Repair cosmetic scratches?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
qallunaaq

Repair cosmetic scratches?

Post by qallunaaq » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:45 pm

I've searched the Luthier's forum but haven't found postings on how to rub out/repair scratches in the finish on the sound board, like nail scratches. Help, Please.


Neither a borrower or lender be, for lending doth lose the finish on your new Ramirez, etc. etc.

chimera

hmmm

Post by chimera » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:58 pm

depending on how much value this guitar possesses, I would be hesitant to touch the finish. Doing so could effect the sound

qallunaaq

Re: hmmm

Post by qallunaaq » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:32 pm

chimera wrote:depending on how much value this guitar possesses, I would be hesitant to touch the finish. Doing so could effect the sound
In wanting to remove the scratches I'm hoping to maintain the value of the guitar ... and seeing as the blemishes on the French polish finish are cosmetic only, I'm sure they can be fixed without any negative effect. Who knows, a repair might even improve the sound? :wink:

JQ.

Post by JQ. » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:31 am

If the scratches are only in the french polish, I'd say why bother at this stage of the game? Truthfully, you're only going to end up with more down the line. I wouldn't buy a new car and then expect to have it repainted every time it gets a door-ding in a parking lot.

You might want to look into buying a set of Kling-ons, they help against everyday type nail scratches.

Sasquatch51

Re: hmmm

Post by Sasquatch51 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:49 am

qallunaaq wrote:
chimera wrote:depending on how much value this guitar possesses, I would be hesitant to touch the finish. Doing so could effect the sound
In wanting to remove the scratches I'm hoping to maintain the value of the guitar ... and seeing as the blemishes on the French polish finish are cosmetic only, I'm sure they can be fixed without any negative effect. Who knows, a repair might even improve the sound? :wink:
French Polish is actually one of the easier finishes to repair. That's one of it's advantages..along with being the sonically suprerior finish. It's disadvantages are that it is damaged by water or sweat (or alcohol), it's expensive (it's labor intensive), and it scratches easily.

Take it to a good luthier that knows how to French Polish....it can probably easily be restored.

qallunaaq

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:00 am

JQ. wrote:... I wouldn't buy a new car and then expect to have it repainted every time it gets a door-ding in a parking lot.
Quite so. But you might like to touch up just the door-ding?

I too wouldn't want to refinish my whole guitar for the sake of a few scratches. But I would like to know how I might fix them ...

qallunaaq

Re: hmmm

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:09 am

Sasquatch51 wrote: French Polish is actually one of the easier finishes to repair....

Take it to a good luthier that knows how to French Polish....it can probably easily be restored.
AFAIK you're quite right, it shouldn't be a big deal to hide a few scratches on (new) French polish. Unfortunately, however, there are no luthiers where I live, let alone good ones, and that's why I'm looking for help on how I might do it myself.

Still looking :?:

guitarstudent

Post by guitarstudent » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:12 pm

JQ. wrote:If the scratches are only in the french polish, I'd say why bother at this stage of the game? Truthfully, you're only going to end up with more down the line. I wouldn't buy a new car and then expect to have it repainted every time it gets a door-ding in a parking lot.

You might want to look into buying a set of Kling-ons, they help against everyday type nail scratches.
even better, golpeadores, the clear tapping plates used on flamenco guitars. they are so thin that they don't affect the sound and are practically invisible.

You can get self adhesive ones from stafford guitar.

I would repair scratches with a proprietry car polish. The finish on guitars (except french polished ones) responds well to a mild rub with T-cut followed by using autoglym; as long as you have not gone through to the wood! A lacquered (as in poly finish or nitro cellulose) guitar has more in common with a car body finsih than french polish. I am tempted to to try touching scratches in on my student guitar with a clear lacquer touching in stick and then polishing out. If I do this, I will post the results of my endeavours...

guitarstudent

Post by guitarstudent » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:17 pm

is it worth trying a french polisher rather than a luthier to touch in scratches on a french polished guitar?

Sasquatch51

Post by Sasquatch51 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:23 pm

Stick-on clear plastic tap plates or protective films will VERY likely remove the French Polish, should you ever decide to take the film off.

Here's an online tutorial on French Polishing:

http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html

guitarstudent

Post by guitarstudent » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:27 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote:Stick-on clear plastic tap plates or protective films will VERY likely remove the French Polish, should you ever decide to take the film off.

Here's an online tutorial on French Polishing:

http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html
of course, but when you make a decision like that its about commitment to that decision. Same with refinishing a guitar yourself. Always a price...

I notice on some pictures I have seen of Paco de Lucia, he is playing what looks to be a cedar topped classical guitar (as opposed to flamenco negra) with goleadores fitted. They do not look out of place. I wish I did that before I got my flamenco guitar. I have some deep nail marks in the soundboard from practicing golpe.

qallunaaq

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:36 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote: Here's an online tutorial on French Polishing:

http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html
Thank you, Sasquatch. I'd seen this excellent tutorial and had missed the two notes in the FAQ/QandA section on repairing scratches. The how-to it outlines involves a mini re-do of the surface = considerable prep and effort, and may be worthwhile (to me) only after I've inflicted enough of my own scatches to warrant some restoration.

And here was I, hoping for a simpler solution :wink: , like maybe pouring a can of beer on it licking it off (French polish is non-toxic) :lol:

qallunaaq

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:48 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote:Stick-on clear plastic tap plates or protective films will VERY likely remove the French Polish, should you ever decide to take the film off.
... and that's one reason why I won't apply golpeadores or other stick-ons. As for their effect on the soundboard I'm still skeptical when I read they make no discernible difference.

How about Saran Wrap? :lol:

qallunaaq

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:58 pm

guitarstudent wrote:is it worth trying a french polisher rather than a luthier to touch in scratches on a french polished guitar?
In our Yellow Pages, under Cabinet Makers maybe? Unfortunately, none listed here in Yellowknife. Good idea, though, someone who's knowledgeable and experienced should be able to French polish anything, chair leg, guitar, or china cabinet. Or maybe not?

Any thoughts on this? Would you turn over your guitar to a good cabinet maker for work on the polish?

qallunaaq

Post by qallunaaq » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:46 pm

guitarstudent wrote:.... I am tempted to to try touching scratches in on my student guitar with a clear lacquer touching in stick and then polishing out.
Frets.com has interesting and well-illustrated tutorials in its "Items for Luthiers" section, you probably know this one already:

http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Tec ... klac1.html

... which calls for heat (note also the ding-raising with heat demo elsewhere). Is this the kind of 'touching-in stick you have in mind or is there something else?

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