shave.

I'd agree with the comments about not using stripper on instruments. I'd go for sanding, myself. BUT I wouldn't use an orbital sander or any type which vibrates...they *always* leave tiny circular marks which are hell to get out. At best I'd take off the first layer of a thick finish with a mechanised sander, and the rest by hand, working WITH the grain of the wood, wrapping the paper around a block over the bulk of the area, and using my fingers carefully in less accessible areas.

For a finish I 'd go for oil or wax rather than any kind of new varnish or coating. Never made a guitar but I've made plenty furniture in my time and always preferred an oil or wax finish.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 08:51 AM

Gurney, I would be surprised to learn of any guitar maker who uses varnish on the soundboard of an acoustic guitar.

Lacquer, mostly nitrocellulose but occasionally acrylic, is the universal choice for finishing the body. French polish, too, among some classical builders.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 02:43 PM

Stilly -

At the page you linked, This is the cabinet scraper people have described here.

The other things include planes, gouges, draw-knives, spoke shaves, and a variety of other tools.

Scrapers and gouges are commonly used tools, especially by instrument builders. The disadvantage of this particular scraper is that it only works really well on flat surfaces. The scraper is held perpendicular to the surface while being drawn (usually pulled) across the surface. Since the standard scraper is flat and stiff, it only "draws a line" on a curved (convex) surface.

An old double-edge razor blade (bare between the fingers) can be used in the same way, but is flexible enough that you can curve the tool so that with a very slight inclination to a surface with a large enough convex radius you can "fit the curve" and get sufficient scraping effect to remove a surface finish or small amounts of wood quite smoothly, and is a tool I've used for "cleaning up" nooks and crannies. Unfortunately I'm not sure anyone still makes them, and they're almost impossible to find to buy.

A strip of steel "strapping" of the sort once used for bundling large packages could be sharpened just by grinding a sharp square edge to make a similar "conformal scraper," but nobody uses the steel stuff anymore and the plastic straps now available certainly aren't useful. An old clock spring from a large clock would be a treasure for anyone who needs to make this kind of scraper; but who's got a "wind-up" clock to spare?

Any "knife" blade can be used for scraping in this way, as long as it's held very close to perpendicular to the surface, or inclined very slightly in the direction it's moved, so that there's no possibility of "digging in" and removing the wood, but most knife blades are "curved backwards" (convex) and aren't really suitable for flat or convex surface scraping.

John


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 05:19 PM

By the time I'm done with all this sanding, I should be able to arm wrestle anybody. It's giving me quite a workout.

I think I could safely scrape or use a powergadget to get through the shiny layer (and most of the stain layer too) That stuff is tough!

I started on the back (flat, no nooks) and when I started to wonder if there was actually any wood under the stain/gloss, I switched to the head. I figured I could use the logo to see where gloss stopped and stain began.
So, the front of the head is clean.
About a third of the back is clean.


We have a guy who traded and ended up with a semi-old Martin. He immediately stripped the front and was impressed with the sound difference. He loves that story and remembers to frequently tell me to never refinish my real guitar. I'd be allowed to strip it..but no new shiny finish.
I'd like to spend some time with a before/after good guitar.

I have some old double-edge blades.
Maybe I'll give one a whirl to see if I can get through the finish easier. Or, maybe I'll chicken out on that idea. Sanding is getting the job done.

John:
Are you talking about the metal strapping that's about 3/4" wide..used for things like bundling wood at a sawmill?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 07:34 PM

Even after your descriptions, I never guessed that those images were what you were describing. I guess I'll have to see one in action. I've had tasks to do every so often and when trying to figure out how to do it had one of the "ah ha!" moments and went and got the tool (old stuff from my Dad's house) that I previously had no clue as to what it was for. He didn't have one of those, though.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 08:21 PM

I have mentioned this at least once before on similar threads, but it has some relevance here, re the improvement in sound after a finish has been removed.

I owned a Lakewood dreadnought some years ago, and wasn't happy with the contour of the neck, so decided to reshape it.

It didn't need drastic reshaping, I knew I could accomplish it with the aid of a cabinet scraper, so that is what I did.

