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Poly Finish Cracks, How to make it looks nicer?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by wiccy47, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. wiccy47

    wiccy47 Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Oct 15, 2014
    Uk
    Hi All,

    I have just got an used US standard 2006 strat with a fairly good deal. It is cheaper partly because the guitar has some cracks around the neck joint due to rapid temperature change.

    Hopefully the picture link will work. If not, I will try to describe it.
    Basically, because the cracks. a piece of the finish has been peeled off. Now at the cracked part, part of the finish is hanging and not attached to the body.

    Well, I am not looking for ways to repair it. But rather cosmetically, how can I make it looks nicer. As currently it looks like it can be peel off easily. I want to peel it off but worry that I will take off the whole back finish.

    Can I sand paper it?
    Please help. Thanks.!
    [​IMG]

    Seems like the link wont work. Please visit my tumblr page for the image.
    http://yangjiajun.tumblr.com/post/100094054795
     

  2. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    Welcome!

    The photo did not load on my laptop. It sounds like you would have to do at least a partial repaint with the challenge of matching the color, too.
     

  3. Cooter

    Cooter Strat-O-Master

    721
    Jan 24, 2013
    So Cal
    If it will all flake of then yes peel it, If not then you got a lot of sealing, filling and sanding ahead of you.
     

  4. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    First off, great to see you've come to Strat-Talk. There are some really experienced people on this forum and I'm sure they'll try to help. Until I saw your pictures, I had some fairly easy fixes up my sleeve, mostly involving SuperGlue and girly nail varnish. That isn't going to be enough on this one.

    Now I've seen the extent of the finish that's come off, I'm slightly concerned about the cause. You say it was "rapid temperature changes". Do you know that for fact, or was that what the seller told you? The kind of temperature swings found in the US that 'check' guitar finishes are almost unknown in the UK, where we spend a lot of time talking about the weather but it typically snows on only a few days a year, and a 'heatwave' means 30C for two days.

    Unless this guitar was already used when it was imported into the UK, I can't help wondering if it has either got wet at some stage, or been near a source of extreme heat. If it was involved in a house fire, it may have been exposed to both those conditions in rapid succession.

    Because of this uncertainty, I'd seriously advise you to take your guitar to a professional guitar repairer/maker. It may be that this is all cosmetic – and local to the area of the body around the neck – but without getting hands-on with the guitar I couldn't really say.
     

  5. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Simon just said what I was going to say. Cracks in the finish are common around the neck join, but I have never seen a poly finish peel off in large chunks like that.
     

  6. B. Howard

    B. Howard Strat-Talker

    113
    Jun 7, 2013
    Hummelstown PA
    That is a finish delamination and I really doubt it was from rapid temp change. Most film de-lams that large trace back to an application problem or a prep problem. Being a poly finish it cannot be readily re-bonded with chemicals. Small checks and cracks can be stabilized and touched up but I would not try to stabilize anything that was lifting like that. I would recommend a complete refinish if it showed up in my shop. Either that or let it peel and call it reliced.......
     

  7. firebrand

    firebrand Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Western Michigan
    The body to my 2004Jeff Beck Strat did this. It didn't happen until the cold snap hit earlier this year. Fortunately I am the original owner and I hunted down my original receipt. Fender replaced the body.

    I was tempted to see if I could peel the finish on the old body like an egg shell, but the color from 2004 two today is dramatically different so I am going to order a roasted maple warm off knack for the old body instead.
     

  8. wiccy47

    wiccy47 Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Oct 15, 2014
    Uk
    Hi all. Thanks for the commons and concerns. It is a bit worrying now. But the thing is. I neck joint seems find and the sound is incredible. The sustain is longer than my gibson 175. I have tried a few US standards in store and actually I prefer this one. So yes, although I am not sure of the problem I am still happy with the guitar.

    So question is how to take off the loosen finish? I wouldn't refinish the guitar because I actually prefer a bit of relic look. My plan is to find the closest place, which the finish is still attached to the wood. Then sand it peeling part off.

    So I am a bit confused. For your concerns, do you worry the wood would get damaged or just the finish? If just the finish, I am gonna relic the hell of the guitar. ;P
     

  9. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Sounds as if Fender has had problems with its finishes sometimes. The main thing is you're happy with the way the guitar feels and plays.

    If you want to take off the areas of the finish that have already started to come away, you could improvise a scraper from something like an old credit card. That should be strong enough to shift the finish but not sharp enough to damage the wood.

    Then, if there are any sharp edges, I'd rub them down with about 800 grade Wet and Dry paper. Normally, I'd suggest then going to maybe 1200 grade prior to repolishing, but it sounds as if you have a different future in mind for your guitar.:twisted:

    From what B. Howard and firebrand have said, the finish is likely to delaminate further over time, but that just means it will 'relic' itself.

    Good luck with your new guitar!
     

  10. wiccy47

    wiccy47 Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Oct 15, 2014
    Uk
    Fantastic!Thanks a lot Simon. I don't quite understand the credit card method as I can't see how to use a card as a scraper.

    Seems like I got a lot of sand papering ahead of me.

    I really want to take the loosen part off because I worried that it will loosen more finish over finish because of the pull.
     

  11. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    My thinking was simply that if you used a small piece of non-metallic sheet material for your scraper, it would be less likely to damage the wood of the body. However, poly is a tough finish and it may be that a plastic credit card is not man enough for the job.

    A slightly more aggressive approach would be, say, a putty knife or small decorating scraper. They have a metal blade but are not sharp. Once you get into the realms of chisels and scrapers with sharp cutting edges, the potential for causing damage increases a lot.

    If you find it difficult to remove all the finish you think aught to go, you could consider sanding the affected areas down to the wood. At that point though, I'd suggest disassembling the guitar and working on the body without the neck or electrics in place. Relic'ing the body is one thing, causing collateral damage to other parts of the instrument in the process is definitely to be avoided.
     

  12. Ramblin'man

    Ramblin'man Strat-O-Master

    589
    Feb 20, 2013
    Northern Illinois
    If you want to remove the finish a heat gun and a small blade putty knife can do wonders. Work slowly, let the heat gun do it's job and the putty knife should not be angled so that it mars the wood. The putty blade is to lift the finish off the wood, try not to dig in. You will still have a lot of sanding to do prior to and during the finishing with a solid color. Or you may get lucky and have good wood so you can put a good oil finish on it.
     

  13. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Just realized 'warm off knack' is "Warmoth neck"!

    Good advice Rambin'man. Alas the OP wants to take off only the flaky parts of the finish and 'relic' the rest. (I know, I know... Leo revolving in his grave and all that.)
     

  14. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Yes! :D I assume that was caused by some weird kind of spell check?

    I'm not sure that trying to remove this finish is a good idea. My concern is that large amounts of the finish will peel off like the skin of an orange. But there will also be large amounts of it that haven't started to lift & are still stuck firmly to the body. So you will end up with a half painted body that won't look like any "relic" ever created - it will just look awful. And that poly finish will probably be quite thick, so sanding off the edges won't create a seamless transition, it will just create an ugly mess.

    Have a look at my 1997 Fender California Series Tele. There's a big chip knocked out of the finish, & it appears that Fender painted it with a spoon - and in several different colours! Not impressive. If I tried to fiddle with this & remove any more loose bits, I'm sure it would only end up looking worse.

    Poly finishes don't relic well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  15. wiccy47

    wiccy47 Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Oct 15, 2014
    Uk
    That is odd. If you look at the picture of my strat, the finish is much thinner with only one layer. But thanks for your concern, I got the sand paper now. I will do some initial sanding later and keep you updated.