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post #1 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Guitar finish

Hi All

Hopefully someone has some advice for me here :)

I was doing a few touchups on the headstock of my Guitar and I accidentally dropped some acetone
on the last digit of the serial number!!!! I know... I'm an idiot :)

Before I knew it, the indentation of the last digit was melting and soon enough the digit vanished, because
the acetone sort of leveled the finish. The digit is still there as it is stamped into the bare wood before color and finishing so I just need to remove some of the finish in order to make it appear again.
I would rather just soften the finish and just imprint the "4" again, but I want to know if it is possible and what would be the best way.

The photo attached is before I smoothed everything out, so at this moment it's back to the normal mirror finish
but without my last digit So the number should read 7 3 4, the other two numbers I blacked out to hide
my actual serial number.

Thanks guys, all help will be appreciated

Thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 09:07 AM
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If it melted that easily the finish has to be lacquer. Any attempt to soften the finish will cause further damage. If it were me I would see if I could find a metal stamp sized to fit the rest of the numbers and heat it to melt the number into the finish. If that isn't possible you might have to find someone that does hand engraving to put the number back on. If you do try the metal stamp you might get some rattle can lacquer and build multiple layers on a scrap piece of wood to use as a test piece first. You will need some lacquer anyway to touch up the finish.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If it melted that easily the finish has to be lacquer. Any attempt to soften the finish will cause further damage. If it were me I would see if I could find a metal stamp sized to fit the rest of the numbers and heat it to melt the number into the finish. If that isn't possible you might have to find someone that does hand engraving to put the number back on. If you do try the metal stamp you might get some rattle can lacquer and build multiple layers on a scrap piece of wood to use as a test piece first. You will need some lacquer anyway to touch up the finish.
Hi Steve

Thanks, it's nitro so yeah, that explains why the drop of acetone just made the finish melt.
I think your advise is the best option as I was thinking the same, seeing that nitro never cures and is easily
dented. Now it's just the mission of finding a stamp :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 09:15 AM
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If you're not selling it, then why bother with the last number? If you leave it hidden, you don't have to "black out" the first two.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
If you're not selling it, then why bother with the last number? If you leave it hidden, you don't have to "black out" the first two.
Good point!

I guess it's just the challenge of getting it right, been doing a lot of restoration lately which I find quite intriguing,
so I suppose that's why I am trying to find a way to do it. I was thinking of imprinting a "?" to make it different

Oh and the "black out" is just for the picture so no one copies my S/N
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 01:37 PM
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Another option if you have a steady hand is to get a very small cutter for a dremel tool and engrave the number. In the finish it would make a very fuzzy mark but once you clean it up you could spray it with some clear lacquer and the fuzzy should melt to black.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-04-2017, 07:19 PM
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The other option is to remove all of the finish. Use remover to wipe off down to the wood, so that the numbers are visible again, then refinish.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-05-2017, 12:33 AM
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Why would someone copy the serial number of a guitar we can't even identify by maker?

The only market for counterfeit guitars is for pre-War Martin's and they didn't have serial numbers stamped on the back of the head.

<Chas>
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-05-2017, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Another option if you have a steady hand is to get a very small cutter for a dremel tool and engrave the number. In the finish it would make a very fuzzy mark but once you clean it up you could spray it with some clear lacquer and the fuzzy should melt to black.
Great advice, thanks
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-05-2017, 11:46 AM
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Can you see where the '4' is at all? If so you could use a dull X-Acto knife and carefully scratch out the lacquer if you didn't want to use a Dremel, then put another drop of Acetone on it to smooth things out. Like Steve said, practice this on scrap first.

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post #11 of 11 Old 07-06-2017, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Can you see where the '4' is at all? If so you could use a dull X-Acto knife and carefully scratch out the lacquer if you didn't want to use a Dremel, then put another drop of Acetone on it to smooth things out. Like Steve said, practice this on scrap first.

David
Hi David

Thanks, this is also a good option, I can't see the "4" although I know exactly where it needs to go.
I really think I can "dent" the digit into the finish rather than cutting etc. It's a nitro finish so it's really soft
to start off with. I will practice on scrap wood to get use to formation then I will give it a go. Nice thing is, if
I dont get it right I can melt the finish and just try again :)
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