While I knew it would give increased playability, what I wasn't prepared for was the startling improvement in sound, or maybe I should say "volume", just by removing the lacquer from the back of the neck.

It just goes to show, every single part of an instrument plays its part in the generation of sound.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:01 PM

I'm surprised that shaving the neck would make a noticeable difference in sound, Murray.
Why do instruments have such thick finish if it keeps the sound from getting loose?


Are scrapers bought individually, or in batches?
How was a scraper packaged about 20 years ago?

..were they in individual plastic sleeves and unsharpened?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:05 PM

On Stilly's Google search link page 07:17 am, four rows down, there is a picture of the scrapers that John linked to, beside a picture of one being used as I described, even to the finger position.

Murray, you are of course right, -again,- and whatever finish ends up on the guitar belly needs to be 'hard' and not rubbery like polyurethane. I was using 'varnish' as a generic term. My main concern, if it can be called concern, is that Melissa didn't fill the wood of the belly with oil.

Melissa, you could still buy a finishing sander and save yourself elbow grease. Rob's concern about the scratches they leave is legitimate, but you don't have to take off ALL the finish right down to the wood with it, just until the wood starts to show, and then finish by hand as he says, in the direction of the grain. The cheapest 1/3 or 1/4sheet sanders cost about US$20. You just hold them firmly and let them work for you. You don't even have to press down. In fact, you shouldn't press down.   Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:13 PM

I'm seriously considering a small, cheap sander.
Now that I have seen how the finish is layered and can tell when the wood is about to peek through, I doubt I'd have much trouble keeping from marking the wood or going too deep.


The reason I was asking about scraper packaging is that this conversation has me thinking about a stack of flexible metal things I got in a box lot several years ago.
I didn't have any idea what they were for and used the ones I didn't give away for scraping all kinds of stuff. They were my multi-purpose kitchen tool and now I wonder what their intended use was.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:58 PM

Sandpaper comes in pre-cut packages for sanders.
Is there any reason to buy it like that instead of getting standard sheets?

Aren't sheets cheaper..and the same stuff?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 01:04 AM

What about an alcohol stain?
I used tobacco/alcohol on a pistol several years ago and it turned out nice without fluffing the grain or resisting the oil. It has aged nicely.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 01:20 AM

I use both for general woodworking, depending how much sanding I have to do. You could buy 4 sheets of 80grit and two sheets of 100grit, which is probably cheaper than buying packs. It lasts for years if it is stored dry.
Start with the coarser paper, and if that is too slow, go back to the shop for 60grit. Aggressive stuff!   You are in a suck-it-and-see situation.   You can use it on a block as well, naturally.

Scrapers. As has been said, anything that has a suitable edge CAN be used, but care is needed with improvised ones. I've even seen broken glass used, with the handling edges taped up. Even that loony wore glasses, though, and was using it on softwood, not hard varnish.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 02:54 AM

Melissa -

The strapping I mentioned comes (or came) in a variety of weights. The stuff you mentioned is possibly still available if you can find some place that's recently unbundled something, and either persuade someone to let you grab it or do a bit of "dumpster diving."

The kind I have used in the past was more like 3/8 inch wide, but plastic has replaced that for most uses, so I haven't' seen the lighter stuff recently.

The original strap has rounded edges to avoid cutting people when the straps are handled. To make a scraper you need to cut a flat edge, so that there's a sharp 90 degree "edge" on each side of each side. That will be difficult without a good grinder or belt sander.

The scrapers of the kind linked up above are bought individually. To use them successfully you do need to (eventually) learn to sharpen one to freshen up the edges. Many people use a grinder, but my preference has been a belt sander.

Most "old timers" around her kept (keep) scrap window glass specifically for use as scrapers. A "fresh snapped" edge is about as good as you can get for taking a few splinters off the hoe handle. Those I knew who used this tool would tell you that you'd probably cut yourself worse trying to tape the edges you weren't using than just "gettin' on with it;" but for those not experienced in the art (young thumbs heal quickly - older ones don't - which is how you learned "safely" in the old days) a decent pair of leather work gloves would be advisable. Horsehide is probably best, and is the preference in sheetmetal shops where sharp edges are everywhere. Some "gardening gloves" would probably be suitable, and should be easy to find if you can't find a pair of "White Mules."

