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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Decided to strip and refin my 3 TSB Tele

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 12th, 2019 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought it finished years ago from Guitar Mill. Nitro finish so I went and bought a can of acetone, working in the garage (on back seat of golf cart).

I always thought acetone made easy work of stripping nitro? It's coming off, but not easily. The surface immediately turns tacky, then quickly sets. I got maybe a 3rd of the top done in about an hour before I started blowing nose bubbles and speaking in tongues.

I want to take it all the way down because I'm thinking of shellac and a black pickguard. Good thing I'm not on a schedule.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 12th, 2019 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Blowing nose bubbles and speaking in tongues is not normal?




Ut oh

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 12th, 2019 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

But seriously... I’m considering stripping a nitro body. I’ll just sit over here and learn from you.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 12th, 2019 05:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ok, lesson from round 2. Apply liberally to a confined area. Wait maybe a minute or less. Then hit it again with fresh cloth and more acetone, this time harder. This seems to make faster work of it.

I'll wait for the more knowledgeable to illuminate me.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Jun 12th, 2019 06:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, wiping it is going to be slow going. Personally I use an electric sander, but if you use a stripper or acetone, you'll probably want to use a scraper. Get the paint soft, then gently lift away the chunks. This will take care of most of it. But generally speaking, finishes that are stripped get scraped in my experience.

You could use burlap to wipe with. Load it with acetone after wiping the body with acetone. The texture will help pull the finish off, perhaps.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jun 13th, 2019 12:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'll second the scraper as Aaron suggested.

I've not stripped nitro, but I can't imagine stripping anything by just wiping with a rag.

If you use a metal scraper, (that's what I have used) round the edge corners off with a file so they're not pointy. This will help prevent gouging (but you still need to be careful how you scrape - keep it very flat to the surface)

If you have an old putty knife that's been used heavily, the corners may already be a bit rounded.
A brand newie, you'll need to file them.


littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 13th, 2019 05:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm using large Terry cloths and it definitely works, just needs a liberal amount of acetone. I tried a putty knife but it just seems there isn't enough meat to the gooey finish to scrape. So far I got the top and half the edges done. There is still a fair amount of black embedded in the grain which makes it almost certain I'll have to either sand it back aggressively or change course and paint it a solid. I've seen discussion where someone said they use acetone and a grey scotch brite pad. I may give that a try.

If I can't get the wood looking nice enough for a clear/amber tint I'm gonna rattle can this sucker with Sherwood green.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Jun 13th, 2019 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

The scotch brite sounds like a good idea.

Sherwood sounds fun, too.

I did my Tele deluxe in Ocean Turqoise. It started out more blue but since it's nitro, just a couple years later it basically looks Sherwood now lol.

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 13th, 2019 10:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yup liberal quantities is whats required. Acetone is comparatively cheap and the right way to do this.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 13th, 2019 10:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

I didn't have much luck with the scotch brite but found liberal amount of acetone and a lighter touch was more effective. I guess pressing hard just pushes the goo back into the wood. All done but boy do I have some sanding to do. The heel of the guitar by the strap button has the black finish pretty well saturated into the grain. I'm still determined to do some amber tinted shellac and a black pickguard.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 13th, 2019 08:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

I know you’re retired... but does this make you a stripper?


Florida man...

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
Jun 13th, 2019 10:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like CitruStrip for nitro: it bubbles it completely off and pulls it out of the wood pores. Acetone works, but it’s five times the work.

And itâs safe to use on giraffes

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Jun 14th, 2019 01:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Citristrip is awesome. It melts the finish right off. Wash it down afterwards with mineral spirits to get the residue off completely. Then sand the remaining spots if there are any.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 14th, 2019 05:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well heck, good to know for future endeavors. Never heard of CitruStrip.

"but does this make you a stripper?"

Only on the miniature golf course. Strip Putt-Putt, shed 1 article for every bogey.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Decided to strip and refin my 3 TSB Tele




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