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Careless neighbor burned my poly finish with a soldering iron

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by giantrobotswinbig, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. giantrobotswinbig

    giantrobotswinbig TDPRI Member

    5
    Jun 28, 2017
    Olympia, WA
    TL/DR
    - Is it possible to repair this crack/burn to poly finish? (It's by Fender and from 2016.)

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    Full Version:
    - A guitarist neighbor of mine offered to help me out for free with some soldering for a pickup swap and rewiring. We've been friends for about 10 years. He's been playing guitar for ~40 years and has done a lot of his own soldering; so, I took him up on his offer.

    - He was extremely careless. He rested part of the soldering iron on the body for leverage while working on the control plate, and he ended up cracking/burning part of the poly finish. (See photos)

    - He tried to brush it off as being "inevitable" and that the mark is the "love-kiss" on the instrument. (That remark infuriates me the most because it's so sheepishly self-serving). He did not apologize, offer to try to fix it, or offer to pay for repair. He later sent a text that simply said, "You doing okay?", but he still hasn't said anything close to an apology or taking accountability for his mistake.

    - I'm incredibly angry. I can forgive mistakes, but I can't forgive his cavalier attitude. My luthier doesn't want to try to repair the damage because trying to repair poly often ends up looking worse : (

    - I am teaching myself how to solder and will not trust this neighbor again.

    Do any of you have any advice about repairing a metallic poly finish?
     

  2. Preacher

    Preacher Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    the best advice I can give you is to try to match it with some fingernail polish.
    Take the body down to your local nail salon and find a match, you would be surprised how many colors they have. Sand the area smooth, dab a little to color fill and you are good.

    As far as your neighbor, don't be too hard on him. I am sure he feels really bad and it might not be his cavalier attitude but his "I can't believe I did that and don't know what to say" attitude knowing he damaged your guitar.
    I have quit doing "free" guitar work for people, sometimes stuff like this happens and when you are getting paid for a job you have to make it right. But when you are doing it for free, or just as a favor and something goes wrong, you have a problem. I know it looks like a huge blemish to you, but in reality it is a pretty small mark on the edge that you can't see from five feet. Touch up will probably make it all but go away if you can get a close match.

    10 years of friendship these days is worth much more than any guitar I can think of. Don't throw away something so valuable if you can help it.
     

  3. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Idk about fixing the paint. But I'd take this as a lesson learned, and just not trust that guy with your gear. Keep the friend, but protect your stuff. ;-)
     
    jackinjax likes this.

  4. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    193
    Mar 6, 2016
    Hudson Valley, NY
    First, it its very rude and distracting to be breathing over somebody's shoulder when they are busy trying to do something. Second, I would find a new luthier if that person doesn't want to repair poly. A little silver nail polish and a little CA should do the trick. There are plenty how to's on poly repairs etc. Third, if you're happy with your luthier, you should have let him or her install your pick ups. And lastly, lighten up on your neighbor...he was only trying to help you. Otherwise, you should have just done it yourself.
     
    awasson, Omiewise65, Gibson and 4 others like this.

  5. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

    562
    Jul 15, 2014
    Orange County, CA
    honestly you could probably get that 90% of the way back to perfect just with some rubbing compound and patience.
     
    awasson, songtalk, soulman969 and 4 others like this.

  6. Mississippi_Kid

    Mississippi_Kid Tele-Meister

    293
    Aug 5, 2016
    Hinterlands, USA
    In general, I don't let other people touch my guitars. I had a guy put a huge chip in an old guitar. Didn't even say anything.

    A person can think I'm a jerk, but that's just my choice.
     
    Omiewise65 likes this.

  7. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    +1 on all of that.

    If I really wanted to hide it, I would try filling the crack with titanium oxide (obtainable from specialist food outlets), which is super-white, and super glue. I haven't done it with white, but I have successfully used black oxide cement dye in that way for a near-invisible repair on black.
     

