Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Burley 335: Sanding the Figure

I started sanding the top of my 335 with the Birdseye burl maple top today. Man what a bitch!! I started with 240 grit and quickly realised that this was too coarse - the grit quickly scored deep scratches all over the veneer. This stuff has grain going all over the place so it's very difficult to 'sand with the grain'. I'm sanding top-to bottom like I always do, but this stuff is more like end grain to sand than anything else!

Anyway, I quickly skipped to 360 grit, and this has made things much better - I've been able to remove most of the original scratches from the veneer and the top is slowly getting smooth. One of the big issues I'm now facing is glue spots. I am thinking now that I might like to dye the top veneer, but large patches of glue exist in and around each of the burls. The factory has quite kindly filled the burls with some kind of bog to give the veneer a much flatter surface. Unfortunately, in doing so the area surrounding each burl is one large glue spot (or so it seems).

I'm slowly going around each patch of glue and sanding it out. It's very slow going with 360 grit I can tell you. Here's a couple of patches that I've cleaned up.

I reckon it's going to take me a week just to get the 360 grit done. Still, that's what I signed up for with this guitar building lark, so nothing to do but to revel in it and savour every new piece of wet and dry! It will all be worth it in the end. I'm thinking a darker wood tone for this one now, maybe a caramel or red mahogany with some kind of burst. I'm looking around the interweb for examples to inspire me..