Need refinishing advice... nitro on poly

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by dangervolta, Jan 21, 2014.


  1. dangervolta

    dangervolta

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    [​IMG] I have an old Memphis project bass I want to refinish nice and glossy. This is my first refinish attempt. I know its a hell of an undertaking and kind of sacrilegious but the original poly (or at least a 79-84 MIJ Memphis should be poly and it didn't react to nail polish as someone suggested I test) has craters and nicks all over it. I tried the iron steaming trick to lift them out but I guess that only works on nitro/laquer finishes. I won't dare try to chemically strip it. I would sand it off but that could be a nightmare. Heard heat gun was best bet but afraid I might damage the original grain/color. I'm willing to try anything on the body but at some point on the neck I will have to sand w 320 grit and spray over the old poly to avoid witness lines without risking damage to headstock. I dare not touch front or back of headstock due to decal on front and original paper serial # sticker on back. I want to use colortone aerosol nitrocellulose (not for bs tone reasons just want easy application and a nice shine.) So question is #1- what's my best bet for prep and #2- can I just tape off the front/back of headstock and fretboard with the dark green 3m masking tape? Heard the blue stuff was bad news and 3ms product chart says deep green is the only nitro friendly tape. Thanks for reading and any input is appreciated. Image of same guitar above for reference ( not mine but identical)
     
  2. dangervolta

    dangervolta

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    Here is the headstock and damage details:

    [​IMG]

    Just an example but whole body is covered in these except headstock and neck.

    [​IMG]

    BTW anyone know the exact year and model of this guitar? One seller claims its an '84 but it is has the EXACT same body style of the '79 MG-300 Pharoah except that that was a guitar and this is a bass. Unless they kept that body style around a while my guess is its closer to '79.
     
  3. pfox14

    pfox14

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    If you don't strip the poly off the bass, then the nitro lacquer will not adhere properly and it will peel eventually. My suggestion is leave it alone and chalk up the "battle scars" to mojo.
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    The nitro will adhere fine, just make sure you block sand it down with 320 or 400 grit and clean it very well with a grease and wax remover.
     
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  6. dangervolta

    dangervolta

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I heard minus the g&w remover after. Didn't know about that one. Will do. Any ideas on best removal method?
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Just get a can of grease and wax remover from an auto paint supplier and wipe it on with a clean rag. Let it dry and go over it with a tack cloth just before spraying it.
     

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