Removing clear coat entirely. any shortcuts? :)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DanAdams, Jun 22, 2017.


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  1. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Maine
    I have this old Matsumoku body that I think looks quite nice. I want to take the old thick, hard, damaged finish off and apply a new light finish.
    I've done this with an old Ibanez Musician, and the finish just popped off in big 'quarter size' chunks when i pushed a chisel under it. That approach is not working on this finish. It would take a whole day to chip it off this one.

    Any suggestions? Thanks
    IMG_9107.jpg
     
    scourgeofgod likes this.
  2. jazzyvee

    jazzyvee

    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I was having a Blue stratocaster refinished by John Diggins (Jaydee Custom guitars) and he advised me to use nitromors to remove the existing finish.
    [​IMG]
    Mine went from this: 37516.jpg

    To this perfectly: 108742.jpg
     
  3. You can try applying heat, sometimes that will make it peal right off.
     
  4. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Maine
    I may try that. I thinking about cooling down the body in the fridge first too, but I don't want any of the glue joints to crack. I'll just try a hair dryer first.
     
  5. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    A hair dryer won't touch it, you need a heat gun. get a cheap one ($12.99) at Harbor Freight. I've never had any luck with chemical strippers on Poly (if that's what it is), and you are nearly guarenteed to gouge the body someplace with a chisel. Get a nice metal scraper and file the sharp corners off it, then go to town. Should come off in sheets.
    1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun 572°/1112°
     
  6. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    If it's poly, a heat gun is your best bet. I did an old global (probably also a matsumoku) that way and it worked great when chemical stripping wouldn't touch it
     
    DanAdams and Gilmourisgod like this.
  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.

     
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