Dulling Poly Finished Guitars PIC HEAVY!!

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by RMC1, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    I`ve seen quite a few threads about this,which got me curious as to how to achieve a less shiny finish to our Epi`s.As much as i love my Epi`s,i have always been frustrated by how our industrious little friends in Asia seem to go nuts with the Poly Gun.Sanding is an option,but that then creates a lot of work trying to eliminate scratches to the Poly which are sometimes too deep to remove without heavy sanding.That then in turn leads to uneven finishing of the surface,and that can lead to frustration,and occasionally,a ruined Guitar.This is by no means a definative Guide,it is also not an attempt to make a Poly covered Guitar look like a Nitro finished Guitar.It is what it is,a way to reduce the shine on an Epiphone Poly coated Guitar.Some people will think that this Guide sucks,others may like it.If you have no patience,i should mention that this method is most likely not for you.I figured i`d post it anyway :)

    All in all,about 9 hours work.

    So,lets get started.

    We`re all aware of just how shiny that Finish is,to me it really does make the Guitar look like a Toy.A typical example of that below,

    [​IMG]

    After experimenting with several methods,below is the Weapon of choice.Hang on!! you`re thinking i`m nuts and that the Sander will wreck the top as soon as it touches it.Bear with me,it really does work.

    [​IMG]

    And this is what we`re using on the Sander.

    [​IMG]

    Basically it is the same Material that is used on those Foam Pan Scrubbers,just bigger.Because it has no particles attached,like Sandpaper and other abrasive Sheets,this does not create the scratches in the surface which,if too deep,can be a pain to remove.instead,it gently wears away the Poly.The secret is not to apply excessive pressure,let the Machine do the work,that`s it`s job.It takes a while,but if you are patient,you should eventually get the surface finished as in the Pic below

    [​IMG]

    A close up reveals that unlike abrasive Sheets,there are in fact,virtually no harsh sanding marks to worry about,

    [​IMG]

    Ok,now you`ve got that far,how do we get a satisfactory finish ?.Something that will produce a nice mellow shine,that will also be able to have Fingermarks ect wiped from it.Matt finishes are,as you know,a pain to get marks off.I tried all kinds of Polish.I finaly found the one that filled all the requirements.Picture below,

    [​IMG].

    Apply a thin layer of the Polish,and let it dry to a Haze,

    [​IMG]

    The next step could be missed and you can go straight to hand polishing,but i used this surface attachment for the Sander,it is very very slightly abrasive,and starts to bring the Poly back to a subtle shine,

    [​IMG]

    Which brings us to here,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Exactly the same method for the back,

    Poly knocked back,

    [​IMG]

    Then brought back to a finish,

    [​IMG]

    The same idea with the Neck,but leaving it un polished,which has made it much much more playable,

    [​IMG]

    Back to the Front.I applied another layer of Polish twice,but did not use the Sander,these 2 final stages are best done by hand.These Pictures are the finished results in the post below.I`ve included too many in one post :laugh2:

    I hope this is of use to some of you.I have learned a lot,and made some great friends in the short time i`ve been here.I thought it would be good to give a little something back.

    Rich
     
  2. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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  3. inteDes

    inteDes Member

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    Nice job, I really like it!
     
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  4. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    dude, you f-ing hit the nail on the head... perfect explanation and execution. bravo!
     
  5. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    Thanks mate, i just wanted to give something back,i`m wondering if i should post it in the Custom shop section?
     
    Archie R. Lib likes this.
  6. inxs996

    inxs996 Banned

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    that looks fantastic, your right the original finish is just to shiny, i like it much better now...
     
  7. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    id say so! it will get a lot of air time there as well as here.... the epi factories really do lay that poly on too thick. Its the one major thing (i think) that makes an epi feel and look inferior to a gibby upon close inspection....
     
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  8. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    Ok,i`ve posted it over there.It`s a shame they go so heavy with the Poly.I see no reason for it to be honest.
     
  9. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    lol... i know really. the only thing its good for is armor... you could thow one of those things up against a brick wall and after wiping it off i doubt that the finish would be that harmed....
     
  10. inteDes

    inteDes Member

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    If you would live near me, I would know where to go to! I'm far too scared to do this myself. :D But as I have said, it's just amazing! It really improves the looks of the guitar, it makes it look more dignified.
     
  11. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    dont doubt yourself, you could do it! you cant rush things like that though, takes time and patience.
     
  12. Lemonhead

    Lemonhead Senior Member

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    Excellent thread.

    Did you do the headstock as well?

    Pics?
     
  13. Skynyrdpicker

    Skynyrdpicker Senior Member

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    Looks GREAT!

    Might have to try that someday!
     
  14. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    It really isn`t so difficult,all you need to do is take your time.The Beauty of using the Pad,and not sandpaper ect is that you can`t go too far too soon.It takes the Poly down very slowly.If you do decide to have a go,you can always give me a shout if you`re not sure about anything :)
     
  15. inteDes

    inteDes Member

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    Thanks! I'll keep that in mind! I've got a Cherry plain top do you think the result would be as stunning as yours? This is something I might do when I find the time.
     
  16. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    It will work on a Plus or Plain Top.It`s the same method for both.
     
  17. RMC1

    RMC1 Senior Member

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    It`s being done yes.Pics as soon as it`s done.I finished the back and sides of the Headstock the same as the Neck

    [​IMG]
     
  18. FFXGuitar

    FFXGuitar Senior Member

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    How did you get inbetween the tuners? Great job btw, may try it myself one day. Although, I'm not a "DIY" kinda guy, and I'm scared to do stuff to my guitars.:hmm:
     
  19. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    i might try this with my gold top
     
  20. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    take the tuners off lol... youll get the vibe of things if you hang around long enough :thumb:
     
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