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How To Refinish A Vintage Carmencita Acoustic Guitar

Updated on December 22, 2015

Before Refinish Job

Just before steaming off bridge.
Just before steaming off bridge. | Source
Before removing Machine heads
Before removing Machine heads | Source
Source

Where Do I Need To Start My Refinish Job?

Make sure you have a table and work area before you begin. We can then follow these easy steps to get our guitar refinished. Remember if the bridge has screws you will have to put your hand through the sound hole. If your hand does not fit find some one with small hands to do the job. The old varnish was gummy and stopped up the sandpaper, if that happens use spray on paint stripper. Be careful not to saturate wood. This guitar has many coats of varnish that has to be removed. Note This is my opinion only. It is wrong to use varnish on acoustic guitars.I believe it deadens the sound. I had to use steam from my teapot to remove the bridge. The steam will help loosen the hide glue. You can use wooden dowels with hide glue to replace screws.

* remove old strings and tuning gears

* remove the screws and nuts from the bridge

* with everything removed sand off the old finish or spray on paint stripper

* patience


Sanding The Bridge And Neck

I sanded the face of the bridge using 220 grit sandpaper then progressively finer grit sandpaper down to 400 grit sandpaper. Masking tape is needed to cover the decals on the head. I stripped the varnish by doing a small section at a time. I use a homemade wooden scraper. We must be careful not to mar the wood.

I use plastic wood to fill any nicks on the edges. I leave the guitar dry overnight. The next day you can sand to get a smooth surface.

I found my rosette, tuning gears, and lacquer for the guitar on eBay. The Stewart MacDonald site sells hardware and parts for the guitar. I can find anything I need for the guitar.

www.stewmac.com a complete line of guitar hardware


Refinish Products

Guitar Rosette
Guitar Rosette | Source
Painter tape and newspaper are used
Painter tape and newspaper are used

Items Needed For Refinishing

1. stain the back and side use Minwax oil based mahogany stain.

2. use soft cloth

3. you will need a clean scrap of carpet lay the guitar face up

4. then using Minwax golden pecan 245 I blended the plastic wood in the color of the front of the guitar

5. use masking tape and newspaper cover fret board and front.

6. clear lacquer for back and sides

7. sandpaper 400 grit, 800 grit,

8. Hide glue



Refinishing Guitars

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Classical Guitar Bridge

1pc Rosewood Wood Guitar Bridge Fits for Classical Guitar
1pc Rosewood Wood Guitar Bridge Fits for Classical Guitar

Rosewood Classical Guitar bridge 1X is what I used. I find that the rosewood bridge works the best for most of the German Guitars.

 

The Final Steps

After, I have finished with the gloss clear lacquer on the neck and back and sides, I leave the guitar overnight. I sanded this first coat with 400 grit sandpaper and wiped it down again and spray it with another coat and let it set again overnight and sanded with 800 grit sandpaper. This step has to be repeated as many times as needed.

The last thing I do is glue and clamped the bridge, replace the tuning machines with new ones, and put on the rosette. I am ready to put on new strings.


The Finished Guitar

The front of the guitar came out very nice. The finish is smooth and looks great. I put several coats of linseed oil on the fret-board.  The tuners are the original, I cleaned them with a wire wheel brush.
The front of the guitar came out very nice. The finish is smooth and looks great. I put several coats of linseed oil on the fret-board. The tuners are the original, I cleaned them with a wire wheel brush. | Source
I used the original bridge but will add a bone saddle. The frets are the original and were cleaned with fine sandpaper.
I used the original bridge but will add a bone saddle. The frets are the original and were cleaned with fine sandpaper. | Source
The back of the guitar looks very good. My stain job is a little darker than I wanted, but looks good.
The back of the guitar looks very good. My stain job is a little darker than I wanted, but looks good. | Source

Comments

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  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    RTalloni, Thanks, it was a challenge for me, but something I wanted to finish while I have one good hand. Thanks for your comments. Stella

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 23 months ago from the short journey

    Your project turned out beautifully and this hub will be useful to anyone brave enough to attempt a similar one.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Cornelia, thanks for the visit and I bet you could do this if you really wanted to. I will put the photo of the finished guitar on when and if I ever get home. Thanks

  • CorneliaMladenova profile image

    Korneliya Yonkova 2 years ago from Cork, Ireland

    Amazing hub. Reminds me of my mother who could easily fix violins. I am a musical invalid and will never dare to touch any instrument :)

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    sujaya, thanks for the comment and visit.

  • sujaya venkatesh profile image

    sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

    getting musically correct

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Nell, Thanks for reading and your comments. Stella

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

    Well I learn something new everyday! clever stuff! lol! have a great weekend, nell

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Larry, thanks for your comments and reading. It is not too hard to do one, just time consuming.

  • Missy Smith profile image

    Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

    Very impressive! Great hub with lots of help for someone who would like to keep their vintage guitar. It's very often we find these types of treasures in a local yard sale, when if the owner knew how to refinish them, would probably love to keep their treasure forever. :)

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

    Not something I've ever had to do, but I enjoyed learning about the process.

    Great read!

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    MelRootsNWrites, thanks for the comments and stopping by. I will add a photo soon I was waiting on some strings and pin stripes, but even without these it is looking good. Thanks for reading.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you Jackie. I love this work the guitar was special in its day and is starting to look good. I still have about another week to finish it.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Wow; this is outstanding. I could never learn to play one much less make one. I know that has to be so fulfilling! (Or even redoing.)

    Sharing everywhere.

  • MelRootsNWrites profile image

    Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

    These tips would be very helpful to anyone taking on this guitar refinishing project. I am sure it is intimidating and it's easy to end up with a mess. I would love to see the finished product after you've refinished a guitar. I bet it looks beautiful.