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FP finish repair

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:59 pm
by Randy Roberts
This is a replica of an 1840's Martin I made from a photo in a book. It was the prototype for a few I made quite a while ago.

When I first finished it, I just did a quick French polish to somewhat protect it so I could take it around and show it to friends to see what they thought, then finish FPing it, regrettably not sticking a pick guard on it first. While I was in back of our local guitar shop looking for one of these friends, some 18 year old kid wandered in, picked it up off the counter, and as we came back up front, was whamming away on it, and Willy Nelson'd it in no more than five minutes time.

I've been away from building guitars for a few years now building furniture for my wife, and this thing has just been hanging on the wall all this time, pissing me off every time I see it.

Planning on getting back to building guitars again, but whatever chops I pretended to have are long faded now. I thought fixing the finish on this one to a presentable state would be a good way to ease back into it, and would like your advice before diving in.

The top is red cedar [siding] and the scratches are deep enough that I'm leary of sanding them out. Also plan on a clear pick guard once I'm done.
Do you think enough French polish (and Advil) would render them un-noticeable, or steaming them ( they look more like cuts than dents )?

Hope you guys have advice. Time is not a factor, as this one's mine.

Re: FP finish repair

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:08 pm
by Bill Raymond
Damn! That kid really did a number on that top. Sorry I can't offer any advice about repairing, but it's a shame you couldn't get him to pay for that. That's totally irresponsible behavior.

Re: FP finish repair

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:31 am
by Michael Lewis
There are some people that don't care about other's stuff, and obviously don't care much about guitars. Red cedar is what it is, so either just live with it, put an opaque guard on, or replace the top. Those dents/scratches are there in the wood.

Re: FP finish repair

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:22 pm
by Chuck Tweedy
Randy - damn kids!
Anyhow, there is no coming back from that other than to cover the whole area with a pickguard.
I would seal the damage with shellac/FP first to generally protect, but that will not make it look much better. Then a tortoise or rosewood guard over that with an "artistic" shape can shield you from the rage.

Re: FP finish repair

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:06 am
by Michael Lewis
Actually, it is 'honest wear', and that does make it look old. Unintentional distressing, but distressing none the less.