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Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top   You are logged in as Guest
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El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top 

I have decided to refinish one of my old Ramirez (1965) guitar tops.
It is original FP finish (or so I thought) - destroyed and badly discoloured with many old digs bangs from previous owners etc...
I started with rags and alcohol... seemed to be biting into the finish a little at first but it is not desolving as I thought it would. I put enough alcohol on the surface to make sure it was not evaporating too quickly but still after a lot of work, almost nothing is coming off...
Did Ramirez have a formulation that is not traditional shellac and what can I use to remove it without resorting to sanding?
I have refinished other french polished guitars guitars made much more recently by American makers plus my own of course with no problem...

_____________________________

Jorge

Guitarras Artesanas Españolas
www.jorgedezofia.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 13:56:14
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

They used nitro laquer as well.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 14:08:33
 
El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to Ruphus

As far back as the 60s? I thought all their guitars were French polished back then... That's interesting....

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Jorge

Guitarras Artesanas Españolas
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 14:20:34

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

By 1965 Ramirez was using a sprayed two-part catalyzed urethane finish for most of the guitars that were made in their own shop. Shellac was available on special order.

Ramirez never used nitrocellulose lacquer on their own guitars but some of the outside manufacturers from whom they bought their student model guitars possibly did. Nitro lacquer was never very popular with Spanish manufacturers or individual makers.
These days, "lacquer" has become a generic catch-all term for any guitar finish that isn't French polished shellac.

Ramirez guitars are still finished with a catalyzed urethane (even if they do refer to it as "lacquer" on their website) but it's a totally different formulation than what was used in the 1960s.
The current guitars are finished by a subcontractor. Ramirez has not done any finishing in-house since the early 1990s.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 14:51:58
 
El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to C. Vega

Thanks, That is very interesting information indeed!

I have started to sand the finish off slowly... It seems to be very thin so it probably didn't affect the tone of the guitars adversely.

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Jorge

Guitarras Artesanas Españolas
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 15:06:47
 
Morante

 

Posts: 2222
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

I should have thought that el cuchillo would be a better bet to start, with light sanding after?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 15:24:40
 
NewPlayer

 

Posts: 141
Joined: Nov. 29 2012
From: San Francisco

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

Be sure to post pictures - Before and After.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 19:28:54
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to Morante

quote:

ORIGINAL: Morante

I should have thought that el cuchillo would be a better bet to start, with light sanding after?

Tops tend to be a little uneven and with the bridge and fingerboard in the way a scaper tends not to work very well. Particularly on a cedar top which this Ramirez probably has. I've just done a couple of refinish jobs similar to what Jorge is doing and sandpaper is really the only option anymore since paint remover has been banned by our meddling government.

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John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 20:14:27
 
El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to jshelton5040

You're right John although the top looked pretty flat before I started sanding, I did pick up the scraper for a minute and laid it on the top and realized very quickly that it was indeed uneven in several places. Around bridge, fingerboard, some brace waviness etc...

Of course the next small challenge is going to be how to best match the top color with the existing cypress golden sides ... I'm experimenting with some scrap Canadian red cedar pieces....

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Jorge

Guitarras Artesanas Españolas
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 21:11:20
 
estebanana

Posts: 9411
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

I remember the days you could just buy some Jasco stripper and have it done in minutes.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2014 23:48:28
 
NewPlayer

 

Posts: 141
Joined: Nov. 29 2012
From: San Francisco

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

Don't mean to hijack the thread, but what's the best way to strip Nitro?

Lacquer remover/thinner?
Strip?
Sand?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 1:24:45
 
KMMI77

Posts: 1821
Joined: Jul. 26 2009
From: The land down under

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

I stripped the back and sides of a cheap factory guitar with this. The guitar had a thick and hard glossy finish. I'm not 100% sure exactly what the finish was. Anyway, two applications of this stuff and it was back to the timber without incident. I didn't think it would work as well as it did.



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 3:40:00
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

ORIGINAL: jshelton5040

sandpaper is really the only option anymore since paint remover has been banned by our meddling government.


Poor guys who may refurbish antique windows with half a dozen of layers on them. Been there once.
And after a start with scraper and sand paper I was so glad about the merrits of paint remover. Still hard to do, yet so much easier.
Just saying.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 14:51:33
 
Morante

 

Posts: 2222
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

and sandpaper is really the only option anymore since paint remover has been banned by our meddling government.


