|Fig. 1. One of the eBay listing photos for the Ibanez RG321 MH.|
You can see that the finish is not perfect, but the worst gouge
does not show up in this photo.
|Fig. 2. In contrast to poly-coated guitars, getting down to this much |
bare wood only took a couple of minutes on this guitar. Also note
the slightly more rounded tip on the lower horn.
Over the course of a couple of short evening sessions, I removed the neck, hardware and electronics, and sanded the body down to bare wood. The only tricky part was sanding the back without scratching the chrome string ferrules. I used an old razor blade for that (Fig. 3) to scrape around the ferrules. Keeping it flat and working slowly, I was able to remove the finish without scratching the ferrules or gouging the wood.
|Fig. 3. Using an old razor blade instead of sandpaper to avoid |
scratching the shiny chrome finish on the string ferrules.
On each of the next three evenings, I put on a thin coat of tung oil, lightly sanding with fine steel wool between coats. I ended up with this:
|Fig. 4. The body, after three light coats of tung oil.|
Unfortunately, the seams between the different pieces of mahogany show up more clearly with the lighter finish. But I like it better than the original dark stain, which made the guitar look too dated. I just reassembled and restrung the guitar—here are the before and after pics:
|Fig. 5: The guitar as purchased (left) and after refinishing (right). |
Not a huge difference, but the scratches are gone, and I greatly
prefer the lighter finish.