Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get Ready, Get Set....Finish

Although we tell students the first day of school the year will whizzzz by, it still surprises everyone just how fast things go. This week marks the final 2 week period to apply the finish to their acoustic guitars. They've spent a great deal of time prep sanding the wood, having the instructors check for scratches & repeat, repeat, repeat until the guitar is properly prepared for finish. They're spraying a seal coat, doing touch up and repair to any gaps or "wooopsies" and moving onto grain filling.

If the gaps are small they simply drop fill with some lacquer and then lightly scrape the fill level like in the picture above. Otherwise they do touch up techniques using fill sticks, burn-ins and scraping to hide any problem areas. From there they move onto applying a paste wood filler like in the picture below.

This process is critical to filling the pores of the wood while adding a decorative touch where you can make the pores really stand out or just blend in to the overall color of the wood. After the filler has dried overnight guess what.....more sanding! Once all of the excess filler has been removed the instrument is then re-sealed and any necessary grain lines are carefully painted in to hide the filled voids then topcoats of lacquer can be applied. It's a great deal of work to achieve an industry standard filled, level gloss finish. The guitar show is coming up and for the most part students are on pace. If you're in the area come on down to hear these fine hand-made instruments May 12th in room 314 on the Red Wing campus starting at 12:00pm. Another batch of great students & great instruments.