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stripping and refinishing my customshop

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I posted this on UG the other day but further hunting has helped me find this forum.

About 14 years ago i purchased a custom guitar from Shamray (russian custom shop). A few years later due to general life it was put on the sideline for many years and despite a few attempts i have never really found the time to get back into playing again... until now (hopefully) Now this isn't a thread about me getting back into playing so ill move on I have just refinished a cheap squier strat from gumtree as pictured before:




and i loved the experience, i have always enjoyed woodwork etc and just generally customising and finishing things to a high standard.

now the next project prior to the big one is i have just ordered a cheap Telecaster kit from Ebay that i plan to build and mod as a trial run and also purchased some flame maple veneer to practice staining with because the main reason for the thread is i plan to refinish my custom shop. the custom (on the right):





the current plan is to sand all the colour off the neck and back leaving a natural finish (maybe oil finish if that would show it off as its flame mahogany)  i plan to leave the headstock and fretboard as i still love the bats (yes its a copy of Paul Allander's PRS but this was before they did the SE version) i plan to sand the maple top off back to the original wood and go with a new finish, not currently 100% on the colour but as much as i love the guitar the colour has never been perfect the progress pics i for showed a different colour which i liked much more original stain


post finish


as you can see neither are like the finished guitar and i would be very happy with either.

now im 99% sure i am going to do this as im not going to do anything that will change how well the guitar plays and its already full of top spec hardware so its purely a visual thing one thing i also had planned was i am going to record the whole process more for personal reasons but ill happily share the videos too.

what im after really is any advice people have for sanding down a quilt maple cap (its a thick cap not a veneer) and finishing it again to a PRS quality finish... the squier i resprayed is a mirror finish but thats from spray/rattle cans with a lot of sanding in between, will this be the same process.

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