Name In Finish Of J45

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Dave Gentner
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:25 pm

Name In Finish Of J45

Post by Dave Gentner »

I was given an old Gibson J-45 today to reglue a tone bar. The previous owner of the guitar had spelled his name with tape on the top of the guitar. The area under the tape didn't fade as much as the rest of the top, so when the tape was removed the name was still apparent. My customer wants to know if there's any way to make the name go away without refinishing the top as it's a vintage guitar. Told him I didn't think so. Might it be possible to mask the top except for the name and expose it to ultraviolet light? Any Ideas?

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1362
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Name In Finish Of J45

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Even sunlight will eventually fade the name by "tanning" the wood under the finish, even without masking the surrounding area, but it may take a fair bit of time to do. Leaving the guitar exposed in a sunny window (but one that doesn't get so hot as to dry out and crack the wood) might speed the process.
The ultraviolet light you suggested might be worth trying. Some violin makers tan their wood using black lights. You might get more information on this at the violin forums.

Michael Lewis
Posts: 1458
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA

Re: Name In Finish Of J45

Post by Michael Lewis »

Dave, I think your idea of the reverse masking would yield the quickest result. There will always be some difference, though as time passes it becomes less.

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