Refinishing a vintage SG

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by beerbelly, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. 515who

    515who Active Member

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  2. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    The finish can make or break a project. Just like a classic car build. Crappy paint can kill it.

    That’s just phenomenal work right there.
     
  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Thanks 515. If you've never done a refinish before, you can get great results without having any spray equipment. I do now, but I didn't when I started. I used StewMac sprays exclusively at first, and the finishes turned out fine; maybe a little extra wet sanding, as rattle cans seem to leave more "orange peel", but it's still lacquer that your'e spraying. Just kinda spendy, as you'll need at least one can of color, and about 4-6 cans of clear. And a bit of advice- don't use water when wet sanding; it will swell the wood and crack your lacquer wherever bare wood (holes) are. Use mineral spirits instead. Also, I plug all the holes (tuners & bridge studs) with foam ear plugs to keep any moisture from penetrating the wood.
     
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  4. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    Nope. I've never done any of this before. I've always been good with wood working stuff but never in finishing. I'll take that advice and put it into action.

    I was looking at the StewMac stuff. If I want that "SG deep red" (not sure exactly what the name is) of like a 68ish SG. Herritage? what would you suggest I use to achieve that? mine isn't mahogany like yours. Neck is Maple, body Alder.
     
  5. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    "Stewart MacDonald Colortone #5881 Cherry Red aerosol lacquer"

    That's paint? I thought you stained it. interesting. I didn't realize. considering mine is different wood, would you suggest the same approach?
     
  6. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Well, here's where I don't quite know what to tell you. Yes, I used the #5881 Cherry Red, it's a transparent red paint, and I applied it over an all- mahogany guitar. I put on as many coats as it took to look right to me, and I had another old SG Special to compare it to. Then I followed up with a bunch of clear lacquer coats. Since you have different woods to work with, I have no experience to offer. Sorry. You may want to Google "cherry color over Alder, or Maple, to see if you can find any results.
     
  7. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    Good idea. I’ll do that. Ty
     
  8. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff. That Moderne looks awesome!!!

    [​IMG]

    And has re-instilled a bad case of GAS! Last time I went pricing these baby's they were pretty high & rather unreasonable. I know they didn't make them for too long & thus it adds to that price but dang it ya know. Heck, thats probably part of the reason you built your own eh??

    Here's some of the dream crusher pricing out there on the bay right now...

    upload_2018-5-13_16-19-43.png


    upload_2018-5-13_16-22-36.png

    Heck, even a 2012 Plain Jane model was pricey...

    upload_2018-5-13_16-24-11.png

    It's nice to see you went with the Gumby style headstock instead of the 'V' look.

    By the way, I get why they call it the 'Gumby' but, when you stack the shape over it, it comes up a little short & looks like this..

    Moderne Gumby.jpg
    Close but there is a lot of space missing.

    Wasn't the Gibson RD also called Gumby something or other too?
     

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  9. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Yep, that's why I built my own. And I went full Gumby on the headstock logo (vinyl sticker I designed) and truss rod cover:

    Gumby logo.jpg
     
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  10. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    So you changed yer mind eh..

    [​IMG]

    Well I personally think that was an awesome call!

    [​IMG]

    That is just frik'n a real good call on that!
    Awesome call & Bravo that $#it!
     
  11. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    So it’s been a while. Been sitting in this decision and I’m at that point of do I strip the old logo off the headstock or do I attempt to salvage? The logo is a bit rough to begin with but would prefer to salvage it.

    I’m not super confident it will work out right if I tape it off then attempt to massage it so it looks natural. I’m almost done with the right tip wing repair. So any advice would help.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Tough call, because you would want to touch up the missing parts in the gold logo, and metallic finishes don't touch up well. I CAN tell you that there is a thick layer (thicker than you think) of clear over the top of the logo. I sanded WAY further than I thought I could without getting into the gold ink. Just go slow & steady with some 400 or 600 sandpaper, and never take your eyes off the logo; stop if you hit the gold.

    Another thought is to buy a waterslide decal; they're available from many sites online. Then sand off the old one, respray the headstock black, apply the decal, and bury it under a bunch of clear coats. Make SURE the decal can be covered with lacquer or the finish you plan to use.

    How goes the rest of the job?

    I've finished one guitar, a Jazzcaster, and am close to finishing another of my own design, the "Shark":

    Done, with JDesign logo.JPG mocked up w: guard.JPG
     
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  13. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    Very nice on the two guitars. Love them both. Always wanted a jazzmaster.

    I think I’m going to take tracing paper and mark out the logo position and then strip it and replace with a water slide. I’m not feeling positive trying to salvage this one. I don’t think it’s going to come out right.

    The rest is going okay. My big hold up was deciding a color and if I want to go with the two single coils it was always meant to be or put a dog ear p90 on it and turn it into a junior.

    I think I’m going to keep it as intended. Two single, Judy put a full pickguard on it and cut the position of the control cavity out of the guard.

    It’s a fun project. Finished the repair e yaon the headstock tip wing. Turned out good.

    Going to pick a color. I’m thinking cherry with a white pick guard. White single coils. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll prob give you a different answer.

     
  14. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Your headstock repair looks good, and keep the progress pics coming.
     
  15. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    You got it. Thx for the feedback.

    Where have you purchased your Gibson water slide logos. I’ve seen some places online. Wondered if you had a place you’ve had success with. Ty
     
  16. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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  17. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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  18. 515who

    515who Active Member

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  19. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Hey 515, any updates on the refinish?
     
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  20. 515who

    515who Active Member

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    Hey BB. Well it's been a slow go. I've been essentially scared to mess with the headstock logo. I really prefer to keep it but I don't think it's going to go well. i was planning to tape off the logo but have a piece of paper on top to protect it from the tape. then exacto as close around the logo as possible. then lightly sand the black paint down to blend it into the wood. Then just prime it and paint it black again slowly building up the paint and see if I can pull off a minor miracle and some how blend it in. Worse come to worse I just strip it all off and get a repop decal. Im flying by the seat of my pants attempting to salvage it. So will see. hoping to try it over the 4th weekend. I'm pretty confident it won't go well but I guess try.

    The repair on the broken off wing tip on the headstock came out very nice. So I'm happy with that.

    thoughts on the logo salvage "plan"? should I bag it and just get the repop decal or give it a whirl?
     

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