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Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

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Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:38 am

On the current build, after completing the clear-coats, the inside of the pickup cavities seem to have a good coat of finish so I'm not too concerned about those. Ditto the peg-holes. However, the through-holes for the strings and screw-holes for the pick guard, control cavity cover and bridge might be an issue. How do folks prevent water from creeping into those holes and getting under the finish? I was thinking a drop of frisket mask might do the trick if I can get it in the holes, below the surface, but there might be a better way.

Thanks.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:46 am

There is no perfect method for this, but here are the options I am aware of.

1) You can paint the inside of the hole with lacquer or shellac using a small artist's brush.
2) You can wet sand with mineral spirits. (I don't recommend this due to the hazards)
3) Dry sand with self lubricating papers.
4) When you get to an area with holes, use less water. Sand a bit and then immediately wipe the water out of the holes. Don't give the water time to soak in or load up the holes.

I haven't tried this but you might be able to seal off the holes with a small cut out circle of masking tape or scotch tape.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:55 am

Thanks, Barry. Seems that using a combination of #1 and #4 to be the simplest and most direct solution. I have some brushing lacquer that I could easily use to "paint" the inside of the screw holes. I hadn't thought of that, but that's to be expected - it's really the most obvious solution!! :)
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:15 pm

I always end up re-drilling most of the holes.
There doesn't seem to be a real good way of sealing them before wet sanding.
I use some very thin packing foam under the guitar to protect it.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby David King » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:22 pm

What about filling the holes with plasticine or mastic?
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Peter Wilcox » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:57 pm

I drill most of the holes after the finish is done (bridge screws, tuner screws, pickup adjusting and cover screws, control cover screws), though I try to mark them out beforehand. I got tired of finish cracks around the holes. Now I'm trying out water base polyurethane finishes and can dry sand. I can see that thru string holes would be a problem, but I think Barry's suggestion of painting finish inside the holes with a small brush would work.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Mario Proulx » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:47 pm

Try dripping some candle wax in them and see if that helps...
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:26 am

Gordon - I figured the holes might need a little clean-out just to ensure the screws go in ok.

Peter - being my first build I wanted to dry-fit everything before I started finishing, so I could make any necessary corrections. Turned out to be a good move as I had to do a little work on the control-cavity, pickup and neck-pocket routes to get everything fitting properly. A Tele doesn't allow much room for error the way the pups, pick guard, bridge and control-cavity cover fit together like a puzzle! :)
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Sorry - meant to thank Mario/David for your suggestions. Those would probably work, but I'd be concerned with not getting those materials below the surface so they won't contaminate the sandpaper. I think a dollop of lacquer applied with a small artist brush, plus care to not let tons of water run down into the screw holes should do the trick.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Andrew Mowry » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:06 pm

I sand just the areas around holes with "odorless" mineral spirits, and the rest of the instrument with water.
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Re: Protecting the "holes" during wet-sanding

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:14 pm

Andrew Mowry wrote:I sand just the areas around holes with "odorless" mineral spirits, and the rest of the instrument with water.
\
That's not a bad idea, Andrew - thanks!
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