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I'm thinking of buying a used RG5xx and taking the paint off of it. I was told that if I sanded it down to Bare wood it would pick up dirt and oil. Will the oil and dirt getting into the wood, hurt the wood(i.e crack). Also can the dirt and oil be cleaned off. What did they do to the JEMBSBs besides burning them. They don't have a finish on them do they?
 

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Bare Wood Guitar

BSB is burnt, then stained with a colour and then has tung oil rubbed into it I believe. On my BSB the parts that get into contact with my arms/fingers (ie, where I rest my arm when I play, and the back of the neck) get worn down, become smooth and then the stain fades in places on the body which looks cool.

Dirt and oil isn't going to crack the wood, so don't worry, the only thing that's going to happen is that the wood is going to darken. If you want a natural finish I believe you should rub some oil into it, but don't quite know why, although I assume it's to protect the wood a bit.

Also on my old bcrich, the neck is quite dirty from years of playing, but nothing a slight sanding down won't fix. All in all, just puts more character and "you" into a guitar.
 

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Bare Wood Guitar

Years ago I used to have a carvin 6 string made entirely of Koa, neck too. The only finish was tung oil. Beware if you intend on sanding down an already finished guitar body though, because you might not like what you find...poor grain, epoxy filler, and other unsightly things...plus it is one hell of a tough job. It would be less aggrevating to just buy a premade body from someone and transfer the hardware over yourself. You should be able to get one for around $150. Check the vendor list on this site.
 

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Bare Wood Guitar

Before trying to sand down a body, you should save yourself many hours of work and go get a can of spray paint stripper. Remove all hardware from your guitar (also remove the neck).
Spray on the paint stripper, let it sit about 10-15 minutes. Then scrape it off (avoid gouging) with a paint scraper. Be prepared for a mess. You may need to do this a couple times for each side of the guitar, but you'll save yourself many hours of sanding. Once you get the best part of the paint off, use some 240 grit sandpaper to get the rest of the paint off (which should take no time now that you've stripped it and what's left is minimal).
 

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Bare Wood Guitar

Well gotta tell you your rolling the dice when it comes to what you'll get under the finish of a RG5XX

For the most part You won't run into a ton of filler as some people might say simply because thats a rare even with Ibanez Bodys that was blown out of proportion from Ed Romans web site. Seriously do you think a company would go as far as to start out with cheap wood that needs filling and leveling on every guitar? That wouldn't be cost effective at all.

Now that that is cleared here's where the roll of the dice comes in. Expect a 2 or 3 piece body to begin with that has a thin single ply sheet of veneer on both the top and the bottom. ( I Know maybe cause I've stripped oh ummmmm 30 or so this past year). Go easy once you break through the color and into the white coating, the wood is just underneath that.

DO NOT waste your money of chemical stripper's if the body hasn't already been stripped and re-painted at least once. Ibanez finishes are like armour when it comes to a chemical strip, You will swear that finish is made of steal....

Once in a great blue moon you run across a special body under that RG5XX paint job. This is no joke, I've stripped one and found a beautiful Flame Maple body that had a blemish on the back. I'm guessing it was a J-custom that got yanked because of the blemish then thrown into the RG570 production line for a solid color paint job. I've also run across other exotic woods under the paint which seriously made me want to replace the body (it was a customers, can you say Mahogony?) and keep it for my own since it was getting a solid finish again.

Going for the bare wood look is fine but just because it will collect dirt and you'll sooner or later want to clean it up I would hit it at least with a coat of sanding sealor or wipe it down with Tung oil as suggested above. Good luck on your new custom! For some stripping tips using the sanding method click here.

(Edited by becalvert at 2:11 am on Feb. 27, 2002)
 

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Bare Wood Guitar

Brian is definitely the authority here on this stuff. I was merely pointing out the possibility that he might find something not so nice under that finish.
 
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