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Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

Stripping varnish 

Hi All

Just tried to strip a French polished guitar. I used Nitromors, but it was not as effective as I remember it. I suspect that they are using a new environmentally friendly formula, and I am looking for an alternative.

What would you guys use to strip varnish these days?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2017 9:36:48
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Stripping varnish (in reply to Njål Bendixen

What I would use to strip French polish (shellac) is very different from what I would use to strip actual (oil) varnish. I have done both several times.

For oil varnish, I have sucessfully used furniture stripper that is composed of methylene chloride (dichloromethane) and wax. You brush it on, wait, and then gently scrape it off with a plastic scraper.

To strip shellac, I have found that the best way is to wet sand it off using (olive) oil as the lubricant. Somehow the oil causes the sandpaper to stop sanding when it gets down to the bare wood. I find that 320 grit sandpaper works well for this.

Beware that once the finish is all stripped off, now you have an unsealed bridge and bindings, which can bleed color onto lighter colored woods such as the soundboard, if not re-sealed very carefully.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
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I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2017 21:35:32
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Stripping varnish (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras
To strip shellac, I have found that the best way is to wet sand it off using (olive) oil as the lubricant. Somehow the oil causes the sandpaper to stop sanding when it gets down to the bare wood. I find that 320 grit sandpaper works well for this.


I'm sure Ethan knows more about stripping shellac than I do but another option is to soak paper towels in acetone, lay them on the finish and wait until it dissolves/softens the finish then just wipe the finish off with more paper towels. You still have to lightly sand the wood before applying more finish but this method is pretty fast.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2017 22:08:20
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