StewMac technology guru Erick Coleman on how best to offer your instrument a sweet new l k in five easy steps—sans fancy t ls.

StewMac technology guru Erick Coleman on how best to offer your instrument a sweet new l k in five easy steps—sans fancy t ls.

DIY How to Refinish Your Axe

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You like your electric guitar. You’ve been playing it for a long time, nevertheless the right time has arrived to give it a makeover. The colour was c l whenever you purchased it (picture 1), but now you’d just like a modification.

It’s not t difficult to refinish an electric guitar. Significantly more than anything, it is a matter of persistence. Taking the time to properly prep the lumber and allow cure that is appropriate can yield excellent results, even for the first-timer.

There are several kinds of finish useful for guitars. Traditional nitrocellulose finishes are found on numerous high-end instruments also manufacturing guitars by Gibson and Martin, in order to name a manufacturers that are few. Harder polyurethane finishes is available on an incredible number of guitars, including most Fender, Ibanez, and Epiphone models. Some manufacturers are now actually additionally making use of eco-friendly waterborne finishes that are safer to handle.

With this task, we will be getting rid of a polyurethane that is existing and refinishing the guitar with nitrocellulose lacquer in aerosol cans, for convenience. This refin will likely result in a better-sounding instrument as well in addition to changing the appearance.

A electric guitar having a thin nitro finish will resonate a lot better than one with a poly that is hard. But nitrocellulose is flammable and hazardous to inhale, so ensure you have a well-ventilated workshop and use appropriate safety precautions, like putting on a respirator mask.

First you’ll need to solder together and tape from the north coil finish and south coil finish ( this is the series link). Then, here’s a listing of those items required along using the StewMac parts numbers and levels of the services and products we’ll usage

Hair dryer or heat gun to eliminate current finish. Putty knife (#4464 and #1287). Sandpaper in a number of grits for w d prep and finish work (#5562). Aerosol lacquer (#5886 Sonic Blue x 1, #3881 gloss x that is clear). Polishing cloth (#1815 x 2). Liquid polishing compounds (#1845 medium, #1846 fine). Respirator mask (#5885).

Step 1 Disassemble the guitar the initial step is to just take the instrument totally apart, getting rid of all equipment and electronics (Photo 2). Keep most of the components in one single spot as you take them off which means you don’t have to hunt them down when you are prepared to reassemble your guitar.

Step two Strip the finish that is existing are really a few various ways to remove a finish. Merely sanding an end can be quite time intensive and dirty, and chemical that is using can be extremely toxic and messy. I’ve found the way that is best to cleanly and easily strip polyurethane finish of this type is by using a locks dryer or heat weapon and a versatile putty knife (Photo 3).

Gently scoring a kick off point in the finish with a sharp putty blade will give you an excellent entry point after the finish is heated. The idea is to soften and lift the conclusion without burning it, so it’s essential to help keep the weapon moving while heating. Utilizing the gun set on the setting that is lowest, begin warming up the scored area on the electric guitar. It and start removing it (Photo 4) when you see the finish starting to lift, work the knife underneath.

As s n as you get beneath the finish, the remainder working work goes pretty fast. Use care not to harm the timber because of the scorch or knife it together with your temperature supply. Remove just as much regarding the finish possible, including that in the cavities (Photo 5).

Action 3 Prepare the body whenever most of the finish is eliminated, it is time to prepare the body for refinishing. Inspect the physical body and throat for any dings, potato chips, or other imperfections. Small dents can be steamed out by putting a cloth that is damp the dent and applying heat by having a soldering iron. (For directions on steaming out dents, see “Steaming Out Dents in a ’71 Medallion Flying V.”) Chips will require to be filled.

Once you’ve inspected the human anatomy and examined it for dings and potato chips, it’s time to gather your sandpaper and sanding obstructs (Photo 6).

Utilizing a backing that is flat and beginning with 120-grit sandpaper, sand the complete human anatomy working just in direction of the grain (Photo 7). Inspect the body to ensure that you are getting rid of any traces of finish or sealer remaining from the initial paint work. Following a complete sanding, wipe down the body with a wet cloth to increase the grain. Let it dry, then sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Enhance the grain with a moist fabric once again and sand a 3rd time, making use of sandpaper that is 320-grit. Take your time and execute a job that is thorough these actions to guarantee you can get a g d flat work surface to construct your finish on. Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe the body with a rag that is naphtha-dampened eliminate any oils or oil menchats mobile kept by the hands. With this point on, wear gloves that are clean you won’t contaminate the timber.

Step 4 Spraying It’s now time to spray your finish. For this you will require some type or form of handle for holding your electric guitar and a spot to hang it to dry. Pieces of scrap w d make g d handles for holding the physical human anatomy as you spray (Photo 8). In addition they offer you a real option to hang your body although it cures. Here’s where being especially patient will probably pay down. a professional nitrocellulose finishing task takes days to accomplish, but the outcome is one thing you will be happy with!

Suggestion utilize hot lacquer, not c l. Pro finishers spray heated lacquer because cold lacquer spatters, requiring work that is extra obtain a level finish. For most useful results, temperature your cans in a sink of warm water before spraying (picture 9).

One day. Spray a preliminary light misting or tack coating (Photo 10), adopted a few mins later on by way of a more substantial wet coating. The tack layer gives the coat that is wet adherence and lessens the opportunity of the run within the finish. Spray two to three coats that are wet not runny, thick coats) in the body, 90 mins apart, and let them dry instantly.

Day two. Employing a backing pad in the flat areas, lightly scuff-sand your body with 320-grit sandpaper to knock off the high spots in the finish. Sand just enough to start the finish—don’t attempt to sand down every shiny spot or sunken area into the lacquer at this time. Clean down most of the sanding residue. Spray two to three color that is uniform for complete coverage, allowing 90 minutes between coats.

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