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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was recently looking at a 777VDY in person, and the usual breakup/dryout/crackling of the lacquer on the neck plate is so bad that the serial number is unreadable, even under bright light and a magnifying glass. Has anyone seen one that's this bad, and if so, is it a good or bad idea to try to remove what remains of the crackled neck plate lacquer to determine the serial number? I would think if you were gentle enough you would expose what is stamped into the neck plate ... but, I'd be interested to hear about any real life experience from anyone who has attempted this, including recommended vs. not-recommended methods.
 

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I was recently looking at a 777VDY in person, and the usual breakup/dryout/crackling of the lacquer on the neck plate is so bad that the serial number is unreadable, even under bright light and a magnifying glass. Has anyone seen one that's this bad, and if so, is it a good or bad idea to try to remove what remains of the crackled neck plate lacquer to determine the serial number? I would think if you were gentle enough you would expose what is stamped into the neck plate ... but, I'd be interested to hear about any real life experience from anyone who has attempted this, including recommended vs. not-recommended methods.
I think I would attempt to remove the paint by hand using acetone (and heavy duty gloves ;)). Acetone should remove all of the paint without etching the metal of the plate at all.
 

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Is it so important to see what the number is you want to mutilate it further past what nature has done? I've seen plenty of "cleaned" plates on guitars for sale, and will always pass on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is it so important to see what the number is you want to mutilate it further past what nature has done? I've seen plenty of "cleaned" plates on guitars for sale, and will always pass on them.
I'm not saying I want to do one thing or another at least not yet ... I was just looking for some input on what if anything to do about the unreadable serial number. I'm interested in knowing the production year of the instrument. I'm curious why a cleaned plate is so much of a turn-off for you. Different things might be important to different people, and the year of manufacture may be more important than an authentic aged look.
 

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An oxidized plate is natural. A cleaned plate is not, and looks terrible also, IMO anyway.

I'm talking about plates that have been taken to clean metal, so they're silver.
 

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I've tried cleaning RG5xx plates by sandblasting.
When the bubbles and crackles are gone, all you see is holes or pits under them.
There is no more text, it is gone.
 

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If you use regular old liquid spray guitar polish on it, it will remove some of the oxidation but won't strip any remaining paint. That may help.
 

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Whats that method of transfering/copying an image with laying tissue paper over the plate, and scratch back and forth over it with a piece of lead (or pencil on the side) to bring the indention out? Not sure if I'm describing it right. BUt, if the serial number is filled in with oxidation I guess it wouldn't work but would be worth a try. That would at least tell you the number if it works.

I just did it with a sticky and red pencil at my desk on my name plate.

 
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