can I use P3000 thru P10000 to buff my nitro?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jms2009, Sep 21, 2019.

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  1. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    I already wet sanded the nitro (Cardinal brand from lmii) on my les paul that I'm building up thru P2000 grit, and found some sandpaper on amazon from P2000 thru P10000 ( www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D29Z738/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AWX2NT1OCXA0K&psc=1 ). Can I get a good glass type finish using the amazon sandpaper instead of using liquid buffing polish? Is liquid buffing polish better/easier? I'm new to this, but have read that using liquid buffing polish as another way to get the axe to shine, however since I'm comfortable wet sanding with naphtha I thought I'd *maybe* continue using it to get a glass finish instead of using the liquid polish. So far the wet sanding up thru P2000 has gone well.
     
  2. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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  3. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    I have no actual proof of this, but I read it somewhere...
    The Finesse-It (maybe any liquid polish), when used properly, actually will temporarily heat up the lacquer.
    When heated like this, the lacquer heats up, softens, and 'melts' (temporarily, of course).
    And all the sanding scratches (theoretically) melt and disappear.
    You could never get that by just sanding up to a bazillion grit.
    Again, I have no specific proof of that, but lacquer certainly does heat up and melt.
     
  4. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    This I didn't know, but I can attest to a lack of any indication of sanding in the finishes that I have used a buffing compound on. So...

    Could very well be!
     
  5. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Sure, you could continue to use finer and finer grit paper to polish your nitro finish, but I think that at some point all you are doing is spending time sanding and money buying finishing paper when the same basic results can be achieved with a buffing or polishing compound.

    Micro-mesh is pretty expensive. You're paying for a very small and consistent grain size ;).

    You can preserve the flatness of finish with finishing paper used with a back-up pad and get a finish that looks like mirror, but you can also get a very nice flat finish by sanding up to 2000 grit and then going to the buffer with polishing compound.

    My educated guess is that most instrument manufacturers skip the sanding entirely and just buff and polish :).





    g
     
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  6. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Good post. In most industrial applications, it’s straight to buff after finish coat. Exception on large objects where you’ll do what’s called a cut - light sanding to open up the surface, making the compound buffing go faster.

    99% of compounds work like a variable grit sandpaper. That is, the particles in the compound break down as it’s used, so the grit is ever-decreasing. There’s also waxes and oils in compounds, something you won’t get if you sand to 50000 grit.

    I’ve seen pics of some really nice looking finishes done by sanding to extreme grits. If you don’t plan to wax it, that would be a good way to get a finish that would age quickly. But if you plan to polish it, IME it would be better to go to compound as early as you can in the process. If you start with a compound that’s about 1000 grit, there’s no need to sand past 800.

    Experience is the best teacher for how far you have to sand, given your favorite starting compound. But it’s not hard to DIY, just try your compound on a small spot - give it a good rub and then look for your sanding scratches. If they’re still there, sand up a grit or two.
     
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  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I'm not familiar with that brand.

    Micromesh pads are the best known ultrafine abrasive pads and range from about 1500 to 12-15,000.

    Which is STILL not as fine as fine-grade buffing compound and a soft cotton wheel.

    Why were you sanding? Did you have orange peel? Most finishers I know and folks I've taught refine their spray technique before working on the guitar parts They prep and apply the complete system to scrap wood...usually more than once...until the whole process can be done with no problems - and no "finish surface sanding".

    again, that process is only necessary if something is wrong. With practice - and learning on scrap rather than the actual parts - then when they actually do the real job they apply the final clear coats and buff it the next day, using 3 grades of hard-stick buffing compound and a different clean cotton wheel for each one.

    Surface sanding is a repair process, only used if the final coats did not lay out smoothly. And that results from lack of practice.

    BUt back to the pads - even the 15,000 pads will have grit and dust land in the medium or on the surface and is inherently not as fine as actual buffing compound. The wheel also flings particulates away, limiting any scratching or swirls.
     
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  8. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with above, sanding is more for a failure of the finish coat and with practice can be signififcantly reduced or even not required.

    I was taught a trick many years ago when I started painting cars at home by a mentor who owned a company selling and servicing to the spray industry. Use a very good quality thinner as a final spray coat. When done right it puts a gloss over the painted surface that often times barely needs even buffing. He was also VERY finicky about measuring the flow rate (the thinned paint mixture) to match that as specified by the paint manufacturer. This was for laquer type paints. I haven't required it with any 2 pack paints that done right do this naturally.

    Quality of thinner AND managing humidity are key as it is easy to get blush BUT with a bit of practice it works unbelievably well.
     
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  9. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Another thing to keep in mind . . .

    Although we don't often consider it, sandpaper is somewhat of a precision tool.

    We trust the manufacturer to keep the grit size consistent :).

    If you've ever run across a piece of sandpaper with stray grits of a larger size than advertised, you'll know what I mean.

    Many years ago I bought some imported sandpaper in the then new "P" grits from a tooling and machine outlet store in a variety of grits. Most of it was good, but a couple of sheets had cross-grit contamination - very frustrating!!!

