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finish scratch removal?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by funk generator, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. funk generator

    funk generator Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    Johnson City, TN
    Hey guys, this seemed like the appropriate place to post :) so..
    i was wondering if there was a way to remove light to medium scratches in a finish. Mainly buckle rash.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've had limited success with the various compounds (rubbing, scratch removal, polishing, etc.). Just purchased a sample pack of micro-mesh pads but have yet to give them a trial. Supposed to use soapy water (think Murphy's) as the medium / lubricant. The finer grades are supposedly capable of polishing opticals.

    BTW, the source is www.stew-mac.com

  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Much of your success will depend on what kind of finish it is and what color it is. I try to discourage finish repairs - they almost never come out perfect. It's usually best to leave them alone.
  4. VroomVroom

    VroomVroom Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Buckle rash tends to run pretty deep - generally through the finish, or at least through the clear. If you can post a pic of the damage, that'd be helpful.

    Assuming you're talking about a sprayed clear poly finish, and the scratches are shallow (i.e. swirl marks and similar, ideally not felt when running a fingernail over the area), the best recommendation I can offer is Meguiar's Scratch-X. It's an automotive product that can be found at just about any parts store. It's a mild abrasive polish and will level the finish nicely. As with any abrasive polish, you don't need much product, but you do need to work it so it breaks down effectively. Rub with moderate pressure until there's very little residue, and then remove that with a dry (ideally microfiber) cloth.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Run your fingernail over the scratch. If the nail catches, it is almost certainly deeper than can be repaired to and acceptable degree of certainty.

    If it does not catch, it is truly a surface scratch. You can wet sand those scratches out of poly using progressively finer sandpapers (start around 800-1000 up to 1600 or so) and then buff it out with polishing compound.
  6. VroomVroom

    VroomVroom Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area, CA
    ^ FWIW...IME/IMO, of course. Don't use sandpaper. (And if you do...start with 1500 and move up from there. But again, don't. :D) You can do much more harm than good. If you can't feel the scratch with your fingernail, a fine abrasive polish will do the trick. Sanding is for extremely hard...and usually quite thick clearcoats, neither of which generally apply to instrument finishes.
  7. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    Yep. Usually makes things worse.
  8. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    Meguire's PlastX polish for light scratches.. 3M Finesse It II for slightly deeper scratches..

    but, buckle rash is heavy damage.. leave it as it is...

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