Removing Oil Finish, Anyone Did This?

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Hi,
I have a maple Streamer with a Honey Oil finish. The body has a lot of scratches on it, and I like the natural look of maple.
How hard is it to remove the oil finish, and what is the best way?
Sanding by hand, or with a machine?
 

Hoggles

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Hi Erik,

If it has the classic Warwick honey finish, it's more of a satin finish than a natural oil (wax) finish. Just a few months ago I took off the honey finish from a '98 FNA. Came out great.

Best way is just by hand. It'll take a casual day of sanding. Depending on the wood type, it'll be tough to completely remove every bit of stain from some of the wood grain. With flame maple, the flame parts of the wood seem to be the stain a little more. Regardless, it comes out great. Very doable.

Start with a 120 grit and progress to a near 400 grit, to get a smooth finish. Just be careful not to take off too much wood. Post some before and after pics. We love pics :)

Here was my recent before and after... You'll notice just a slight tinge of orange still in the flames, but it came out really nice.
IMG_20190524_133105__01.jpg

IMG_20190608_084543__01__01.jpg
 
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Thanks for the quick reply
This is the before picture; the finish looks the same as your FNA.
My Streamer is from ‘05
D29216D7-0F83-44C8-9C95-62E65A361B16.jpeg
 

Hoggles

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Nice. Yeah, yours is a little less on the orange side than the FNA, so whatever stain has soaked in deeper, it should be a little less noticeable in the flame. Also, there's no need to fully remove all electronics, pups etc. You can do a good enough job by simply removing knobs, neck, bridge/tailpiece, and pulling out the pups just enough (if there is a little bit of slack in the wires). Put some tape in the pup cavities to prevent dust getting in where it shouldn't etc.

Go for it....and keep us up to date :)
 
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some more before pictures :

So it's better not to use a sanding machine?
because when watching the Warwick factory movies they use machines first and later sanding by hand.

LLh19Ef+TEG%2YMu3fItPA.jpg
Tjemz2OmQpmCIkLxMBV64w.jpg
 

Hoggles

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Oh you certainly could use a sander. Just gotta be careful not to take off excess wood. When you see the builders using sanders, it's usually in the process of a rough finish, where excess wood needs to come off, to achieve the final shape. When they get close to that final shape, they begin with hand sanding. Typically. Of course, feel free to do it how you see fit. I wouldn't use a sander, because I don't want to change the body shape even a fraction. Hope that makes sense.

It only took me roughly 4-5 hours of hand sanding over the course of a day, to finish it. Up to you :)
 
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I don’t want to change the body shape either.
That’s the reason I bought the Streamer, I love that shape !
 

verb

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Hi Erik,

If it has the classic Warwick honey finish, it's more of a satin finish than a natural oil (wax) finish. Just a few months ago I took off the honey finish from a '98 FNA. Came out great.

Best way is just by hand. It'll take a casual day of sanding. Depending on the wood type, it'll be tough to completely remove every bit of stain from some of the wood grain. With flame maple, the flame parts of the wood seem to be the stain a little more. Regardless, it comes out great. Very doable.

Start with a 120 grit and progress to a near 400 grit, to get a smooth finish. Just be careful not to take off too much wood. Post some before and after pics. We love pics :)

Here was my recent before and after... You'll notice just a slight tinge of orange still in the flames, but it came out really nice.

Nice
Did you use Warwick wax or any other product on the sanded body?
I am thinking of buying an FNA and it is in a Honey finish, although it may be high polish, is high polish finish just a clear top coat on the stain?
 

Hoggles

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Nice
Did you use Warwick wax or any other product on the sanded body?
I am thinking of buying an FNA and it is in a Honey finish, although it may be high polish, is high polish finish just a clear top coat on the stain?

I used the official Warwick wax. Applied hot/melted and then left overnight before the first buffing. Another 3-4 waxings (normal/cool) in the following days, to get a good solid base coat. Finish came out great.

If the FNA you might get is the classic honey finish like the one above....those are technically a satin finish, not high polish/gloss. And yes, it's a laquer finish over stain. The old satin finishes on late 90's FNA's start to look more and more high polish as the years go by :) Though the sunburst FNA's were a gloss finish I think.
 

verb

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I used the official Warwick wax. Applied hot/melted and then left overnight before the first buffing. Another 3-4 waxings (normal/cool) in the following days, to get a good solid base coat. Finish came out great.

If the FNA you might get is the classic honey finish like the one above....those are technically a satin finish, not high polish/gloss. And yes, it's a laquer finish over stain. The old satin finishes on late 90's FNA's start to look more and more high polish as the years go by :) Though the sunburst FNA's were a gloss finish I think.

Thank for your reply.
Yes, it may be the satin finish has become more polished, I have only seen photos and there is a definite shine to the body edges.
Unfortunately the owner decided to play the FNA for the first time in a while, and has now decided not to sell, but I will get first refusal if he changes his mind.
And now a Nirvana black Corvette standard has come up for sale :D
 
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