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Finish removal help

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by mefgames, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Back 2010, I bought a Schecter Stilletto Bass with a broken headstock for parts. It's been hanging on the wall above my workbench since then. I decided to see if I could salvage the body, so I cut off the thru neck and am trying to remove the finish. I bought some stripper that says it removes poly, but this must be something else because it did nothing. Does anyone know what Schecter used for finishes back then and what to use to remove it? Sanding is tedious at best.

    Thx
     
  2. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    As in the country?
     
  3. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Heat?
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have tried to strip catalyzed poly for gluing down acoustic guitar bridges - none of the normal chemical strippers work. I have heard that some people use heat, never tried it. When I have to get to bare wood its plain old chisels and sandpaper. Use a RO sander and go thru the grits.
     
  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If chemical stripper is not doing the job, it's probably catalyzed polyester. This is extremely tough stuff.

    If you can find it, get Aircraft Stripper. This is the strongest finish remover short of heat and/or fire. Scuff all glossy surfaces with sandpaper first to give the stripper a bit of a head start. It may take several applications and scrapings. It may not work at all, depending on the type of polyester formula that was used.

    If you decide to use a heat gun to remove catalyzed polyester, be forewarned: the heat does not soften it. Instead, it makes the finish pop off in shards like little splinters of glass (I am not exaggerating).

    What this means is you need to suit up and wear PPE (goggles, gloves, etc.). It also means you cannot do this job out in the yard because the little shards go flying and they will end up on the ground, and that will make your yard off limits for years to anyone that's barefoot.

    All the above sounds like science fiction but it's all true.
     
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  6. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    The infamous "aircraft stripper" might work. Worth a shot for a quart to try. If it's some kind of epoxy mix, it might be nearly impervious to chemical stripping.
     
  7. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    put the stripper on heavy and cover it with clear plastic. you can work it around once the plastic is on. I use garbage bags, Saran Wrap, Vizqueen, etc. it traps the evil solvents and keeps them close to the work. you can fool around with it while its working and not have to touch the stripper. if everything works well, most of the finish sticks to the plastic

    that said, there is some finishes that "Aircraft Stripper" will not take off.
     
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  8. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies. It must be catalyzed polyester to the nth degree. This stuff doesn't even want to come off with a heat gun. I've been using my RO Sander on the front and back, but the inside of the 2 horns is gonna be a bugger.

    Thanks again guys......
     
  9. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Between the ROSS and RO sander, I've pretty much got the finish off. Oops, I sanded thru the paper thin quilt in front of the neck pickup. Still thinking about how to fix that. Maybe I can touch it up with something or maybe I remove the quilt on the entire front neck tru. One step at a time. The guitar was originally cherry red as shown in the photo, and I'm thinking re-doing the same color, but maybe bursting the edges darker.

    And yes I know the workbench is a disaster. I doesn't always look like that. Sometimes, it's worse......

    IMG_0808.jpeg IMG_0874.jpeg IMG_0873.jpeg
     
  10. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Had to remove the center portion of quilt veneer. The more I touched it up, the worse it looked.

    IMG_0877.jpeg
     
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  11. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Installed the 2 way truss rod in the neck and glued the FB yesterday. Cut and shaped the neck today.

    IMG_0887.jpeg IMG_0886.jpeg
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    There's "poly"urethane which the stripper will work on,
    ..... and there's 2 part catalyzed "poly" which you need a heat gun for.
    The word gets used for different things.

    Well damn, just saw it's a zombie thread! Nice progress...
     
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  13. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    [QUOTE

    Well damn, just saw it's a zombie thread! Nice progress...[/QUOTE]

    I thought a Zombie thread was one that has been dead for a long time. So I looked it up. According to Urban Dictionary, A forum thread that has been dead for over a week and then out of nowhere some a**hole brings it back to life. You do learn something new everyday.

    On another note, here's todays progress.

    IMG_0890.jpeg IMG_0891.jpeg
     
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  14. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Holic

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    That baby's looking nice.
     
  15. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Body sanded and stained, neck got its first coat of Tru-oil.

    IMG_0920.jpeg
     
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  16. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is that Waterfall Bubinga?
     
  17. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    I'm not sure. This was a Schecter Elite Bass neck thru with a broken headstock for parts, so I'm not sure of the quilt ??? veneer top. It is pretty though. After having it hang over my workbench for 10 years, I decided to rescue the body.

    I don't usually name my builds, but this has got Fontella all over it. She got a new coat today.....


    IMG_0922.jpeg
     
  18. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    What could possibly go wrong ? Started wetsanding and and buffing and ran head on into to solvent pop. I wait 45 to 50 minutes between lacquer coats, and only spray on warmer days, so this was an unwanted surprise. Sure glad there's a Plan B. Removed all the finish and re-stained. Tomorrow, I will be applying Odie's oil for a more natural Warwick like finish. I will post pics when I get there.
     
  19. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Depending on what kind of stain you used, the solvent pop may have come from applying the lacquer too soon. Too bad; it looked nice like that. I'm sure oil will too.
     
  20. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Denatured alcohol with ColorTone red, applied and dried for 2 days !!!
     
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