Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Sander Sealer, Stain, grain filler...who's on first?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Bickert Fan, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Bickert Fan

    Bickert Fan Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cape Cod, MA
    I thought I posted this question already, but don't see it.

    I am in the midst of building a dream tele. I want to know the specific steps for applying these items.

    Here is what I have done thus far.

    1. Apply a few coats of water-based stain to a bare-wood ash body.

    2. Applied Grain filler (water based), sanded corectly and is smooth.

    3. Reapplied Stain.

    4. 2 coats of Sander Sealer over two days.

    5. I block-sanded the sealer/sander coat and it's now smooth as a baby's butt. But of course the finish has that haze that comes from sanding.

    Is this normal? Will the haze become invisible once I start the nitro finishing process?

    6. I reapplied a single coat of stain to the sanded sander/sealer coat to get the color back. (not sure if this is nesc. or even recommended)

    What now? Do I reapply two coats of sander/sealer and then fine sand again with maybe 400 or 600 grit?

    After that then what? Another coat of stain again to re-color the hazed finish? Or do I go right to the nitro?

    I know the nitro, when done correctly, will take me about 6 to 8 weeks...maybe longer since it's winter up here in New England.

    How many coats of nitro before sanding and re-coating? Do I just do the 15 to 20 coats of nitro all over the course of a couple months? Do i sand every 3, 5, or 10 coats?

    And when finished, I am supposed to let the nitro cure for about a month before I start adding hardware?

    Someone help! I have the tools and patience to do it right, just not the knowledge.

    Thanks to the advice in advance!


  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I think if you spray on some nitro, you'll be able to tell right away of you have cloudy spots. My understanding is the sanding sealer is meant to fill any voids finer than the grain filler can handle and sort of tie the stain, grain filler and all together so it can be nitro'd. The reason for re-staining would be if you'd had sand through. I have no way of knowing if you've got the surface finely enough sanded doing the grain filler or sealer, but assuming you have, it is time for some light coats of nitro. If you like what you see, a little bit more, a bit more, more.

    Given your climate, you need to get moving, I'd think. Nitro hardens and off gasses much better when the weather isn't real cool. Meanwhile down here, our good painting days are still awaitin'.


    BTW, I tried some of that clear gloss Deft brushing lacquer over sealed ash and over ash with several coats of nitro, in hopes it'd build quickly in the pores. It doesn't level well at all. Even in controlled conditions it took a skin super fast and seemingly did not build in the pores at all. Doesn't smell like nitro but instead like butyl rubber. Wassup with this? You bet I took it back.

  3. Bickert Fan

    Bickert Fan Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cape Cod, MA
    Yeah, I figured winter in New England is borderline stupid for trying to finish a guitar. But I am patient to do coats every day or two. But not patient enough to wait 6 months before I start.

    The grain is visible, but you can't feel it at all. Not with your fingernail or anything. When I block sanded the first time there were zero shiny spots. I think I got this part right. I just added a coat of sander/sealer again over the stain. I'll add another coat tomorrow. This would be a total of 4 coats sander sealer (2 then sand...and then stain...2 then sand again) Then Sand it with 400 and then 600 on Sunday night. Once sanded i'll hit it with a thin coat of nitro and pray that haze from the sanding goes away. never done this before. Maybe once the nitro hits the smooth sanded sander/sealer the color will pop again.

  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Thanks for your post, I am suddenly back on track and fugured out how to go the next step on a few of these where I was just stuck.

    Back down to sealer on the one ash Tele body I had nice then I screwed up, good old acetone. Four coats, and suddenly the ash grain is looking fine, minimal pores showing.

    Six additional double coats is enought to get the second solid alder heartwood body from Tommy and USACG looking as good as its sibling. Mmm, alder heartwood. Hope the tone's good, the sustain is a given at 4 lbs 6 ounces.

    And for the three piece alder strat hardtail, more clear Deft, then the secret weapon. Behlen Jet Spray Nitro in Fruitwood color. Too yellow for necks, but takes a nice but obviously 3 piece light alder body into semi-trans caramel heaven. You know the color from the American Deluxe Strat series, only translucent with some grain showing through. And six or so double coats of Deft clear over the top of that. My glycemic index is going wrong just looking at it.

    Wait, the best part. A dark pored three piece ash body from USACG, $ 79 I think. The grain matched great between the pieces, but with a gloss clear finish on it the body looked angry. I notice that Fender, make that nobody seems to favor a clear transparent finish in ash, and in the case of this body, I think I now understand. Certain select ash boards are magnificent clear, I had a Danish designed Modern cupboard, a dining set and a whole kitchen full of cabinets in that color before Katrina, I know how wonderful it can look.
    But enough of the ash bodies have way too much dark pores. The Answer? The secret weapon, again. The Behlen Jet Spray Fruitwood is killer over this type of ash. Once the toning is completely uniform, stop. None of this over the top goldenrod look. No, think instead of that book with the guy with the big long French name. Starts with D.

    Pictures soon.


    Used up three whole cans of Deft, just going from one guitar to the next. In the zone.

  5. martyb1

    martyb1 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 18, 2007
    Is this what you are talking about?

    I ordered in nitro and my wife picked it up for me.Is it crap?
    Could a guy thin it and spray it?

  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Yup, that's it.

    Digging into the details, they say you cannot thin the product nor spray it.
    I'm glad I returned it, very glad. The spray costs a bit but is worth the money.

    Maybe I wasn't meant to be a chemical engineer, but I am pretty sure this was reformulated, it really never caught on again once that was done, and that is why Deft is working hard to get that water borne stuff promoted on the website into our hands. Even the spray Deft I felt sanded off in a peculiar fashion the other day when I decided to sand it back down to wood after a month in 75 degree climate control, came off in little clumps almost like latex (which it definitely is not ). That 2 piece ash Warmoth body has seen an utter transformation, as it now has a very uniform, very flattering tint coat of Behlen Jet Spray nitro Mahogany sandwiched between more coats of Deft clear gloss spray that you can count. The spraying conditions are simply superb here in New Orleans, humidity still falling at 10:00 P.M., and I'm making full use.

    I still like Deft sanding sealer, just left the darned can in Florida.

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