Looking for advice on dealing with buckle rash

Just bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop on eBay. Seller told me over the phone that the only mark on the entire guitar was a ding on the lower body near the output jack that he showed in a picture on the eBay auction, otherwise the guitar was completely clean with no other marks anywhere. WRONG!! This guitar is loaded with belt buckle rash on the back, as well as dents, dings, and scratches all over. However, it plays and sounds great (has a Duncan JB bridge pickup - my favorite!, as well as the true '60's thin profile neck). So, I'm going to keep it despite the blatant misrepresentation by the seller.

I've been reading web articles from pro refinishers that talk about how you can put clearcoat nitrocellulose lacquer over the existing finish, and it will "melt" into the finish and fill in the scratches, buckle rash, etc. Has anyone out there tried this by themselves, or is this something best left to a pro? Or is this even possible to do? My goal is to minimize the buckle rash on the back if at all possible to restore this back to "new".

By the way, why is it so common to beat up an expensive guitar this way? Nearly every Les Paul that I saw on eBay said that there was mild to moderate buckle rash (I bought this one because the owner told me point blank there was none - liar!). Don't people respect their instruments anymore?

Looking forward to a reply,
Regards,
Dave

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It's the whole "relic" craze. People think it's cooler to have dents and scratches, as it supposedly gives the guitar a certain "mojo".

I did buy a early Strat relic a few years ago, i suppose i was fascinated by the relic thing, and i must say it was done very well, but the guitar sounded horrible at volume, (with the band) very weedy, the neck pickup was sweet enough but the bridge/middle selection gave out as much honk as an Austin Leyland Princess ( The flying wedge)
only had it 6 months and sold it on, what amazes me is, those relics go new for £1650 -£2000, and a used one will go for £1200, why the hell would you want a new one?

Anyone noticed the dollar is on the up? used to be $2 to the pound, now its around the $1.68, those cheap Les Paul customs are becoming a distant memory...

"Guitar Reranch" (an easy search) has some great reading if you want to investigate the idea. If you are within a reasonable drive of Manchester, UK, I can recommend a very competent and well-priced tech that you could discuss over an email with.

lee_UK wrote:
what amazes me is, those relics go new for £1650 -£2000, and a used one will go for £1200, why the hell would you want a new one?

Interesting. So, relic Fenders don't keep their value?

I don't like relics, but did always want some genuine wear on my bass, my recent conversion to solid brass plecs seems to be sorting that out finally...

As for buckle rash...unless you playing topless a-la-Slash, untuck your damn t-shirt/shirt/blouse or whatever, it's not the 80's anymore!

That said having read the original question...how to deal with existing buckle rash...umm, I find a can on Plastikote works :D (satin black, of course)

glw wrote:
lee_UK wrote:
what amazes me is, those relics go new for £1650 -£2000, and a used one will go for £1200, why the hell would you want a new one?

Interesting. So, relic Fenders don't keep their value?

Everything new loses the VAT doesn't it? except maybe new houses..
But as soon as you walk out the door you have lost 17.5%.

1BassLeft,

Thank you for your reply and the tip on visiting Guitar Reranch. I'm afraid I'm a bit more than a close drive to Manchester, though, as I am from "across the pond" here in Southern California area. There are a couple of guitar tech/refinishers nearby me, but not as many as you would think, living this close to Hollywood and the whole rock 'n roll scene.

I thought I should post my question first on this site, before calling any of the local techs, to see if I could get educated on whether this is even possible to do. Trying to remove the buckle rash on this Goldtop has become somewhat important to me, not because I hate buckle rash, but because I thought I was buying a clean well-cared for guitar.

I don't get the whole "relic" craze. My '72 Gibson ES-335 that I bought new in '73 (and still own) has got giant Mojo, and is about as ding, dent and buckle rash free as you could expect of a 36 year old guitar that has been played a whole lot. But then I show great care and respect to all my instruments.

Do 50's & 60's Fenders lose their paint because they were never clearcoated like Gibson's, or is it because they were just played/beat to death?

Regards,
Dave

Ooh...nice twist Dave, it does tend to be beat-up Fenders that one sees...

It does beg the question, should a guitar be constructed to withstand the strumming of an over enthusiastic guitarist?
Should there be provision for people who like to show their big buckles to still riff hard without damaging their 'axe'?

lee_UK wrote:
glw wrote:
lee_UK wrote:
what amazes me is, those relics go new for £1650 -£2000, and a used one will go for £1200, why the hell would you want a new one?

Interesting. So, relic Fenders don't keep their value?

Everything new loses the VAT doesn't it? except maybe new houses..
But as soon as you walk out the door you have lost 17.5%.

I've sold a number of Japanese Fenders for more than I paid for them so I can't see how you can say they lost value. Gained value, I'd say.

Dave, sorry that my tech is a bit of a travel :lol: . This is a worlwide forum, but sometimes coincidence strikes and a contributor can be in my neck of the woods. Never thought about it, but it is usually the Strats and Teles that are more beat up. Nitrocellulose isn't very hard-wearing, but Gibson used nitro, too. Fenders are decidedly cheaper (or put another way, Gibson's are damned expensive - the only brand that costs more in real terms now than it did back then) so maybe they get chucked into the van more.

As for buckle rash - never buy from the Southern States; all those "Lynyrd Skynyrd" belts they wear :lol:

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