The Workbench

Refinishing the Top of a Jet? how hard

1

Hey Everyone,

Just wanting to know how hard it would be to refinish the top of a Duo jet, I just put a WTB ad for a blonde powerjet and have just found a fantastic deal on a black one.

Seeing as a genuine blonde would be hard to come across I was wondering how hard it would be to refinish the top only of a black duo jst? not wanting to do the flame blonde top but just doing it in vintage white or something like that would be fine and leave the back, neck and sides as they are.

Thanks.

2

It's a dice roll. I'm not sure how much a refin costs in relation to the saving you make buying the black over blonde . there's also a risk that you may not be pleased with the end result.

If you are intending on a translucent or transparent finish there's the additional concern of not knowing f it's a pretty or ugly it is under that thick black paint .

3

A good paint person could do it. The binding makes it harder (and more expensive, usually) but it could be done.

As eCastro mentions, it's going to affect the value, but if that's not a concern I would consider that plan.

4

Vintage white but you're looking for blonde, one's translucent the other opaque.

Typically anything painted opaque isn't going to be great natural but there are exceptions.

5

Unless its TV and that's thinned opaque white and a tinted translucent clear over it. And that's if you want to see the grain.

6

If you get the Jet, send it to Curt Wilson above! He's a Master Jedi Luthier.

7

stefan87 - Keep mentioning you are in Australia, which changes the calculus a bit.

8

Thanks for your comments guys, to clarify my first post a bit if i was going to refinish the top then it would be solid vintage white, i wouldn't be wanting to try and replicate the transparent blonde, think white penguin but in jet form but with out the bling so i wouldn't be wanting any of the wood showing through the paint.

As much as i would love tje blo de power jet the black one i have found is here in Australia and is already around 1000 cheaper then the blondes i have seen go in the past, plus i would have to ship it internationally which would be another 200-300 on top of that and then i may have to pay tax as well so another 10% on top, so i was just wondering if the black one would be a better option as then i could have my own custom jet as i'd likely do away with the mud switch at the same time.

Reason i am thinking this is that i have both a white and black penguin 6134 and am now thinking that having two guitars that are the exact same execpt for finish is not really needed so one penguin would go and be replaced by the powerjet.

10

How hard depends on how good!

– Billy Zoom

That's a fair point, I guess it's like anything 'DIY' you do really though isn't it.

11

And what equipment you have access to.

12

And what equipment you have access to.

– Curt Wilson

Hey Curt, in all honesty not much at all, really I guess I'm more after an indication of how many hours are involved in doing the job in just a solid white colour, that way I can gauge the cost based on a local guys luthiers/painters labour rate, most of the luthiers I've spoken to in my area work more on accoustics, they will do minor touch ups but that's about it.

My experience with refinishing/painting is based on cars only and I know that working on metal is not the same as wood, I'm willing to give anything a go but I know my limits.

13

Hey Curt, in all honesty not much at all, really I guess I'm more after an indication of how many hours are involved in doing the job in just a solid white colour, that way I can gauge the cost based on a local guys luthiers/painters labour rate, most of the luthiers I've spoken to in my area work more on accoustics, they will do minor touch ups but that's about it.

My experience with refinishing/painting is based on cars only and I know that working on metal is not the same as wood, I'm willing to give anything a go but I know my limits.

– stefan87

Why not change pups in a Penguin and make it a Power Penguin? You could change back if you sell it some day.

14

Going from one solid color to another, just on the top, in poly should definitely be on the low end of refinish jobs. In many cases, you could just rough up the existing finish and paint over it, but I don't know how well that would work for white over black.

15

Why not change pups in a Penguin and make it a Power Penguin? You could change back if you sell it some day.

– NJBob

That was the plan originally and it's perfectly valid but being dearmond mount there isn't much on the used market so that puts me to buying new which is fine, but to give a bit of a back story, I'm a hobby player and have a young family with a few other things that are now a priority.

TV jones pickups shipped to Aus will put another $500.00 into one of the penguins which I just can't justify spending that on myself at this point in time, where as going off the used prices of the Blonde FSR PJ and the black one that is here I can sell one of the penguins and break even (pending refinsh cost) so it's a bit more inviting.

That and as cool as the two penguins are I would still be over the moon with a penguin and a duo jet.

16

Going from one solid color to another, just on the top, in poly should definitely be on the low end of refinish jobs. In many cases, you could just rough up the existing finish and paint over it, but I don't know how well that would work for white over black.

– Otter

That's what I was thinking too, it's more the binding that I'm curious about, whether it would have to come off or not? I figured it's only one side so it shouldn't be too dear if you can leave the binding on.

Did think of just roughing up of even just striping the clear coat off and doing white over the black and then clear again, done it on cars in the past but again I know where my limits are when it comes to that.

17

striping the clear coat off and doing white over the black and then clear again

Having done similar recently, the clear doesn't come off easily, or certainly not by itself.

If you're looking for cheap, I'd advise rough up the clear and paint it white. Then scrape the binding and put another clear coat on top.

Stripping and refinishing would be a lot more expensive.

18

striping the clear coat off and doing white over the black and then clear again

Having done similar recently, the clear doesn't come off easily, or certainly not by itself.

If you're looking for cheap, I'd advise rough up the clear and paint it white. Then scrape the binding and put another clear coat on top.

Stripping and refinishing would be a lot more expensive.

– Otter

Ok cool, that is very helpful, did you try sanding it or chemical stripping?

19

Ok cool, that is very helpful, did you try sanding it or chemical stripping?

– stefan87

I haven't done a Jet, but a heat gun seems the best for removing poly in my experience. And it still requires a bunch of sanding afterwards.

You'll save a lot of money not having to remove that stuff.

20

I haven't done a Jet, but a heat gun seems the best for removing poly in my experience. And it still requires a bunch of sanding afterwards.

You'll save a lot of money not having to remove that stuff.

– Otter

Thanks for that, will keep that in mind.

21

what part of Australia are you in?

22

I’ve never used a heat gun to remove polyester. I know people have used it on guitars without binding with some success. Fumes and smoke from doing this are very toxic so yes I’m going to say it, wear a mask. Wood hates dry heat so there’s a chance the wood will split.

I sand it off with a DA sander starting with 80 grit. Slowly and evenly use the 80 to scuff the top then switch to 180, 220, 320, 500 and 600.

23

what part of Australia are you in?

– eCastro

I'm from Brisbane, Queensland.

24

I’ve never used a heat gun to remove polyester. I know people have used it on guitars without binding with some success. Fumes and smoke from doing this are very toxic so yes I’m going to say it, wear a mask. Wood hates dry heat so there’s a chance the wood will split.

I sand it off with a DA sander starting with 80 grit. Slowly and evenly use the 80 to scuff the top then switch to 180, 220, 320, 500 and 600.

– Curt Wilson

Hey Curt, thanks a lot for the advice, have seen a lot of people do the heat gun thing on teles but didn't think about the wood splintering. I also had a look at your website, you do some fantastic work, i also think i may have read your article about turning a 6118 into a 6120 a few years ago.

25

Hey Curt, thanks a lot for the advice, have seen a lot of people do the heat gun thing on teles but didn't think about the wood splintering. I also had a look at your website, you do some fantastic work, i also think i may have read your article about turning a 6118 into a 6120 a few years ago.

– stefan87

Thanks but I'm sure I didn't write an article.

Keep in mind the binding is either ABS or celluloid which will both melt easily and if its celluloid and starts to burn you won't see a flame initially just a lot of smoke.


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