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Removing checking on a vintage guitar?!?!

twangplank
June 28th, 2011, 12:01 AM
First off I am a pro painter and actually specialize in lacquer work but this is a new one on me.

I do a lot of guitar refinishing and a guy contacted me with a 1966 Goya (sp?) Hollow body. Its in great condition minus a headstock chip and the usual checking. He wants the checking cracks gone and wants me to sand it level and overspray with a new coat of lacquer.

I'm VERY hesitant to do this as its so clean but that's what he wants. I was wondering if I could use blush eraser to get rid of checking on old lacquer or maybe some sort of mixture of retarder and solvent.

I'm trying to think of any way to get out of applying more lacquer to this guitar.

I'm more accustomed to stripping and starting over or repairing chips so repairing something natural like checking seems silly. I thank you for any ideas.

scantron81
June 28th, 2011, 12:12 AM
Considering what people are willing to pay for checking (authentic or relic'd), this is beyond me.

Buckocaster51
June 28th, 2011, 12:59 AM
What you describe should work.

I think.

Remember, this is free advice.

Are you sure, really sure, the finish is lacquer?

Wouldn't that loose, sloppy, dissolved "lacquer" have a desire to slough right off the body?

Would you customer be cool with you if the process went wrong?

Could you "paint" the rebonder into the cracks to get them to melt together?

Jack S
June 28th, 2011, 01:19 AM
If it were a collectable guitar I wouldn't do it at all, but I don't believe there is any great value in an old Goya. Someone else may know something I don't about them, but they were not all that great a guitar to begin with.

Back in the 1970s there were a few guys who were using I believe a combination of solvent and heat to soften finishes to let them liquify and blend together to remove checking, but the technique fell out of favor. I am not sure why, but there is probably a good reason not to do it.

I saw a 1920's era Martin done this way and it looked and sounded very good. In fact, I almost bought it, but it was slightly out of my price range at the time.

twangplank
June 28th, 2011, 10:35 AM
It was his dads guitar. Its very cool looking but I don't know about value. I just told him find someone else because I don't want to ruin the finish on his dads old guitar and him turn it back on me.

I figure my reputation is more important than getting a job.

I may have to do some lacquer samples and try to see if I can reflow the check marks out with the ideas mentioned. Just for curiosity sake.

Colt W. Knight
June 28th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Those cracks probably have years of dirts/debris worked into them. Imagine a crack in the concrete. Dirt gets in there, and weeds grow.

Old Cane
June 28th, 2011, 11:14 AM
Yeah, you might want to either pass or talk him into a complete refinish.

twangplank
June 28th, 2011, 03:58 PM
Yeah. I passed on it.
Thanks for the input guys :-)

Lost_N_Austin
June 28th, 2011, 04:35 PM
I firmly believe that an intervention is justified in this case. The owner of the guitar should be surrounded by a few concerned TDPRI members, future heirs (that might later inherit the guitar) and Jillian Michaels from "The Biggest Loser".

At that point the owner should be subjected to six straight hours of Antiques Roadshow viewing followed by a recorded lecture from George Gruhn and Dan Erlewine. At that point, a few pictures of Eddy Van Halen's Red/Black/White Stratocaster should drive the point home.:lol:

You did the right thing by saying "NO".

Lost_N_Austin

Colt W. Knight
June 28th, 2011, 05:26 PM
I firmly believe that an intervention is justified in this case. The owner of the guitar should be surrounded by a few concerned TDPRI members, future heirs (that might later inherit the guitar) and Jillian Michaels from "The Biggest Loser".

At that point the owner should be subjected to six straight hours of Antiques Roadshow viewing followed by a recorded lecture from George Gruhn and Dan Erlewine. At that point, a few pictures of Eddy Van Halen's Red/Black/White Stratocaster should drive the point home.:lol:

You did the right thing by saying "NO".

Lost_N_Austin

A year or so ago, a guy I work with asked me to refinish his vintage Les Paul. He told me the white paint had turned yellow and the finish had cracks.

I told him I would kick his @$$ if he refinished that guitar.

otterhound
June 28th, 2011, 06:54 PM
Let me get this right . You're a pro that specializes in lacquer work and you are asking these questions .
A lacquer spray job on an acoustic a very thin . Nothing like what I have seen here . My 00 is two coats of clear on the top and three everywhere else , not nine , more or whatever .
Point being that if it is a quality finish on an acoustic , once you have sanded level , you haven't far to go until you are through the clear . Unless you are sure of what chemicals you are working with there is no way to be sure of compatibility with what you are spraying .
I am curious as to what you would charge for a complete refinishing on the guitar in question .

geetarfreek82
June 28th, 2011, 07:01 PM
Sorry guys, hafta ask... I work solely with lacquer, doesn't it have a 100% burn in? Meaning by simply spraying new lacquer on it the existing stuff should mostly re-liquify and get rid of the checking? I've never done this before, but the theory is correct, right?

Colt W. Knight
June 28th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Sorry guys, hafta ask... I work solely with lacquer, doesn't it have a 100% burn in? Meaning by simply spraying new lacquer on it the existing stuff should mostly re-liquify and get rid of the checking? I've never done this before, but the theory is correct, right?

As long as it doesn't have any crud caught in there.