Do consider that by the time you try all the "cheap ways" you likely will end up dribbling out more $$$$ than you'd spend for a suitable little "palm sander" or similar. Ones available now are much improved over what I've got at hand, since mine are mostly 40 years old; but even Dremel (or Black & Decker, etc) has some really cute ones now that actually work, and you should be able to find something (even if you have to assume a disguise and sneak into Wally World) for $20 to $30 quite easily, or maybe for less if you catch a sale.

A light weight sander isn't absolutely assured of getting the job done a lot quicker; but you won't be developing "rassler biceps" doing it. A rule of woodworking is that you don't cut stuff off - you "persuade" the parts you don't want to get up and leave.

John


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 03:08 AM

I won't try any of the scraper stuff..just curious. I've got bands of metal hanging on my fence from buying bundles of firewood from a sawmill and was surprised to think of them being useful for anything.

I'll shop for a sander in the $20-30 range.
Is there a brand I should avoid, or am I pretty safe judging by weight and how it fits my hand?


The back is nearly cleaned and I'm thinking about the bridge now.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 09:53 AM

Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa - PM
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:01 PM

I'm surprised that shaving the neck would make a noticeable difference in sound, Murray.
Why do instruments have such thick finish if it keeps the sound from getting loose?


I was equally surprised, believe me.

Getting a nice thin durable finish on an instrument is a time consuming job, which is why several custom makers farm out the work to specialists.

It doesn't take much skill (or time) to spray a thick coat of lacquer , run it through a UV curing chamber, and buff it up.

Time is money, and large manufacturers are solely concerned with the bottom line.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 04:11 PM

Palm-sanders often use specifically-manufactured velcro-backed sanding discs, which are expensive compared with sheet sandpaper. Also, if you aren't paying attention, the paper flies off and you ruin the velcro hooks on the sander itself, and that pad is very very expensive.

Palm-sanders look easy to use, but like small paintbrushes versus large, you rarely see specialists using one.

The 'waist' of the guitar is another tricky bit. If you insist on stripping it, the 'toe' and 'heel' of a finishing sander can be used, but the risk of going too far is high, particularly as there is a temptation to use the side of the sander. Don't do that!

Are you enjoying yourself yet?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 04:54 PM

Velcro?! What kind of gadgety crap is that!?
I'll be shopping for a sander this evening and am glad to know to watch out for tricky sandpaper holders.

Ha, I'd be having a lot more fun if I wasn't starting to get stove up from all this dang sanding.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 12:22 AM

I haven't figured out how to get the bridge off..and that's keeping the front unsanded. The rest is done except for a little bit of edge where the neck and body meet.

I could hear a difference in the way the sander noise carried through the box as I got more finish cleaned off. I'm starting to get excited about putting the thing back together and playing with it!


The binding is binding (I was afraid it might be a paintjob) and the dots are poked in the binding..they're not surface paint.
The bridge is still a plastic monstrosity, but otherwise, I've been pleased with what I've found under all that shine.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 12:48 AM

Any advice on getting the bridge unstuck from the top without gouging the wood? I got the inside nuts off but the bridge seems to be glued on very well.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:36 AM

You are a bold lady! Taking a bridge off is not to be taken lightly, it is on in a specific position, and of a specific height or size. This is luthiers work, and I'll bet everyone suggests you leave it alone.
Including me. Take the finish off around it, and leave it alone!

If you absolutely insist, madwoman, I suggest that you make/obtain another bridge first that is as close as dammit to the dimensions of the present one. You are changing it, aren't you? They are not normally removable, only replaceable after destroying the original. Usually into splinters and shavings. They are made from heavy, dense wood normally, and are tricky to remove because they are so much harder than the belly they are glued to. Normally.

