There are about a million things that I'm going to have to master if I'm going to pull this off. It's all in the preparation. I'm not usually not one for trial runs, but I'm absolutely certain that I'm not going to nail everything first time round.
One thing that has been a bit of a mystery to me ever since I began Lutherie has been finishing. I really need to understand more about this before I have to do it in anger on the Archtop. Today's post is a sort of round-up of where I am in the process.
Here's a little tune to help you through this post. I want to play like this.
My sanding routine has been to sand with ever finer grit paper: 600, 1200, 1500, 2000, 3000, 5000 and 7000. I wouldn't usually go through as many grades, or to such a fine grit, but this is an experiment in search of super-glossy loveliness.
Having got to a smooth surface (several times) I had already learnt a lot about Z-Poxy; It's tougher than lacquer, not scratching as easily. I was finding it also prone to orange peel and blemishes where little holes would open up in the coat while drying. Long story short... I was finding it a real sod to get a "perfect" finish. Getting it flat was pretty much only possible by almost sanding the bugger off again. Perhaps I was trying too hard?
Even so, I wanted to polish it up and see how it looked.
I bought some Guitar Scratch Remover for part two in my experiment. The polish comes in two expensive little bottles: The RED, which is pretty much the polish; The BLUE, which seems to be a scourer. You start with the RED, move to the BLUE and backwards and forwards until you get the finish you want. A microfibre cloth is provided to rub in and buff. It seemed to work well. It brought out a nice glossy shine, but unfortunately this only served to highlight the blemishes in my Z-Poxy finish.
From a distance everything looks great. Up close, there are little scratches and blemishes which give it an aged look... which unfortunately isn't what I was going for.
I'm also suspicious that the microfibre cloth was scratching the surface too.