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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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