#1
I have a Squier classic vibe in arctic white, whic i love, but i am toying with the idea of stripping the laquer/paint back to bare wood and french polishing the alder. any thoughts/suggestion? terrible idea? I reall want a natural finish wooden guitar but i dont want to buy another one
#2
a cheapo like the squier, especially one with a factory opaque finish, is likely to be made out of all sorts of cuts of wood hacked and glued together and might not have the natural grain you would expect or want for a natural finish. of course you'll never know until your strip that paint off.

otherwise nothing really wrong with the idea, plenty of people refinish guitars, especially cheap fenders. the process is pretty well documented in places like this and all over youtube.
#3
cqwood223
its not a bog stadard cheap one its a special anniversary edition classic vibe with a really nice finish and solid alder body, (made to 50s american standards apparently.. just want to strip it back to wood and french polish it up. leaveing the solid maple neck as it is
Wats the best way of stripping the pint off? has thick laquer and then some kind of undercoat too which i can se through tiny chip in the paint
Also will it be difficult to set back up once its dissasembled? something an amateur can do or best to take it to a shop to get set up again/

could you point me in the direction of some tutorials etc... new to the site and not sure where to look
#4
Quote by iunknown1
I have a Squier classic vibe in arctic white, whic i love, but i am toying with the idea of stripping the laquer/paint back to bare wood and french polishing the alder. any thoughts/suggestion? terrible idea? I reall want a natural finish wooden guitar but i dont want to buy another one


Don't even think about it.
#5
I am with dspellman on this one, it will not work well at all.

back when I was 14 (long time ago) i got into refinishing guitars with a buddy. his first was a Tom DeLonge squier and it was made up of no less than 20 pieces of wood, and had a loose knot the size of an acorn. it was a disaster. after realizing that he had messed up bad, he refinished it back in black, and it wasn't nearly as nice as the surf green stock paint job.
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#6
Quote by iunknown1
its not a bog stadard cheap one its a special anniversary edition classic vibe with a really nice finish and solid alder body, (made to 50s american standards apparently..

Plenty of 4-piece classic vibes out there, and special edition means nothing to squier. I wouldn't bank on it being pretty under that finish.
Not sure what 'made to 50s standards' means to Squier but it probably stops at the body shape. Even so, Fender has always covered up ugly wood with opaque finishes, going all the way back. Plenty of vintage bodies got sprayed in black because they looked totally nasty underneath and couldn't have been given a translucent finish.

You might get lucky with the body underneath, but if you don't, you'd have to re-finish and might end up worse than you started. The odds are against you here.
#7
well ive stripped the laquer off and it is solid body alder and looks good underneth. its just one piece solid body
#9
1 piece on a Squier?

lel pics or it's 10 knotty pieces
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#10
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
1 piece on a Squier?

lel pics or it's 10 knotty pieces


i am equally skeptical. but cool if it is.
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#11
will put some pics up once its bare wood. got the laquer off with a heat gun but there is still some stubborn shit underneath that im struggling with, any ideas? paint stripper doesnt seem to be working too well, but it is a cheapy one im using. fuck it actually ill het a pic up in a min, i think it is 2 pieces not one but still a nice piece of wood once its stripped bare
#13
picture does not really do it justice, it is wet. you can see needs a hell of a lot of workk still and a lot of crap to remove but thats a nice bit of wood right there, gonna french polish it right up
#14
You really cannot tell how nice that piece of wood is with all that colour coat still on the body. I see at least 3 pieces (the center piece being in the middle of the bridge cavity) but its difficult to tell if that's just the colour coat still on it and not a boundary line between 1 piece of wood and another.

So long as you like it though.

Sand it back if you cannot get the colour off with paint stripper.
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#15
T00DEEPBLUE
its 2 pieces, you cn see the boundary line between the slightly darker bit, i have looked pretty close and cant see any pther joins anywhere. pain the fucking arse to sand it all off gonna take forever. The front I have sanded a little patch down to 400grit and the grain looks really nice. im toying with the idea of getting an orbital sander to do it, but a bit concerned about messing up the original contours. will post progress pics as i progress!!
bit annoying as i dont have another electric to play at the moment so ive just got a tanglewood semi-acoustic overdriven to fuck instead not the same tho
#16
the wood is starting to look much nicer after much work, will get some pctures up later on.
while im at it, does anyone reccomend any electrical components to add/upgrade that dont cost a bomb but will make a noticeable difference? I was going to to swap out the crappy jack connector and get a nic gold plated one and maybe some kind of tone pot, anything else? im not looking at changing the pups, not yet anyway
#17
Quote by kabadi.man
French polish is tricky to apply and not that robust as a guitar finish. I have seen expensive acoustics done in french polish, but those instruments are looked after and dont have as hard a life as an electric.
You would be better off to use a clear acrylic or something.

to help get the stuborn bits off your guitar body, have you tried using a Cabinet Scraper? Youtube it if you havent heard of one before. its incredibly easy to use and quick. Just wear protective goggles as the existing paint will make a mess and you get sharp chips flying in all directions.


my old man is a french polisher was going to take some advice from him, but he has also reccomended clear acrylic/satin or something similar. maybe a bit of stain underneath depending on what kind of colour i settle on.

