Refinishing a vintage SG

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

  1. Wildeman

    Wildeman Active Member

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    Dang! That Jr came out killer. Too bad you already got a case, i had a sweet deal for you! Because im such a charitable guy i would send you my Jr in a case, you simply send my guitar back looking like yours and the case is yours:thumb:
     
  2. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    Thought I'd stop by today, and shite, there's more responses! Thanks guys, and I'm so happy there are other SG junkies out there! BEST. GUITAR. EVER! HERITAGE CHERRY- BEST FINISH. EVER!

    kingmlg, nice decision to match the refin to the hardware, and a fine job. But with lacquer, rather than the buff out, I'm finding it's all about the PREP and PATIENCE (which I'm normally short of)! But this guitar is so special that I did the refin by the book, the old-school way. All materials came from Behlen, and I followed their directions precisely- they know what they're talking about. I guarantee that this finish is better than a Gibson factory finish, since I've had gloss-finished Gibson guitars before & after this one. I also understand the time element involved in production finishes, but when you do your own refin, you aren't subject to time constraints. It's probably easier to do the 'new' look with a Junior, since there's less nickel plating involved- after the refin is done, a new bridge, a new pup cover and a new pick guard (thanks Dan @ Mojoaxe), and it's new looking.

    Keep in touch- I love stories, photos and history of Kalamazoo Juniors.
     
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  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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  4. 515who

    515who Member

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    Stunning!!!!!

    Did you go into more detail on how you stripped it to bare wood? I saw this...

    "I'm using Citristrip orange, followed by Kleen Strip After Wash, followed by denatured alcohol. This leaves clean, bare wood.

    But how long do you leave those strippers on? etc. I have a project I want to strip down my SG and would like to do it properly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  5. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    The Citristrip works pretty quickly, just a couple of hours. You may have to reapply as needed for some spots. Don't let it dry, as it will be more difficult to remove. I used a plastic squeegee to remove the bulk of the goop, then after the finish was completely removed, Kleen Strip on rags to get down to bare wood. Just follow the directions on both and you'll be fine.

    Don't forget to tape off the neck binding (if it's bound) and the fretboard before doing the stripping.
     
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  6. 515who

    515who Member

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    Awesome! Im going to do this soon. This is my 72 SG and you can see it's badly faded. Prob was sitting in a guitar store window for years. Hoping to give this SG new life.
     
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  7. 515who

    515who Member

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    for the face of the head stock. see you taped off the Gibson logo to save it. After you spray the face of the HS black what didi you do to soften the edges from where you taped off to the new spray? That photo looks seamless. would like to know details on that. if that's in this thread and I missed it I apologize.
     
  8. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    That's a good looking chunk of wood!
    I sprayed MANY coats of clear lacquer over the taped off logo. Then, after it cured, I removed the tape and SLOWLY sanded down the ridge left by the tape until I reached the level of the logo (careful!!). After that, I sprayed a couple more coats of clear to blend everything, wet sanded and polished. If I hold the headstock in just the right light, I can barely see the edges, but only barely. Besides, I'm not trying to hide the fact that's it's refinished.
     
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  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Every time I open this thread and see the result of your work, my lower mandibule just hit the table.

    If you can do the same with my wife, name your price and I'll send her right away. I won't ask you to go all the way to 1964. 1975 would do fine by me.
     
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  10. 515who

    515who Member

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    Awesome! Not sure what I'm going to do with this guitar. I think I'm going take it down to bare wood and decide then. I have some repairs to do on the headstock. one of the end wings got chipped at some point. Fortunately I have 3 very large thick boards of mahogany I came into, so I have lots of wood to work with. ;)
     
  11. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    515, taking it down to bare wood sounds like a great plan, and then just THINK about it for a while. It took me a couple of years to decide to do the refin on mine, and I'm glad I did. It gives you time to make a plan, get the materials, and work up the courage. PLEASE don't use sandpaper at any step until the finer grades when you are wet sanding the finish! So many bad SG refins using sandpaper to remove the old finish lose all those crisp edges that make an SG so beautiful.

    Fixing the headstock should be pretty easy if you have the tools. Do you have woodworking tools? Any joint needs to have perfectly flat mating surfaces for a proper repair. The repair piece can be a big 'ol chunk of mahogany, but check the grain direction if you're going to use a transparent finish- it'll show on the back of the headstock.

    And I'm here to help.
     
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  12. beerbelly

    beerbelly Active Member

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    DrBGood, does your wife need a total refinish, or just some touch-up?

    Bob & Doug Mckenzie.jpg
     
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  13. 515who

    515who Member

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    BB. I need to get some good quality tools to do this. This is going to be a hobby thing. I'm comfortable with wood working.

    Like you not looking to make it like the guitar hasn't been restored but clearly it needs it. Lol. Some guitars have character in old age. This one is solid but needs some tlc. I appreciate the advice.
     
  14. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Great "Thread Resurrection". Nice info and advise involved... :cheers:
     
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  15. Paully

    Paully Active Member

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    Your axe your decision.
    Looks good from my house. :)
     
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  16. 515who

    515who Member

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    will see. True. It has nice grain.

    I'm in no rush with it. I enjoy reading the threads and the projects people do here. It's very interesting. Going to have fun with it.
     
  17. 515who

    515who Member

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    Interesting... I read up on this 200 and most were made out of maple hence the single coil pickups, kinda like a fender single coil. This one is mahogany. I read some were made out of mahogany but not too many. not sure how accurate this is. Interesting stuff.
     

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