I took the guitar to Mike's Auto Body in Thurmont to get the finish sprayed on the body. That was at the end of March. Mike, for whom I built #002 back in 2008, thought that his paint guy would be able to get to it that first weekend, but ten days later and he still hadn't been able to do it. They got swamped with work. So he asked his restoration guy to do it.
The finish is an acrylic urethane, very tough and durable--and expensive, but Mike swears by it. It's good stuff, no doubt. Nonetheless, Mike and his guys are used to spraying on metal, so they were alarmed when the first two coats resulted in a lot of little pin-dot depressions--fisheye, they're called. But this apparently is natural when spraying wood, as it is absorbent, even after being sealed. So the normal procedure is to spray 3 coats, let dry overnight, then sand level (which removes a lot of what was applied) and repeat. It usually takes three such sessions to achieve a good, level build that is ready for buffing, and this was no different.
So I ran into Mike at Panera at lunch and he told me it was ready, so after work I ran up to Thurmont and got it. Here's what it looks like--and trust me, the pictures don't do it justice.
Removing the masking tape is not a quick job. I have to take an Exacto knife and carefully score the finish around the bridge mask, and also where the neck and fretboard extension meets the body. The former took a good 30 minutes, but the neck is a pain...in the neck. Sorry. It's just hard to get the blue tape out of the corners. Literally took me two and a half hours of painstaking work using the Exacto knife and a razor blade.
Finally, it was done.
Next is applying oil finish to the neck, and gluing on the bridge.
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