As for the cabinet scraper, they are fantstic but risky as could easily cut into the wood, but following your suggestion i have been wetting it down after each stripping and using the stanley blade removed from the scraper and drawing it towrds me to lift any high spots/remaing varnish. Almost like a light planing, has worked very well. Just got some delicate bits to do near where the neck bolts on now as must avoid any breakouts and the the wood gets thin up there.
#20
Quote by kabadi.man
different areas of wood have absorbed the original base coat more than others maybe? or uneven sanding? either would mean the finish you apply would soak in to the wood unevenly, which is what it looks like to me.
What are you putting on it to make it look wet and show the patches up?

Just warm water. Have also done with white spirit with similar results. I am going to sand over it once at 240 and try again but i dont think its uneven sanding, if it is because the riginal base coat has soaked in more in those areas ( as i suspect) is there anything i can do about that??
Last thing i want is a patchy finish after all this fucking work
#21
or would it just be a case of making sure it was evenly saturated when finishing, even if there are patches to start with? Could i make the finish be even without eliminating the patches? I have opted for boiled linseed oil to finish (they didnt have any danish), maybe with a coat of buffed clear varnish on top.

Would it be worth soaking in stripper again, scrubbing with wire wool and starting sanding again from 80?
#22
OK so as much as i hate to admit it i think its uneven sanding... have just been over again with 120 fucking on the blotchey bits and the picture underneath is the same side wetted agin, a definite iprovement. will repeat all over until blotch free and then go to 400 i think

#23
That's definitely a 4 piece. But at least the 3 pieces of the 4 are similar enough in colour to not be noticeable at first glance.

I hope this comes out nice.
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#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
That's definitely a 4 piece. But at least the 3 pieces of the 4 are similar enough in colour to not be noticeable at first glance.

I hope this comes out nice.


it is yeah, i quite like the connection line between the darker and lighter though, nice bit of contrasts down a dead straight line, i tike it.
#25
Have you done french polishing before? I don't think it is easy to get a good look, and the result is fragile, as already. The upside of french polish is that is very easily repaired - if you know what you are doing!

Looking at your last pic, I would be thinking about an oil finish, something like TruOil (I use Danish Oil) that will bring up the grain colour.
#26
got a bit of shrinkage at the joins and had to seal it up quick so went with a clear varnish in the end. Pics of the finished body below. I have a question re wiring now - There are three ground wires, one was attached to the shielding inside the body, and I know one is for the output jack, so where does the other go? It is not long enough to reach the tremolo bit at the back, can I put two grounds into the output or will this create a loop?
#28
Quote by iunknown1
got a bit of shrinkage at the joins and had to seal it up quick so went with a clear varnish in the end. Pics of the finished body below. I have a question re wiring now - There are three ground wires, one was attached to the shielding inside the body, and I know one is for the output jack, so where does the other go? It is not long enough to reach the tremolo bit at the back, can I put two grounds into the output or will this create a loop?

As long as all the ground wires are congregating to the same common ground (the output jack sleeve), you should be fine. Ground loops occur when there is more than 1 common ground.
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#29
T00DEEPBLUE
Ok cheers. There is also a ground wire which was just kind of stuck on to the internal shielding originally, right over the hole where you would expect a wire to go through to the tremolo. Would I be best to attach this to the the output aswell or stick it back to the body as it was (it wasnt soldered so i assume there was no actual connection)???? All the ground wires are coming from the volume pot
#30
Quote by iunknown1
T00DEEPBLUE
Ok cheers. There is also a ground wire which was just kind of stuck on to the internal shielding originally, right over the hole where you would expect a wire to go through to the tremolo. Would I be best to attach this to the the output aswell or stick it back to the body as it was (it wasnt soldered so i assume there was no actual connection)???? All the ground wires are coming from the volume pot

If the shielding is already grounded, then remove the wire as it isn't necessary. In fact you may actually create a ground loop if it is connected because now you have a single device where the 2 wires to ground do not inherently have the same impedance. Remember that every electrical device should only have 1 route to ground; there cannot be a potential difference between the grounds if there is no alternate ground in the first place.

Having all the ground wires congregate to a volume pot before moving to the jack sleeve is typical for guitars. Electronically it does the same thing as having all the wires congregate at the jack sleeve terminal. Having all the grounds join together at the can of the pot is just less messy to wire at the jack end.
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#31
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
If the shielding is already grounded, then remove the wire as it isn't necessary. In fact you may actually create a ground loop if it is connected because now you have a single device where the 2 wires to ground do not inherently have the same impedance. Remember that every electrical device should only have 1 route to ground; there cannot be a potential difference between the grounds if there is no alternate ground in the first place.

Having all the ground wires congregate to a volume pot before moving to the jack sleeve is typical for guitars. Electronically it does the same thing as having all the wires congregate at the jack sleeve terminal. Having all the grounds join together at the can of the pot is just less messy to wire at the jack end.

Thanks for your help. One more question, should I completely remove the wire (they are all soldered at one join to the volume pot so would like to avoid undoing that and re-doing it if possible) or can i just snip it really shortT00DEEPBLUE so its not connected to anything other than the volume pot???
#32
Quote by iunknown1
Thanks for your help. One more question, should I completely remove the wire (they are all soldered at one join to the volume pot so would like to avoid undoing that and re-doing it if possible) or can i just snip it really shortT00DEEPBLUE so its not connected to anything other than the volume pot???

So long as the extra ground isn't actually doing anything useful, do whatever is more convenient.
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#33
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
So long as the extra ground isn't actually doing anything useful, do whatever is more convenient.

OK thanks so much for your help. Will get it done shortly and report back with results!
#34
mission complete. I grounded the two wires to the output and taped the spare down inside just in case, but it works fine with no inteference