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Refinishers: Good way to remove the paint in pickup routes?

Nick Sorenson

Rocketfire Guitars
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
I'm not a refin guy and don't aspire to be! But question, I'm refinishing one right now for a friend and I'd like to get the cavities clean. Unfortunately whoever applied the finish on this guitar not only did a poor job but they used catalysed paint. So sanding has been the best way. But in the cavities, sanding isn't really a good option. I've used aircraft remover one time and it worked but it's a mess. Is there any other good way to clean out those cavities?
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Are they standard cavity routs? Maybe line up a routing template and rerout the cavity? That should get a lot of it, anyhow. It would be good if you used a slightly undersized bearing.

Incidentally, I'm not generally a refinisher, but I have been known to rout off finish.
 
Last edited:

jimshine

Member
Messages
1,594
Routing is a great option. Aircraft stripper is as well. But it is a bad choice if you plan on doing a natural finish (I have found true aircraft stripper tends to discolor wood). Stripper shouldn't be messy. It should be allowed to penetrate the finish and gel up. When you scrape it out it should be somewhere between damp and dry. If it is wet, you are removing it too soon.
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
Heat gun and some small spatulas, one will need bent at about 90 degress. Should peel right out just be careful not to scorch the wood. As they get sprayed over again with new finish I usually don't spend a lot of time cleaning them out completely, just need to create a functional bond between the coatings.
 

Nick Sorenson

Rocketfire Guitars
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
I actually thought of the routing option and tried it in the worm route. But some of the Pre-CBS funkiness is in there to prove that it's original so I'm hesitant to mess that up. Otherwise I like that idea about the best, it's definitely the cleanest and easiest.

One thing I wonder about the heat gun idea is that the surface wood in routes is usually pretty fuzzy which gives paint a lot of surface area to grip. I'll try that and see how it works. This one didn't strip very well even on the flat smooth surfaces with a heat gun for some reason. It was a pretty bad non flowed out finish and with layers that didn't adhere to one another. In a good finish it should all come off in one layer. This one didn't do that unfortunately and I'm guessing because it was a hack job. But that's also why it's in need of the refinish in the first place.

I'll give the aircraft stripper a try. I have a couple cans of it from a project several years ago. If I were to go back in time, I would have gotten the routes first (before I sanded the rest of the body clean) so the old finish would protect the surface wood. But too late now! I'll just have a little more clean-up and some sanding to do when I'm done with the paint stripper.

Thanks for the comments guys.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
I just stripped a fender mustang that was refinished in...wait for it....house paint. Black, brushed on...AWFUL. I used this stuff:

http://www.rockler.com/soy-geltrade..._campaign=PL&gclid=CNfAr_LFybwCFSbxOgodcBIAtA

Try it next time. It's a lot more pleasant to work with than solvent based strippers. It even did a reasonable job getting all of the black paint off, and that's tough to get clean on wood. They sell a degreaser that I used afterwards. I think it's called "Emerge". I bought a gallon of both down at a marine supply center, but you can get the Soy-Gel at Woodcraft, I think.
 

Nick Sorenson

Rocketfire Guitars
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
Interesting. They call it a natural way to strip paint. I guess you can put it on your Chinese Take-out if you have some left after you're done with the paint stripping. ;) lol. Looks like it's got good reviews.

I definitely don't like the aircraft remover stuff.
 

58burst

Member
Messages
5
To strip your options are: Heat gun, sandpaper with your finger, paint stripper, dremel tool with sanding attatchment, re-route (either with a temeplate or CNC).

or you could not waste the time trying to strip them (which they really dont need to be) and either sheild the cavities with copper tape or black sheilding paint.
 




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