January 6th, 2009, 07:24 AM
I know the basics but would like to know more about what
grade of paper to use and what polishing compound...
Step by step explanation would be great....
January 6th, 2009, 08:37 AM
January 6th, 2009, 09:04 AM
Here's the polishing steps from ReRanch 101:
After allowing the instrument to dry at least three days (with nitrocellulose lacquer, the longer the better) final sanding and polishing can be done. The sanding will be done with successively finer grades of paper. The paper found at automotive color supply stores works well. The grades required are #400, #600, #800, #1000, #1200, #1500 and #2000. One sheet of each is all that is required. Allow the paper to soak overnight in water before beginning.
Use a small flat block when sanding to prevent your fingers from causing furrows in the finish. As noted a small computer battery is a personal favorite. Sanding first with the #400 grade, sand until all the shiny spots are gone. When done correctly, the finish should be uniform and matte. As you move up to the next grade check the finish in a good light. You should find that the finish is becoming more reflective and that the sanding scratches are becoming fainter. At the #1200 level the finish is now being polished and should reflect images. If you find you have missed a spot, sand backwards until the grade is reached that will blend the spot and then move back to the grade level where you were in successive grades.
Use caution when sanding to avoid sand throughs. Be especially cautious when sanding at the edges of the body. The finish may be thinner there and the difficulty of keeping the block flat when sanding over an edge can make a sanding through more likely.
After the final grade of sanding is completed, the final polishing can begin. Use a soft cotton rag either folded or shaped into a ball and held between the fingers. Either way try to prevent individual fingers from causing furrows. Polish in random circles. The polishing can be done in steps starting with a white polishing compound. If the surface was prepared as noted in the last section, red (more abrasive than white) compound should not be necessary. In fact white can probably be skipped and the finish can be polished with a swirl remover type polish. We use the 3M product, "Finesse It II" going directly from #2000 to final finish. Skipping the white and red steps may take longer to polish but on a relatively new surface the final polish seems more reflective.
The instrument is now finished. Take more than normal care for the next month or so when playing and handling. The lacquer is still relatively soft and can scratch. The lacquer will continue to harden for literally years but should reach its practical hardness in 30 to 60 days. Enjoy your work with pride.
January 6th, 2009, 09:04 PM
Thank you Jack....great info.
January 7th, 2009, 01:33 AM
Thanks Jack, sorry for hijacking the thread but will this be different with a poly finish at all? I recently got a great deal on a 2001 American Deluxe Strat and it has some buckle rash on the back I'd like to try and take out. I figured block sanding first would be the best way to just like you posted above. Got any more tips for me? Thanks
January 9th, 2009, 08:43 AM
I recently did a poly 'reclic' job... I'll be the first to admit that I didn't really know what I was doing but it turned out pretty good, IMO. I roughed up several area's with a scotch-brite pad - going to the wood in some spots where there were already big dings and going lighter in several other spots. After that I wet sanded the entire body with 600, 1200, & 2000 paper. I just used a scrap piece of pine for a sanding block. To finish it up I used Meguiars swirl remover and polish (can't remember exactly which one) applied with a pad on my orbital sander and drill.