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Polishing epoxy fingerboard???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gastambide, Apr 4, 2006.


  1. Gastambide

    Gastambide

    Mar 4, 2005
    Okay, I've applied one coat of West System epoxy to my rosewood fingerboard...and I realize I will need to do at least 3 or 4 more, but I have a question. How do I get a glossy finish on my final coat - after sanding? On the initial coating, I sanded down all of the bumps (dust, bubbles, etc...) with fairly fine paper, then moved to steel wool. But even the steel wool leaves the surface cloudy. I am wondering what I will need to do to achieve the glossy finish at the end. Do I need to polish it? Buff it? Varnish it?

    Any suggestions?


    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. Linas

    Linas

    Jan 6, 2005
    Chicago
    After your final coat, sand the epoxy with WET sandpaper 400up to 1500, whatever papers you can find in between. I got an assortment pack with 400, 600, and 1500 which was ok. Then get a medium grit (5000) buffing compound, and buff it out with a lamb wool pad. They recomend a power buffer thing, but i think you can do it by hand with fine results because its not like you have an entire car to buff. Afterwords, polish it out with this product Finess-It by 3m. You can find most of this stuff at a car parts store.
     
  3. Denyle Guitars

    Denyle Guitars

    Nov 30, 2005
    MD
    What he said, or try a product called Micro-Mesh.

    I'd like to know how the neck turns out with West System. If you use the 205 or 206 catalyst, it's not UV stabilized. The 207 is though. If you're not using the 207 now, at least use it for the top coat. I've used WS for many apps but never on a fretboard. My first thought would be to use System 3 epoxy instead but like I said, I haven't tried WS for this app so you might be fine. WS has a tendency to yellow with age.
     
  4. Gastambide

    Gastambide

    Mar 4, 2005
    I am using the 207 hardener. Yellowing isn't much of a concern, since the fingerboard has been painted flat black to emulate an ebony look. It was originally rosewood, but I didn't like the look of fretlines after I had it splined. I'll let you all know how it goes!
     
  5. +1 on the micromesh kits. I've polished several bass bodies with this stuff. It's amazing how easy you can get a high gloss.
     
  6. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    3.
     
  7. Gastambide

    Gastambide

    Mar 4, 2005
    I have finished the epoxy application with West System. I used about 5 coats, and finally got it where I wanted it. It seems to have worked just fine, although it did require a bit of elbow grease to get a couple of high spots down. The next step, polishing, will have to wait until I get the time to do it. the micromesh sounds like a good way to go. I just wanted to let anyone who's interested know that the West System does, indeed, work for this application - as long as you use the correct (slower) hardener.:)
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    What radius block did you use to re-do your fingerboard radius?
     
  9. Gastambide

    Gastambide

    Mar 4, 2005
    I actually didn't use a block :eek:, (I know it's a big "No-No") which is the reason I had the high spots! I just sanded gently between coats, trying not to alter the original radius of the fingerboard. I had a high spot on the G string which gave me a buzz at the 7th fret position, and also a bit of buzz on the A and D in the first fret position - neither of which could be tweaked sufficiently with the truss rod. I began the tedious job of VERY gently sanding the suspect areas, then checking the results until it finally did the job. Not the most scientific method, but it seemes to have worked.
     
  10. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    amazing when I use the mirror coat it flattens the fingerboard and I have to re-radius it....t
     
  11. Linas

    Linas

    Jan 6, 2005
    Chicago
    Mine flattened out, but i just left it that way.
     

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