General tech questions

Repair Bug Spray Damage to Lacquer Finish

1

Ugh.

This time of year the bugs on my farm are epic. Any outdoor experience requires that I use bug spray (with DEET)...including on my arms. See where this is going?

Naturally, when you are as stupid as I am, you don't wash your arms BEFORE you pick up your beautiful Gretsch 6120SSL. And because of this, the large bug spray smudge on the lower bout (where my forearm rests) is well established. I've tried wiping it off with a dry microfiber cloth, a watered down cloth and one lightly dosed with Mineral Oil. Its not budging.

Any suggestions on how I can remove this "smudge"?

Thanks,

Bob

2

Crap. I did some internet sleuthing and turned this up: http://guitargarage.blogspo...

Looks like I may have to sand the clear coat (does my guitar have a clear coat?) and then use rubbing compound?

3

Try Naptha! Lighter fluid.

4

It does have clear on it and if you sand with your fingers be very careful. I didn't read the blog but you need the following the following grits in P grade wet sand paper. 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500.

The 600 does all the work and for the most part the rest of the grits are sanding away the scratches from the previous grit. Soak the sandpaper for a half hour before you use it and put a drop of dish soap in the water. Carefully flat sand it with a small block using 600 and 800 checking to make sure there isn't and color in the wet dust, slag or whatever you want to call it. Each grit needs to go a little farther out than the next to make sure you covered all the scratches. Buff and you're done.

5

I second Curt on his advice, and will add this. Wipe it dry often to really see what you're doing, it's very easy for the inexperienced to sand thru, the water makes quick cutting for sure, but the wetness can make it appear as though the clear coat is still there.It's a hassle to wipe and re wet so often, but it's safer. Safer yet would be to use a 3-M 216-u paper, it's a non loading dry paper. Can't say enough good about that paper.

6

At least you didn't have to pay extra for relicing.

7

Try WD-40 - I removed some sticker/decal residue from one of mine with WD-40 and some QTips -

8

The problem isn't residue on the finish but that It's eaten into the finish, he needs to level the finish to a point where it hasn't been attacked and hope there's enough mils for a proper sand and buff.

9

The problem isn't residue on the finish but that It's eaten into the finish, he needs to level the finish to a point where it hasn't been attacked and hope there's enough mils for a proper sand and buff.

– Curt Wilson

Curt, I'd say you are right. But sandpaper seems like a perilous approach and one I'm pretty sure would, in my hands, just make things worse. The surface of this part of the guitar body is not flat and would be difficult to sand it uniformly. OTOH, rubbing compound using a soft cloth might be possible to apply uniformly.

10

Rubbing compound is liquid sandpaper and if you use that with a rag you'll have smooth jazz or I mean smooth imperfections. You need to bridge the low spots with a block to bring the high areas down.

I would either leave it alone or take it to someone who knows finishes.

11

Rubbing compound is liquid sandpaper and if you use that with a rag you'll have smooth jazz or I mean smooth imperfections. You need to bridge the low spots with a block to bring the high areas down.

I would either leave it alone or take it to someone who knows finishes.

– Curt Wilson

Good advice. I think I'll take it to Maple Street Guitars in ATL...they deal with very high end guitars and will know what to do. Thanks.

12

FWIW...I just spoke to Gretsch and was informed that the guitar has a lacquer finish with NO clear coat. So, my DEET interaction was directly with the lacquer finish itself. I am dealing with a chemical reaction, not a residue.

He strongly discouraged sanding and wasn't too keen on rubbing compound. His only suggestion was to try a polish made specifically for lacquer finishes.

So you live and learn.

13

FWIW...I just spoke to Gretsch and was informed that the guitar has a lacquer finish with NO clear coat. So, my DEET interaction was directly with the lacquer finish itself. I am dealing with a chemical reaction, not a residue.

He strongly discouraged sanding and wasn't too keen on rubbing compound. His only suggestion was to try a polish made specifically for lacquer finishes.

So you live and learn.

– bob frame

So..... The orange is clear lacquer mixed with some translucent orange and yes the opacity can and probably will change if you reduce the mil thickness. Polish will be a complete waste of time where eating a polish sausage would be delicious.

I'm a bit miffed that it doesn't have two coats of clear over it. When I've repaired the lacquer 6120's the sandpaper confirms that because it takes a little sanding before there are any orange traces.

EDIT: I want to add that I'm not contradicting what FMIC / Gretsch is telling you, they are a really great people. I'm just sharing my own experiences.

14

Maybe I asked the wrong question or misunderstood the answer.

15

I also spoke to Stewart MacDonald's tech support. He was very pessimistic, saying that trying to polish or sand a lacquer finish was difficult. He thought it was likely that the chemical reaction might have gone deep into the lacquer.

I'm starting to get used to what I have.

16

Ah, it's lacquer. The poly stuff is pretty thick, but don't despair. The beauty of lacquer is it burns into itself which makes touching it up a breeze for any competent repairman. I'm a little sceptical as well that there are no clears on top,btw.

17

I also spoke to Stewart MacDonald's tech support. He was very pessimistic, saying that trying to polish or sand a lacquer finish was difficult. He thought it was likely that the chemical reaction might have gone deep into the lacquer.

I'm starting to get used to what I have.

– bob frame

It's all good but you're not talking to people that do the work or work on 6120's. They're worried about ambulance chasing litigation.

Good thing about leaving it is you don't have to worry about bugging up next outing.

18

Too late to do any good for this guitar but have you tried Sawyers 20% Picaridin bug spray?

I find it to do zero damage to the various plastics in my life and yet work quite well.

I tossed all the DEET after trying Sawyer's 20% Picaridin. You need to re-apply during a long day hike, but for me it works. And the lack of gear damage is a big plus.

19

Curt,

If your had Bob's axe in hand would you consider shooting some clear over the whole thing then leveling from there?

20

I would but I think the bug juice is deep in the finish so I'd soak it with one of the prep sol products before sanding so it doesn't get embedded. Then sand it as flat as you can and stopping as soon as there's orange residue on the sandpaper. I think all the damage is on the top so it's easy to tape off the rest after it's all scuffed with 600 and just clear the top.


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