Monday, 16 September 2013

ES175 Hollowbody - Tru-Oil, Tru-Oil, Wet-sand, Repeat..

The ES175 is coming along nicely. During the last few weeks I have been applying successive thin coats of Tru-Oil to all surfaces. After 12 initial coats of Tru-Oil, it was time for wet sanding. During the dying process I managed to get all surfaces of the body sanded to 600 grit, so my wet sanding couls start at 800 grit. I always wet-sand the Tru-Oil with boiled linseed oil. I find that wet-sanding with Tru-Oil itself can lead to problems when it dries too fast, leaving messy marks on the surface if you dont get the excess cleaned off in time. Typically I apply 5 or so coats of Tru-Oil between each wet-sanding grit, moving from 800 to 1200, 1500 and 2000.

If you don't want to sand with oil as a lubricant, I have found another technique on this build that works equally well 'dry' if you are careful - especially for the coarser grades. Take your sandpaper and sand very lightly with the grain in small strokes over the entire surface. When you are satisfied with the smoothness of the finish, wipe the surface with a rag soaked in methylated spirits to make sure all the fine grains are removed from the new scratches you've made. Remember that wet-sanding is a technique that reduces the chance of creating deep scratches in the finish. If you are working 'dry', like this, then you run a much higher risk of marring your final finish!

After sanding to 1500 grit, this baby is really staring to look awesome. The flame maple figure is really popping, and although I would have liked a deeper orange colour on the front of the guitar, the whole look is really coming together.

Sweet huh? I have hardware ordered, including GFS Retrotron pickups and a B70 bigsby. I just can't wait to get this bad boy assembled - it's going to be a rockabilly beast!!