Shoot, sorry I missed this thread earlier. Maybe this could have helped but too late now. Brave indeed on doing a vaneer on all those curves, btw, but it looks great to me.
Anyways, a few years ago I stripped my 52RI Telecaster to get a more accurate blonde-ish color. Consulting my friends at ReRanch and a number of follow-up web searches the thing to get that finish off would have been what's known as Aircraft Stripper by Kleenstrip. It's found at auto parts stores. Foams up and after 20 minutes I used a plastic scrapper and ZIP! it's gone. The thing is, this stuff took off the poly finish/color on the body but not the layer of a different plastic-ish sealer. I still had to use a heat gun to get that gone. The neck however, which is maple, didn't require the heat gun since it wasn't pore-filled and sealed.
All that being said, this Telecaster wasn't bound and wasn't a glued-in neck. Gretsches are. I had nothing to melt and no glue to loosen. I was very careful with the heatgun since there's a subtle ash grain through my finish, and there was only minor sanding to get a few burn marks almost erased.