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how to remove piece of wood that's been glued to body?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by snackbandit, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. snackbandit


    May 14, 2006
    San Diego
    Just picked up this amazing 80's MIJ Fender P off a fellow TB'er the other day. I am absolutely in love with it. But, a small piece of wood has been glued/epoxy'd onto the body to serve as a thumb rest, and I want to take it off without ruining the finish. I've enclosed some pics. Any advice would be awesome, thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. You could try heating it up with a hair dryer, or carefully with a heat gun, and work a length of dental floss through it. Clean up the glue residue with a readily available, safe product called Goo-Gone.

    If it's a strong epoxy, I'm afraid some paint is going to come off with.
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    If we do not know what type of adhesive was used It makes it tough to choose a method.

    If you have some experiece here are a couple of methods:

    White/yellow woodworking glues don't have much shear strength but won't stick to the finish very well. Super glue will stick very well but also does not have the shear strength. Given this the first thing to try is tapping it off. Place a chisel on the glue line and give it a sharp rap with a mallet taking care to hit only the chisel. If you like you can mask off the surface with some masking tape. One or two hits should knock it off. Since the direction of the force you are applying is parallel to the finish it should not take the finish with it. This procedure can also be performed by placing a hard wood block against the offending piece of wood if the chisel makes you nervous.

    If this doesn't work then the glue is probably an epoxy. With epoxy take a sharp chisel and shave the block down to the epoxy. Feel free to shave off as much of the epoxy as you dare. Removing the rest of the glue is a process of grinding and polishing. Using files and/or hard blocks with abrasives grind the glue down to finish surface. Try to keep the scratches to a minimum in the paint. Starting with 220 grit wet or dry paper smooth the area and establish an even scratch pattern. Use a little bit of water or naphtha to float abrasive particles away from the work. Work your way through the grits to 2000 grit making sure to wipe the work piece off before changing to a finer grit. At this point, assuming you do not have a way of buffing with a machine, using auto body rubbing compounds work through the line using finer grits. Meguiars is a good line of compounds. If you used 2000 grit, strat with Meguiars #2 rubbing in a roughly circular pattern. Move to #4, then #7. Finish with some #9. The entire process takes less than an hour but is not for the weak of heart.

    Failing all of this take it to a pro.

    BTW, Goo Gone and other such products do not work on cured glues or finishes. If you read the Goo Gone label the things that it is supposed to work on are latex paint, chewing gum, and glue from "stick ons" whatever that might be. From experience it does not work well on cured latex finishes. It might work on chewing gum but I've never needed to remove chewing gum from anything. If by "stick ons" they mean bumper stickers and the like those adhesives typically can be removed with water or naphtha depending on the adhesive type although a former apprentice of mine likes to use a heat gun to remove bumper stickers from guitars. To each his own.

    Heat is not a bad idea but care must be taken lest the finish is damaged.
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I agree with the heat thing. You may get better results if you use just the tip of a laundry iron to pinpoint the heat.

    If it hasn't loosened when the wood is too hot to touch, it may be epoxied. If it's epoxied on, the wood itself will have to be removed to expose the glue line, which can then be scraped off the paint. The problem is that epoxy glues way too well to use for instrument repair, in most cases.
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    If you can determine that it is superglue, you can get a debonder from hobby retailers. Look for the Zap brand of superglues (cyanoacrylates?) and the debonder they sell. I would contact Stew-Mac and see what they recommend for removing epoxy.
  6. I agree with all of the advice above - this is one of those cases where the best answer is "Whatever works for you".

    It is possible to use a file in situations like this. By shaving down the block until its impractical to scrape further and then, using a small fine file, you can file the remaining epoxy while the file slips freely on the undisturbed finish. I use my needle files this way and you'll be surprised at how it works. Use just the pressure of the weight of your hand. When the area is smooth and level, you can wetsand it, then buff it out.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 5, 2020

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