Refinishing a vintage SG

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

  1. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Yeah, that CitriStrip works great, and yes, it makes a sloppy mess. I have a workbench that I covered with lots of old newspapers, and just slathered the stuff on. I think I left it on about an hour, and it took almost all the finish off the first application, then the rest on the second application. Make sure you use Kleen Strip After Wash, followed by denatured alcohol so you don't have any CitriStrip left in the wood to spoil your finish later on.

    I would have expected more of the color to come off of yours- I wonder if the wood has been stained rather than painted Cherry Red? Here's the only photo I took during the stripping, and the color came right off down to the wood:

    neck pocket A.jpg
     
    syscokid and 515who like this.
  2. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    Hmmm. I think you’re right. I thought it was paint. I think it’s already stained.
     
  3. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    I’m going to put some on tonight and leave it on for an hour. I’ll see what happens. I may not have left it on long enough.
     
  4. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    Okay so I left it on for 3 hours and that did it. You can see a little red on the surface. I’ll try to get it off after I strip the rest of the guitar. The wood looks great tho without the old finish. It wasn’t anything worth saving.

    I’m still unsure if this is mahogany or maple. That knot in the wood goes straight through to the other side. Making me think it’s maple. Not sure how to figure it out.
     
    syscokid likes this.
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,874
    Likes Received:
    3,690
    That appears to be a 1972 SG200.
    If so, then it might be alder body with maple neck according to source below.

    http://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/gibson/SG200.php

    Maple has a tighter grain compared to mahogany.
    The maple neck and alder body combo was also used on the 1984 Explorers.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    515who likes this.
  6. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    I think this makes sense. I have some mahogany boards here and this looks different. I know knots aren’t typical in mahogany.

    Thx for the help with the ID on the guitar.
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  7. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Good job! Remember, don't do any heavy sanding at this stage, or you may lose the nice sharp edge details. If you have a woodworking store nearby, like Woodcrafters, you could bring it there and I'm sure they could identify the wood for you.

    Also, if it's maple or alder, you shouldn't have to do any grain filling (another nasty job!)
     
    hexwrench and 515who like this.
  8. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    On another subject, I recently picked up an AXL Bulldog husk (LP Junior copy) on ebay for $79 (!) needing a little work. I'm posting the build in 'Other Guitars' if you're interested.
     
    515who likes this.
  9. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    I’ll definitely check that out! Sounds like a nice grab
     
  10. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    Glad I went back to read about preserving the serial number. The thing for me is that I was going to stain mine tv yellow but then that would look stupid with the cherry finish around my serial number. Looks like I’m doing what you did to save the factory serial. This is all so fascinating restoring an old instrument.
     
    syscokid likes this.
  11. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Good call 515. From reading about TV yellow, it's not an easy finish to replicate.

    I got tired of looking at the dark outline around my serial number (left from the dark grain filler at the edges of the mask). Initially, I was afraid of sanding too far and removing the numbers, but I decided to carefully sand to see how far I could go. I didn't have to worry as much as I thought; I think those numbers are stamped slightly into the surface of the wood, so even if I had sanded down to bare wood, I'm pretty sure they would remain. It turned out better I think:

    refin headstock, back.jpg IMG_8872.JPG
     
    hexwrench, 515who and syscokid like this.
  12. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    Great advice yes I can see yours turned out fantastic. I definitely don’t want to lose the serial number. I’ll tackle that when I get there. The body is down to bare wood. Now I’m dealing with the neck. I think someone applied another finish on this guitar because in order to remove the paint I had to apply the cirristrip 2x. Once removed the outer finish. The second took off the paint down to wood. There is s clear coating that turned the dots yellow on the side of the neck. So I’m carefully applying the citristrip to the sides of the fret board to remove it. Patience clearly is needed in doing these things.
     
    syscokid likes this.
  13. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    And lots of masking tape!
     
    515who likes this.
  14. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,793
    Likes Received:
    2,812
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    Yo Belly, I love that finish you put on that guitar!

    [​IMG]

    It almost looks thick & deep enough to give that grain moving 3-D effect when slowly turning it? I know lots of folks are into those Fadeds, Satins & thin flat finishes but for me it has always been the deep rich shiny gloss like finish that wins my eyes approval.

    So, is this guitar above the same guitar as this one you posted earlier?

    [​IMG]

    Damn boyeee... now thats a shine!

    And she came out like this??
    [​IMG]

    I mean heck, that's just a superlative finish you pulled off brother. Nice work.

    My last question is, do you take requests? I have an old '65 Epiphone Olympic that came to me modified with 2 old Gibson humbuckers (Patent Number Stickers)..
    Melody Maker body shot crop (343x430).jpg
    that I have visions of being finished exactly (yes exactly) like what you pulled off in those pics.

    It's a nice thick one piece block of old world mahogany that would certainly come to life & shine with your finish work!

    Epiphone Olympic Special with removed scratch plate wide view (633x640) (425x430).jpg


    Melody Maker in the sunshine crop) (221x640).jpg

    What ya say Bub, ready for some side work???:dude:
     
    syscokid and 515who like this.
  15. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    Oh yes. Lots.
     
  16. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Yes Relic 61, same guitar, and it does that magical "flip-flop" when you move it around; I'm with you on that! But sorry, I only work on my own guitars on my terms and timeline. Otherwise, it would be more like a job, and I'm done working for other folks. But thanks for the compliments.

    That is a sweet guitar you have there, worthy of a refinish, but not by me.
     
    515who likes this.
  17. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,793
    Likes Received:
    2,812
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    I'm a little... broken up bud..

    cry - baby.jpg

    But I'll get over it.. maybe..

    maybe not..

    ok, maybe.. in time..

    [​IMG]

    Whaaat..

    [​IMG]

    Yea I'm good buddy.. gotta go!!
    Peace out!
     

    Attached Files:

    syscokid likes this.
  18. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    making progress. When you take these things down to bare wood you can really see the beauty of the craftmanship. I know the 70's weren't the greatest for the SG/Gibson but they aren't garbage. This is a well made guitar imo. It just had decades os use and finishes added. It's going to be very nice once complete. Just so long I don't screw it up! HA
     
    syscokid likes this.
  19. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Looking real good 515. Take your time, and if you get frustrated, just take a break for awhile.
     
    515who likes this.
  20. 515who

    515who Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    NJ
    I've gotten to the headstock area. Im now dealing with the Gibson badge and serial number. I would like to preserve the badge rather than replace it. Still unsure how to handle the serial number. I would like to run some Citristrip over it to take the top layer of gloss off but I only get one shot at it. I could wipe it right off! :facepalm:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice