New (old) RG550 day earlier this week and finish questions - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

 1Likes
  • 1 Post By KennyV
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2020, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 35
New (old) RG550 day earlier this week and finish questions

😁 So after being curious for a while I got my hands on a 1990 RG550 this week for relatively little money. I’m pretty blown away by it, totally in wuv. It’s a much better guitar than my Genesis RG550 is, in all respects except cosmetic.

I knew cosmetics were bad going in, it’s why the price was low. Someone has refinished in a woodstain and it’s a bit blotchy. I’m living with it for a few weeks before deciding whether to refinish or not. The head has never broken and no sign of a crack beginning. The maple board is losing its finish rapidly but I don’t mind this. The neck is pretty sticky though.

I’d planned to satin or oil the neck. What I’m wondering is, given the general condition and probable refinish, where to stop? Leave the original finish on the back of the head and have a hard line between old gloss and oil or remove the lot? If I did the head as well, is it worth making a duplicate of the serial sticker? Any particular oils that anyone would recommend?
caffienated is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2020, 09:04 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
I have a thread where I restored my 1990 550 a few weeks back.

I used tung oil and I'm pretty happy with it.

I only did the fretboard though cause my maple board was black and I didn't like someone else's "mojo" on it.
KennyV is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 35
I think I just read it? Maybe not as you seemed to be mainly dealing with the body and just a bit of fretboard.

Tung was exactly what I planned. I’ve had it in a few guitars and I love it as a finish. Never actually applied it but I’ve done a few oil finish guitars so not really expecting trouble.

Neck on mine is minty in some respects and grim in others. It’s essentially undamaged - just a very slight scratch behind the eighth that probably isn’t even through to wood. The board isn’t damaged but the lacquer is peeling all over like it was a vintage Fender from the 50’s 60’s. I actually quite like that. It doesn’t upset my playing so I’ll probably leave that and clean it up. The entire back of the neck needs work though. It’s really quite sticky but not really damaged, just very heavily played. Sitting next to my Genesis RG550 the newer neck looks unbelievably unrefined... otoh, the super slim originals broke an awful lot. I figure if this one has made it thirty years, so long as I don’t drop it or do anything silly with the locknut it’s probably a survivor.

So, did you do the entire back of the neck or stop just where it flares out for the head like many do? I’m seriously considering doing the whole thing but that’s going to cost me the serial sticker and I’m not sure if I think it’s cheesy putting a repro serial back on even if it’s ‘the real thing’ and the real number. A previous owner basically threw any vintage value out when the original finish was removed so I’m not really concerned about value as such but more whether it’s generally a bad thing to do. I’m still deciding if I want to re-refinish the body. I’m probably going to, there doesn’t seem anything to lose at this point on it and it’s in good order. There’s a couple of tiny pits in the tip of the low horn and that’s it, body damage wise... they look more like something originally fillered that the stain exposed tbh, too. This guitar seems to have had a hard playing life but a very careful owner.
caffienated is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2020, 10:32 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Well I have 2 550s that I made a post about.

An 87 in road flare that I had already taken to be fixed and they made worse,

And a black I did myself.
Here's a before and after.
20200720_202026_1595294446213.jpg
20200720_201934_1595294520561.jpg

As far as the value.. unfortunately the 550 isn't a Jem.

So as long as it has an original paint color and In good shape it will still sell competitively with others of it's day.

These still easily go for 400 to 600 in bad shape, so one that's been restored and repainted can get around that too.

At least what I've seen on reverb and eBay.

A Jem for example that still sells at 3k average looses Alot of value.

On top of that, it really depends on what your after. If you are happy with it and never plan to get rid of it you can do what you want.

You could also just fade it out, and preserve the heel and headstock, just work the area that your in contact with.

My goal was to try and keep it as stock as possible.
Not because I want to sell it, I plan to keep it for life since it was my wedding gift and it happens to be a birthdate guitar, I think only a few months younger then me but as close as it gets. (as a lefty)

That said I want it to be in as good of shape as possible for as long as possible.

Of my 20 guitars, my wife and I already talked about the ones that she would and wouldn't sell if anything were to happen to me.

I we kinda agreed on 3 that can't be sold

This 550, a limited edition Schecter Hellraiser, and myforever long partscaster that I've been slowly replacing and upgrading things on since she met me.

It was the first guitar she heard me play, and she bought me the other 2.

She said maybe one day these get passed on to our children (although I doubt they would be lefty).

So while I'm not worried on its value, I see more value in keeping them as is as long as possible.
KennyV is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 11:33 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,155
Re: New (old) RG550 day earlier this week and finish questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by caffienated View Post
Id planned to satin or oil the neck. What Im wondering is, given the general condition and probable refinish, where to stop? Leave the original finish on the back of the head and have a hard line between old gloss and oil or remove the lot? If I did the head as well, is it worth making a duplicate of the serial sticker? Any particular oils that anyone would recommend?

If it were mine, I would just do the back of the neck to make it playable, leaving the sn# sticker and heel alone. I can't stand a sticky neck and I've had good luck with just a sanding and rubbed Minwax oil finish. That's just me though... and I don't always do the right thing! Good luck!
FireEagle is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2020, 11:37 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Another easy alternative is just to scrub the back of the neck ever so slightly with like a scotch bright pad.

That will leave everything intact and make it smoother to the touch.

Alot of people do that with their poly finish on painted necks.
FireEagle likes this.
KennyV is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 35
Hm, food for thought. In all honesty I’d live with the red stain if I hadn’t just built a partscaster that was very close in colour (more of a cherry red but still tickles my ‘matchy matchy’ phobia 😅

If the body still had original poly I’d probably leave it too No matter what conditions, I’ve seen some horror stories when people try to remove original finishes and while the whole ‘relic’ thing amuses me (especially some of the crappy jobs people seem to be managing to sell!) I don’t mind an honest tatty instrument. That’s why I’m thinking about keeping the peely fretboard, vintage vibe although it also simplifies things a bit. Something has to happen to the neck though.

I’m a bit too old to be finding ‘birth month’ RG’s although this Feb ‘90 is the one 17yo me should have bought instead of that clearance S1 HM Strat (notwithstanding the Fender at 375 was around half the price of a new RG550 at the time) and it’s definitely a keeper although it may get some electronic updates. Cosmetics apart it’s perfect and beautiful.

I’ve seen decent fades done into the poly and that’s a possibility. If I do go for the fade and decide I cant live with the line that no one else can see, how feasible is a further refinish to match up or would it be fine to just do the poly and assume it’ll match? Which brings me to the final question...

Tru Oil gunstock oil and wax or (real) Tung oil? Any thoughts?
caffienated is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome