The owner of the Vintage Lemondrop guitar that I upgraded some time back asked me to refinish the top. Thinking that the finish would be thin and strip easily, I agreed. I discovered however that the finish is thick, tough and difficult to remove.
I stripped the top over a couple of weeks and probably spent about ten hours on the job altogether! My fingers lost their feeling from the vibration of the mouse sander.
Once I had the finish off, I sanded with the grain using 320 grit sandpaper to give a smooth surface.
Stripping the top required a lot of care as the flame maple veneer is quite thin and I didn’t want to damage it. I’m glad to say that I didn’t.
I sprayed a few coats of cellulose sanding sealer, and sanded it back to give a smooth surface. You can see that some colour remains from the factory dye.
Once happy with the colour I sprayed plenty of Clear Gloss nitrocellulose lacquer to seal and then after a few days flatted back and buffed to a shine before reassembling.
Here’s a closeup.