Location: South Bay
|You can apply some heat to the base of the guide feet, but as Hikingjay recommended against, DO NOT apply direct flame to the blank. A number of folks here recommend a hair dryer, to soften the finish on the guides. Work fast and cut along the base of the guide parallel to the feet with soft repeating strokes. Apply more heat if you need to with hair dryer. I cut just one side on both feet (if double footed) and then press hard sideways and it pops out.
Most of the time, the epoxy finish mostly comes off with the wrapping thread. But there's usually a blob in the middle on a double footed guide. Applying more mild heat to warm it up helps peel it off. I use a plastic knife or plastic paint scraper to get persistent blobs off. A sharp metal blade could cut and lift a long sliver of blank with would be bad.
For the rest of the finish, I take light sand paper and throw the rod in my motor/lathe and turn it lightly near the guides and then give the whole blank a fine sanding with 600 - 1000 grit wet-dry. Then I refinish the whole blank. I do this if I plan to re-space the guides for improved action.
Yes, I can roll potsticker skins!