Ive decided to strip my 1990 Ebony Studio..What should I use?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by flyingdutchman, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. flyingdutchman

    flyingdutchman Senior Member

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    I have an ugly as sin 1990 Studio that is structurally sound but has had a hard life. Great fingerboard and frets. Its a nice guitar that someone just played the crap out of. Id like to strip it and then do a hand rubbed tung oil finish.

    First step is to figure out how to get the finish off. A friend of mine offered my some 5F5 to strip the paint. I went out and bought some tape, plastic putty knife and some a couple of sanding pads and some coarse steel wool. Should I just sand it down with the steel wool and then brush the 5F5 on and ten start scrapping?

    Thanks in advance guys.

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  2. GammyBird

    GammyBird Senior Member

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    I would like to know the answer too :)
     
  3. Pinkie

    Pinkie Senior Member

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    Depends on how many pieces were used to build it it may not look all that good in natural.
    Go for it anyway.
     
  4. DanielDeGregoriis

    DanielDeGregoriis Senior Member

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    I find that the easiest way to strip a finish is using a (cabinet) scraper: with a curved and rectangular one you could easily do the entire guitar.

    You could then finish up using sandpaper.
     
  5. Akahito

    Akahito Senior Member

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    Since it's a Studio, there's no risk in damaging any plastics with paint stripper. Probably the easiest.
     
  6. gator payne

    gator payne Senior Member

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    Cabinet scraper!
     
  7. GammyBird

    GammyBird Senior Member

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    Heat gun work well on that?
     
  8. lowatter

    lowatter Senior Member

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    I stripped mine. If yours is a Studio Lite then you may find a maple top like mine underneath.

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    evolved_insanity likes this.
  9. flyingdutchman

    flyingdutchman Senior Member

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    Nice work lowatter! Damn..Can I just send mine to you and have you do it the same as yours?!!!? Unfortunately mine is not a lite so Im not sure what to expect under the paint..It may become a goldtop..

    lowatter, how did you strip yours?

    The cabinet scrapers is not my type of tool. I can guarantee that I will gouge up the top of the guitar..I have very little woodworking skills.
     
  10. gator payne

    gator payne Senior Member

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    You have to really try to gouge using a cabinet scraper. :thumb:They make ultra fine cut in wood not big gouging cuts. the cabinet scraper is the fastest stripping method. but does require elbow grease:D
     
  11. flyingdutchman

    flyingdutchman Senior Member

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    Hmmm..Maybe its the way to go. They seem to be reasonably priced so before I start trying the Zip Strip or 5F5, Maybe I'll give the cabinet scraper a shot.
     
  12. shtdaprdtr

    shtdaprdtr Senior Member

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    yours should have a 3 piece maple top like a Norlin and late 80's les paul....should still look cool.
     
  13. JayDee80

    JayDee80 Senior Member

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    Agreed on the cabinet scraper! :)
    Just be careful... Here in Germany, you get cabinet scrapers at every hardware store for a low price... But they are not burnished yet. And no hardware store here has special tools or the know-how :D So you have to do it yourself / get yourself the right tools. Then you will have an excellent tool :)
     
  14. lowatter

    lowatter Senior Member

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    Thanks for the compliments on my Studio. I just used Jasco heavy duty stripping gel from Lowes. Worked great and very fast. You have to wear thick rubber gloves and have plenty of newspaper available for under the guitar while you strip it. Plenty of soft rags too.
    I would be too worried about gouging and trying to go into tight areas with a cabinet scraper. I think I had the whole guitar ready for sanding within a couple of hours.
     
  15. Reverend D

    Reverend D Senior Member

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    I think I saw like a 6 piece assortment of cabinet scrappers at a ace store for like 20.00 bucks.

    Regards,

    Don
     
  16. flyingdutchman

    flyingdutchman Senior Member

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    I ended up going the chemical stripper route..I got some zip strip, a plastic scraper and some steel wool. I scuffed up the paint pretty good with some steel wool and then started the zip strip process. The plastic scraper made it a bit of a chore to do but I didnt want to gouge the wood with a metal scraper. Obviously Im nowhere near being finished but I had a few hours to get it started today. It looks like it has a nice 2 piece maple top with a bit of figure to it. Should look nice with a tung oil finish on it...Here are some glamour pics..btw, I just pulled the studs out for the bridge. Not sure why I left em in there but they are gone now. If anyone has any tips for getting the rest of the black out of the top it would be much appreciated.

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  17. EagleOnyx

    EagleOnyx Senior Member

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    sandpaper!

    that's some cool lookin maple you got there man! I think you made the right choice in stripping it. (I don't like black guitars much lol)
     
  18. Fracture

    Fracture Senior Member

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    I strip some old furniture from time to time.
    An antique set I did for daughter, from 1927 whih had quite a bit of hand carved detail, and some type of clay appliques.
    I used an citrus based stripper about 2-3 mils thick.
    Not knowing when I'd get back to it, (day or 2) I would cover the treated areas with aluminum foil.
    Even 3 days later it was active.
    It had lead based paint on it, so this was the only way to keep it encapsulated.
    By the last stages it was down to a dental pic.
     
  19. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    I can't believe they painted that black.

    I'm not seeing the seam, you sure it's 2 pieces?
     
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  20. flyingdutchman

    flyingdutchman Senior Member

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    I was thinking the same thing as I pulled the paint off. I was very happy to see what lurked underneath. The seam line is very fine and is tough to photograph. Once a finish is on, it should show a bit more.
     

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