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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:09 PM
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Epiphone EB-0 Project, 1st Refin! Advice needed...

Hey guys. I believe this is my first thread started in the Luthier's Corner, but I've been a longtime visitor and love the work you all do. I recently picked up a Korean Epi EB-0 at a local music store for super cheap, but it has a lot of cosmetic damage. Most of it is superficial and doesn't really bother me, but I've wanted a project for a while now so I've decided to strip it and stain it. But as I have no experience in this, I'm asking for a little advice.

I lucked up and found that the bass has a one-piece mahogany body, with a transparent red stain and a poly coating. From what I've gathered in my lurking on this forum, I think I'll try Citristrip to take off the poly coating. For the back of the neck, I plan on masking off the fingerboard and removing the neck from the body. I'm wondering whether or not the red stain will come off with this, or if I'll need to do some sanding when I get down there. Also, do I need to worry about the Citristrip weakening the glue that holds the fingerboard to the neck, or will proper masking eliminate that concern?

I plan on doing a matte oil-based stain, maybe with a little cherry or walnut tint to it, so I'm wondering what you guys would recommend for that as well.

I'll post more questions as they arise. And if pictures would help any of you with suggestions or anything, let me know and I'll try to get some up. Thanks in advance for the help TB'ers!!!
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Last edited by DRay521 : 06-27-2012 at 12:11 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:06 AM
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This is my first refinishing project, so any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:09 AM
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Make sure it is solid mahogany.
A lot of the Epi EB-0's have plywood body's
I have one of each.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:22 AM
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It sure seems to be. It's one solid piece, as far as I can tell from the grain. And being an '02 Korean model, it should be mahogany if it's as advertised. The only thing that makes me question it is the control cavity, which seems a little rough to me but could just be a subpar rout job than I'm used to seeing. Not bad, but not great.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:28 AM
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Look close, use a knife to scrape the paint.
I thought the same thing when I bought mine. It wasn't until after I got it home and took it apart to install a bridge pick up that I figured it out.

The plywood ones do sound brighter then mahogany but they weigh more too.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:35 AM
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Ok thanks hd, I'll check it tonight. By the way, I saw some of your EB's in researching this, and they really look great man. Nice work.
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2012, 11:11 AM
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Well, hdracer was right. It's a plywood body, but seems to have a veneer on it. Or is it just part of the red coating? Either way, how much will this affect my plan to strip it and stain it? Obviously I realize I don't want to stain a chunk of plywood, but if it's a veneer would it still work?
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2012, 11:22 AM
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you can stain it just like any other wood, though it will probably not look too nice. My two cents, do what every company out there does with plywood bodies, and paint it a solid color. Look at Reranch
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2012, 11:30 AM
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Were it me, I'd buy a mahogany body blank and use the plywood body as a pattern to cut out a new body.

Removing the finish from the existing body will likely damage the mahogany veneer. From there you will either have to sand/scrape it all off and apply a new veneer, or seal and fill the plywood, then paint a solid color.

I'd just make a new body.
  #10  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:17 PM
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I don't really have the tools to cut out a new body, and in my location mahogany is hard to find without making a significant trip. However, that does sound like the better idea. If I go the other route and try to maintain the veneer, will the citristrip work or do I need to try something else?
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:29 PM
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Citristrip should do the trick. The nice thing about it is that it works fairly slowly, so it's very controllable. So just take it slow and use a plastic scraper to keep from gouging the veneer.
  #12  
Old 06-29-2012, 04:55 PM
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Well, I've decided to go with the stripping route for now, because it's the most convenient if I can get it to work. If it screws up terribly or looks awful, I'll just buy some mahogany and route a new one. I'll keep you guys updated, aaand I'll probably ask 1 or 2 hundred more questions along the way

...especially when I get to the neck...
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2012, 05:11 PM
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Ok, well the stripping is going pretty well. The back is nearly done and I'm moving on to the front, but I've got a question. In removing everything to prep the front, I find I can't remove the pickup. The cover's off, but the pickup won't budge. What am I missing?

I'll try to get some pics up soon so y'all can see how it's coming along.
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2012, 05:38 PM
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Did you check if the pickup is still connected to the controls or not? It could still need to be unsoldered, and is being held in by the wires.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2012, 05:43 PM
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The rubber "spring" under the pick up is stuck to the paint. Wiggle and pry it a little, it will come out.
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2012, 07:43 PM
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Wiggled, pried...no luck. It's really in there. And I did wonder if the lead being connected was it, but there's plenty of slack in the wire and the pickup still won't budge. I don't want to pry too much more cause I don't want to damage the wood surrounding the pickup. Can I just tape it off and go ahead with the citristrip or are there any more suggestions?
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2013, 05:44 PM
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Well, it's been a while, not sure if anyone is still interested in this project, but it's come a good way from not being able to get the pickup out. But we've run into a new problem. The citristrip did a great job with the top coating, but under is a really strong coating or sealant. I've tried the citristrip, another really strong liquid stripper, coarse sandpaper, and this stuff will NOT come off. I'm thinking of trying a heat gun or an electric sander, but I wanted to see if there were any refinishing gurus out there with suggestions. Thanks guys.
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:05 PM
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The thick, polyester finish that they use is pretty tough. In my experience, the only thing that gets it off is brute force sanding. I stripped a cheap Epi Les Paul Jr. once and I threw everything at it I could find - all the way up to airplane stripper (nasty stuff that you DON'T want to work with). That softened it up a bit, but I still had to do a lot of strenuous scraping and sanding by hand around the edges and used a belt sander for the top and back. That's not an approach I typically recommend... Too easy to make divots in the surface, plus you've got all that chamfering to contend with.

You might have some success with a heat gun, as long as you're careful not to scorch the wood. In any regard, I wouldn't hold out much hope of preserving the veneer. If it were me, I would just sand it smooth with some 180 grit, then paint it a solid color.
  #19  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:47 PM
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If you damage the veneer, you could always apply a new veneer finish. I have just veneered my headstock and it was much much easier than I thought it would be. It is not as expensive either as buying mahogany. Ibought a roll 6'x 9" of walnut that is glue backed for $20. For a body width you may pay a little more. You apply it with a clothes iron a roller and a sharp knife.

So try the sanding and if it gets you where you want to be thats good, but if you get some veneer damage it isnt the end of your options.
  #20  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:08 PM
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!!

SORRY WRONG THREd oops
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Last edited by Max Pratt : 01-07-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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