~1980 BC RICO refinish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by The_Nuge, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!
    This is my second post, so please be patient with me if this has been discussed before! And yes, I did try searching for the answers!
    I've had this ~1980 BC RICO for maybe 15 years now, and i've thought it was a great guitar. A bit neck-heavy maybe, but good tone and playability.
    My son unfortunately pushed it off its stand a couple of years ago which resulted in the wood around the pots cracking.
    It's quite a rare guitar, being one of only a few BC RICO's being made in Japan before the Rico Reed Co. decided to complain. After that they became known as BC Rich NJs - if anyone has more info I'd love to know!
    [​IMG]
    I'd like to restore it to its former glory - I have all the hardware - and need some tips:
    1. Is it a nitro or PU finish? I've tried soaking one of the cavities with nitro thinners for about 2 min, which didn't affect the finish at all. I presume it's PU...
    2. If I refinish in PU, will I need to strip the guitar completely?
    3. If so, what's the best way to do so (I live in Germany so may not have access to the same chemicals as in the US).
    4.Some of the damaged areas will need a bit of filling. What's the best stuff for the job?
    5. What's the best way of getting that nicotine yellow hue to the white finish?

    Here are some more pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Lot of questions, I know...

    Cheers!
     
    mzmo likes this.
  2. j.six

    j.six Senior Member

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    that is a SWEET mockingbird! I can guarantee you it's not nitro.

    Sully
     
  3. shtdaprdtr

    shtdaprdtr Senior Member

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    I say leave it as is...it is currently in its former glory and a refinish would destroy the whole vibe.
     
  4. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

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    I second that
     
  5. Stike

    Stike Senior Member

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    Leave it. It's a polyester finish. A chemical stripper will work on a catalyzed urethane but polyester puts up a good fight with even the strongest of strippers.
     
  6. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi Again,
    Thanks for all your replies!
    I don't usually mind dings and scratches - I mean I bought it in very much the same condition as it is now. However, the control cavity will need something doing to it as it's not very solid at all. And my gut still tells me to do a refin...

    @Stike: are you sure it's a polyester finish? I once stripped a Fender Lead with a polyester finish which turned out to be a pain - but this stuff looks different. Any way one can tell for sure?

    cheerio
     
  7. bfcg

    bfcg Senior Member

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    Check inside the control cavity for cracks in the wood along the grain. When the guitar fell over it might have pushed the control knobs into the wood possible causing those cracks. If you find a crack just wick some CA into to stabilize.
    I would leave the rest of it alone, it looks very cool the way it is.
    That "nicotine yellow" is never gonna go away.
     
  8. El Toro

    El Toro V.I.P. Member

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    So cool!
     
  9. mdr40z

    mdr40z Senior Member

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    personally I like the idea of a refin, maybe bright red :-')
     
  10. Stike

    Stike Senior Member

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    Very sure, I refinned this Rico earlier this year-polyester.
    [​IMG]
    Pretty much anything made in Asia has a polyester finish, there are some exceptions but way more often than not it'll be polyester.
     
  11. El Toro

    El Toro V.I.P. Member

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    I just bought an early 80's Eagle NJ, silver and beat... what do you think those are worth?
     
  12. bertzie

    bertzie Senior Member

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    Why restore it to its original glory, when you can make it better?
     
  13. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    I could live with better! What do you suggest?
     
  14. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    id say go for it... then put like a venner to stablize the top, and then refinish
     
  15. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    So...
    I went and bought a heat gun today and have so far removed about 3/4 of the paint on the body:slash:. I can confirm it's polyester as it comes off really easily once heat is applied! The damage doesn't look too bad and I'm confident it will be easy to fix with super glue. I might reinforce the control cavity with a piece of copper sheet which will then double as shielding.
    I haven't started on the neck yet as I a bit worried about applying too much heat but will see if I can summon some courage tomorrow...

    I want to repaint in a similar white to the original colour and am considering doing it with rattle cans... Any suggestions? I'm looking for paint that's readily available in Germany or at the very least central Europe.

    Cheers!
     
  16. ptate

    ptate V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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  17. shtdaprdtr

    shtdaprdtr Senior Member

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    How long till we see it on Ebay?
     
  18. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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  19. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Never! I've had it for so long - and don't need the money - it's staying!
     
  20. ptate

    ptate V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Can't you get it through his Belgian suppliers, here?

    Lutherie

    Peace.
     

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