I need to fix a side crack on this old parlor and was hoping someone could advise me on the best way to clean off this old brittle masking tape. Also, I know a lot of you guys are well versed in vintage guitar identification. I'm thinking this one may have been made by Maurer or possibly the Larson brothers. If its any help, the tuner buttons are made of bone.
Lighter fluid (naptha) works very well for taking off the old tape residue. And won't damage the finish.
Thanks Don. That was my first thought also. I tried working at the corners and sides of the tape with naphtha and wasn't getting much of a result so I stopped and made my original post. Maybe I should just try saturating it a bit more with the naphtha.
Naptha will help to lift residue, but it looks like the tape has been on there long enough to react with the finish. Solvents in tape sometimes do that. If that's the case you will have a lot bigger job than just trying to remove tape residue. Of course, you have to remove the tape somehow, so naptha can't hurt.
You might try using a razor blade with tape wrapped round each end of the blade( to raise it slightly above the surface) as a scraper to remove as much of the tape as possible after soaking it with naptha. If you're careful you shouldn't get too much into the original finish. Even if you do, I think you will need to do some touch up anyway given the age of this tape and the crack repair.