Friday, June 11, 2010

Finish is near completion

I've lost track of how many shellac body applications I've applied to all of the surfaces. Nearly all of the little pores are gone and everything is pretty much level looking. I just need to get an even looking glossy appearance to everything with my next few body sessions and then glazing after that.

In these pics everything manages to look a little darker than it really is. The neck is just a little bit lighter than the body. But it's a different kind of mahogany than the body is. I tried to match them as well as I could.

The peghead is pretty great looking, I'm very proud of that.

The top is coming along nicely, I just have to do a little more leveling with sandpaper and/or spiriting.

I unmasked the neck, as I'm pretty much done with finishing it, and set it on the body along with the bridge, for looks.

The plan now, is after I get everything very clean looking, glossed, and buffed out, I'll then let it rest for a few weeks. Then I'll glue the bridge, glue the neck, install the tuners, and string it up. Probably early July?


  1. That guitar is looking so cool! you should be super proud. The more I see it progress the more impressed I am. Keep it up.

  2. Very very nice. So you said the next step is to glaze? Is that using just alcohol or a 1lb cut?

    At this stage I have been skipping the glaze and have been using a med, fine, very fine polish with a pneumatic polisher. I am able to get a very high gloss shine but my danger of burn through is high. I am also doing an electric body and not an acoustic although I have one that is ready. I am very interested in seeing how your end technique comes out.

  3. Thanks AP. I like your blog. Great stuff there!

    When it comes to FP "steps" my approach has been very loose. I read and watched a bunch of tutorials, and then wound up doing a hybrid using stuff from each, with the goal of just getting it done. At this point I've leveled the top and back, but the sides have little uneven depressions in places. I've been brushing on shellac into those areas, and even dropping CA glue on others. It's getting there, so I'm in a difference place with the sides than I am w the top and back.

    While I'm working on sides here and there, I'm glazing the top. I don't know if my glazing is everybody else's glazing, though.

    I've learned that for each FP session it works well for me to use a new pad cover each time. I was using white tshirts for a while, but now I have this great big linen scrap that I cut 4"x4" pieces from. I put a new cover on my old inner muneca, and load it with equal parts 1lb cut shellac and alcohol. when I use only alchol it seems to not do such nice things to my surface. I don't think the pad was too wet, either. I use long strokes lengthwise on the top and back. I'll do a few sessions of this, and then probably use a car polish product like the Milburn site recommends. But that could change.

    Thanks for your interest and thanks for the compliment.

    I read somewhere recently about how someone asked an old finisher what his secret was. His response was that his only secret was that when he didn't get it perfect, he'd do it over.

  4. LOL - ain't that the truth. I am on my third build up for one guitar, polished through and had to start all over. I am getting better with every time and it is a very meditative process...

    I am having a little concern over when to switch from the bodying phase to the glaze/polish phase. I usually do three complete sessions per side (circles, stiffing with shellac then repeat X 2) then let dry, stiff out with alcohol then inspect to see if I need to level out. I try to count the sessions but that really hasn't worked so right now I am kind of going by color. As the amber gets darker, shine starts to build and everything is dull after leveling...

    I have definitely had some issues with depressions and/or ripples and what has worked for me is leveling and/or using pumice to 'side fill' the depressions, this while slow has helped quite a bit. I haven't tried brushing but will keep that in mind...

    I end up switching my outer cloth out about every complete session as described above. I use sterile gauze pads cut up into strips for the reservoir. Very cheap and very effective. I have 4-5 muncea's at any given point, one for 2#, 1#, alcohol, alcohol and pumice... etc.

    Lots of fun, I will keep an eye on your progress, I also need to update my blog :-) The Millburn tutorial has been by far the most informative.


  5. It sounds like we're having some of the same concerns. I told you about how I was brushing on shellac and then cutting back with sandpaper. I did that early on. Now I'm using pumice on those last little dimples. I gave up on pumice early in the process when the gaps were too big and too many. Now it's working great when there's just a few and they are small.

    I'm switching to glaze when the whole surface is clean and level. So far, I haven't been able to get a clear surface when glazing with alcohol in my pad. I get a better cleaner surface with 1 lb cut shellac. I must be doing something wrong?

    I couldn't find the show car glaze Milburn recommends. So I bought the Meguiar Platx clear plastic polish instead. Wow, it works great on the test piece! But, hmmm, is there water in it? I don't know.