The refinishing of the top of the O-18T is done. It took a while, especially since we had some humid days when I couldn't spray outdoors.
I brushed on two coats of natural shellac (a 1.5 lb mix), then I sprayed two coats of vintage toner. I was fortunate to have enough original finish left on the top that I could match it (see the previous post on this guitar). Then I hit it with about 10 coats of clear lacquer. I used a Preval sprayer and it came out well I think.
I'm very pleased with the color. Ambery, not too brown and definitely not pumpkin color (which you see a lot).
Now I'm ready to go. I decided to use one of my cork-faced cauls as a sanding block. Fortunately I don't have any curves to sand, so this should go well.
I didn't sand down to the bare wood, so that is a relief.
I also taped off the pickguard and bridge areas to keep the wood bare on those spots.
There are still quite a few nicks, small dents and scratches in the top. I did manage to sand out the worst offenders, but I didn't dare try to get everything out. It's actually pretty cool now - it looks like a well-kept original.
I had read on Frank Ford's site how he used rice to clean the inside of guitars. So I decided to do it. The guitar isn't really dirty, and smells ok, but it did seem to be a little dusty, so I figured 'what the heck.'
About a cup of rice goes into the soundhole...
About 10 minutes did it. It did get a lot of dust bunnies out of joints.
Now to make a pickguard and glue the bridge on.