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| ADMIST THE LATTICES
Starting the finishing procedure is a whole new
ballgame....Imagine..the instrument is for the most
part ready to be put together..a neck to body attachment...fastening
of the bridge and viola..ready to string up and play;
however not without the finish. We sanded our instruments
to at least 180 to 220 grit throughout and moved over
to the spray area to apply 2 coats of lacquer reduced
with 10 percent of thinner.After drying for a half
day the body and necks were pore filled with LMI micobead
filler; thinned to a paste like consistency and allowed
to dry before wiping off . We then light sanded with
220 grit. The bodying process followed with an application
of 6 to 7 coats of lacquer with a drying time of about
an hour between coats. Overnight drying is a must
and we leveled off this application with 180 or 220
grit paper.Prior to the next spraying session all
finicky areas are carefully touch sanded ..those insidious
areas like tuner slots and ramps, rosette and binding
edges, all need special attention. This is also the
time to spot check for pesky low spots and here we
filled with lacquer drops via a toothpick or judicious
use of crazy glue.
The spray process repeated itself once more with
5 or 6 coats to the top and backs and 6 or 7 coats
to the sides and neck. Again at least an hour drying
time between coats was given; and overnite curing
before level sanding with 600 grit papers.The goal
after this process is to ensure that there are no
voids or flat spots in your components .What we want
to achieve is a flat level layer of lacquer throughout
which will then polish up to a mirror like consistency.If
there are low areas repeat the process once more on
the following day and finish sand with 1000 to 1200
grit papers. It would be nice to allow a couple of
weeks curing time after final sanding before the instrument
is polished out.As we were nearing the witching hour
and time was not being kind we polished the instrument
after an overnight drying period.
At Sergeis..the polishing was done with the guitar
body placed in a holding carpet padded form and polished
via a hand held grinder buffer using a Meguiar type
polishing compound. Polishing via machine you will
quickly realize that all edges must be approached
with caution or the grinder/polisher bonnet will grab
the edge and cause havoc. The approach is carefully
made with a light touch and stress molecules abound.
The alternative is lots of elbow grease with a clean
cotton cloth and hand applied rubbing compound and
then polishing wax. Suffice it to say for me the finishing
process is indeed quite a trip and a whole new ballgame.
Finishing is an art in itself...end of story.
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