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.

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