Sunday, June 24, 2012

TDPRI Tele - nearing the end

Today, I finished work on the Tele body.

This photo is from Saturday's rubbing with rottenstone. I went over the body twice rubbing the rottenstone mixed with mineral oil in and cleaning it off with cloth.

After I let the body sit for 24 hours, I rubbed the fine-cut Meguiar's into the finish.

After cleaning the Meguiar's off, revealing a mirror-like finish. (No, that's not PhotoShop - thats my reflection.)

Here's another look at the glass mirror-like finish. And a a good look at the mahogany veneer separating the maple pieces..

I also worked on the neck today, and experienced a set-back. I had a couple of areas of sand through on the Tru-Oil. I discovered them while rubbing with the 2F pumice. I stopped working on the neck and decided to let it sit until I had a chance to do some online research on Tru-Oil sand through.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TDPRI Telecaster and the Red Special - Hand Rubbing with Pumice and Rottenstone

I began hand rubbing with Pumice and Rottenstone this past weekend. The Red Special has turned into my testing body. I first sanded the body with a flat block of wood with sand paper (320 through 2000 grit.)

I then mixed the pumice with mineral oil and rubbed it over the wood, back and forth with the grain (not in circles). then wiped it off with a clean cloth. I first used the 2F pumice and followed it with the finer 4F pumice. I rubbed the grit over the body twice for each grit before moving on. I then let the body sit for two days, before I did the same with Rottenstone.

The reflection is almost a high gloss. I will let this sit for one more day and then polish with Meguire's rubbing compound (can be found at any auto parts store.)

 A few notes on this Red Special and issues that I ran into:
First, I have two sand-through spots. If I had not been as aggressive with the 320 level sanding and perhaps skipped a few grits I may have avoided this. Second, I should start with the back and the sides and save the front for last. If there is any kind of a learning curve, I will practice with areas that are seen less. Third, I need to do better wood prep before finishing, filling open grain, and flat sanding should not be taken for granted. And fourth, I should do more sanding between layers of shellac or other finishes. These are lessons I will carry with me on my next builds.

After finishing with the Rottenstone on the Red Special, I began work on the Tele. This time I skipped the 320 grit. The Shellac was pretty flat. I used, 400, 800, and 1500 only on the backs and sides. I decided to go straight to the Pumice on the front. This seemed to work pretty well for me. In two days I will move onto with Rottenstone. I'll also begin the same process on the neck. However, I will be mixing the Pumice and Rottenstone with water and a drop of detergent instead of mineral oil since the neck is finished with Tru-Oil. (Why? Because, I read about it on the web someplace.)

Also, my Seymour Duncan pickups came in today. I am just a couple weekends away from finishing the Tele project, stringing it up and playing it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

TDPRI Telecaster and the Red Special - Finishing

The Telecaster
It's been a couple of weeks since I posted an update on this project. I have been working on this but there just hasn't been anything picture-worthy in the process. I've been experimenting with shellac, trying to teach myself french polishing. I think I've finally figured it out. A couple of weeks ago, the way I was applying the shellac was leaving ridges. What I was doing was applying in circles and then moving on to another portion of the body. After watching a couple of youtube videos I discovered that I needed to concentrate on a single area and rub the shellac in. I started with mostly shellac and rubbed drop of mineral oil on the pad. As I built up the shellac increased the amount of alcohol and decreased the amount of shellac. Now, I'm getting a smoother reflective surface.

I am now leaning towards just shellac for the body. I know it will be more brittle than if I followed this with a lacquer finish. But I'm thinking about allowing this to age more quickly and naturally relic over the next few years.

As for the neck, It's done, just waiting for the Tru-Oil to cure. I'll be polishing it to a gloss finish in about one week. I'll have photos then.

The Red Special 
So, I've also been working on the Red Special while working on the Telecaster. Padouk has been a problem for the shellac. Since I didn't fill the pores before I started applying the shellac, I have been having to build the layers. I've already done one level sanding and smoothed out most of the finish. But there are still quite a few pores left. after a couple more layers of shellac, I should be able to give it one more level sanding and that should do the trick. The shellac is building up a pretty reflective surface.