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Removing hardware prior to finishing


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Hi. I am going to attempt to refinish my first guitar. I have an rg550 in dire need of a new paint job(or, in this case, a nice red stain). However, I have no experience with removing the tremolo, pickups, and other hardware. I can't find a tutorial, and i don't want to mess things up by trying something that i don't know how to do. If someone can give me a quick rundown or a link to a tutorial on basic hardware removal, i will be forever in your debt :D . Thanks. Neal

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Removing the hardware is easy....if you are no complete fool you won't be able to destroy anything. Simply do it and you'll see that it is easy. If you have to desolder the electronics then note how they were wired on a sheet of paper in order to reconstruct it at re-assembly. There is really nothing special about removing the hardware....I guess you won't find a tutorial on this one, as there is no need for one....:D

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just take note on where is the hardware before you remove it, how they were install, take notes on the wires, which goes where, desolder the electronics carefully, put everything in a right order, don't jumbled up the screws, put everything that you had removed at a place where you can retrieve it later, easily, and beyond children reaches, and you are good to go.

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Is it necessary to desolder anything? I don't have a soldering iron, even though i learned how to use one. However, the thought of having to desolder and solder the electronics is a bit unnerving. What is the simplest way to get a body ready for stripping(with chemicals), and staining. If it's any help, i have an rg550 series from 1996(i think). Thanks for your help. Neal

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Sorry to pester you guys.....but how much desoldering/soldering is involved? I would like to refinish it, but I don't have a very good history with electronics, and I would rather have an ugly, but playable guitar than a pretty, unplayable one. Is there a tutorial anywhere for inept people like me. Any Guitar Hardware Removal books for Dummies available? :D Any tips? Thanks. Neal

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Don't know the RG550 but if you were to just start unscrewing screws and methodically taking pieces off the guitar I'm sure you will find where the necessary wires are that need to be unhooked. You may as well go out and buy a soldering iron (dirt cheap) because you are going to need one to put it all back together anyway, even if you decide to clip the wires off beforehand. Set up a labelling system (maybe little pieces of tape) for each wire so you know where they are to be reattached. Its not rocket science, sorry, there are no tutorials I know of, you'll just have to figure it out. If you are really that unsure of what you are doing, but have a good handle on the finishing end, I would suggest you find someone who is more mechanically inclined and have them strip and reassemble the guitar for you.

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man,there are some things that just take a little common sense and careful consideration.this is one of them.

it is real tough to try and tell you exactly what you need to cut on your particular guitar,there are so many variables.just start taking it apart and when something is in the way,desolder it.i would just put in new electronics and wire it the way i wanted it when putting it back together,but if you want to use the same old stuff that's fine too.

just get to it.that's how you learn.it is highly unlikely that you will "kill" it :D

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Ditto for that.

I understand your not wanting to desolder anything-- when I repotted my pickups, I didn't desolder them at all-- the bridge one had enough wire that I didn't need to worry about it, but for the neck pickup I actually held the entire guitar over the pot of wax for about 20 minutes, with the aid of a few other kitchen items for support. :D

That said, there's not too much that's mystical about soldering. You can do bad jobs of it, but it's pretty tough, and even bad jobs generally still work. B) If you don't already own a soldering gun, you can get a little 30W 'stylus' style one at Radio Shack for about $10 CDN, so it's worth adding to your toolkit anyhow.

If everything (screws, diagrams, etc) get all mixed up and all you're left with is a bunch of electronics and wire, it's still reasonably easy to get it all back together again. It's also a good chance to re-do things the right way, if the electronics aren't already up to snuff-- ie. grounding all your ground wires at the same point (star grounding).

Point being-- fear not! Just do! If all else fails (and I'm 99% sure it won't) you can always go to your local guitar shop and beg someone to fix it up for you for a reasonable rate. :D

Greg

PS, regarding pickups-- I've yet to discover the holy grail of cheap pickups... but I've heard good things about both Kent Armstrong and Golden Age.

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