Monday, March 5, 2018

Headless Kit Build: Sanding and Scraping Binding

There's a bit more before applying the first coat of oil on this one. Sanding was straight forward. After the sealer applied in the last post dried, I worked up to 1500 grit and made all of the surfaces smooth to the touch. Because the dye is now protected by the sealer, I did not have to worry about accidentally removing dye.

Then I started on the binding. I've never scraped binding before. I don't have a binding scraper like this one so I first went at it with a razor knife. That wasn't going really well. I almost slipped a few times trying to dig into the binding. So then I went at it with sandpaper. That created the nice white powder all over the body but wasn't getting the binding looking nice, clean and well defined.
So I went back to the knife. It took a little while but keeping the angle fairly perpendicular (a small angle) to the wood and just being confident with fast, brushing like movements, sort of like whittling, started to take off material. And the box cutter provided just enough control for me to keep the lines straight. The blade itself is so small, the few times I missed it didn't make noticeable marks in the sealed wood.
By this picture you can see, if you look closely, especially along the right edge, that the binding line is starting to pop out a bit more.
Here's after vacuuming it off and doing a wipe down with naphtha. In the brighter lighting you can see the binding now creates a clear outline without any leftover color. You may also notice some dull spots on the neck (near the heal) and on the top. This was the result after sanding back some of the sealer. You'll see later that with the oil applied, those areas will shine right up.
I mentioned cleaning with naphtha. Naphtha seems to be the one stop shop cleaning solution for guitars in general. I use this one.
The bottle has a nice safety top on it which is something that is valuable if you're doing all of this in a small apartment. You can find this one here. Naphtha coated rags take the extra dust, both plastic and wood, right off the body and leave it in good shape to apply a coat of oil. That is coming next!

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