Some more pics. These are during the application of my favourite finish, Lee Valley Polymerized Tung Oil, after an early-2003 minor recarve. As always, I rubbed it out with progressively finer sandpapers before oiling, from about 120 out to 1500 grit, and then with micromesh out to about 4,000 grit. Not a lot of strokes with each grade, just a quick rubdown, and then on to the next.
It sounds anal, to be sure, but I find that burnishing maple out to a high polish before applying the finish helps to prevent blotchiness and other issues. The first time I applied a dye after sanding to 320 grit, I just about had a heart attack at the way the end grain sucked it up in the cutaways...
This recarve brought the weight of the instrument down from 12+ lb, to about 11 1/2lb.
Headstock detail, nitro lacquer still visible in the truss rod adjuster cavity:
Here you can see the mild taper, and more aggressive tummy and forearm cuts. You can also see remnants of the amber aniline dye and tung oil in the pickup cavity. That was the original finish when I completed it in early 1994:
The finished product. I loved the simple look with the single vol and pickup: