Any suggestions on the best way to remove the lacquer from this neck? I was hoping to use some kind of solvent that would work like a paint stripper as the idea of sanding it all off is not too appealing.

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You guys really do get my gears turning ( or, as my kids would say, grinding).  I like the cabinet scraper blade because it ridged and particularly good for getting thing flat. I use it a lot on the back of head stocks since it seems that every old instrument I refinish doesn't have a flat headstock anymore (if ever). 

Like I said, I use it all the time BUT I also seem to be constantly looking for a flexible but small scraper too. I use razor blades with a slight bend but they aren't good for long. The idea of using shim stock or feeler gauges is brilliant  I have lots of them laying around because I went through a VW period in my teens and anyone that has dedicated much time to keeping air cooled VW's running knows that you spend a LOT of time setting valve clearances. That coupled with a tendency to loose tools means that I sort of reached critical mass in the feeler gauge department. Of course, now that I don't need them nearly as often, it seems like there is one in every drawer or box I open.

Feeler gauges, screwdrivers, nut wrenches, and bloody wrists from things suddenly coming loose and bashing your arm into an engine block or exhaust manifold. Even today I still describe the sounds of some hummingbirds as "that bird needs it's valves adjusted."

LOL, you got really good at holding a wrench and feeler gauges in one hand while twisting a screwdriver with the other. I also had a Porsche 914 with a type VI engine and I had to drop the whole exhaust system to get to the valves.  I would lay under the car and support the muffler at the back with my feet while I removed the bolts from the heads then dropped it as a complete unit on to my chest and legs and shuffled out from under the car. Only a young man with more time than money would do that over and over. 


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