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Your sanding schedule

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I'm about to start sanding the body of my redwood/eir 00, maple bindings,2nd build. (KMG)
#1 turned out to be a great sounding, playable and musical instrument, but the fit and finish, while fine for a first go, needs to be upgraded on this build.

I'm trying to visualize the 'task at hand' and get an intelligent picture of what I need to do. I'm aiming for back, sides and neck being done with tru-oil, and the top with shellac and wipe-on poly.

I have all the grits and micro mesh to 12,000. My plan is to work thru the grits to 12,000. For the top, shellac first then sand to 12,000, then wipe-on poly. For the b+s, shellac then sand to 12,000 then apply tru-oil finish over a few day's period. Both these ideas came from older Forum posts.
I'm prepared to spend a lot of time on this.
What would your sanding schedule be?

Any suggestions heartily welcomed!

Mar 07, 10 | 10:42 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Never used the stuff but this sounds reasonable.

I'd go one more grit from 220 to 320 for prep sanding -- I believe there is a trick to prep sanding -- here it is -- Sand the entire guitar with one grit --- set it down for an hour or two, then come back and do the same grit again --- bright lighting, many tack rags take care not to get dark sanding dust on the lighter woods.


Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 08, 10 | 3:28 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Dave, on my first, just a week ago, I started using the micro mesh, but it was after all my finish coats were applied.
The micro mesh really made the shine come up. I have not heard of using those fine grits before putting on any finish coats. Can you remember where you saw those postings?

Mar 08, 10 | 5:28 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I am far from being the guy to listen to regarding finishing: My finishes leave a lot to be desired. But a couple things I have discovered:

Be aware that some cheap tack cloths can cause fisheyes when you use waterbased finishes. There is one brand of tack cloth, not available in home improvement stores, that will not cause fisheyes. I've only found it on the web. It's called "Crystal Premium Tack Cloth." I've switched to using it with water based shellac and waterbased topcoats and have never had a fisheye.

The only time I've used Micro Mesh all the way up through the grits was when finishing with Minwax WipeOn Poly (not a waterbased finish). It creates such a thin finish that only two coats do the job, and they are not thick enough for leveling.


Mar 08, 10 | 5:51 am

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Ken - I like it. Mainly because it will train me to take my time and really pay attention.

naccoachbob - An older post, here's the quote. Ken Cierp had done a little research and found some information:
"The key is in the way the wood is prepared prior to application. After the normal progression from scraper to extremely fine (1200 grade) wet and dry paper, Kinkead moves on to micro-mesh paper invented for polishing Perspex in the aerospace industry which goes up to an incredible 12,000 grade. This produces a mirror-polished surface on the bare wood, normally unnecessary for other finishes. Then several applications of a substance called Tru Oil, normally used in the gun industry, is rubbed in over several days. Finally, after a week of drying, the guitar is buffed to a shine."

Bill - I've seen the pics of that finish job and it looked very good.
Tack cloth did bite me on #1 - I used it too aggressively and it left a very thin very gooey residue that was a major pita. I will use it cautiously this time. Plus I've followed a tip that works - a lightly dampened microfiber cloth brings up a whole lot of stuff not picked up by blowing, vacuuming, tack-clothing.

Thx for the help guys.

Mar 08, 10 | 6:37 am

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