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You Stripped Poly. Was it worth it?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by ChalmersCharles, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. ChalmersCharles

    ChalmersCharles Tele-Meister

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    Hi, y'all,

    So, You stripped the poly off your guitar and refinished it. Would you say it was worth the trouble?

    How much better is your new finish, if at all?

    Would you recommend it?

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Yours,

    CC
     
  2. HockeyPop98

    HockeyPop98 Tele-Holic

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    Abso-froggin'-lutely! But it depends what you're after. I don't like the thick bulletproof poly, it cheapens the natural beauty of the wood (my personal opinion, not bashing those who like it.) Plus, you get dramatic effects to the wood's visual hue as it ages. I also love the look of a piece of wood, instrument or furniture, that is well cared for and used frequently, as it gets that burnished shine from the years of constant use. While I'm not a big relic fan, there's a lot of history you can see in a guitar that's earned it's scars.
    As for audible tonal differences, too many years of abuse my ears have taken in my career and military years keep me from offering insight on that!
     
  3. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    Definitely made a difference to the tone of my old MIM strat. I refinished it with a spray can light blue from a local hardware store but made sure it was a very thin finish. The clear coat I used has aged nicely and has added a slight yellowish tinge to the finish.
     
  4. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    It worked on John Lennon's Casino.
    Now it's probably the most sought after model.
     
  5. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I had the US made special edition factory version of that guitar...no way that was poly.
     
  6. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not the way I did it, with a sandind attachment on a drill. Luckily it was a lousy guitar to start with.

    I'm never doing it again. I'll just learn to like the colour.
     
  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I did, with a belt sander, and orbital sander, and a sand-paper-covered dowel chucked up in a hand drill. It was about 4 hours of work, but I like how it came out, with a bit of teak-colored stain and a couple coats of Tru-Oil.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think I'd do it again ('cuz I'd just buy an unfinished body next time), but I don't regret this one.
     
  8. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    no difference in tone but I had a wine red MIM strat that I hated the color so now I like it in blonde. The top of it had the dreaded laminate that is real easy to mess up when stripping and sanding so its not perfect.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Some have had success with a heat gun, as long as they don't burn the wood, in taking off big layers of the finish before sanding. Sand outside with a belt sander after and wear a mask.

    If you have a ubiquitous black body to start with then I'd suggest just face off the top and leave the sides and back original. Or do that first and see if you want to continue on to removing the rest.
     
  10. HockeyPop98

    HockeyPop98 Tele-Holic

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    I use a heat gun on the low setting, aiming the heat at the blade and body contact point. Takes maybe 60-90 minutes to remove all the poly from the body and neck, depending upon the temperature you're working in (I do this stage outside, it's a little messy!)
     
  11. nofrets

    nofrets Tele-Meister

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    I've done a couple with a heat gun, it's tricky to do without scorching the wood. Go slow, allow the polyester to heat and cool a couple of times and it will delaminate from the wood bit by bit. Probably goes without saying, but best to do this outside, and wear a good mask. Hot polyester smells just like uncured fiberglass resin - not good to breathe.
     
  12. kidmo

    kidmo Friend of Leo's

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    Good learning experience, glad to get the plasticky coating off. The wood was not that great (basswood) but it stained well and later I'll paint with nitro when I decide what I want. The heat gun worked well, inside the horns of a strat were the only slow going spots.
     
  13. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I used a mouse sander to remove the poly and the burst from a maple veneer on a PRS SE. It was MUCH easier than I was warned it would be. Not a PITA at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  14. Stratdan

    Stratdan TDPRI Member

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    I did it and I'm very happy with the results. Used a heat gun on a Warmoth factory finish and then re-dyed and used Tru Oil. Looks great but I don't notice any difference in the tone. The top is quilted maple and the back was three piece alder. I think that is why they painted the back black.
     
  15. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    I've done it, on a late 90's MIM Strat. Was it worth it? Hmmm...I honestly don't know how to answer that. It was way more work than I thought it would be, despite having read a bajillion threads with other peoples' experience.

    Ultimately, I ended up with a body stripped back to bare wood that I could then repaint from scratch; in that regard, I guess it was worth it (or at least, I succeeded.) With that in mind (and knowing what I know now), I'd much rather just buy a raw brand new body and save myself a ton of work! I got the body cheap (about $75), but considering the investment in time and sandpaper, I'd just as soon not have to do that ever again. So from a "did it somehow make the body more special?" standpoint, no: it's still the same body it was before, just without the factory paint. There are enough deals and web specials on good bodies (like Warmoth and USACG, and even MightyMite or the occasional Allparts B-stock) that I think it's a better idea to just spend that extra $25 or so to get something brand new unless it's a body you already have some kind of sentimental attachment to.
     
  16. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine came off clean and only took about an hour with the heat gun, so it was worth it for me. The sealer is tough as nails and looks so much better than the plastic-shiny poly that I haven't even bothered refinishing. They should sell them unfinished like that, if you ask me.
     
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