  8. Grux

    Grux Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    710
    Jan 10, 2017
    Clarksville, TN
    So this guy installs the new pickup's and wiring FOR FREE, and "you're angry" about a minor barely visible mark on your poly?
     
    awasson, HTSMetal, Omiewise65 and 2 others like this.

  9. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

    510
    Apr 15, 2016
    Australia
    Sooo... how do the new pickups sound?
     
    awasson, Hags, soulman969 and 7 others like this.

  10. 61fury

    61fury Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 28, 2009
    knoxville, TN
    Can we see the rest of the guitar? I'm intrigued by that pearl and that shimmer from the control plate.

    If it's not a Tele you won't offend me if you show it here, or you could just post elsewhere on TDPRI

    On topic, I am an enthusiastic amateur and I have offered my free new found "abilities" to friends. It is a stressful situation, a lot more pressure than it's worth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
    awasson likes this.

  11. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    You've been friends for ten years, and you're upset about damage to a thing? Remember to be just as self-righteously infuriated with yourself the first time you do something clumsy with a soldering iron.
     
    awasson, soulman969, Gibson and 6 others like this.

  12. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Dec 29, 2007
    Brisbane Australia
    I have a lot more scars and blemishes on my aging body than that little mark and I am worth a hell of a lot more than any guitar.

    Move on and don't obsess about perfection.
     
    Omiewise65, Il Duce and 5ofeight like this.

  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    "sorry man, lemme buy you a beer and a new guitar"

    That's what I'd do....hoping the beer becomes a few more and then it's all buddy-buddy, water under the bridge...

    [Edit] You can repair it but perhaps just use some super glue filler and hit it with some micro mesh? Don't let the guy work on your stuff again, but you know this already.
     
    giantrobotswinbig likes this.

  14. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    692
    Oct 17, 2016
    Glasgow
    +1 on this
     
    awasson likes this.

  15. Rich B in Tempe

    Rich B in Tempe Tele-Holic

    Age:
    65
    570
    Apr 20, 2016
    Tempe Arizona
    Its pretty obvious that the instrument is ruined; you will NEVER be able to play up to your given potential, it appears that the most sain thing to do is donate the instrument to a young- peoples charity of some type, & dont let your "friend" do anymore solder jobs!!
     

  16. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    106
    Dec 27, 2007
    Albuquerque
    This is why I don't help anyone.

    Why does the guitar even need any work if it more important to keep it pristine, that to play it.
     

  17. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Absolutely. I'll have Initech set up as a 501c(3) non-profit, and he can send it to me for disposal. Problem solved.
     
    Johnson johnson and LutherBurger like this.

  18. luckett

    luckett Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Time to get out the belt sander and turn it into a relic.
     

  19. chris m.

    chris m. Friend of Leo's

    I put a bad soldering iron burn on the back of a nitro-finished, new Strat body that I had just purchased when I was putting it together and soldering the ground wire to the claw. Ooch.

    If you had done it yourself you would have most likely shrugged and moved on. Perhaps your neighbor could have been more apologetic, but these things do happen. Luckily it's not too bad and you've received good advice from this thread on how to make it look better. Fortunately, at this point for all my guitars I am able to wince for a couple of seconds then shrug it off on most typical dings and scratches.

    We went out to dinner with some friends of my wife recently and we all car pooled in my car. I parked fairly close to a wall and when the guy got out on the passenger side he just flung the door open and it bashed against the wall, putting a dent and a finish ding on the side of my car door. It was pretty darn clumsy of him. I sure wanted to throttle him at that moment. He said sorry, and just I shrugged it off even though I was livid inside. What are ya gonna do? No use crying over spilt milk, I guess. I was kicking myself because I realized I should have warned him to open the door carefully since we were close to a wall. My mistake was assuming that at over 60 years old this guy has been around in life and should realize by now how to open a car door without whacking it into things.
     

  20. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Time to get out the belt sander and turn him into a relic.
     

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