Voodoo Telecaster: Preparation and Finishing

Yesterday I finished up the last few woodworking jobs, fixing the previous days error when I was drilling the ferrule hole on the low E. A quick pass with the router and redrill to 8mm. Not perfect but close enough for me.

Next up was following Ron Kirn’s excellent instructions at TDPRI and leveling the frets. Since this task relies on having a level neck to start with, I reasoned that there was no better time to do the job than before it ever gets a set of strings on it.

While I’d got all this gear out I thought I’d take the time to treat the Rockmangle to a fret level too. It made a startling difference to the action. It wasn’t high before, but now I can take it down further than I find comfortable to play.

So after hours of sanding the guitar is ready for finish. I didn’t take pictures of this stage. It is not exactly a spectator sport.

Stained with the brown dye…

Sanded back to expose the lighter areas of the maple…

The orange dye next…

Followed by red then brown at the edges…

Once that had dried, removed the masking tape and cleaned up the edges where some stain had crept under the tape. I slightly chamfered the top edge to complete the false binding effect.

And here it is as the day drew to a close, with three coats of the nitrocellulose sanding sealer on.

Tomorrow I’ll wet sand that with 400 grit, clean it up and give it another four or five coats of sealer.

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