I was going to give suggestions here, but I've had second thoughts. No, leave it alone unless there's something wrong with it, such as action too high and not lowerable, or it doesn't sound the octave right. Even then, the most you should do is play with the bone.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:46 AM

Sorry about the patronising tone above, but you are moving out of my comfort zone, advising you with what someone of your expertise is attempting with a working instrument, and you are in danger of buggering it beyond economic repair. If you must change the bridge, take it to a luthier. Who may refuse to touch it.
Sorry, again. Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:52 AM

I'm surprised it's stuck on so well..the pick guard just pulled right off and I guess I expected the bridge to be stuck on with crappy glue too.
I figured if I could get the nuts finagled off, the bridge would be ready to pop off. It sure didn't work that way! I can't even find a loose spot to poke something in to pry.

I am getting kind of fond of this guitar and it just seems a shame for it to have a ratty plastic bridge when the rest of it is beginning to look so promising.


Don't you think it would sound nicer to refer to me as Eccentric?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:56 AM

Going beyond economic repair isn't too scary in this case.
The guitar cost me $27.50 and if I break it, I will learn..and if I break it beyond repair, I will know what not to try if I decide to do another one somewhere down the line.

It really isn't much of a guitar.
It's an Adventure.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:07 AM

I think Gurney's "madwoman " was intended as jocularly affectionate, tongue in cheek...

The most effective way to remove the bridge is with a router, Melissa, d'you fancy upgrading your skills by a quantum leap ?

Alternatively, what you could do, since it's made of plastic, you could get a hair dryer and heat it up, chances are that will melt the glue sufficiently to remove the bridge. You need to insulate the wood of the soundboard, though, not to protect the finish, which is no longer there, but to prevent the heat melting the glue holding the bridge plate and the bracing underneath.

We'll talk you through installation of the new bridge later ...


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:08 AM

You are eccentric. Sorry.
Where I come from, that means you are rich, as only rich people are 'eccentric.'

Poor people are 'barmy.'

There is a lot of stress on a bridge, six strings tightened as they are. Over the years, it pulls the whole belly, braces and all, into a shallow 'S' shape, bends the neck into a curve... the pickguard only stops you scratching the varnish.

I had one guitar where the bridge actually twisted in two places, the centre of it moving up about 2degrees but the thinner sides staying down. Pulled the belly into a very funny shape. Only acoustic mediums on it, too.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:30 AM

If I sand around it and wait to see if I get a different bridge later, will I be able to get this one loose without making my new finish ugly?
Will a replacement be the same size and cover the unstripped area under this plastic beast? I am kind of anxious to get this thing restrung and ready to play after listening to the sander resonate through it.


'Barmy' always sounds kind of diseased or something to me (reminds me of Warbles for some reason)
Here, hermits and other social oddities can be Eccentric..besides, maybe I have jars of gold buried around the yard..


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:35 AM

Since Murray has brought the methods up;
I'd insulate with 3 or 4 layers of masking tape interlaid with paper and with damp rag on top of them, a thin knife for a lever (gently!) and use a (cheap) hot-air gun for heat, or

dig out the screws that those nuts were on, and grind/melt the bridge off with a (cheap) angle-grinder, metal-cutting disc. You'd need a solid piece of steel to keep grinding/cleaning the disc. And safety glasses. And the guitar clamped down. It might generate enough heat to melt the glue anyway. The angle-grinder wouldn't care if you left the screws in, it would just get them red-hot and burn them away.
Routers are far better tools for wood. Far dearer, and far harder to control in this situation. And you definitely have to get rid of any metal before you use them.
I still say you need another bridge before you start.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:42 AM

I've seen bridges for sale in specialist instrument-parts-supply magazines, but generally, luthiers make their own, so you could have one made a tiny fraction bigger. It is the position of the bridge-bone that is critical, and the way the stress is transferred through to the braces inside.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 03:56 AM

Ok..I'll leave this one on and clean around it for now. That will be a lot faster and easier.
If I love this guitar when it's done, I can start shopping for a wood bridge and figure out how to switch it then.

My stain is taking color well and I really am about ready to get restrung. Hearing the sander noise change from an obnoxious buzz to an obnoxious roar made quite an impression on me..

