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The time has come - Poly Question

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Zillinois, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Zillinois

    Zillinois Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2009
    So the time has come to start on a refin for "Smokie", which I rebuilt after a recent house fire -


    There is still a lot of the original poly finish on this guitar, what is the easiest/quickest/best way to remove it, so I can start sanding?
  2. Vortexan

    Vortexan Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Man that is a cool looking guitar as is! Survived a fire and what is the rest of the story?
  3. 61fury

    61fury Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 28, 2009
    knoxville, TN
    More fire? Like a heat gun?
    Just get a leather or rusted metal pick guard and call it done. I love it.
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  5. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

    me too leave it alone man it has a story - the guard spoils it as is
    how about beaten copper?
  6. NastyMojo

    NastyMojo Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 1, 2012
    Heat gun is faster and easiest in my opinion. But I think it looks great the way it is!!
  7. Zillinois

    Zillinois Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2009
    Thanks, the short version - Right after the holidays in '09, I pieced this guitar together from Ebay/CL as I wanted a hardtail Mary Kay HH Strat. Two months later, we had a house fire, and she was in living room. Only the hardware and the body survived, so I cleaned it up as best I could, sanding down as much of burnt poly finish, cleaning up the hardware and went about finding a new neck & pick guard setup.

    But I think the time has come to try a nice white transparent nitro finish, as I really love the build threads here on TDPRI. I've also gotten comments when gigging that it looks "too much like SRV", but what do they know ? :)

    Maybe a more natural pickguard may suffice! :)

  8. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I would not change it. Except the pickguard.

    I would start with a new cheap CL guitar if you want to refinish somethin.
  9. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    It's gong to be hard to do a transparent finish as those burn marks aren't really removable.
  10. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 4, 2010
    Shrewsbury, MA
    Another vote for leaving it as-is!
  11. songofthewind

    songofthewind Tele-Meister

    Sep 28, 2008
  12. wallis222

    wallis222 Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    For the love of Guitar, leave it!
  13. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

    Mar 2, 2012
    Northampton, UK
    Leave as is! It looks great, and is genuine
  14. Zillinois

    Zillinois Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2009
    Wow, I'm glad everyone is so passionate about leaving it as is.

    Believe me, I tried sanding as much as possible, trying to remove as little wood as possible, but yes, those burn marks aren't going anywhere. I'd probably have to do a solid color instead of a transparent. That would probably look pretty bad in a transparent.

    Thanks guys
  15. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2008
    The Golden State
    I'm not as sentimental as some. I used a cheap heat gun to remove polyester from my MIM Tele. Super easy!
  16. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

    Apr 28, 2009
    Leave it as it is, add a dirty white pickguard (the white guard will make it look less like SRV) and age the neck a little.
  17. rip_topaz

    rip_topaz Tele-Meister

    Apr 18, 2011
    Willow Street, PA
    Change the guard and clearcoat it. It looks great and has memories attached. I'd leave it as is, but clearcoat it with Polycrylic so the burns still show but it is protected.
  18. Carlsson

    Carlsson Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2012
    Keep it!

    I'd keep the PG tho, as I think adding some beat up PG would make it "too much". As it is now, it looks like a restored burn victim. Which it is.
  19. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

    Mar 2, 2012
    Northampton, UK

    Seriously, if you wanted to refinish it, I would offer to buy it off you as is, and give you the chance to buy some other body to finish
  20. Silverface

    Silverface Friend of Leo's

    Mar 2, 2003
    Redondo Beach CA
    Smoke/char/fire damage stains are extremely tough to seal, and without a good seal coat (XIM, Kilz - the solvent-base, pigmented shellac type)stains can come through some time later. There's no way to absolutely ensure stains won't bleed through so you have to really load up on the sealer to "lock in" the discoloration. This can kill your tone to some degree and make the thing look like one of those reviled late 70's "dipped in plastic" Fenders.

    I throw in my vote with the "leave it alone" crowd. IMO it looks cool, it sounds as good as it could possibly sound with any kind of finish on it, and it's certainly an attention-getter with a story to tell! Find a thrashed pick guard or melt the existing one around the edges, relic the metal (plenty of threads with info on how to do it) and it'll be a true "one-off" custom instrument. I wouldn't clear coat it - the gloss over the fire damage would look a little weird to me.

    Or as the previous poster suggested, sell it if you don't like it. Heck, if you put it up for auction I know I'd have my little consortium bidding on it!
  21. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

    Mar 2, 2012
    Northampton, UK
    Get your filthy hands off my body!

    Ummm. The OPs body? Yes, his body.

    For now.....

    It will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine.

    Unless, you know, he doesn't want to sell or something....

    Now. OP. Look into my eyes. You are feeling very sleepy....
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