I am starting at 80 grit. The second time around when I do the  polish I can get fancy. I would like to do a hand carved mahogany neck for this body, ebony fretboard with some mother of pearl inlay…. Wet sanding: Make a sanding pad from a 2 inch square piece of Styrofoam. Normally I will use a looser weave cloth for the sealing pore filling. It also absorbs and holds shellac, alcohol, and oil. I was able to bring it to a fairly well defined sheen and shelved it for another month. It is very focused work and since I do use super glue in the process,  a quick one. Whether using a pumice or pore filler this step is done after the initial sealer coat. Use a pad or brush to apply a coat of the shellac sealing solution over the entire instrument. I am not worried as long as it is as level as I can make it. The first step after sanding is then to moisten the wood to allow the hairs to stand up and be sanded down once again. "cut"- ratio of shellac to solvent in solution. Here’s a link to the original great article. It fills and levels the surface of the wood. Don't worry about sanding off the shellac. After dewaxed flakes are dissolved in a solvent the shelf life is about 6 months. Not a good feeling . Once I am done I check the flatness of the fretboard with a notched straight edge. We are then ready to fill the pores and grain. This was more for the intent of wood or electric bodied guitars than acoustic. It is very important to have some methodology for keeping track of your inlay pieces. I used denature alcohol for this project, but have since switched to grain alcohol. Reload the core with shellac, and add a few drops of oil to the cover. I had to pay particular attention to the transition areas at the bottom and sides. Sandpaper in various grits, including 400- and 1,200-grit, 100 percent extra virgin olive oil or pure mineral oil, 100 percent cotton fabric (clean, old T-shirts work great). This creates a smoother spread surface across the wood. You can see it starting to build. Use smaller and larger circles as needed. I prepared a foam brush for spreading the glue on both the veneer and the guitar body. Shellac is naturally waxy and can be purchased with or without the wax removed. A good way to test it is to pound the pad on the back of your hand. Stop after the entire surface has a thin smooth coating. To apply the shellac you need a pad consisting of a tightly wadded piece of wool or gauze, surrounded by a piece of cotton fabric. I had to be sure not to leave any large scratches. We were in no rush however and really wanted to focus on quality which we did. At this point the 60-80 grit sand paper comes out…  As I sanded it out I noticed I nice whirl, almost a flame at the bottom front of the body. Water will stain the finish and leave white staining until it completely dries. I eventually wanted to do my acoustic but thought an electric body would be easier to begin with. Placing the jig where the bridge would sit I could see where the nut should be placed. Charge with shellac and a few drops of alcohol. Use no shellac or oil during the grain filling process. Repeat the entire polishing and spiriting process six to eight times until you're satisfied with the finish. -Reduce Shellac You might want to save this one for a romantic dinner because it includes a little showmanship. Pumice at this stage is optional. The 1200 will level a little more and catch the areas we didn’t get with the 800 but the major purpose of the 1200 is to start to even up and remove the scratches left by the 800 grit. Seal again with shellac. Tap or press the pad against the back of your hand to spread the shellac evenly throughout the core. Looks awesome now. The burls were very full and there were little or no signs of the burl chipping or cracking. Shellac and French Polish In which he stated: I don't know if I'm an "expert", but I've French polished half a dozen or so pieces of furniture with excellent results. So I did have to go back to the 80 and 120 to repair a couple of spots. The challenge with these pieces is many of the fingers were too small for me to mark with a chisel, so I have to rely on the scribing lines. The lacquer and paint comes off fairly easily, but there is what I call a “zoot suit” underneath which seems fairly impermeable to the paint stripper. An application pad can be made by wrapping a small wad in a cover cloth. TINY(!!!) We had a pretty cold winter and the garage is unheated. But it is really starting to take shape. However, the store-bought shellac is usually a lot thicker than 2 pound cut shellac. Is cheese cloth that has been folded multiple times OK for filtering? It is a process that requires a lot of preperation but once you start installing the frets it goes quickly. 1 pound cut is used as final finishing when you only need another thin coat to finish the piece. Then look at the surface, is it flat? Here is a photo of the board after the fine polish. Once done with the polishing I can move on to removing the mask and cleaning up the areas around the fret with a chisel and/or some fine sandpaper.

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