    The OP mentions that he is using naptha for a sanding lubricant. As an alternative, you might give mineral spirits a try; it works at least as well as naptha, plus it doesn't evaporate as quickly.
     
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  10. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Another good point, you're on a roll:)

    All sandpaper is not created equal. 3M is still good for the finer grit wet/dry, but lndasa is the best I've ever seen in coarser grits. And I used Hermes before that, and thought it was as good as it could get:cool:

    For home guitar finish work though, those micromesh pads are super-easy for beginners. If someone needs to do a slight level or just open it up for compound, the pads might be the best bet.
     
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  11. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I do not recommend mineral spirits for any uses around guitars, especially in finishing.

    Naphtha is a "clean" solvent; when used in wet sanding, cleaning, glue and ink removal and other processes it leaves absolutely nothing behind(unless you do an incomplete job) - it has no residual materials.

    Mineral spirits, OTOH, contains oils and other contaminants that remain on the surface. If used as a cleaner prior to finishing mineral spirits can cause adhesion problems and blistering; when used as a wet sanding medium it can cause oils and other contaminants to be pressed into micropockets in the coating film. This is one of the reasons behind "mystery swirls", variations in gloss and eventual discoloration through reaction with ultraviolet light.

    I strongly recommend that only naphtha should be used as a solvent (except for specified material thinning); buffing be done only with hard stick or pure clay compounds - never materials containing silicone, silane or waxes, which are all contaminants and artificial shine materials; and maintenance polishing be done only with a dry, clean cotton cloth; naphtha to remove oils, sticker residue and other petroleum-based deposits; and silicone, silane and wax free polishes like StewMac's Preservation Polish (I don't recommend any pfinishes sold by Stewmac, but their polish is the best I've found).
     
  12. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    You guys are super helpful. I'll skip the sanding and use the buffing compounds, however I'm wondering which one to use. I'll be rubbing with my hands since I'm super scared I'll work/burn thru my thin finish with a wheel. Is 3M's Finess-It a really good one? I see it has no waxes or silicones. Its chemical base is mineral oil which I assume is ok, right?
     
  13. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    Hmmm. If I do use 3M's Finess-It, I think I need to figure out which one to use. If I'm googling 3M's website correctly, it looks like they have 7 different Finess-It bottles: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...ish-8-oz-bottles-flyer-61-5002-8394-2-pdf.pdf . I think all I need to know is the grit (or microns or the equivalent) each one starts with, right? It's hard to find that information. I didn't want to have to call a 3M rep to find that out but maybe I do.
     
  14. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hopefully someone with specific experience in those 3M products will chime in:)

    My 2 cents; if you’ve already sanded to 2000, and don’t have any deeper scratches left, you don’t need their more aggressive compounds. You could start with one of the middle grades, then one of the final swirl removers. I’m assuming you’re going to use a guitar polish as a final final.

    Again, it’s easy to test. Just do a small area and see if the first compound is getting out all your scratches. If you’re at 2000, there shouldn’t be hardly any discernible scratches left anyway.
     
  15. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    Just called a local 3M distributor & they didn't know, so I called 3M directly & will have to wait for them to respond since the 3M person didn't know enough. Both 3M & the distributor were super nice. I wonder why 3M doesn't post more info on their public website about the microns/grits their compounds start with (so people don't undo the sanding they already did & so they don't start with a compound that's too fine).
     
  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Most of the time you can buy automotive buffing compounds at auto parts stores or places that sell paint products to body shops. I happen to use Mequiar's mirror glaze #2 and #3 after wet sanding to 1500 or 2000, buffing on a cotton wheel or a foam pad in a drill motor. I'm happy with the results.

    ps - the Mequiars products do not have oils, silicon or waxes

    This is nitro sanded to 2000 and buffed with Mequiars #2 and 3

    IMG_4753.JPG
     
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  17. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It really all depends on how you are using the buffing compound. There's nothing that can beat a nice big muslin buffing wheel but before you invest in a buffing arbor you might want to try a foam pad on a drill at low speed. I like to see what I'm doing when buffing rather than the mess of wet sanding. And i adhere to the school of thought that the lacquer heats up and levels out when you buff it. That's why I try to avoid the temptation of wiping the stray compound dust off of the piece with a cotton t-shirt - I try to wait until the lacquer has had a few minutes to cool back down and harden so I don't inadvertently scratch it after buffing it out.
     
  18. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Maybe you could give StewMac a head-ups on re-writing their finishing recommendations before they lead anymore of us astray :).


    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...nd_Finish_Repair/Wet-sand_before_buffing.html



    g
     
  19. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    I think I'm going to get some menzerna. Based on what I've read they have high quality stuff, plus the price is good & their documentation is good.
     
  20. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    3M got back to me after I purchased the menzerna. Too late - ha ha. He's a nice fellow though. He recommended 3M Perfect-It instead of their Finesse-It. I'm now trying to find a good rubbing pad to attach to the bottom of my Pinnacle Polishin' Pal pad holder.
     
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