Cleaning up scratches/dings etc for sale

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by TTBZ, May 4, 2016.

  1. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    How do you guys do it to get the guitar looking as near new as possible? It's a 2008 SG Standard, not sure if it's poly or nitro finish - any ideas?

    It's in pretty good condition to be fair but there are a few scratches on the pickguard, swirling on the back of the body (kinda belt rash but it's not gone through to the wood) and a little chip/ding on the headstock which I'd like to smooth out if possible (will take a photo of this).

    I've heard of Meguiars in the past, this still the best? Specifically which Meguiars?
     
  2. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

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    Being Gibson, it'll be lacquer, which is easy to polish. The pickguard might be a problem - I've used plastic polish (for motorcycle windscreens) before but with mixed results. And I wouldn't recommend polishing a chipped area.

    Any number of automotive-related products will do nicely, Meguiar's being one of them. I use the same foam pad polisher I use for cars, but hands work too - just takes longer.

    I'd suggest finding a local automotive finishing supplier, and asking them what they recommend for lacquer finishes - shops don't all carry all the same lines, so you need to know what's available in your area. Take the guitar with you, and they can help you decide what grade(s) you need.

    FWIW I find that many of those shops actually are used to people asking guitars.
     
  3. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    ScratchX 2.0 is great for knocking out swirls and light scratches. Chip/rash repairs will require some finishing knowledge, however.
     
  4. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    I wouldnt touch any of the marks at all, clean the frets and board, wipe it down and put a new set of strings on and set it up. Keep the guitar honest. Its all about the sound and feel, to me anyway. Good luck with the sale, whatever you do.
     
    falderguitars likes this.
  5. TTBZ

    TTBZ Member

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    This is the bit I was referring to on the headstock. Not sure how it even occurred, it's an odd place to scratch it on something haha. I just want the guitar to be in as good condition as possible. Even if I don't end up selling it haha.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    I'd drop fill with lacquer, sand flat and polish. Stew Mac has a video on it.
     
    GregMac likes this.
  7. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    I agree with poolshark, if you really need it gone, its the easiest option. Still wouldnt bother touching it though.
     
  8. LesStratValve

    LesStratValve Member

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    I have another related question:

    Nitro Finish

    Any tried and true methods for removing water spots? Very light spots on a recent purchase and want to remove but don't feel the need to 'experiment' if anyone has dependable recommendations...

    Thx.
     
  9. Khromo

    Khromo Supporting Member

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    As to what grade of Mequiar's to use:

    Polishing compounds remove material, so you need to watch out for that. Most modern guitars have a thick enough finish that you needn't worry about "burn through", but you can do it if you are too enthusiastic, or if you use a more coarse compound than is appropriate.

    To polish up a finish, and minimize but not necessarily remove all of the typical swirling and light scratches, Mequiar's #2 Fine Cut Cleaner is about as aggressive as most guys should use. Use a damp, ultra soft and clean rag and elbow grease, and wipe off the surface to check your progress regularly. Check your rag as well, and if you see any trace of color, stop immediately and put the Fine Cut away.

    You can use #205 Ultra Finishing Polish to give it the "wet look"! Show Car Glaze and Swirl Remover also work well after the Fine Cut, but those products may have been discontinued. Find the local shop that sells supplies to the automotive painting trade, and they will be able to help you out.

    Older guitars look better to me with a little of that gently worn patina. I often stop at the Fine Cut Cleaner for a more normal look on an older guitar.

    Drop filling, done well, can really clean up serious dings, but it takes practice. PRACTICE ON SCRAP!!! Stew Mac sells medium viscosity CA in a little bottle with a brush in the cap that makes drop fills a little quicker for me.

    I once bought an elegant PRS with a large, gruesome dent where it had been dropped directly on that delicate, recurved top edge. I repaired the damage to where it was nearly invisible (over a couple of weeks). One day I met the guy who had traded it in at a huge loss, to buy the same guitar minus the dent. The guy nearly had a stroke when he saw his old guitar, looking almost like new. He was angry, because the one he had traded in sounded a lot better than the replacement did. He tried to get me to trade, but as I told him, "I only look stupid."
     
  10. pete12string

    pete12string Supporting Member

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