Need Help Epiphone Experts

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by guitaro, May 9, 2019.

  1. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Need help with this guitar on CL. There is a really nicely priced Epiphone Emperor listed as a Joe Pass making it an Emperor II. Everything looks good except this, the headstock. It doesn't appear to have any inlay while I thought all of these had the Tree of Life inlay but this guitar is plain. I can't seem to find any other example like this from the Japanese (Matsumoku and Terada), Korean, or Chinese models. Anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking maybe someone painted it because they didn't like the tree of life design. It looks like you can almost see a little bit of pain on the first e in Epiphone.

    emperor headstock.jpg
     
  2. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Well, got my answer from the seller. He painted it with primer because he doesn't like inlays:grimacing: Well I can live with that and maybe I could sand it back down.
     
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  3. AnotherJim

    AnotherJim Active Member

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    Maybe a gentle rub with water and or lighter fluid will take it off .... just need some elbow grease
     

  4. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Great advice, thanks, I was thinking some really fine grit wet sandpaper but that almost certainly would have scratched it. I like your idea and will give it a try. With any luck I will have the guitar tonight.
     
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  5. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    Christ, you'd think he'd have mentioned it straight away.

    Start with the least invasive option first. Naptha should work. Test (the original finish) in an inconspicuous place first.
     
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  6. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You would think so but I guess he didn't want to drive away buyers.

    Naphtha ehh? I thought that was the North American phree trade agreement :confused:. I'll have to research that. Thanks for the tip. I think I have some goof-off. Is that the same?
     
  7. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Naphtha is what you use in Zippo lighters I think
     
  8. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    JoePass77.jpg

    This is my Epiphone Emporer II "Joe Pass" headstock. It is a 1983 MIK.
     
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  9. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

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    If it's an oil based paint naptha either from the paint store or ronsonol lighter fluid laquer paint acetone will do. Neither are good for your skin or lungs use gloves and ventilation.
     
  10. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a Rondo picture for some reason
     
  11. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Very Nice. I think you got the age off though. Epi Joe Pass's didn't hit the market until the 1990's. I have a Korean one as well. Great guitars which is why I grabbed this one last night for $200.00. If I get this one playing and looking decent I'll probably sell my other one.
     
  12. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    Could be, I dunno. I bought it from a pawn shop in Kansas City in the mid 2000's.
    After I got it I searched the serial number on the web which was where I got the 1983 MIK.
    And you know if you read it on the internet it has to be true. :)

    Didn't Joe die about 1993-4?
     
  13. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mighty slow process and it dulls the crap out of the paint under but we have a little binding and flower petals
    B1ABB9EF-891E-41FA-81B7-89FACD5FBAB4.jpeg
     
  14. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It's like he went out of his way to screw this up though. It wasn't bad enough that he painted it, but then when he decided to sell it he sanded the paint off to expose the "Epiphone" inlay and scratched the crap out of the underlying finish. You can see that in the pic above.

    I'm thinking once I get the paint off maybe I can hit it with a coat of clear to hopefully minimize the scratch appearance. Or maybe buff it with some rubbing compound? What do you think?
     
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  15. jwguitar

    jwguitar Active Member

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    They didn't have Epiphone Joe Pass guitars in 1983; at that time he had an Ibanez signature model (which is quite rare and a beautifully made instrument). The Epiphone Joe Pass guitars came out in the late 80's or early 90's. There are some instructional videos from that time period where Joe Pass is playing one of his signature Epiphones. Until about 2007 or so they were made in Korea by Samick. Production has moved to Indonesia (which might still be Samick as they have a big factory down there now). Odds are the guitar is a 1993 judging from the tuning machines. Later models used Grovers.
     
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  16. jwguitar

    jwguitar Active Member

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    Once you get all the paint off I wouldn't clear coat it. The clear coat is very thick on those guitars. If anything get a hand buffer for autobody and some fine rubbing compound. Once you use the rubbing compound use some polish. That should take the fine scratches out.
     
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  17. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    Read up/watch videos of wet sanding up through the grades. Little by little you'll be sanding up to a nice mirror sheen. All you're doing is "leveling" the existing finish of all the scratches/imperfections that the previous owner did.

    I've done it to one of the SKY LP's when I sanded off the logo. It was pretty easy, & I had to go deeper into the finish than you will. There's super fine polishing grades too (4000?). I used that on my celluloid pickguards for that mirror look after buffing.

    *edit to add plug your tuner holes with wax if wet sanding.

    I just saw your image. If naphtha doesn't take it off the fine sanding will easy, without you getting deep into the finish.
     
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  18. jwguitar

    jwguitar Active Member

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    I did that once on a new car that I scratched on the side. As long as the scratch does not go down to the colored paint and is just the clearcoat you should be able to take care of those scratches no problem. Also, don't get afraid that the finish clouds up when you are sanding. Once you get down to the finest grit sandpaper and dust it off and polish it the finish should look like nothing happened.
     
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  19. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The Naphtha is working in a sense but it's 90% elbow grease that's doing the job. That was a little over a half an hour to get the amount off in the pic above. Got busy and didn't get a chance to do any more today. I'll have back at it tomorrow.
     
  20. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I wonder if mineral spirits or turpentine would do a better job of dissolving the paint. If it's a poly finish, I doubt either of those would damage it but just in case, it would be best to try a small spot with a Q-tip first...
     

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