Epoxy (it looks like) smeared on Lacquer: How/can I remove it?

  After a one year wait, I finally got my 1935 Kay Kraft built K71 Oahu from Jake Wildwood's shop. The bridge had been replaced like 40 years ago, and the idiot smeared epoxy all around the bridge area. Of corse, Jake certainly would not touch it, but I need to look into if I can deal with this somehow.

 What are the thoughts here on this Collective Luthier Mind? 

It is also all super thin layer too.

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Short answer is- you can't.

I'd love to hear if someone has a secwet pwocess and proves me wrong.

There is a solvent for cured epoxy called Attack.

It will remove the finish too.

Best to quit staring at it, turn it away from you, play it and accept it for what it is.

Your posts always make me smile Greg.  You channeling Elmer Fudd is hilarious.  

Being very careful the excess glue can be scraped away with a very sharp razor blade or a sharp piece of newly cut glass. Like the edge of an old picture slide or a microscope slide. Having a Zen couple of hours gently scraping away with a magnification glass and a good light you can scrape only the glue and not the lacquer under it. You should be able to see the difference between the epoxy and the lacquer surface. With some luck the epoxy will come loose when is almost gone by the sideways force of the scraper. Maybe use a black light if it shows the difference better.

When done the area could be gently polished with finest steel wool and a hard hand polish with a dry cotton rag back to the original shine.

Roger, what you described here I already knew,  and dreaded was going to be the only answer.

 I will possibly have a go at this at some point soon. I will use magnifying lenses and Black light also to see if the epoxy fluoresces. THAT would help with a job like this. 

Going slow is the fastest way to a good result :-)

You could also try adding some heat with a hairdryer/heat lamp. If the glue takes the heat more than the lacquer it may help when scraping.

Put me in the camp with Greg and Paul. Similar to what Roger said, I've removed some types of epoxy before with small chisels and an exacto knife, once was a messy bridge area similar to what you are dealing with......but..... I have very sharp chisels, a decent bit of experience, and had promised the owners that it would not likely come out well. I made a tiny divot on one but the other came out pretty clean. Methylene chloride is the active ingredient in some of the solvents used for this and requires basically a hazmat suit with respirator and heavy gloves. It will not only remove finish, it will also soak thru wood and stain it purple, not to mention what it would do to unprotected skin. Having experience with it, I won't use it again. Having said all that, I still recommend following Greg and Paul's advice.


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