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Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Sep 2014 08:47 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Location: Strailya
There was a bit of interest shown on polishing Guitar Plastics (Pickups, control cavity covers, pick guards etc.) on a recent restoration I completed.
So I thought I'd put together a bit of an instructional of exactly what I do.
I'm currently restoring an SB BnG1 so I figured I might as well use the Pickup & control cover to demonstrate.
The condition of these 2 items are fairly good, nothing too major, just a couple of string marks, small chips, general light scratching & overall dullness on the pickup & just light scratching on the cover.
Firstly let me say, as with most things, Black is a B1tch, it shows every fine scratch, the more you polish it the more the scratches stand out.
Its much easier to achieve an acceptable result with every other colour, especially the lighter ones (cream, white etc.)
Thats not to say it cant be done, it just requires more passes with the compounds & foam pads.
Ok, so here we go.
First couple of pics below give us a base line of what we are starting with.

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The next pics below show the result after rubbing down with 3 different grits of Wet & Dry.
The first is 1200grit, the second 1500 & the 3rd is 2000.
1200 is used to rub out the initial marks & scratches, 1500 is used to rub out the scratches left by the 1200, & 2000 is used to rub out the scratches left by the 1500.
If there is only light scratching & general dullness you can start with the 2000 & skip the 1200/1500.

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Remember to tape up any wires, or a slight slip at the next stage could be catastrophic.

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Now we move on the cutting & buffing stage.
Here I use the same process as with a guitar finish, but on a smaller scale.
First pic below is the guitar stuff, 3 different foam pads, orange (hardest), white (medium density) & lastly black which is quite soft.
These mount on an electric Buffer, all good.
There are 3 different compounds I use with them, the orange pad I use a general cutting & buffing compound.
The white, a much finer compound for use on new 2 pack automotive finishes & with the Black pad a "scratch & swirl remover"
As with the sand papers, each step removes the scratches left by the previous process.
For example, the orange pad with the cutting compound, will remove the scratches remaining from the 2000 grit & so on.

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Next pic below is the pads I use on plastics, same as above just smaller & the pad holder is fitted to a battery drill not a buffing machine.
They just velcro on & off the holder. A similar setup can be purchased on ebay or hardware stores etc, from memory the kit was about $15.

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Next pic is after the first cut with the orange pad, what you are trying to achieve here, is to remove the straight line scratches from the 2000 & replace with circular scratches from the compound, sometimes it takes several passes to do this.

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Now we have the result from the white pad, here a few more passes were required to be acceptable.

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Now the finished result after the Scratch & swirl remover in combination with the black pad were used.
I went over it about 6 or 8 times here to get the result I was after.
As I said at the start Black is a B1tch, it shows everything & forgives nothing.
At least Half a dozen passes were required at each step with it, however the Cream pups I did in the restoration thread only had 2 passes & look magic.

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So there you go, if your keen have a crack at it, you wont be sorry.
Cheers,
Trev.

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Sep 2014 09:54 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
I'm amazed that you can put a shine back on these plastics this way. I always figured you'd need to add something to the surface to gloss it up, like a gel coat kinda thing. Apparentlly not! :D

Very helpful Trev, thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep 2014 03:31 AM 
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Location: Mount Hunter, NSW, Australia.
Oh, nice; good one, Trevor! Thanks for that, eh!!

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep 2014 03:42 AM 
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Location: Strailya
My pleasure Gents. :up:

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep 2014 10:12 AM 
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Location: Vienna, Austria
WOW! :hyper:

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep 2014 06:54 PM 
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Joined: Mon 19 Mar 2007 08:50 AM
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Thanks, probably better than when new.


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