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.

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