Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Little Light Of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It Shine...

No, I am not going to get all religious on ya. What my headline is referring to is how I judge a buffed out lacquer finish.

After the lacquer has cured for a week, I wet sand the body with P1000 grit paper to level the surface. Then, I quickly move through P1500 and P2000.

One might think that at P2000 grit, the surface would be ready to buff. It isn't unless you start with a very course buffing compound, which I don't like to use due to its aggressiveness. Before I can buff, I like to go over the surface of my guitars with Micro Mesh sandpaper. I start with 3200 grit and work my way through all of the available grits to 12000. I use the same technique I used with the wet/dry paper except I spend less time with each grit.

After finishing with the 12000 grit, I polish the surface on a buffing machine, starting with Menzerna Pre-Polish. Then, I move to another wheel loaded with Menzerna Very Fine polish. Check out the results:

It took me a couple of years to perfect my technique, but the results were with the effort.

I know I am finished buffing when I can clearly see the reflection of my lamp without any scratches.

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