First Timer

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by wankeenobi, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Hi all.

    I'm new to refinishing guitars and want to get into it. I'm handy with tools and woodworking but due to limits in my environment and budget, I cannot outfit any kind of workshop. Therefore, my work will mostly be done by hand.

    I'm going to try my hand at refinishing this Cort CR100
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I have already scoured the internet forums and Youtube and come across all kinds of methods and contradictions so I'm just going to ask the good folks here for advice.

    Before I start, please refrain from giving me advice about other materials I should be using etc. I have researched for months and will be working with what I can source locally and relatively cheaply. The things I list here are literally the only options I have.

    I'm going to be rattlecanning everything.
    The color coat will be automotive touch up paint (enamel)
    with Minwax Polycrylic as the clearcoat. I still need to test this combination but from what I've read, as long as I give the enamel plenty of time to cure, I should be fine.

    So a few questions to start:
    - How many cans of Poly will I need to get a decent coating on the body, headstock and neck? Unlike many people, I actually like a thick clear coat on my guitar body.
    - What exactly is a "witness line" and how does one prevent it from occuring?
    - How should I approach the clear coat on the neck? Just a few coats of Poly sanded smooth?

    Your collective wisdom would be much appreciated!
     
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  2. tonebender

    tonebender Well-Known Member

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    First off, welcome to the forum. I have experiment with different types of paint versus the traditional lacquer with success so you should be fine. You should be able to avoid witness lines if the surface is nice a smooth with no indentations when you begin painting. Multiple coats with block sanding between each coat can level them out as well.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
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  3. BrianSkeezer

    BrianSkeezer Well-Known Member

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    I just did a refin on my kids' guitar, shown in this thread, and used 3 cans of Minwax Polyurethane. Along with the sanding mentioned above by tonebender, I use wax and grease remover between coats right before spraying to try to eliminate fisheye the best I can, a trick I learned from my brother-in-law who paints cars for a living, which should cut down on witness lines also. It allows the clear to lay flatter, in my experiences, which makes it easier to sand. Good luck on the project and keep up with the pics!
     
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  4. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Has your experience with Polyurethane been similar to Polycrylic? Everything I've read says the two are different and that urethane is easier to work with.
     
  5. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    Not having the appropriate work area I would probably attempt surgery on my own body than try to refinish a poly guitar.
     
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  6. BrianSkeezer

    BrianSkeezer Well-Known Member

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    I've not used Polycrylic before, but on my last one (about 3 years ago) I used acrylic lacquer clear and I'm still waiting for the clear to harden. I tried that because I used lacquer base and thought it would be better. The base was nice and hard when I sprayed the clear, but the clear just stayed gummy. The Polyurethane cures overnight to handle and wet sand, and within a week is good enough to final wet sand, buff, and use, in my experience anyway.
     
  7. Rokdog

    Rokdog Well-Known Member

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  8. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    What do you mean by appropriate?
     
  9. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Lol, this is the type of post I was hoping to avoid. Now I'm second guessing my entire plan.

    I CAN get Polyurethane but it has to ship overseas and will cost me over double what you'd play locally. Which is why I settled for Polycrylic. Decisions, decisions...
     
  10. BrianSkeezer

    BrianSkeezer Well-Known Member

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    If you can afford it, it's always possible to test it out on scrap before using on the important piece. Just remember to practice just like you'd use it on the finished product.
     
  11. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    Poly is THICK. It's like sanding a diamond .For the end product to look good you need to sand the finish and do it completely and evenly.That requires a sander which kicks up a ton of dust so you need something to suck it up or it will get in your eyes, your lungs and in every micro crevice of your home, even if you're careful. That's if you just want to sand. To remove the finish completely will require tons of Orange Solvent ( or some such) which will produces uneven glop that will drip on anything around. You need to cover everything, have gloves of some kind and a means to let stages of the process dry so you can actually SEE what your un-glopping has accomplished BEFORE you sand and fill your space with micro particles. Do you have a work table , preferably high so you're not bent over for hours ?
    Now, do you restore your place to being a "home" after each session or do you leave your place a total mess for days maybe weeks on end while you work on it . Also , Do you have a place to send your wife ( and kids) for days while you destroy her house and fill your environment with noxious fumes and particulate matter ?
    This is BEFORE painting. Have you ever spray painted in your apartment ?
     
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  12. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Thanks.
    I briefly considered this option for the very reasons you mention. But in the end, I decided I'd rather start with a guitar that has semi decent wood, hardware and pups rather than cheap wood and parts made in a random factory in China. I looked at the link you posted and like most kits out of China, it is basswood with a maple neck but this one has a basswood fretboard for some reason? Most I've seen are at least rosewood. And, you can see on the closeup of the supposed Floyd Rose licensed bridge, the finish quality is terrible. I didn't want to deal with any of that.

    But the biggest reason is that I can find semi decent used guitars to play with for under $50.
     
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  13. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Lol. Thanks for the heads up.
    Fortunately, the apartment I live in is on the top floor and I have access to a little isolated, attic like room on the building roof that has very good ventilation and will serve as my work area. So no, I won't be spraying in my living room!

    But I do hear you and appreciate the advice. I'll probably have to figure this out as I go...
     
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  14. wankeenobi

    wankeenobi Active Member

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    Yes, that's totally my plan :)
     
  15. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    None of that is actually necessary, Steve. You don't have to strip the guitar to bare wood if you're painting it a solid color. Just scuff the surface with 220 grit sandpaper and paint right over it.

    Also, I've tried numerous methods of completely stripping a body, from power sanders to aircraft finish remover, and the easiest, cleanest and safest method I've used involves 80 grit sandpaper, a sanding block, and elbow grease.

    I've stripped three bodies and who know how many necks that way (outside) and it's not that arduous.

    @wankeenobi, polyurethane will not stick to enamel. If you want to use polyurethane (which I recommend) you'll have to use a different kind of paint... Any other kind of paint.

    I used an acrylic clear coat on my first neck refinish, and I hated it. I ended up stripping it off and refinishing it in Tru-Oil.
     
  16. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    I recommend not doing any of that and letting your guitar finish naturally instead from the oils in your hands.

    0a2c2d364bf1d8c1957818231f5436f8.jpg

    Ed, I don't think this stuff is really needed for a guitar.
     
  17. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @wankeenobi !

    Lots of great advice in prior posts, so I'll skip to your unanswered question - "witness line". That is a condition that usually presents itself in a repair, rather than a re-finish.

    You've probably seen a guitar with a chip in the finish. A repair that have witness lines means you can still see the boundaries of the repair. With some finish materials, like lacquer, the new application melts into the old finish making it impossible in some cases to know there was a repair.

    Other finishes like poly or nylon are extremely resistant when cured and will not be affected by the application of a new finish. If not prepared (sanded) correctly, a translucent repair will look like a broken mirror. A.k.a.: witness lines.

    Enamel is somewhere in between lacquer and poly. Non-water based lacquer has a lot of solvents that if used for a repair, melts some enamels. Lacquer normally has no effect on cured poly or nylon.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  18. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    I live in a one bedroom apartment with over 25 guitars, amps, tons of other stuff. For me with limited space these jobs are now out of the question having experienced the reality first hand several times.
     
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  19. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I'm well familiar with your guitar finishing philosophy... :D

    It's not for the guitar, Ian.
     
  20. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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