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Changing Bolt On Necks

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Hey everybody. i have a few questions about some things:

Does taking off the neck and then putting it back in after ive done work on the body damage the holes that anchor the neck on the body and therefore making it loose?

im planining on re-painting my fender guitar with a design. is there a specific kind of paint i should use on the alder body?

What is the best kind of laquer or veneer i can use to get a great factory looking finish or sheen?

thanks for your help.

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#1 Thank yourself for asking questions before attepting to do the work, that just put you ahead of most.

The screws holding a neck on are there just so you CAN take the neck on and off. That being said, you can also do damage and make it loose if you are careless. Might want to stay away from the power driver too.

Repainting? or will you be taking off the finish and starting with bare wood? You would first need to know what finish is on there now. If you let us know if is an actual Fender, a Squire, or a copy, and maybe even how old it is, one of the paint experts can tell you what is on there now and what would be best to use. We will also be able to give advice about if you should or shouldn't refinish it.

There is no certain lacquer that will give you factory results, or maybe a better way of putting it is that they all will give you factory results, but the key is your sanding skills, what you shoot the lacquer with and the time you spend buffing. There are many tutorials that will help you get a better understanding, look for them here in the forum ad off the main site too.

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Alright! well this is an actual Fender i bought in march. I will be taking off the finish and starting with bare wood. that being said, my buddy said it would be prefferable to take everything off of the body before i started sanding (pickups, pickguard, neck, etc..). is that true? or does it just provide a better workplace for working.

Edited by zachsguitar87
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Since it is a new Fender, it will have polyester sealer and a polyurethane top coat. That means it will hold up to a bomb blast and will be extremely hard to sand off ... but it can be done.

You didn't really say why you are stripping it back to bare wood. If you are just trying to repaint it, or add graphics (anything other than a natural, clear finish), you absolutely should NOT strip it down to bare wood first. That is the best sealer coat you will ever get for the new finish, and why bother with the extra work? Just scuff sand the surface so the new coats will adhere and work from there. Read everything you can before you choose you new finish types and make sure your products are all compatible.

If you are going for a transparent finish, you might want to reconsider your plan. Assuming the guitar has a solid color finish now, it will be made of a number (maybe four or five even) of pieces of wood, and will not look very good. The transparent finish bodys are made of better looking one or two piece ash and alder blanks because the grain will show. You said you were doing a "graphic" finish, so this probably isn't relevant to you.

I'm not trying to discourage your idea (I think you should do it) ... just know what you are getting into first.

When you do the actual work, yes you should strip everything off the body first. Taking everything apart is the first step.

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I dunno...sanding off the polyester went pretty easily for me, only took a few minutes with some 60 grit paper.

But definitely stop at the sealer--it's too difficult to get through that anyway. The sealer should be transparent, so you'll still get the wood grain, if that's what you're after.

I'm assuming this is a Fender Mex? Doesn't make sense to repaint an expensive guitar --considering that you've never done this before. You might be better off taking it to a pro, they'll have the proper equipment, and once you've accounted for the cost of paint and other materials, you'll end up paying only slightly more for a better job.

If nothing else, find a body shop for the clear coat.

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It seems that maybe i have been vague with the description of the guitar. Its an american made black fender stratocaster with a maple neck.

So what you guys are saying is that there is a sealant of polyester underneath the polyurethane finish. Is the black paint on top of that sealant or underneath the sealant as well. If i had my way i would like to make it more unique, seeing as i think the black is just too bland.

so i have a few options before me:

power sand off the polyurethane finish and in doing that probably sand off the polyester sealer as well.

hand sand everything off

hand sand the finish off and stop when i get to the sealer.

if in fact i do remove the polyester sealer, is there a way for me to buy it and reseal it? but regardless, it seems to me that this undertaking can go either smoothly or go terribly wrong. i.e making the body look like crap. if that is the case, i could just spend some extra money and take it to a profesisonal woodworker and have them strip the finish , and then when the painting is done, re finish the guitar. am i right? there seems to be a lot of options.... just as long as i dont sacrifice the sound of the guitar for its looks.

do you guys have any more ideas or thoughts of advice for me? before i go and destroy my guitar. haha.

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You still haven't really said though what the new finish will be like, other than it being "graphic". You could (as Mickguard said) sand down through the black, but stop before removing all of the clear sealer underneath. My original comment was to not bother sanding off all the black and clear ... just scuff sand it, then spray on your new basecoat and whatever graphics you are doing, then clearcoat. It depends on what you want. Do you just want to add graphics over the black? Do you want a white or other color base under the graphics? You could always strip it all the way down and refinish. I was just suggesting that you save a lot of effort and make use of a good existing sealer coat, if possible.

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I picked up my stratocaster nice and cheap because the previous owner did just that--he scuffed up the top a bit then spray painted it and left it like...so it looks like...a spray-painted guitar...It's a great guitar, but no one wanted to buy it --it hung on the wall of the store for more than six months...I finally bought it for half their original asking price.

So I really strongly suggest taking this guitar to a professional and having them do the work for you.

If you insist on doing this, then at least pick up a cheapo/beater guitar and practice refinishing that --you'll confront the same issues, but without the $1000 price tag. Once you understand a bit about how guitars are finished, and how to go about the refinishing project, then go ahead with the work on your strat.

I appreciate your eagerness to carry out your idea--but have a little patience and do the project right--the guitar's going to be there for years (and since you'll be destroying the resale value, you'll never want to sell anyway) so a few more weeks or months of patience will go a long way.

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