A few more coats of clear, gloss nitro – and I can finally wrap up the body for now. That is – providing there are no foul ups. I want to spray enough clear coat to polish up properly, and enough to ensure that I don’t run the risk of sanding through the tint. Equally, however – I don’t want to build up too much of a glassy coat. I still have to drill through all this for the pickguard.
I also want to make sure that the very edges of the wood blank are well coated. It’s so easy to sand through here, when polishing. To keep the spray coats consistent, and to allow me to lay the coats on at a slight angle – it makes sense to hang the body for the main coverage, this time. It’s glorious and hot in the workshop. perfect weather for spraying.
I build up three lacquer coats on the edges of the guitar body first. Each coat consisting of three, lighter passes – with an hour to dry between coats. When spraying the edges – I try to let the overspray feather onto the front and back faces, and spray from a slight angle – so that the edges gradually get equal coverage. In between coats, and once the edges have had a chance to dry after three coats, I run over the entire body with a tack cloth. I don’t want to wreck the job now, by letting the surfaces become contaminated with dust and debris.
With the edges coated – I repeat the process on the front and back faces. By building each coat up with three lighter passes, it’s possible to build up quite liquid-looking coats whithout running the risk of developing sags or runs. It also helps to work into a light source to check visually on how the coats are laying down. Once again – I try to feather over the edges – to make sure the transitions are well blended.
With the body having had the best part of another full can of clear lacquer – I can now, hopefully, be sure that there’s enough clearcoat to polish up nicely. Since the body is already nice and flat, there should be no more level inconsistencies to iron out. The top layers will, in time, shrink and thin as they cure. All I have to be sure of, is that I can flat-sand and polish the clear lacquer at the surface, without having to sand down into deeper lacquer coats. I just have to believe a full can is enough. It should be. I remove the painting stick, and the masking tape from the neck pocket. There’s a slight slight skin of overspray at the edges of the cutout which I can remove with a bit of grit paper on a flat block. Things look promising.
And that’s it for now. Off to the drying cupboard for an eight week cure.