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Help Finishing Using Local Products


lior51

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Hello,

For a long time now I've been reading thoroughly various tutorials and threads but still got some questions. Mostly its because its a bit difficult for me to get specific products here in Israel and I have to compromise alot.

I know you guys get a lot of newbie finish questions, hope you still got some patience left...

I'm about to finish my 2nd guitar (zebra wood body) and currently practicing on scrap wood.

I'm trying to achieve a smooth gloss finish. I applied 6-7 layers of gloss laquer with a brush (I'm a bit low on tools..), sanding carefuly between each layer.

In the last few layers I have this basic problem - after I apply the layer the wood is shiny and glossy, but the brush strokes are showing. Once I sand it down it becomes very smooth but also completely matte.

Today I applied Turtle Wax Safe Cut scratch remover with a cloth, and later with a dremmel polishing bit, the surface got even smoother but still matte.

What should I do? what did I do wrong? Is the problem with the products I use or am I just missing something?

thanks, Lior

(and sorry for the long post)

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You're sure it's a gloss laquer, right?

Basically, as per the tutorials (some on the main site as well, check StewMac's finishing schedules, etc.), once you've got the desired build, you level sand the whole instrument, often wetsanding. When spraying I level with 800 if appropriate, or 600 for anything but the final level, and 800 or 1200 for the last coat. You want to get a perfectly even, dull, matte surface. No gloss at all.

From there you want to using polishing compounds, probably starting with a medium compound, and moving up to a fine one, anf finishing with a polish/showroom shine type product. Whatever you select, make sure it's silicone free. Your autobody parts will have what you need.

I used to buff by hand; wetsand to very, very fine (1500, 2000 or more is better), so all the scratches are very, very even, and then start polishing. A nice wad of clean, old T-shirt, a bit of compound, and a lot of pressure/elbow grease to buff it to a shine. The friction will generate some heat, but when hand buffing, unless you're superman, you're not gonna burn through things. I've now switched to those foam pads StewMac sells, one for each grade of buffing compound (DO NOT use the same cloth/foam buff/flannel buff for different grades of compound. New one for each one), and a hand drill, and careful movement. A car polisher might be a good option as well, but your dremel is worse than useless for this, simply because it's just so darn tiny. Save it for polishing your frets. Go for it, and it should polish to a nice, shiny finish, assuming it's a nice high-gloss laquer to begin with, and remember, by and large, you need to give your finish 2 weeks (waterbase) to a month (nitro) to cure hard before moving to final levelling, buffing and polishing.

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Hello,

For a long time now I've been reading thoroughly various tutorials and threads but still got some questions. Mostly its because its a bit difficult for me to get specific products here in Israel and I have to compromise alot.

I know you guys get a lot of newbie finish questions, hope you still got some patience left...

I'm about to finish my 2nd guitar (zebra wood body) and currently practicing on scrap wood.

I'm trying to achieve a smooth gloss finish. I applied 6-7 layers of gloss laquer with a brush (I'm a bit low on tools..), sanding carefuly between each layer.

In the last few layers I have this basic problem - after I apply the layer the wood is shiny and glossy, but the brush strokes are showing. Once I sand it down it becomes very smooth but also completely matte.

Today I applied Turtle Wax Safe Cut scratch remover with a cloth, and later with a dremmel polishing bit, the surface got even smoother but still matte.

What should I do? what did I do wrong? Is the problem with the products I use or am I just missing something?

thanks, Lior

(and sorry for the long post)

You haven't done anything wrong as far as I can tell. IMO you haven't gone far enough.

You haven't described the last grade of sandpaper you used.

After getting a surface that smooth to touch but matte ...I assume you're at the 1200 grit stage...keep going with (say) 0000 steel wool then rottenstone powder then guitar polish. That should result in a good gloss

The Meguairs Mirror Glaze range in various grades are also recommended.

Hang in there!!

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Thanks, that was helpful and I'm starting to get it now (I hope)..

I looked around in stores today, there are some polishing compounds availble. Fine (usually white?) and medium (usually brown?) but I dont entirely understand what they do. I mean - when am I supposed to begin seeing a gloss? while polishing with the fine white stuff or only later when I apply some wax product?

I sanded up to #2000. I'm also now aware of avoiding Silicon, thanks.

The fine compound I found called 'No7 polishing compound', apparently made in USA by a company called Cyclo, anyone know of it?

Anyway thanks again for your help, I'm sure I will get it right eventually. :D

Lior.

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