In preparation for spraying the lacquer

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After a busy December in which I was unable to get into the workshop, I have been making good use of the festive break to get in some good workshop this week. A separate blog post about fretting the Tele-build will follow shortly, but today I want to write about preparing to spray the lacquer.

Having finished the fret work just before Christmas, most of this week has been spent final sanding the body and neck to 220 grit to remove any remaining tool marks and minor dings. Because I will be using a water based lacquer I then damped the sanded timber to raise the grain, and then re-sanded with 220 grit paper. This will ensure that when the lacquer is sprayed the grain won’t fuzz up or warp in reaction to the moisture in the lacquer, particularly on the end grain or the figured maple of the neck.

Both the neck and the body were then treated to a coat of amber shellac (mixed to a 2 pound cut) primarily to act as a sealer, but in the case of the neck also to make the figure in the maple really pop. The result is that the birdseye, as well as some lovely and entirely unexpected flame, now really stand out. This neck, complete with the dyed sycamore laminate under the fretboard, and black pearl fret markers, should be very eye catching.

Being an open pored wood, the swamp ash body then needed grain filling. I ragged on a transparent grain filler, and then removed the excess using an old credit card as a squeegee. Once the filler had dried overnight I sanded the filler back with 220 grit paper, and then gave another coat of shellac to really seal the filler in.

All that remains on this build is to spray the lacquer, and then do final set up once the guitar has been assembled, and I shall document both processes on this blog.

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