Sanding the clear
After letting the paint dry for two and a bit weeks, this week I've started to sand the clear spray, to remove the orange peel look of the paint. This is going to be a long process - sanding at 1200, 1500, 2000 grit, then switching to finer finishing pads at 4 grades. After all of that, there will be some polishing with a car finishing compound and maybe waxing after that.
So far I've done the 1200 grit sanding on the back and front of the guitar. I've not touched the sides yet, and there is still some areas that need a bit more sanding on the back and front. That was about 1.5 hours worth of sanding. Probably could have done it more quickly if I started with an 800 grit, but I was a bit scared to go too hard in case it went too deep.
Although it looks quite scratched, it is very smooth to the touch, and quite reflective already when you look at it side on.
I sanded through all 7 levels on my scrap piece of wood, and it is mirror like. I thought the paint was pretty reflective before doing any sanding, but there is no comparison - the sanded finish is way better. The finishing pads really made a difference. I've yet to try a final polishing compound, that will be a job for another week.
I also did a test fit of the neck this week, and realised that the neck sits up about 5mm from the body. This is a bit of a problem, because I didn't stain the wood at that point, thinking it was going to be covered! More staining will happen to try to get those bits matching to the rest of the neck. Whoops.
This week we also designed a pick guard shape in cardboard. I've ordered some black plastic to make the guard. Riley has decided he definitely wants the red knobs, so I've started to spray them.