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Old April 21st, 2003, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stripping Polyester

I've posted this over at reranch, but I was hoping that someone over here might have an idea. I've been trying to strip a black Classic 60's RI Fender Strat. According to Fender it has a polyester finish. (I've been able to strip their polyurethane finishes before.) I've tried Zip-Strip, Bondo Aircraft Finish Remover, Sherwin-Williams Savoran. They all take off a clear top coat but do not even soften the black color coat. Still hard as nails. I really don't want to go with a heat gun. Too many bad memories of stripping cabinets.

Any other ideas? I'm ready to give up and coat over the black.

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Old April 21st, 2003, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Been down the same road. Only way to get it off is by a professional who has all the dipping and whatnot...or a belt sander. That stuff is basically a plastic version of mumification, kinda like powder coating.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 04:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Acid

My old guitar tech used to use an acid bath, can't remember the type of acid he used but it stripped it totally in around 10-15 minutes. Goodness knows what it does to the wood though.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Stripping Polyester

I stripped a finish off an old guitar once with
some stuff I got from home depot. The finish
never melted, it just sort of flaked away. slowly.
underneath was a real nice maple body.
If you are not going to do it in natural, why
bother? Even so, it's probably not worth the
effort and exposure to nasty chemicals that might
shorten your lifespan.
If you gotta refinish, just paint over what you got.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 04:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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sand it to get a grip, bondo to get rid of the holes/gaps/dings, and paint over it. Otherwise you'll have to sand it all!
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I stripped Poly once, but had to get her drunk first!
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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Removing that stuff is easy... first ya get a small Thermo-Nuclear device.

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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You might need to rethink your aversion to the heat gun.
You like the heat gun...
The heat gun is your friend...
The heat gun's your daddy..............
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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Been down the same road. Only way to get it off is by a professional who has all the dipping and whatnot...or a belt sander. That stuff is basically a plastic version of mumification, kinda like powder coating.
1500watt heat gun from Harbor Freight, a scraper and finally a orbital sander and you will have it all off in a couple hours. Wear eye protection because the poly explodes and flies across the room when it is heated. Also, do not hold the heat gun in one place for too long because you will burn the body. I hope this helps.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rogers View Post
I've posted this over at reranch, but I was hoping that someone over here might have an idea. I've been trying to strip a black Classic 60's RI Fender Strat. According to Fender it has a polyester finish. (I've been able to strip their polyurethane finishes before.) I've tried Zip-Strip, Bondo Aircraft Finish Remover, Sherwin-Williams Savoran. They all take off a clear top coat but do not even soften the black color coat. Still hard as nails. I really don't want to go with a heat gun. Too many bad memories of stripping cabinets.

Any other ideas? I'm ready to give up and coat over the black.
The only one I've ever had any results with that were Positive....was Klean-strip Aircraft Remover....and it will do it...but it's some work involved.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Really RETHINK the heat gun! I've tried many of the commercial finish strippers and tried a heat gun after the strippers failed to work. I will not use anything else. Just stripped a Tele yesterday... heat and scrape and done in about an hour or so.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Heat gun.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Throw dollar bills at it.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I always use a heat gun when stripping poly-anything.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've spent the last three days stripping this with Air Craft Remover:




Should have got a heat gun.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I always use a heat gun when stripping poly-anything.
Hey Vegas!
Great to see folks from the The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration board hanging out here as well!
Don't wanna hijack this thread, but...help me understand here...won't a heatgun scorch the wood real easy?!?
Is Polyurethan (basecoat of a 52 AV RI) easier to strip with chemicals than Polyester?
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey Vegas!
Great to see folks from the The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration board hanging out here as well!
Don't wanna hijack this thread, but...help me understand here...won't a heatgun scorch the wood real easy?!?
Is Polyurethan (basecoat of a 52 AV RI) easier to strip with chemicals than Polyester?

Only if you get too close. A method that works really good for me is to clamp the body down and then hold your heat gun in one hand and a scraper in the other. Keep the heat gun about 6-8 inches away from the body until you see the finish start to bubble a little. Start scraping the finish off. it works best if you keep the heat on it constantly and just scrape with the other hand. Also make sure you keep the heat gun moving and not keep it in just one spot.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The best thing to do is just use some 400 grit over the original finish to rough it up and paint right over it. This way no sealer no filler just paint the color coats and clear and your done.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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just use some 400 grit over the original finish to rough it up and paint right over it.

I was wondering if anyone would come up with the Original Fender solution, . . . Ummm. . .. Leo Fender solution...

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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I started to use the chemicals on a body once, and didn't like the mess and the work involed.

I finished with a heat gun, and it took me less time to do more with it...

I used the method as explained by Vegas.

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