Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ash Stratocaster: Wet-Sanding & Polishing

After a few hours on the IR lamp, and with no discernible smell of chemicals coming off the surface, I guessed that the acrylic lacquer on the Ash Stratocaster was ready for polishing. I started with 1500 grit wet/dry paper, and wet-sanded until all the low (shiny) spots were removed from the surface. There were one or two pinholes in the finish, unfortunately caused by the ash grain and my own inexperience lacquering bare wood, so this is something to look out for next time.

With the surface nice and matt from the 1500 grit, it was time for the 2000 grit. After a good wet-sanding with 2000 (which took much, much less time than the 1500), the matt look was beginning to be replaced with a dull shine. Time for some Meguiars Ultimate Compound! The photos below show the surface after one application of the Meguiars Ultimate.

Meguiars Ultimate Compound to bring the shine after the 2000-grit.
Nice huh? The transformation under the ministrations of the Ultimate Compound are always amazing to behold. The shine seems to just materialise out of thin air. The next step (tomorrow) is to give the surface a second application of this compound and then move on to the Meguiars ScratchX 2.0 to really complete the shine.

My gold hardware also arrived from Pitbull Guitars today, as well as a white perloid pickguard. The gold hardware really looks excellent with the blue body and the white guard, and I can't wait to get them put together. The hardware also includes gold mounting screws and all the bits and bobs, so in the end there will be plenty of bling to see on this bad boy!

Gold hardware is looking the business! White pearloid looks great too.
The neck also looks great, although a blue headstock would have been better.
All in all, this build is shaping up to be a really nice looking axe. Up until this point, I've not really been much of a Stratocaster fan to be perfectly honest. But you know what, this guitar might just be the one that converts me. I guess it will depend on how nice she is to play. Based on the initial neck profile, I'm thinking she's goinna be sweet with a little attention paid to the setup and the action.