Saturday, October 24, 2009

Short Update...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not much to report - I’ve been doing a lot of traveling as of late so I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to this project. What little time I have had has been dedicated to scraping binding and applying finish.

I got to thinking after a comment from Wilbur in my previous post, that maybe one of the reasons I am having so much difficulty with hand-applying lacquer (runs, smudges, long drying times) is that I have been too impatient and have been applying it much to thickly and working it for much too long. So recently I started working the lacquer using a much smaller applicator (a small piece of t-shirt material folded twice) to soak up less, and applying it in very thin coats.

Working like this for several coats has proven to be the ticket, at least for me. Sure the first couple of coats on bare wood don’t give the glossy results I want in the end, but after a couple more coats I am now getting much closer to the results I am wanting. Hopefully, after I add a few more coats to some target areas, I’ll soon be ready to fit the bridge and string ‘er up.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Starting the Finishing Process

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Well, aside from getting the soundboard soundboard restained, there is not much to report for the last couple of weeks. This is not because I haven’t been doing anything, you understand, its because successfully applying the finish is NOT an easy process. All I can say at this point is that as one of my purchases for my next mandolin, I am going to get a book and/or a video on finishing. Stewart-MacDonald offers a couple of choices including Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing by Jeff Jewitt that I think I will probably get. Before I do, though, I will see what the folks at the Mandolin Cafe think.

In any case, I figured I would share a couple of pictures of the re-staining I was able to get after having to remove my first finishing attempt.

As you can see it came out really well, or at least I think so.

I don’t expect to post much for a while since one of the things I have learned is that I will be applying (and re-applying after messing up) several coats of lacquer by the time this is done and that lacquer has to cure for a couple of weeks before it truly sets up. There is so little to see and so much waiting that I really don’t have much to offer. About the only things I have left to do are to make a truss rod cover, fit the bridge, install and end-pin, and string-her up. None of that can really be done until the finish has cured.

I have also found that since I am hand-applying my finish it is difficult, if not impossible, to apply lacquer to both the front and back on the same day. Consequently I am forced to work on one side for a bit, wait for at least a day so that can dry and then work on the other. I’m guessing that it will be several weeks before I finally have the finish I want before I can move to fitting the bridge.