Major Facelift for my '02 SG Special Faded

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by syscokid, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I'm copying and transferring a lot of this info from a thread that I started at the TTR forum. I started this project last year on October 24, 2017. Finished it November 20, 2017.

    Very nice sounding and playing guitar, but it's going in for a new color and finish. I'm going for it...

    No Hardware (1).JPG

    The SG will have a green stain with a Tru-Oil finish. The body is an offset 2 piece. There were some goofy scrawling marks all over the guitar that needed some semi-deep sanding. There are some deep depressions in the wood that I tried to steam out at first. Also, there was some fret sprouting goin on, which is more noticeable from the 15th fret to the 22nd frets.

    I rescued this guitar from a "Fratboy" around January of 2017. The guitar was "poorly maintained"... to be polite.

    Regarding steaming out the dents:
    I experimented with this method on this guitar while it still has that thin faded finish. It was the first time I've tried it. Used a very wet piece of paper towel instead of a rag. I'm sure the effect would be more pronounced if there wasn't any finish at all, but there was still a noticeable difference.

    Before:

    Steam-Out (1).JPG


    After:

    Steam-Out (2).JPG

    Stripped with 80 grit, and then sanded down further with 120:

    Stripped and sanded up to 120 (1).JPG

    Stripped and sanded up to 120 (2).JPG

    I wasn't sure what to do with the headstock overlay. I did not strip it yet. It looked like crap. If I was to remove the finish off of it, I'm wasn't sure if Tru-Oil will adhere to whatever the overlay material is made of. And, I didn't want to end up damaging the Gibson logo decal:

    Overlay Not Stripped.JPG


    One thing for sure is, the overlay is not made of wood. Therefore, I did not strip it. I gave it a good cleanup by scrubbing it with #OOOO steel wool, a couple applications of "swirl" remover or cut, and finally, a couple applications of some Flintz gunstock wax. It looked much better:

    Overlay Cleanup.JPG


    Sanded down to 320, and two coats of a green stain. Stain used was Minwax clear tint water based. Color is called "Early Spring".

    1st coat:

    1st Coat Stain.JPG

    2nd coat:

    2nd Stain Coat.JPG

    Mock-up for fun:

    Mock Up[1].JPG

    Next step, or steps, is to super polish the wood with micro-mesh before applying the Tru-Oil. I expect to apply more stain depending on how the color responds to further sanding.

    All the electronics and hardware that was on it before, went back in. The pickups are stock for the '02 Faded Special, and they are the 490R and 490T. And yes, I likes dem!
     
  2. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    Lovely! I bet it's gonna look gorgeous.

    For what is worth, TruOil adheres without probles to the headstock overlay. I refinished a Faded V and used that, it built up and polished up great. But, since there's a bit of nitro there, a bit of polish works too, as you've done. On a LP Standard Faded I owned once I used virtuoso cleaner and polsih and it shone right up.

    Are you going with an open pore finish or do you plan to fill the grain and make it glossy? I managed to get a mirror like finsih on mine just hand polishing the TruOil
     
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  3. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    BTW, it kinda reminded me of the finish on one of these new Custom Shop SGs... Green looks great all polished up too

    [​IMG]
     
  4. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I've used Tru-Oil over dye, once before. I bought a PGK SG junior kit, about 3 years ago. I used grain filler, StewMac's cherry red liquid stain, and Tru-Oil. Came out pretty nice. This is why I repeated this refinish process with this project. In the end, it wasn't going to be as blingy as a super gloss finish. I love a well done gloss finish. But the feel and look of a Tru-Oil finish on a guitar is pure nirvana.

    Here's my Norton (PGK SG Jr.) with a Kinman P90:

    PGK SG Jr Norton[1].JPG

    It went thru a "one coat of oil per day" phase. This is oil-coat #6. Planned do at least 8 coats. After the final coat, I let the guitar's finish cure for a full week. Then followed with some delicate final polishing, hand buffing, and gunstock wax, before all the hardware and electronics go back in.

