Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Rubbing out Refinished Martin O-18T Tenor Guitar Top

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.

Here it is after drying for about 10 days.  I couldn't smell the lacquer anymore, so I figured it was safe to polish out.

I'm very pleased with the color.  Ambery, not too brown and definitely not pumpkin color (which you see a lot).

I soaked some 800, 1000, and 1200 grit paper overnight in water.

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.

Isn't this exciting?  I made about 2 passes on the top with each of the grits.

I didn't sand down to the bare wood, so that is a relief.

Then I used my car buffer machine and a foam pad to polish it out.  I used Stew-Mac Fine and Swirl Remover polishes.

I also taped off the pickguard and bridge areas to keep the wood bare on those spots.

The top after polishing.  I was very patient and as careful as I could be on this refinish.  Patience is the key.  It came out pretty well I think.

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.

One thing I decided to do before I glue the bridge on.

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...

...cover the soundhole and shake it up baby, now.

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.


Post a Comment 1 comments:

  • Unknown said...
    August 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM
    I like the rice idea! How would you fix broken x-bracing on a guitar top?

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