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Old 11-15-2010, 07:21 AM   #1
robboster
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Question Buffing a polyurethane guitar finish

I was trying to repair a chip on my jackson soloist using sandpaper and super glue. Now, the area repaired feels very smooth, the only problem is that it looks like a big mass of scratches, rather than a poly finish.

Anyone know how I can fix this?
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:30 AM   #2
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I would go to my nearest automotive paint supply store or auto boday shop. I would not try anything until taking to them. Good luck
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it's a flamed maple top with black edges, and the chip is at the black edge
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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you need to sand it up to about 2k grit, then buff it.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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get a set of micromesh pads and wet-sand from the lowest grit to the highest grit.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
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what do you buff it with? I couldn't find any 2k grit sandpaper from the hardware store just now so I rubbed a piece of 80 grit and 500 grit sandpaper together till the 500 grit one was worn out, before wetting it and using it. That work too? I can post a pic of it, but it looks rather horrible (this is my first time haha)
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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The really high grit stuff is usually found at auto parts stores and the big box hardware stores.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:25 PM   #8
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wal mart has it. its in teh auto department.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robboster
I couldn't find any 2k grit sandpaper from the hardware store just now so I rubbed a piece of 80 grit and 500 grit sandpaper together till the 500 grit one was worn out, before wetting it and using it. That work too?
No that will not work, you are just wearing the grit off the 500 paper, not making the size of the grit any smaller.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:48 AM   #10
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Darn... So using a 2000 or higher grit sandpaper should bring the shine back?
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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You need to progressively sand the original sanding scratches out using finer and finer sandpaper, used wet. This needs to be done carefully as it's easy early on to sand through the finish. Typically, I used to use 600, 1000 (or 1200) and 2000 grit on cars I did. Each time you switch grit, you sand 90 degrees to the previous grit. This allows you to see when the previous grit's scratches have all been sanded out, and no more. You also need to have an appropriate pad behind the paper (fingers are not acceptable).

Once you are done with the sandpaper, you use polishing compound. If you use 2000 grit paper, I find you can skip 'rubbing compound', but it really depends on the brand of polishing compound you use. After the polishing compound, you use a swirl mark remover, then finally wax after your repair finish material has been given time to harden completely. It's a lot of steps, and the sandpaper is not cheap. Go to an auto parts store that also sells paint supplies to the trade. Go over your needs with them, and they will be able to help you out with the details.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:51 AM   #12
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Can I ask why the sanding has to be done progressively, instead of just jumping straight to a high grit? Sorry, I've got no prior experience for this :P
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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Because skipping straight to a higher grit would take you hours of sanding to remove even the smallest of defects. Grit that fine doesn't remove much material at all. If you are really patient, you could do it, though.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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Sand something with 80 and then sand something with 2000 and find out for yourself, it just doesnt work.

You have to make the scratches in the surface smaller and smaller until they are not visible to the eye.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:49 AM   #15
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Ok then, I understand now. Thanks for the help everyone
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:19 AM   #16
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You should also try Finesse-it II machine polish, just hand buff it and it should make you happy.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:13 AM   #17
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I'm no expert, but once he gets the scratches out, can't get just hit it with some steel wool, and then polish with a car polish? Polish acts like a fine grit wet sanding anyway.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:04 AM   #18
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Btw there're some white portions under the dried superglue that can't be seen through, anyone know what are those? They seem to form when the superglue hardens...
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
I'm no expert, but once he gets the scratches out, can't get just hit it with some steel wool, and then polish with a car polish? Polish acts like a fine grit wet sanding anyway.


Fine steel wool works fine for particular finishing steps on unfinished wood, but should never get near a poly (or any other type of paint) finish. The problems most people run into when finishing anything for the first time are:

1) poor surface prep - paint shows everything
2) bad choice of products - incompatible products used or improper products
3) not allowing sufficient hardening time before final wet sanding and polishing
4) rushing at some stage of the process, usually prep or wet sanding, the 2 most important steps and requiring the most patience.
5) expecting miracles from products - each can only perform within a limited range of parameters
6) skipping steps

Steel wool on any paint followed by 'polish' falls into 2), 4), 5) and 6)

Proper finishing - the type that gets truly great results - takes a lot of skill and practise, but really good results can be achieved by a beginner who is willing to take their time and educate themselves first. BTW, the consumables (sandpaper, compounds, surface prep materials such as grain fillers, etc.) are anything but cheap.
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