Hand Tools Archive

We share the same irks...

David Weaver
I do some sanding on guitar necks and fingerboards. When they're quartered rosewood, sometimes it's easy to get dead nuts on everything using a form with sandpaper in it (as in, fret slots already cut, plane everything close and then true it up completely with a radius guide and sandpaper. I've done otherwise, just plane and scrape, and functionally, it's fine, but I lose a little more fret height when leveling all of the frets)....but there's always a consequence of some dust in the snoot unless you really go bonkers about sanding or fans or, etc, and that's not that practical in my shop in the winter.

Every finish that I've used seems to work well if you take the time to follow the details with it, but some of it is nuisance work if temp, humidity and cleanliness of the area isn't on your side. French polish eliminates all of that. No clean workspace required, temp and humidity affect it a little bit, and the process feels good.

Small bits appear from old texts to have been finished with brush or other application if they are hard to get to with the process, but you're right about the doors - they will need to be done panel first and then assembled. In addition to hating sanding, I hate masking things off. Masking things off to oblivion is ultra popular in the guitar world, but I despise it, so I'll have to figure something out, like application of padded shellac without rubbing out on surfaces that aren't flat, brushing in small details (like beads) and polish on flat surfaces.

Once I can get back to guitars, there will be less challenge because they don't really have much for inside surfaces that you can't get a rubber on.

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