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  • Jazzaferri 12:43PM
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Stripping finish off Paris swing

vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Cameron Park ,CANew DiMaruro, Paris swing, Altamira m30d
I am thinking that stripping this thick polyurethane off of my Paris swing might just improve the overall tone and resonance. Anyone ever tried this? How difficult is it exactly?
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Comments

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆVirtuoso 503
    I've seen/heard it done a gitane before and after and it did improved the sound! But those things are really drenched in too much lacquer (probably why the cheaper ciganos often sound better). Not familiar with Paris swing, but ... who dares wins!
    t-bird
  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    you should do it! not much to loose in these inexpensive guitars
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Cameron Park ,CANew DiMaruro, Paris swing, Altamira m30d
    Yeah right? And I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s actually a really solid platform to work with , just ridiculously over built . The tone is good, just muted . Just got to figure out what wonder substance will cut through this bulletproof urethane
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Be careful not to sand too far into the wood especially the sides and back as the top layer of veneer is probably really thin and if you sand thru it will be a beeoch to fix.
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Cameron Park ,CANew DiMaruro, Paris swing, Altamira m30d
    Sound advice for sure .
    The Luthier at my local music store said $1000 to refinish it , so perhaps it’s worth the risk to give it a shot myself:-/
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Di Mauro x 3, Sonora (by Busato?), Favino (classical), Bucolo, Hoyer, Framus, Martino 'D' hole, Castelluccia 'Romantic' style and a few electrics.
    edited May 26
    I have done something similar before on a cheap Aria, but I did not bother with the back and sides as I thought it would not make so much difference. The top was certainly overdone with the polyurethane and as that was solid spruce I carefully sanded it back to bare wood and then refinished it with shellac the old traditional way; a few coats, leave it to harden, flatten back with 400 grit, few coats more, harden, cut back with 800 grit etc and after leaving it to really cure for a couple of days a final cut and polish. Looked a lot better and I think it improved the tone and the volume; I say "think" it did because it took me over a week and with several other guitars around to play meanwhile it was hard to be objective about how I remembered the sound before. I have noticed many times on this forum there have been cases where people talk up (or down) the various merits of this or that guitar, or pick or strings and there is some chance when we do these things with a certain intent, we might be kidding ourselves into hearing what we want, or expect, to hear. Bearing all that in mind there was certainly some improvement in just sounding a bit more 'alive'. Anyway, not hard to do and for a cheap Asian factory guitar, you have nothing to lose by trying.
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Cameron Park ,CANew DiMaruro, Paris swing, Altamira m30d
    Wow! That’s exactly what I’m talking about Chris , thanks for the post .
    I think you’re spot on as well with hearing what we want to hear . Reminds me of when I put a fuel additive in my car and then I’m certain that it’s just driving so much smoother .lol
    Might just go for it, as it sounds like sandpaper should do the trick for removing it
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited May 27
    Yeah good point, you could just do the top or the top/back and forget the sides although the finish might not 'match' but no biggie??? Maybe just start with the top and see how you like it.
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Cameron Park ,CANew DiMaruro, Paris swing, Altamira m30d
    My thoughts exactly. Forget the sides!
    It’s gonna look funny, but who cares.lol
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Di Mauro x 3, Sonora (by Busato?), Favino (classical), Bucolo, Hoyer, Framus, Martino 'D' hole, Castelluccia 'Romantic' style and a few electrics.
    My thoughts exactly. Forget the sides!
    It’s gonna look funny, but who cares.lol
    Why would it "look funny" anyway? It is normal for the back and sides of these guitars to match but if you are not touching them and just redo the top it should still look the same. If it has a spruce top without any tint, then yes, a few coats of shellac will add a richer golden shade but that is how they all were back in the day. One tip though, carefully mask around the top edge of the sides and the edges of the fingerboard before you start to prevent any runs or spills although if the existing finish on the sides is the normal poly then a rag soaked in methylated spirit will clean it off ok when you are done, just be sure to keep the meths away from the shellac or you will be starting all over again. The only secret to using shellac is patience.

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