Guitar kit build 2014 part 3

Finishing

While the sanding sealer was drying, I decided to test the lacquers on a spare bit of wood.  I was hoping to make a blue/purple burst, which was why I bought the blue and purple lacquers.  However, I should have bought blue and red, because once I put the purple over the blue, it just became dark blue.

Tester for my blue/purple burst. That didn't work!
Tester for my blue/purple burst. That didn’t work!

I don’t think the purple was as red as I was imagining, so this meant that I wouldn’t get exactly the (rather gaudy) finish that I’d had in mind.  Oh well, onwards and upwards!

Once the sanding lacquer had dried, there were some rough patches so I gave it another light sanding and cleaned it off before starting to apply the clear blue lacquer.  I had some issues with rain and then a bit of dead leaf floating onto my guitar while I was spraying it outside (nowhere to do it inside), and this was how the body looked after three coats.  Not great!

HBKit17
Don’t look at the bottom right, between the holes for the control knobs. No, I said DON’T LOOK!

So a bit of work was required to try to cover over my mistakes.  I sanded gently around the problem area and applied a couple more coats, and it looked a bit better.

Now you can look...
Now you can look…

Not perfect, but not too bad.  At this point, I decided to make a mock-up of the finished guitar by placing everything together, just to see how it would look it I’d stopped there.

HBKit20Not too bad…but I had a can of purple lacquer bouncing around inside my cupboard and demanding to be used!  I masked off the sides of the headstock because I wanted to leave the sides and back blue, together with the neck (I’d decided that the blue neck looked rather good), and went on the attack.  In total, I did about six coats of the purple lacquer, and then gently rubbed down any rough bits with a piece of 800 grit sandpaper that I soaked in water for an hour beforehand, a technique that I’d seen on the Internet, before applying the final coats of clear gloss.  With the clear gloss, I applied a number of coats until I’d emptied the can – I can’t remember now how many coats there were.

So this was the final result of my lacquer job….my blue burst!

Blue burst….not available from any reputable manufacturer!
Blue burst back! I left the neck clear blue.
Blue burst back! I left the neck clear blue.

I left the whole thing to dry for just over two weeks before sanding it again lightly with 400, 800 and 1200 grit paper.  Then I used some Meguiar’s ultra-finishing polish (made for cars) to buff the surface into submission and rubbed down the fretboard with lemon oil, and it was ready for the final step – the assembly.

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