Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

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Squirrel
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Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Squirrel » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:48 am

Hey all,
So I've mentioned on here a couple of times before about how I have a 1950s Danelectro with a really shitty refin. I'm planning on finding someone to redo it in its original finish (I'll probably ask Rexter if he could do it as his work looks excellent) but I'd like to strip the finish myself to keep the cost down. I was just wondering if anyone on here has had any experience with refinishing one of these, and if so how did you strip it? I'm assuming that chemical strippers would eat the masonite, and that sanding it would leave it feeling "fuzzy", no matter how fine a sandpaper I used. Any input here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Last edited by Squirrel on Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stripping paint from masonite?

Post by oid » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:36 am

Sanding is likely your best bet, it should smooth up with the fine grits, If not a coat of finish followed by sanding will work.

If the finish on there is compatible l, I would just over spray it.
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Re: Stripping paint from masonite?

Post by Squirrel » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:22 pm

Cool, thanks! I'll see if I've got a scrap piece of masonite in my garage that I can try sanding first.

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Re: Stripping paint from masonite?

Post by mgeek » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:51 pm

this is that amazing long horn isn't it?

are you 100% sure the original finish isn't under there? I can't remember all the details.

And yeah- no strippers, delicate sanding back,with a cork sanding block, and nice fine wet n dry paper. If there's a chance the og finish is under there, start with 1000, if there's deffo none, maybe, 400, or 320, but on something marvellous like this it can't hurt to be careful imo.

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Re: Stripping paint from masonite?

Post by Squirrel » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:57 am

Yep, it's the Longhorn. I did try finely sanding it in a few areas but there's not enough original finish under there to be salvageable. Looks like it was heavily sanded down to prep it for the refin, the copper is almost completely gone and the cream is through to the primer in some places. It's a shame but still, I'm sooo looking forward to it not looking like crap anymore!

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Re: Stripping paint from masonite?

Post by Squirrel » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:31 am

Sorry for the shit photo but strippage has been achieved! Also yes, I have a train set because I'm a massive nerd.

Image

And here's a before shot, just for the hell of it:

Image

After rigorous testing it turns out that Ronsons Strypit is totally fine to use on Masonite, but I still didn't use it on the body because I didn't want it eating the binding tape. I've emailed Rexter and he seems happy to do the refin (and quoted me a great price on the condition that I strip the finish myself). I'll have to send him another email letting him know that it's done. I've also ordered a new headstock decal from some guy in America but annoyingly it looks like it's got lost in the fucking post. :fp: There are a few other issues that need sorting out, such as stripping the paint off the pickups and hardware (I think the previous owner painted the guitar without disassembling it :fp: ) and the slightly more worrying problem of the potentiometers not working properly and replacements being completely unobtainable. I'll keep posting updates if anyone's interested.

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by antisymmetric » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:29 am

Count me interested! What are these pots that can't be replaced?
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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Squirrel » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:00 am

They're CTS 1 meg/100k concentric pots which have unique shafts that only fit Danelectro knobs. Weirdly they both have the exact same problem where one of the lugs isn't connected to the carbon track, and it's the same lug on each pot. The guitar had obviously been poorly rewired by some dipshit at some point so I bet they overheated the lugs or something. Unobtainable might be a bit of an exaggeration as modern reproductions are still available from Danelectro, but they're so cheap and nasty that I'd really rather not use them. I've figured out that I can actually sidestep the issue by rewiring the guitar so that the tone pots work backwards (ie anticlockwise=full treble), but I might carefully disassemble them and fix them with a bit of conductive paint.

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Zork » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:08 am

That strap is awesome!

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:05 pm

Squirrel wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:00 am
They're CTS 1 meg/100k concentric pots which have unique shafts that only fit Danelectro knobs. Weirdly they both have the exact same problem where one of the lugs isn't connected to the carbon track, and it's the same lug on each pot. The guitar had obviously been poorly rewired by some dipshit at some point so I bet they overheated the lugs or something. Unobtainable might be a bit of an exaggeration as modern reproductions are still available from Danelectro, but they're so cheap and nasty that I'd really rather not use them. I've figured out that I can actually sidestep the issue by rewiring the guitar so that the tone pots work backwards (ie anticlockwise=full treble), but I might carefully disassemble them and fix them with a bit of conductive paint.
If they're both concentric, and both use the same 2 values, why don't you look for a 1meg concentric (1 meg top and bottom) and a 100K concentric (100K top and bottom)? That would surely be easier to find, and if you go to somewhere like Mouser, you might find the shaft shape you need.
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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Squirrel » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:16 am

Yeah, I've considered using different values but unfortunately I just can't find any decent quality concentric pots with the right shafts anywhere. I could concievably buy some CTS pots with the regular shafts and mill them to fit, but I'd have to make some kind of jig to hold them steady and it would be a huge pain in the ass. I'll probably just repair what I have.

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:34 pm

Have a picture of the shaft? ... ( :ph34r: :blush: :D ) ... I'm on Mouser all the time and have seen some really funky ones. My thought is, there's no way Danelectro had special pots made JUST for their stuff, you know? It's possible what they used isn't made anymore, but I imagine that it was a more common part at one point, and if another industry uses it, then there has to be something comparable to replace it with.
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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Squirrel » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:09 am

Warning: this post contains an extremely graphic picture of a shaft.

Image

I'm assuming they must have also been used on old radios and stuff in the 1950s-60s but Danelectro were the only guitar company to use them to my knowledge.

Also, update: I've cleaned the paint off all of the hardware, the headstock decal finally arrived yesterday and hopefully I'll be able to post the guitar to Rexter either today or tomorrow.
Zork wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:08 am
That strap is awesome!
Thanks! It's from the '60s, no idea who made it though. I'll probably have to find a different strap for it once it's refinished as it won't match the colour scheme anymore.

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Squirrel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:45 am

IT'S BACK!

Image

Image

Image

Many thanks to Rexter for doing such a great refin-the thing looks excellent! While the guitar was away I managed to rebuild the original pots, which now work fine, and I also found a more suitable vintage Ace strap for it. I'm not going to be able to reassemble it for a few weeks because of reasons, but will update again once it's done.

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Re: Squirrel's Guitarlin restoration thread

Post by Trout » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:47 am

Looks great!
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