May 19, 2008

I’ve embarked on an alternative finishing approach for my second guitar.  First guitar, I used a spray on nitrocellulose lacquer which forced me outside and reeked of banana souffle.  I was introduced to a brush on lacquer (water based) called KT9, which I got from LMI. 

I sanded the guitar in preparation for finishing and applied a sanding sealer coat of KT9 diluted to 50%.  Amazingly, this stuff has NO odor.  The sealer coat went on marvelously, and I only created a few unsightly dribbles across the waist.  Before sealing, I applied a 5 part tobacco to 1 part red stain to the mahogany neck.  As careful as I was to mask, I bled through slightly onto the maple veneer on the headstock.

The next step after sanding sealer is the grain pore filler.  I botched it terribly.  It’s hard to work with, leaves streaks on the surface, and I over did it on application.  I slept poorly last night obsessing on what I did wrong.  Books suggest the pore sealer usually takes two coats, and I think I know what to do to improve this process for the second coat.  I will apply in stages, back, sides, top, neck, with significant wait time between each stage, and apply very thin amounts, carefully scraping off all surfaces before it dries to leave only sealed pores, allowing light sanding to get back to the wood surface.  As it is, I have left myself a monster sanding job to get the grain sealer off the surface of the wood.

Even though I practiced on scrap, it doesn’t give you the pacing practice for larger surfaces, which only comes with applying to the real thing.