Wow! I remember stripping a Bernal top for Antonio Jero, using Nitromors. Worked a treat, but I suppose that in Spain you can still buy anything from cyanide to uncut heroin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 15:39:03

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

Be very careful using any paint removers.
They may remove lacquer and varnishes very well but they can also pull/leech color from the rosette and purflings.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 15:46:20
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15039
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

quote:

ORIGINAL: El Polaco

I have decided to refinish one of my old Ramirez (1965) guitar tops.
It is original FP finish (or so I thought) - destroyed and badly discoloured with many old digs bangs from previous owners etc...
I started with rags and alcohol... seemed to be biting into the finish a little at first but it is not desolving as I thought it would. I put enough alcohol on the surface to make sure it was not evaporating too quickly but still after a lot of work, almost nothing is coming off...
Did Ramirez have a formulation that is not traditional shellac and what can I use to remove it without resorting to sanding?
I have refinished other french polished guitars guitars made much more recently by American makers plus my own of course with no problem...



Would be cool to see some photos of your work. Cedar top flamencos are interesting because it's sort of ok that the top color doesn't match the sides and back.


Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2014 15:56:56
 
El Polaco

Posts: 155
Joined: Sep. 29 2005
From: Singer Island - Florida

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to Ricardo

Silly me, I didn't think about documenting this process so I didn't take any before pics...
Thought it would be a simple strip but that obviously was not the case.!
I do have some photos of the guitar as it was before somewhere on my computer I'll dig them out..
The sanding went well and I am building up blond shellac as we speak. After I have it sufficiently leveled it, I will switch to an orangy red color that I came up with after quite a bit of experimenting on scraps of the same cedar.
I'll post pics as I progress.

Incidentally, I really love this classic Ramirez rosette (now that I can see it!) that got the name the "Sabicas Rosette" by some.

Jorge



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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Jorge

Guitarras Artesanas Españolas
www.jorgedezofia.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2014 16:39:28
 
estebanana

Posts: 9411
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

Oh GOD! PLEASE PLEASE DOCUMENT THE STRIPPING OF A GUITAR!!

OMG OMG I have not stripped a guitar in several years and I am freaking dying to use strippers and solvents that splash in your eyes and burn the hair off your forearms. God yes! OMG I have not thad that much fun since high school when my first after school job was stripping and refinishing furniture for an antique shop! Hell yes document that shiet, good freaking times!

Just kidding. Kind of.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2014 1:04:22
 
FERREREZAKI

Posts: 64
Joined: Jul. 10 2013
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

Still waiting for updates.
Eager to so how it turned out!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2014 19:51:49
 
cabezadevaca

Posts: 11
Joined: May 26 2014
From: circumpolar north

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

I fondly recall stripping the cherry-red off a mid-60s Gibson SG-II with Jasco and then discovering why they probably put that opaque red on there in the first place.

I also attempted to take an early 70s ARIA CG down to lumber and FP the top, I was young and impatient and the experience scarred me emotionally for a number of years. I think I have matured and rebuilt the courage to take on refurbishing something neglected and unloved (or perhaps overloved) and would love to see more photos.

If this were to turn into a refinishing thread I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows anything about the cashew based varnish Kohno used?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2014 21:11:56
 
estebanana

Posts: 9411
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to cabezadevaca

quote:

If this were to turn into a refinishing thread I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows anything about the cashew based varnish Kohno used?


Hello Cowface,

Cashew varnish is an easy to acquire varnish in Japan every hardware store carries it. I would not call it super high quality stuff, but it ain't bad. You're as likely to find it on a table top in a restaurant as on a Kohno.

What do you want to know about it?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2014 8:58:14
 
cabezadevaca

Posts: 11
Joined: May 26 2014
From: circumpolar north

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

quote:

If this were to turn into a refinishing thread I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows anything about the cashew based varnish Kohno used?


Hello Cowface,

Cashew varnish is an easy to acquire varnish in Japan every hardware store carries it. I would not call it super high quality stuff, but it ain't bad. You're as likely to find it on a table top in a restaurant as on a Kohno.

What do you want to know about it?


Well, the funny thing is, its almost impossible to find in Brazil which is where 'caju' comes from originally, at least I've never been able to find it in RJ or SP state, I never looked in Bahia or PB. I've never found a source in the U.S. either.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2014 14:34:26
 
estebanana

Posts: 9411
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Help Stripping '65 Ramirez Top (in reply to El Polaco

It's made in China too.

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2014 14:38:18
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