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Sanding Down The Finish


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I have begun sanding down the finish of a semi-hollow guitar I plan to remake.

I have just got at it with some coarse sand paper, which has worked fine so far. But Its gonna take forever, what should I use to speed it up? I don't want to buy any expensive equipment.

Here are some pics, they are not very good.

sanding27li.jpg

If you look carefully you can see some of the sanded wood is a different colour to the rest... its sort of white.... it happens in patches, near the binding and by the headstock. Does anyone know why this is? Will it go away when I go down to a finer grade of paper? Im not sure how Im gonna finish the guitar yet, but Im thinking I might for for a natural finish, in which case this is a concern.

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some light paint stripper of some kind is all i can think of but i dont know that id advise anything but careful sanding with a hollow guitar. theres nothing wrong with taking your time and doing a great job rather than taking the fastest option and risk messing something up.

the white stuff may be something to do with the finish and may well come out with finer sanding. it might also be filler of some kind. can you tell whether its on the wood or the finish? if it is on the wood and you cant get rid of it, maybe go for a sunburst

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I'd never use paint stripper on a guitar with binding, it will most likely melt the binding. That's a mess to get yourself into! Also a lot of paint strippers reak havoc on glue lines and joints, not a good situation especially with a hollowbody :D

The 'white stuff' is where you sanded too much, right through the clear sealer. The 'white stuff' is actually bare wood opposed to the other areas which are still colored by the sealer.

If you're looking to take off finish faster look into buying a cheap random orbital sander. I bought a Ryobi one, but have since upgraded to one with variable speed so it's pretty versatile. If you're going to buying one, make sure you sand out side and use ATLEAST a dusk mask. Respirators arent THAT expensive, so if you can front the money buy one. You life and health is so much more important than some guitar. I know most orbital sanders have an attatchment on the back for a dust collector, and I use my vacuum plugged into the back of it to suck up most of the sanding dust.

Edited by AlGeeEater
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The 'white stuff' is where you sanded too much, right through the clear sealer. The 'white stuff' is actually bare wood opposed to the other areas which are still colored by the sealer.

So, if I keep sanding eventually all the wood will turn 'white' like this? (in theory)

It doesn't look nowhere as nice as the sealed wood, so if I put a sealer over it will it all go 'nice' again?

Im looking at the area on the back of the cutaway bout I've sanded away, that wood looks really nice.

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So, if I keep sanding eventually all the wood will turn 'white' like this?
Yes.

It doesn't look nowhere as nice as the sealed wood, so if I put a sealer over it will it all go 'nice' again?
Yes. Be patient. The finish you reapply will only ever look as good as the surface you cn prepare. You may find you don't want to sand entirely back to the bare wood everywhere if the sealer can be prepared nicely. It depends what sort of finish you want to go for. It's a lot of work. You may have to go down to 1200 or 1600 grit to finish it all off smoothly enough for some clear laquer.
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