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 04:00 AM

Don't forget the nuts!   Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 04:07 AM

Those nuts can wait until tomorrow..they were hard to get out!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 05:09 AM

To "scrape" around the edge of the bridge,you could use what we call in England a "scribe" ; it's a thin metal rod, with a serrated or knurled surface to aid grip, about 6 to 8 inches long,with a right-angle at one end, both of which have sharp points.You could get in really tight with the angled end,against the bridge edges, and get the varnish out by pulling the scribe towards you . I used to use one for getting the rubber "O" -rings out of the hydraulic cylinders of the General Electric A I 18 radar system !!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 10:34 AM

Or ask your local dental hygenist for a tooth-cleaning pick; what bubbly described sounds like it would be much the same for your purpose.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 08:04 PM

A small-area scraping tool would be handy! I have the spot around the bridge and where the neck/body meet left to tend.

Other than that (and figuring out what to do about the damn scuff I made by the soundhole) the beast is clean. I may use a layer or two of store-bought stain on the front and tobacco for the rest, but I think I'm done thinking about it for a while. The rest of today is my Evening of Rest.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 01:30 AM

Melissa, if you try YouTube you'll find Totally Gourdgeous, the stringed instruments they play are made by the lass there. Made from gourds, hence the name.
Wimmin can do anything. Worth a look. Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 01:45 AM

An emery board is the perfect tool for cleaning around the bridge.


Thanks, Chris.
I'll check out those gourds tomorrow and I bet I'll like them!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 08:03 PM

I've finished sanding and moved on to staining.
All is well and I'm pleased so far..


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,The Pom
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 04:30 AM

STOP!
The industrial chemist is right Acetone is no good.
Make a weak solution of caustic soda and paint it on. Use a cabinet scraper to take it off. Repeat until clean. Wash off excess with clean water. Sand top thinner for better sound. Finish with thin coat of flat varnish.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 03:57 PM

Too late, Pom. She's removed it all by mechanical methods.

Melissa, have you restrung it yet? I'm agog!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 05:13 PM

I wish it was restrung so I could hear what it sounds like!

I started staining yesterday, planning to put on a few more layers today. Tomorrow may be more staining OR might be a gentle oiling.
My goal is to have it ready to play by the middle of next week..I have a nursing home wednesday and would like to get restrung in time to use it there so I can hear it mingled with other instruments.

The stain is kind of a golden brown.
Last time I used this type of stain, it didn't take overlong for the yellow to brown up and get much older looking.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 09:56 PM

Tuners:
I've been smearing stain on the nut and folded my cotton over the saddle so it can brown up a little.
What about the tuners?

Will alcohol do anything to hurt the mechanism if I soak them overnight? They're so white, they'll be eye-catching if I don't do something to dirty them.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:51 AM

Is this a classical/Spanish guitar? I'm supposing that you are talking about the capstan shafts in slots in the head. There's no mechanism in them.
You could mean that you have machine-heads, on a steel-strung guitar, and they may have plastic caps on the back of the head, or white grommets on the front of the head.

I don't know if there are plastics that react to alcohol, I've never heard of one. Can't advise you there. Some plastics react badly to Turps and other solvents.

All tuning mechinisms I've seen are easily removable, and fairly cheap to buy anyway. Cheap ones are cheap to buy, I should say.

I am still saying you shouldn't oil the belly. Much as I like an oil finish. On furniture.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:06 AM

Machine heads..gear and peg-stem thing that sticks through a hole. The knobs are white plastic and I want them to look less white (more brownish yellow) and it seems like an easy way to do that would be for me to just drop the mechanism in my stain solution overnight then rinse them. I think the alcohol would probably knock the shine off of the knobs and they'd probably absorb a little bit of color.

I'm going to need to use something to seal the guitar when I'm done staining because I won't want my arm (and other parts that touch a guitar when I play it) to turn yellow.
Oil is easy and it ages well.
If I hate what it does to the sound, I can clean it off and start again. I think it will be ok.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:35 AM

Plan B:
I was looking for something else and found an article about instantly aging tuners. He suggests shoe polish and that would save me having to wash gunk from my gears..