    2017-11-06 08.01.08[1].jpg

    2017-11-06 08.00.41[1].jpg


    I ended up applying 10 coats of Tru-Oil. But meanwhile, while the guitar was hanging around to let the Tru-Oil dry, I cleaned up the fretboard again by dressing up the fret ends with a StewMac Fret End Dressing File exactly like this one:


    The results were very nice after I followed the filing with some hardcore #0000 steel wool scrubbing and some F-One fretboard oil:

    Curing (2).JPG
    Curing (1).JPG
    Getting some fresh air:

    Curing (3).JPG

    The shielding paint came in an 8 ounce can. I can do at least 25 guitars with what's left over.
     
  5. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    DONE! With final polishing, waxing, and reassembly:

    Refinish Finished (1).JPG


    The feel of the neck and fret ends turned out amazing. My favorite result of this refinish... :dood:

    Refinish Finished (3).JPG

    About 2" southwest of the bass-side of the tailpiece, you'll notice a couple whitish specs. I was trying to insert the tailpiece stud, and twice in 5 seconds the stud slipped out of my hand... :BH:

    Refinish Finished (7).JPG


    95% of these specs is just dust passing thru:

    Refinish Finished (4).JPG
    Refinish Finished (5).JPG

    Black shielding paint makes the components stand out more:

    Refinish Finished (6).JPG

    Me thinks, good looking family:

    Refinish Finished (2).JPG
    The End...
     
  6. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    That does look really nice.
     
  7. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's good to know now.
    I went with the open pore. Can you share your details on how you got your "mirror like finish"?
     
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  8. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, I remember your Junior now! Turned out awesome, as this refinish too. I love how the mahogany gives the green a bit of a yellowish tint in some angles, good job! And what a collection of SGs!

    IIRC, I stripped the faded finish, aplied grain filler, then stain, then about 20 coats of TruOil (the latter ones with some leveling wetsanding and cut with mineral spirits), let it cure and finally hand -bffed it with car polish and Virtuoso cleaner and polish.

    Looked like a mirror the first days, but now the finish has sunk a tiny bit into the grain. Looks great, though, but if I were to go at this again, I'd probably apply a couple of coats of TruOil to seal the pores before filling the grain.
     
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  9. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    That is stunning sir, awesome job!

    I am loving your whole wall of mojo
     
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  10. Retrop

    Retrop Member

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    Great job on saving this guitar, it looks awesome! Thanks for sharing your build with us!
     
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  11. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    You're very welcome. If it wasn't for forums like this one, it never would have happened. This SG is a very nice sounding and well playing guitar... even when it was in it's neglected condition. I lucked out... :yesway:
     
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  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Nice work! I've used Tung oil on gunstocks, furniture and a couple of instruments.
    People get overly enthusiastic about lacquer IMHO. I like tung oil a lot.

    Your project looks great. Just enough gloss, and a nice depth to the finish.
    One of the features I like best about Tung Oil is: If you scratch it, you can simply rub out the
    scratch with fine sandpaper and then apply some more tung oil. Disappearo.
     
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  13. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Your inspiring me to search for a special :naughty:
     
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  14. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Well-Known Member

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    Awesome work!
     
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  15. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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    that is exactly the plan i have been mentioning here for the last year. I was first experimentimg with natural colors from vegetables. The cooked beet water was beautiful but became really dark with time as applied to test scrap wood. The green that i liked i got from Spinach but now that i see this... i will try it out on my moony 2002 like yours. Thanks
     
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  16. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's a lovely colour on an SG! It's a shame Gibson so rarely offer new colour choices on SGs, they can look stunning in most colours :) Great post, thanks for sharing the info and pics, very inspiring. I'd not head of using steam on dents before, interesting to see how effective it was.
     
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  17. Lunacy the Faded

    Lunacy the Faded Active Member

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    Great color and guitar ;)
     
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  18. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    Unique and beautiful!!
     
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  19. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    Great job!
     
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  20. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Kind of like this:
     

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