I'm going to restore my first guitar (1970's Alvarez).  It was all I had for many years, has been played, gigged, travelled and is somewhat worse for wear.  I realize that it's not worth much but it has great sentimental value to me and I'd like to see it looking good and playing well again. 

  • A partial refret is required as the first 7 fret positions are worn down and there isn't much material left to work with.
  • The bridge plate has partially separated and will be removed. 
  • Labor is free as I'll be doing it myself. 

A few issues for which I would welcome some suggestions:

  • Approach to stripping the (poly) finish.  Sanding vs Chemical stripper? 
  • Should I remove the binding before stripping? 
  • Suggestions on preserving the headstock inlay and sound hole rosette (I suspect the latter is a decal)

Much thanks in advance to the forum for sharing your thoughts.

Tags: Acoustic, Binding, Refinishing

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Absolutely! The sides and back are "laminates" (plywood) according to St. Louis Music.   Despite this, this guitar has always projected well and had a balanced tone.  Definitely would not want to sand through the veneer and I really appreciate the reminder.  A partial removal of the veneer would be pretty ugly.

The complexity of this restoration project has been perplexing.  I've put it off for some time but am ready to proceed (with eyes open).  Slow and steady is the approach - full well understanding that putting wood back is a lot tougher than taking it off :-).


I think it might be easier to find a new rosette decal than work around it.


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