50 years in 30 minutes


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:23 AM

Melissa, you are amazing.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 03:23 PM

The 'trade secret archive' at StewMac has some neat, clear tips.
I'm not afraid of french polish or shellac now and may be a little braver next time around.
I am learning a lot and enjoying every bit of it.

I went looking for brown shoe polish last night and found that my grandparents left me an unopened bottle of tung oil.


Thanks, Ebbie.
People are pretty amazing creatures around the edges.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:25 PM

Last time, Melissa.
Wood has a structure which is mostly tubes connected together with threads. The tonal qualities that we love is because of the way this structure vibrates. Wood is porous, which is how come it gets waterlogged. There is a theory that Stradivarius got HIS tonal quality by removing some of the internal surplus material of his tonewood, using salt water.
Oil finishes do not sit on the surface of wood, they penetrate deeply, and in wood as thin as a guitar belly, applying enough oil might even mean it will go all the way through! I think it very unlikely that you will ever get it out.
What you are proposing to do is, having removed a deadening factor, varnish, is soak the tonewood in a possibly even more deadening factor, filling the structure with dried oil.

Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:46 PM

Gurney,
If I don't oil it and don't have a place (or supplies) to let another type of coating dry without getting full of cathair and dust, how will I seal it?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:54 PM

There's probably some floor wax here..I could use wax instead of oil?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:46 PM

It would be best to french-polish it, in your position. It's a multi-layer process, so thin is better. That is a wax process. As Murry said way up there, old-time makers used to do that. Build up your muscles even more, though.
Lacquer is fast-drying, though. I have wondered if the lacquer 'clear-coat' used on cars, or the lacquer used on polished brass, would do the job. Never heard of them being used, though. Both available in spray-cans.
I'll leave recommendation of that to a paint chemist. I would try it, But I'm fairly mad myself. It wouldn't be the commitment that oil-finish would be, as you could remove it again.

Dust and sags and runs aren't a tragedy, though. You can take them out (carefully) using a Stanley-knife blade as a scraper, as was described above for cabinet scrapers, finishing with 1200grit 'flatting paper' and a cutting polish. Both automobile panelbeating products.
Good Luck.   Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:02 PM

About your machine-head knobs; I saw a guitar where the owner had etched his knobs with an ornate lettering of his name, and then rubbed paint into them. He used a tool which vibrates a point.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 11:44 PM

Tuner knobs have been made from a variety of materials, and it's difficult to say that a given "tint" will work on a particular kind without just trying it. For knobs with a mainly polystyrene content, ordinary food colorings, or "easter egg dye" often will give them a "color cast" although you're unlikely to get a deep color change. You have to "soak" the knobs for several minutes, and then buff off the excess that hasn't penetrated the surface. The machines themselves shouldn't be harmed as long as they're rinsed well when finished, and perhaps have a dab of grease or a light film of oil applied to any gears.

Tincture of iodine will give the "plexiglass" (polystyrene) once used for airplane windshields a reddish or red-orange tint, if you paint it on, let it dry, and then buff thoroughly; but it doesn't appear to affect the more modern (polycarbonate) plastics more often now in use for both airplanes and storm doors.

If the knobs are PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) - which we might call "moter of water pipe"(?), like MOTS without the "pearlish" - very few things will "stain" it except the primer used when gluing pipe parts together, and it only comes in "livid purple." That primer might stain a variety other plastics and most lumber yards should have small cans for about $2, but I suspect you don't want the "purple plague pegs."

John


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 12:07 AM

John,
The StewMac article suggested brown shoe polish..wiping off most of it. I'll probably opt for that since they were using it on tuner knobs.
Another appealing thing about the purple primer is that it's about the same color as that stuff you spray on a freshly castrated goat. Tempting as that is, I think I'll probably stick with the shoe polish this time.

