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View Full Version : How do I remove all poly finish all the way down to the wood on Mahogany Ukulele?



molinee
04-15-2010, 12:30 PM
I am trying out some idea that I have, but want to remove all poly finish all the way down to the wood on the back of an inexpensive laminated mahogany ukulele. I want to do it on a matte finish/ satin finish ukulele. I have tried various chemicals with no real luck. Anyone ever been brave enough (stupid enough) to ever try this? Any thoughts appreciated. :)

Tudorp
04-15-2010, 12:43 PM
If your trying to get it all off to bare wood, you might be making a big mistake. The finish absorbs into the wood and seals it. You will never get it all out without doing some damage to the wood itself. If you sand the wood down a little to get it all, you might sand through the top layer. Laminate, it actually just plywood, or plywood with a mahogany top layer, and you wont like what you find under the top layer I can guarantee that. Why are you wanting to sand it all out? To refinish it? paint it? In that case, you just want to sand enough through the finish for the new finish to adhere well..

if it were a solid wood, the magic is sanding down through the wood enough to get all the absorbed sealer out. Laminate, or plywood, you don't have enough of the good layer to do that safely...

fahrner
04-15-2010, 01:01 PM
I am trying out some idea that I have, but want to remove all poly finish all the way down to the wood on the back of an inexpensive laminated mahogany ukulele. I want to do it on a matte finish/ satin finish ukulele. I have tried various chemicals with no real luck. Anyone ever been brave enough (stupid enough) to ever try this? Any thoughts appreciated. :)
By "various chemicals" do you mean paint stripper?
I've used various brands for antique furniture and clock cases.

molinee
04-15-2010, 01:05 PM
Tudorp ... Thanks a lot for the good info. I see where you have an Ohana 35 which has a matte finish. Do you think the finish on the Ohana is thin enough that you could use a wood burner on it to make a design or would the poly/lacquer finish still be too thick and bubble up and just make a mess?

fahrner
04-15-2010, 01:06 PM
By "various chemicals" do you mean paint stripper?
I've used various brands for antique furniture and clock cases.
Or just google it;
http://www.ehow.com/how_4587520_remove-polyurethane-finish.html

Tudorp
04-15-2010, 01:06 PM
Fahrner is on the right track. There are some pretty good strippers for furniture. A used a Gel type on a piano that took the paint off an old 1924 Player piano I stripped several years ago. But, not so sure I would put it on a Plywood. I'd be afraid it might make the layers of wood separate..

fahrner
04-15-2010, 01:24 PM
Never had it cause de-lamination with veneered pieces so a laminated back should be OK.
Just to be cautious I would keep it away from the neck joint although I've had pieces dipped at a pro stripper without harm to the glue joints.

molinee
04-15-2010, 07:26 PM
Thanks to All.