Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Ash Stratocaster: Clearing, Levelling, Rinse and Repeat..

More levelling and clear coating today on the Ash Stratocaster. Firstly, I took the acrylic clear back with 800 grit wet-sanding until both my shoulder was aching and I was stricken in terror lest I sand through to the dye. The top was *almost* level - just a few grain lines poking through - but I decided more clear wouldn't hurt.

Surface levelled with 600 grit. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting there!
After a good clean it was on with two more coats of acrylic gloss. Man, now she really shines - and the shinier she gets, the more the blue is enhanced and the grain pops. And it's just amazing how different this blue Colortone looks inside the cave versus out in the sun! Anyway, here's the new shine:

Two more coats and a bake under the IR lamp. The shine is getting there!
Looking pretty good! After these two coats nearly all of the grain has been filled. You can still see a few small grain lines that remain in the clear:

It's shiny but some grain lines remain. Back to the 800 grit!
One more round of 800 grit wet-sanding and a final coat of acrylic should remove these lines and allow one more coat of clear to complete the job. After that she'll be ready for curing and polishing. It's gonna to take a week or so to cure fully under my heat lamp (I'll basically wait until all the smell is gone from the surface). But the curing starts on Friday! More levelling to do before then. Better rest my sanding arm!