I have a black 78 Tele that needs its aftermarket TOM bridge and Bigsby B5 bridge removed, the holes plugged, and the finish touched up.
I will cut cross-grain plugs for a tight fit and glue them with HHG below the finish and level with the body.
I've had iffy results working with poly so I'm cautious.
First I thought of using lacquer. I'd cut a hole in some 2" painters tape nominally bigger than the plug to prevent over-spraying the poly; then I'd fill the tiny cracks around the plugs with superglue, next I'd airbrush shellac and finally lacquer with black pigment. I think this would leave witness lines, sheen differences and have a higher probability of developing adhesion problems. There wouldn't be much lacquer to sand and rubout, but I'd rubout the entire top to match sheens.
That seemed like a pretty complicated approach so I thought about using epoxy or superglue mixed with black ColorTone lacquer pigment or black dust (FatMax black chalk). It seems like these materials could be scraped, sanded, rubbed and polished with a smaller chance for adhesion problems . Sheen would probably match up too.
I welcome all advice as well as wisecracks, and humorous ridicule.
Maybe just do a complete refinish after all the plugs and repairs are done?
I would try black CA glue. Then level and buff that to a shine. It will leave a witness line though.
I've used black dyed (don't use a lot of dye - it affects the cure) epoxy to replace major chipping on a similar poly Tele with good results - it sands down well and finishes OK with micro mesh and buffing. It's never going to be invisible but it gets close.
Thanks Mike, Tom, and Rusty. I'm going to try the epoxy. Here's something I ran across:
If it works, it's a bargain. It was $5 with shipping inside the 48 states.
Lampblack works well in the epoxy that I use. It may work well in other finishes as well. My lampblack comes from a fire place where I mostly burn pine wood from roots (with a lot of tar in it).
Thanks for the suggestion, Bob. Where do you get lampblack? I've been using Stanley FatMax black chalk which does a good job and is very cheap.
I've finished drop-filling the Tele and have sanded it up to 2000 grit. The surface is very smooth but by leveling the epoxy to the finish I've created concentric sand-throughs around the fills. Now where to go?
I was thinking this was a polyester finish, but I did an acetone test under the bridge and it became sticky. So, either polyurethane or lacquer?