Gurney,
I think this time round, I'll probably end up sealing it with something I already have instead of going shopping. That leaves my options as Oil vs Floor Wax. They'd be equally easy to apply but I think the wax might be sticky against my arm..and although I've been pretty subtle about it, I do get a little bit offended when things feel icky against my skin.
I imagine I'll strip another one of these beasts sometime..might as well learn my lesson about fighting the Temptation of Oil now and get it out of my system. I'm going to want to play this guitar Wednesday afternoon. Oil will be a fast, easy way to seal it.

I'm done staining and I turned on the ac so the guitar can be good and dry. The nuts are back on the bridge.
I think I'm ready to seal it Saturday and string it up Sunday.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 12:39 AM

I could use TurtleWax..surely that doesn't soak in?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 10:14 AM

Fascinating.

Inspired by this thread, I found an old cheap and nasty looking guitar (tuner machines seem ok) at my friend's place (somebody had left it under her house a few years ago) and cleaned it today - looks like somebody had stained it with brown shoe polish and smeared candle wax all over it!

I wonder if they tried some of these tricks...

Also someone wrote all over it with permanent marker pen... and THAT's not shifting.... :-)

It's got one of those little metal things that hold the strings, and looks like the 'bridge' has 'fallen off'... :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 10:43 AM

"The nuts are back on the bridge."

Ah - I remember The Navy Lark!!!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 04:39 PM

Magic Marker and candle wax..darn, why didn't I think of that?!


sounds like a hideous little treasure, Foolestroupe. I hope you have as much fun with it as I'm having with this one.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 05:30 PM

Felt pen can sometimes be removed with alcohol.

Melissa, I talked with a luthier yesterday who has used automotive lacquer on his dulcimers. He said it works very well, except that sometimes it doesn't! Occasionally, after a while, it 'crazes,' shows a pattern of surface cracking that makes it look old. Perhaps atmospheric conditions when it was applied, perhaps how much was applied? Perhaps the larger areas on a guitar might make it more prone to cracking?
Perhaps crazing might suit your purposes better, making it look older faster?
We also discussed this thread, He thought Shellac might suit you. This is (waxy, chitinous) beetle wingcases dissolved in alcohol and painted on. If you rub it on lots of times, it is called French Polishing. Same stuff, different application system. Chris.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 05:35 PM

Oh, both Shellac and French Polish are susceptible to water damage, showing 'blooming.' Not immediately.
Murray, sorry for spelling your name wrongly.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 02:28 AM

Melissa, it is Saturday night on the western side of the United States. How is your guitar feeling?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 02:37 AM

On this Saturday night in the middle of the US, the guitar is feeling neglected (or relieved) because I gave my hands a day off.

It looks good content quietly sitting alone.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 12:14 AM

Slight mishap tonight..a cat jumped on the guitar and bumped it off the freezer onto cement. Guess that's one way to sort of give it a 'distressed' look, but it sure isn't a method I like much.

Restringing tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 01:26 AM

Show the cat the difference after the strings are on, and attempt to instill the idea that it's not playable without them.

Whether the two of you can successfully form a touring minstrel team likely depends on whether the cat is an alto or soprano (a baritone cat would be better, perhaps, but they're rather rare).

Can your cat read music, or do you have to provide tab?

John


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 01:36 AM

We play by ear.
I do have helpful paws that want to play guitar and I'm glad they don't know how to drive..it could get kind of expensive if they learned about stores full of instruments!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 03:58 AM

I still have a couple things to do but I strung it anyway.
Nice!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 09:13 PM

The guitar has passed it's two biggest tests.
Monday night, my mother approved.
This afternoon, my best friend was impressed and when we were done playing, people who barely deign to speak to me swarmed to get a look at the guitar.

Success!

Thank you all for talking to me while I was working on it. I'm convinced this conversation made my task a lot easier and smoother.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 01:34 AM

Yes, you're not the first to compare my conversation with sandpaper.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 01:39 AM

Well I have installed a new pack of strings (the cheapest were Fender!), but it still doesn't sound too good without a bridge... back to the shop later.... :-0


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 04:44 PM

Gurney,
Fortunately, I don't discredit the usefulness of sandpaper!

