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Question On Clear Coat


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I am aquiring a Vintage 70 Gibson SG. It has a few scuff marks on it, no deep scratches. I would like to keep everything as original as possible.

What Im wanting to do is give it that high gloss finish it once had. I dont know if the clear was poly or nitro on the old Gibsons. Does anyone here have an idea on what they used?

I read through the tutorial a bit on polishing and since I dont know which was used I am unsure on whether I should skip using the course grit and go right into fine and then extra fine (swirl remover).

I have never done this before so another question...Is there a difference in the outcome whether I wet sand with paper by hand or rubbing compound with the foam pad and drill? I want it to look the best it possible can.

Also, Would it be recommended to spray more clear on after sanding?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Show us some good close up pics of the front and back when you get it, then I'll give you your finishing recipe.

But in the meantime, I would recommend you get ready to acquire these products, but don't buy them just yet until we see some pics:

2 Foam polishing Pads from StewMac

Drill (obviously)

Meguires Fine Cut Cleaner

Swirl Remover

1 Roll Blue Masking Tape

Naptha (to remove 30 years worth of wax and junk)

You will use these products basically in the order they're listed, but details later.

You will need to:

Completely disassemble the instrument

Take very good close-up pics of everything

Take good notes

Bag all parts separately per section

Label your bags so you don't get confused on reassembly and the right screws go back in the right holes

Disclaimer: You also need to realize, (if you've never refinished an instrument before), that you are taking the value of that instrument (if it's valuable anyway) into your own hands, and if anything bad happens during the process, you will watch the dollar value of the guitar go straight downhill.

Just sayin...it's something you should be made aware of if you didn't already know it and your working on a valuable vintage guitar.

Then again, I have no clue what a 'Vintage 70' Gibson SG is.

Are you saying it's a genuine 1970 Gibson SG then, and 'Vintage 70' isn't some reissue model name?

I would not recommend ANY sandpaper at all, no matter how fine, just re-buff and polish what's already there and call it a day unless you are an experienced guitar refinisher.

If that is a 1970 vintage guitar, that guitar is NO place to LEARN how to refinish a guitar, and you wouldn't like it if bad things happened (which they do when you're learning) so I would recommend just keeping it to the pads, fine cut cleaner, swirl remover, and wax if you want to wax it.

Once you take any sort of sandpaper to it (which always includes water, which can lift and destroy an old finish), even 2000, 3000, or 4000 grit, you better really know what you're doing first, especially on a vintage guitar. :D

But doing just these 2-3 things should buff the living crap out of it and it should shine like the ass of the moon afterwards, so don't worry, you should be happy with the results this way. :D

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  • 6 months later...
No reissue here. Its a real 1970 USA Gibson SG. Pics will come as soon as I get it.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

I know you posted a long time ago ()7+ months), but it is plain silly to refinish any vintage guitar if you want to preserve ANY collector value. You will GREATLY devalue the axe by doing anything at all to it. Now, if it's been modded, pickups replaced, repairs, bad wear that really would look better re-done, go for it - hell, it's your axe, give it a money grip and reshape it if ya want, but *don't* expect to get back what you put into it. Ever.

Now, if'n I had a 1970 SG, I'd live with it's dents & dings and not eff with it, period. I have a 1980 SG that's a mongrel. I don't care what happens to it and I still won't mod it any more. It was cheap and has it's primary value in the headstock and not in it's body, pups, or whatever.

Got any pics of your project? Very curious about what you did...

keep rockin'

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