how to remove glue from a headstock

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner: Guitar & Bass Technical Discussi' started by Christoph R., Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Christoph R.

    Christoph R. Member

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    i have a tele with a replacement neck. the previous owner put a fender logo on the headstock:

    [​IMG]

    is there a way to remove the glue and logo without harming the wood or finish?
    thanks, christoph
     
  2. TimSt.L

    TimSt.L Member

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    Looks like no one wants to even touch this one...
    I would use a stripper of some kind that is made specifically to not harm wood. In the good ol days a 50 cent piece of sand paper would do the trick for me.
     
  3. Mike9

    Mike9 Gold Supporting Member

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    Doesn't look like glue to me - it looks like they shot a thick coat of clear on just the decal. Might have been trying to avoid spraying the bushings? :dunno You could try just wet sanding it to blend then buff it up to a shine.
     
  4. bsuite

    bsuite Member

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    Previous owner? Sure ok. You know how many times I've said, uh.... I mean heard that. :p
     
  5. Christoph R.

    Christoph R. Member

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    no i'm actually the other way round... i like to be "mysterious guy" with the blank headstock. like i'm so cool, i don't need a name on my guitar :p

    yeah, stupid i know but what the h...

    so the obviousness of the glued on decal really pisses me off... ;)
     
  6. Christoph R.

    Christoph R. Member

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    so, you guys say theres no easy way, like using pure alcohol or something...
    i guess i will leave it alone then...
     
  7. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I have never seen a decal that had glue on it, most of them I have seen are water slides that you cleared over.
    If it is glued on I would think that the newer goof off stuff that is biodegradable and made from plant base would get it off.
    Don't use the removers that have petroleum in them.
    If that don't do it, then it is beneath the clearcoat.
     
  8. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Senior Member

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    Looks like a massive run in the clear to me....:huh
     
  9. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    That's just a bad lacquer job.

    I would personally sand it back, remove that logo, and respray it. It's just not kosher to have a Fender decal on something that's not a Fender neck. Really seriously not acceptable.

    edit: Just to really reiterate how unacceptable that is regardless what you may think about Fender....rip that crap off.
     
  10. ReginaldBisquet

    ReginaldBisquet Supporting Member

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    Agreed. Remove the bushing and machine heads as well as the string tree. Tape up the nut and first couple of frets. The use a 1200 or 600 grit wet sandpaper. I cant tell how think the glue is... so from where I'm sitting, I would start with 1200 and work slowly, evenly sand down the face of the headstock.
     
  11. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Member

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    I don't think it is glue. Its a blob of clearcoat. Could be nitro lacquer, acrylic lacquer, polyurethane or more unlikely- a catalyzed 2 or three part finish.
    I think this is a job for a professional who can assess what the clearcoat and basecoat finishes are and whether a simple wipe of solvent will take off the decal or whether it will need to be scraped or sanded off. If scraping/sanding is needed, I think it very likely that the headstock face will need touch-up, or at least wet sanding and buffing on a wheel afterward.
     
  12. Christoph R.

    Christoph R. Member

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    english is not my first language, so i don't know the exact term for this stuff...

    i guess its not worth the effort but thanks for the advice guys!
     
  13. hikingbear

    hikingbear Member

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    Like everyone said, get some send paper and wet sand the head stock. It's not difficult to do. Search google for wet sanding guitar finish.
     
  14. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

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    Take the neck off.

    At the butt end of the neck, wipe some lacquer thinner on any place covered by the body, to see if it reacts with the finish.

    If it does NOT react, it's likely the neck is shot with a poly, in which case I'd have a go w/ the thinner, and if THAT doesn't work, use 400/600 wet-or-dry paper soaked first for a bit in water - you'll have to remove all the hardware first of course.

    Did you try plain water yet? I ALWAYS, when it's not known what the finish in question actually is, try increasingly stronger solvents...

    Water
    Naptha (lighter fluid)
    Alcohol
    Paint thinner
    Lacquer thinner

    ...all in an inconspicuous place, of course.
     
  15. joejazzguitar

    joejazzguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    This.......except that the clearcoat over the decal may NOT be the same finish as the rest of the neck.... Try applying the solvents to the face of the peghead. At best, it'll remove the clearcoat and decal...at worst, it won't do anything at all. If solvents don't do the trick, sand it and clearcoat the bare wood.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  16. bsuite

    bsuite Member

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    I would Scrape most of it off no matter what it is. Then sand the rest.
     
  17. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Is it lacquer or poly? Wood alcohol should make the laquer wipe right off.

    What do they finish the guitar neck with to begin with? If that's also lacquer, it'll wipe off too.

    If you can't simply wipe off the puddle with alcohol, the easiest, guaranteed way to do a nice job would be to strip/sand the whole surface and re-coat it. At least you'll end up with uniformity right away. I used to do cabinets, repair furniture, etc. Matching finishes up can take forever.
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah, that's always felt bogus to me too.

    (if i were to do a vintage-style parts-caster though, i might wrangle a vintage logo and put on everything except the word "fender"; it might be neat to have "stratocaster" and "synchronized tremolo" and the patent numbers and all that in the correct spots, just without the real name on it.)
     
  19. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Alcohol will attack shellac. The general method for identifying an old finish (and I will truncate it here since it's probably not going to be a varnish or anything like that) is...in this order:

    1) rub alcohol on it....if it softens and comes off, it's shellac
    2) rub lacquer thinner on it...if it softens and comes off, it's lacquer
    3) if it doesn't move, it's probably some sort of poly
     

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