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Gloss finish & buffing/polishing how-to? SOS

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Frank Martin, Dec 20, 2005.


  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yes, I searched.
    I even found a lot of useful info, however, a few things are still not totally clear...
    Sorry, I'm totally clueless about this part, so please bear with me...

    So this is where I am now:
    After about 6-8 coats of TO, I sanded it level, then two more coats.
    Then there were two or three thicker, undiluted coats of poliurethane-alkide (the only polyurethane-based parquet floor-lacquer I could find), then level-sanding with 800, then two thinned coats, the last one left to dry for almost a week, machine-sanded with 1200, and now was this even more thinned coat, but as it was not perfectly horizontal, there are these flows and accumulations at some points; even worse, there are these very small bubble-like things... maybe it was dust?
    Unfortunately, the resonating sander (I have no idea how it's translated..) is still at our weekend-house, so it won't be available for some more weeks, and I'd like to finish this for Christmas...

    So...

    Should I go ahead and try to find 1200 again (that was the finest I could find), sand/wetsand, or is this not necessary with polishing?

    Second, how do I go about to buff it?
    I'll try to get a polishing pad for the drill.
    I'll need some polishing fluid, too, and I've also seen some reference to wax :confused:
    When buffing, should it be done with low or high RPM?
    Perpendicular to the axis or parallel?
    And things like that.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. I don't know if you'll be able to finish it before chrismast. Your supposed to leave the last coat to cure for at least 2 weeks before final buffing. I think there were too little coats for the tru oil, since to get a full gloss you're supposed to do lots more (this is oil, remember). Also, I'm assuming you filled the pores, if you didn't you should have. I do my polishing with micromesh sandpaper (you can get those from wood finishing houses or stew mac). They work great and leave high gloss pattern that is like a mirror and they're easy to use. Included instructions guide you through the process. You can also go to an auto finishing place and get 2 or 3 grades of Meguiar's brand polishing compounds that can be applied with a drill polishing pad or by hand. Following the instructions on the bottle provides good results. Do high RPM and pattern doesn't matter 'cause the drill has a circular motion.
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks for the reply!

    ... oops... so 1 week won't do? What kind of problems can it cause? On the poly's box it said leave dry for 2 days for complete hardening; on highly-used areas (eg sports facilities, danceroom floors) for 15 days
    Actually, it's 8-10 coats of TruOil (though a few sanded back), then 5-6-7 coats of high-gloss polyurethane (again, a few might be sanded back)

    I'll try to find these micromesh papers or these polishing compounds. Unfortunately here these are hard to find, car-finishing places are few and in-between.

    Are these Gibson and Dunlop polishing liquids any useful?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :meh:

    Didn't find micromesh sandpaper.
    Didn't find paper finer than 1000.
    Didn't find that Meguiar stuff

    I did find some auto-polish...
    but it didn't work... the surface feels smoother, but not shiny at all...

    What should I do now?
    Do these Dunlop and other guitar polishing liquids work?

    I'm thinking of sanding it back to wood and starting it all over again
    :meh:
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    the best thing to use and i know several pro luthiers that use it is 3m Finesse It.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, I've read about it, however I've not seen it anywhere here :meh:
     
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thread-resurrection!

    I'm still stuck with polishing...
    but I've found 3M products! :hyper:

    But now the dilemma:
    After 2000-grit, which should I polish with?
    Finesse-It, Finesse-It II, Imperial, Perfect-It 3000, II or III?
    Most probably availability will decide, but I'm curious which do you have experience with.
    This looks the most promising to me (medium cut and can also be had in small quantity).
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks! :hyper:
     
  9. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    Did you ever figure this out? I'm going to be working on a bass in the next couple months, and I think I want to finish an ash body and maple/maple neck from Warmoth to save money.
     
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Sort of...

    Sanded the original finish down and resprayed. Those 3M polishing stuff were only available in industrial sizes and were expensive. Also, some repolished cars show swirly sand/polish marks, so I left it that way.
    It is far from perfect, but at least the figure comes through ok: it's clear not satin/matte now, but there are bubbles in it.
     
  11. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    are the bubbles from spraying too close to the body? i know that when i build model cars you get bubbles when you spray too close, and you get orange peel (when the paint looks like an orange peel) when you spray too far away. i dunno if it matters what kinda paint you use, but i know it's like this for enamels, acrylics, and laquers.
     
  12. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
  13. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Yikes, after reading this, I'm totally dreading trying to use poly over the oil on my new bass in the works....
    I tried a coat on the control cavity cover and it looked awful. I have a feeling I'll be battling the same woes as you. I'm trying out some poly from Deft...we'll see how it goes. Maybe I'd be better off spraying from a rattlecan.:meh:
     
  14. mahrous

    mahrous

    Aug 13, 2005
    Egypt
    as far as i know, poly with oil doesnt work too well. it might start cracking up and turning yellow with time.


    why did u choose poly over nitro?
     
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    It's the other way around.
    Nitro doesn't work with oil, it yellows from UV and cracks.
    Poly works with oil, is more UV-resistant, less prone to cracking, more scratch-resistant and easier to repair (theoretically...)
     
  16. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    Is it possible to just use a product such as this for a simple clear coat?
     
  17. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Most probably. It was designed for this, so if you follow the instructions, it should work.
     
  18. NoNoise

    NoNoise Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    Cool. I know it's not "easy," but it seems simple enough if I follow the directions, but I just get a little freaked out when I read threads like this and something goes wrong ;)
     
  19. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Roger that!