Claescaster

Tag: Klemmsia clamps

How to… strip a guitar body

How to strip a guitar, Sripping a guitar body

I never got around to mention this but a few months ago I helped my friend Wolf to strip his black Fender Squier Strat body. Everything went fine and it wasn’t too hard, well to be honest it was rather tedious and time consuming but the result was at least good in the end. We were pretty surprised that the body looked so good stripped with nice grain and all, I expected 8 pieces glued together and a lot of knots and crap and that’s why they chose to lacquer it black, but clearly not. Now he is going to burn in some nice country inspired patterns and then we will just ad a coat of clear lacquer.

Sripping a guitar body
The heat gun worked pretty well for the black top coat, but there was a red coat under that was almost impossible to get rid of. In the end I used my Japanese Shinto saw rasp for getting through it, especially on the sides, no other rasp or file seemed to bite on it. Once we got rid of all the lacquer it was just down to a lot of sanding and reshaping the edges a bit that I occasionally went a bit hard on with the saw rasp. If you are tired of the colour of your guitar body it could be an idea to strip it but please be aware of the effort involved and that it will smell like burning napalm and toxic poly lacquer that will make you dizzy and freak out the cat. This way of using a heat gun and saw rasp works pretty well but it would probably have worked fine without the heat gun too and that way we would have skipped the unhealthy plastic fumes.

 

How to… reglue a bridge

Francisca Montserrat, Barcelona
Francisca Montserrat Barcelona, Spanish guitar 1960’s

I recently reglued the bridge on my Francisca Montserrat and just wanted to show how easy it is if anyone out there feels a bit scared of doing it yourself. It’s very straight forward and only takes a couple of minutes.

Francisca Montserrat, Barcelona
Heat a spatula on a normal clothes iron, it’s good to keep a finger on it so it doesn’t get too hot and scorch the lacquer. Insert the spatula under the bridge, start with the edges and work your way to the middle to loosen the bridge. I prefer to reheat often instead of working with a really hot spatula from the start, less risk of damaging the top that way. Be careful when you do the last push so you don’t break it off, it’s supposed to come off without any direct force if the spatula is warm enough to loosen the glue. Once the bridge is off, clean the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge with some sandpaper to get a smooth surface. I earlier thought that it was good to scratch the bottom of the bridge with a knife to get something for the glue to grip to but have later been told that’s an old myth and it’s better to keep the surfaces smooth. Apply plenty of glue on both the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge, I always use fish glue for my guitars. Put the bridge in place, apply some pressure with your hands and remove all the extra glue that comes out on the side and then apply a couple of clamps to keep it in place over night. I recently got myself a couple of deep throated, 200 x 195 mm, Klemmsia clamps from German eBay that worked great.

Francisca Montserrat, Barcelona