Today I stripped the hardware off and took a butt load of before pics. Haven't gotten around to starting the process of refinishing yet, though, as I'm still contemplating a few things. Like I learned a long time ago with classic car restoration, it's never as easy as it appears to be...With all the hardware off I'm seeing more and more good and bad things. But...to the pics! Looks not too shabby here! The top's not all that bad, but there are a few areas which are making me second guess being able to save the Teal Blue finish. The headstock may not look so cool without the hardware on it...but no finish cracks through to the logos. Whew...Those are a real pain to reapply correctly. And the pickup cavities...all is well here. A little rough, but typical. The finish flaking around the bridge and tail piece are my worry spots on the top. If they chip any further, I can kiss this teal blue goodbye! Jack...The rough cuts are pretty surprising. Should I not be surprised? Dunno. Never refinished a Gibby Studio before. In this photo, just below the cavity, is the one area that I can pretty much guarantee will be a problem. I think it has been repaired here but won't know till I get it stripped. If not, it's sure one hell of a big "oops" in the finish! Took some work with a new Xacto blade to cut the previous color spray enough to get the nut out. When the guitar was resprayed (maybe due to the refret...who knows?) the nut was fairly heavily covered. I think this photo makes the slot look worse than it is. The total disregard of a smooth finish along the side of the neck was pretty surprising. It almost appears as if, when the new frets were installed, the finish was melted with thinner or something to try to fix chips. Just a guess, though. It's much more dramatic to feel than to see in this lousy pic. Note, too, the finish pooling along the frets and the Ebony fretboard. :nono: Easy fix, though. Fairly standard stuff here. Nothing to make me shake my head at. The wiring and pots are still quite decent--no pops, noise, or anything, so I'm going to attempt to retain all of the pots, etc. and just use the existing parts, although I'll probably get a new jack. Will need a new truss rod cover and output jack plate, but I can use the rest. The control cavity cover has some over spray on it (>>bang head here<<) but I am pretty sure I can buff it out. The hardware is in good shape, although a few of the black chrome bits have some wear, but are still very serviceable. I doubt I'll go through the expense of new hardware. This stuff is fine and fully functional. Man, I dig this 500t!!! Actually, both sound great. Hopefully tomorrow or, more doubtful, later tonight, I'll be able to start stripping the neck and back of the headstock. Updates will follow as I get to them! Advice is always welcome, too. I think I'll be doing my best to retain the top color, and the back? Well, it's sort of a purplish black, and I think that I'm fairly SOL in terms of matching it. I'm more and more considering either black stain on the back with clear and maybe a shot of transparent blue in between, or transparent black and transparent blue (clear, transblack, clear, trans black, clear, transblue, clear) but if there's enough body damage, solid black it shall be!!! Worst case on the top is that I go with transblack or transblue. OK--off to get some new masks. **Edit 6/7/2011. Guitar is pretty much done! Pics at end of thread!