Foolestroupe,
Is the one you're working on an archtop?
Fender is among the cheapest strings at music stores here too.
I'd like it if you'd pop back in to tell how yours sounds when you get it bridged.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 07:49 PM

More like a 'fallen arches' flatop top.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 08:45 PM

oh dear..that's going to make it really hard to buy shoes for!

How did it lose a bridge? I've never seen floating bridges on anything other than archtops..and I sure did have a heck of a time trying to get the bridge off the one I've been working on!


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: s&r
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 03:03 AM

Kay amongst others made flat tops with floating bridges. They were pretty cheap and nasty

Stu


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 04:22 AM

OK - got it down to the store.

The guy said it has no steel tension rod in the neck - he estimates it as dated about some time in the 1930s. There is NO label or any other ident marks. The fretboard is 'scalloped'. He found a nice cheap rosewood compensated (floating) bridge. He then suggested that I file a slight 'away' edge to the nut and bridge - on the one string he did to show me, it made a hell of a difference. The nut also needs to be filed down anyway as the action is very high on that fret.

Well when tuned and the bridge located correctly, you pluck it and it just hoooooooooooolds the note! I ain't no guitarist, but it DOES sound sweet! fairly bright too - but it needs a while to settle down and 'hold tune'.

Well pleased for something I dragged out from under the house cleaned the dirt and chook shit off....

:-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Crowhugger
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 01:32 PM

This has been great fun to follow. Thanks, Melissa! So what's your next project?
~CH.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: GUEST,yves
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 01:26 AM

I did something really stupid. I bought a vintage guitar
that had a really great sound. The wood was very dry so
I took some furniture polish to it to bring out some of
the wood grain. Looks ok now but I lost the rich sound
that it had originally. Polish had some lemon oil in it
and paraffins. Is there any way to strip it back to it's
original (close to) condition. It makes me sick and sad.
Any ideas appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 01:41 AM

I'll bet you came to the right place, GUEST,yves. There be amazing people here.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 05:54 PM

Foolestroupe,
So you got a decent 30s guitar up and running for the cost of a bridge? Good deal!

Guest Yves,
This thread seems to be about cleaning off furniture polish:
removing wax polish
Good luck. It will be kind of fun to listen to the sound coming back.

Crowhugger,
My next job is to finish up with this one..need to make a label and get some pics taken/posted.
I have a table with water rings to clean up so I guess that's my next big project. It doesn't seem as fun as another guitar would be.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM

the ultra cheap way to get rid of water rings on a table is to rub them with cigarette ash mixed to a paste with water.

it used to work back in the seventies, but everybody smoked back then, might be difficult to get the raw materials these days ...


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 07:22 PM

One could light a cigarette and lay it in an ashtray, I imagine. Remember how long an undisturbed ash becomes?


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 08:06 PM

"So you got a decent 30s guitar up and running for the cost of a bridge?"

No, cost of a bridge, set of fender strings, and some elbow grease.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 08:10 PM

Cigarette ash - cigarette tobacco used to contain stuff like potassium nitrate (possibly potassium chlorate) to help keep the tobacco smoldering. They are pretty powerful oxidisers (sort of bleachers). Also dangerous when handing in bulk dry form.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 10:30 PM

Yves, was that guitar in bare wood when you waxed it? Paraffins run from a thinnish liquid to a fairly solid wax.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Melissa
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 10:40 PM

Gurney,
Yves has the exact problem you were afraid I'd end up with if I oiled, huh?

Foolestroupe,
Elbow grease doesn't store well. I'd gladly pay postage if you'd ship me your leftovers..heh heh heh.
I forgot all about that set of strings. Guess that sort of doubles your investment.


Table-
I intend to try rubbing a nut on a ring. If that doesn't work, I'll either round up some ashes (not difficult to find with minimal effort) or possibly skip on to mineral spirits.


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Subject: RE: Guitar: Removing glossy finish
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:42 AM

Melissa, yes. Looking good, sounding dull.
Your rings might respond to a product called Neopol and elbow grease. If you can find it.
I used it on an electric organ that was caught in the rain whilst being transported. It worked, but it was laborious. Trying to work the oil- it is an emulsified oil, I think- through the pores the water had entered by.


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