Before I could move on there was a few ting that needed doing. First of all I had to deal with the ding on the soundboard that never steamed out completely. I also noticed a few places on the sides that had tiny tear-out from when they were planed to thickness before they were bent. I was aware that they were there but I had hoped they would have been filled with wood slurry during the filling session. That obviously didn't happen, either due to the fact that they were too big to get filled with that technique or my ability to handle it was inadequate.
In this case both flaws were filled with 5 minute epoxy and subsequently scraped and finally sanded flush. I had to be very careful doing this on the soundboard as I was afraid the harder epoxy would end up protruding a little. The scraper came in handy for this together with low light to gauge and the feeling of fingertips to gauge if any unevenness were present. The sandpaper was only done as a finishing touch to create a homogeneous surface.
This was also the first time I was going to be using oil for the application. I read a lot about what oils to use. Some people recommend mineral oil, some prefer olive oil, but on Eugene Clarks recommendation I ended up using pure cold pressed walnut oil. Apparently walnut oil is a drying oil that dries by polymerization. This appealed greatly to me. Even though the oil is primarily used as a lubricant for the pad i figured whatever oil that would stay in the finish would then eventually dry. According the Clark walnut oil also creates the toughest finish. It seemed like a win/win situation.
THE FIRST BODY SESSION
Before starting the session I added a fresh cover of 4x4" white t-shirt cotton material. The three bottles of 2 pound cut shellac, alcohol and oil were all lined with the top off ready to use. I had kept my pads in an airtight glass container and they still seemed to be wet from the grain filling session. A piece of typing paper was also laid out within reach for blot testing.
In accordance with Milburn's tutorial I added 8 drops of shellac and 6 drops of alcohol and one drop of oil. They state that the oil has to be rubbed into the pad, but I didn't get a chance to do that as it soaked in very willingly on its own. I smacked the pad against my left hand and blotted it against the typing paper. As the test showed a water mark, as it should, I was ready to go.
The back was first. I started at the upper bout and slowly and methodically worked my way down towards the butt using slow counter clockwise circular movements, about 4" in diameter using firm pressure. Eugene Clark explains that it is easier to rub the shellac onto the surface using counter clockwise movements, if you are right handed that is, and that clockwise movements has a greater tendency to take shellac off. I don't know if this is true but being right handed, using counter clockwise strokes felt more natural to me.
Like during the seal coats, it was hard to control the area close to the middle as the whole body tended to wiggle under the pressure from the pad. The areas closer to the sides were easier as the body would tip over and rest on the side. Luckily the alcohol dries so quickly you can hold the guitar with you bare hand without doing damage to the surface, but it would have been better to have the neck resting on some sort of padded block.
Once I reached the butt, the stroke was finished off by one long stroke up the middle dragging the pad off the heel cap. Then the munece was recharged, smacked against the back of my hand, blot tested on the paper and the other half of the back was done in the same manner, with a circular counterclockwise pattern and finish by gliding the pad off the heel cap. Then the entire edge was done by pressing the pad towards it hold the pad at a 45 degree angle and given the edge an extra layer of shellac in one big swoop.
After the first application was done, the back was given a second application using straight strokes along the length of the body only.
Played with munecas. hard to figure out quantity on smaller munecas. Importance of getting in corners. Importance of dealing with edges. Small gaps slowly closing. Wring out muneca and Clean lint from edges after each surface.
Second Body session. Forgot to go without oil on end grain, (heel, throat, crest, string slots) on first pass. Did it with oil and it soaked into the endgrain and went patchy.
oil on muneca - first absorbed, later stays ob surface
oil clouding the surface when dry
circular oil, straight oil, circular oil, straight no oil (stiffing)
Organic application, not divided up into spiriting glasizetc.
ALCOHOL SPLASH MARK ON SURFACE
SMALL DRIPS OF ALCOHOL MARKING THE SURFACE
DETAIL OF BRIDGE/SOUNDBOARD JOINT AFTER FIRST BODY SESSION
DEATIL OF HEEL/SIDE JOINT AFTER FIRST BODY SESSION
STRING RAMP CLOSE UP AFTER FIRST BODY SESSION
BLOT MARKS ON PAPER
DRIED SHELLAC FROM SMACKING MUNECA ON HAND
INSTRUMENT AFTER TWO BODY SESSIONS
INSTRUMENT AFTER TWO BODY SESSIONS