Ok, so I know that this is supposed to go in the Refinishing thread, but I asked a few questions over there that have still yet to be answered. Mods, if you see fit, please let me know and delete this and I'll ask it in that thread. I just have a specific question about polishing compounds and I want people to see it.

Ok, the situation is that I have refinished a guitar. I stained it with Behr stain and clear coated it with around 20 coats of Minwax Oil based polyurethane. I know that these aren't the best refuted products, but I had to deal with what I could get my hands on (I'm a broke college student..). The last coat of polyurethane was applied about 3 weeks ago and I'm starting to research products for polishing. This will be kind of a long post so please bear with me.

Basically my plan is to start wetsanding with 400 grit sandpaper on a block. I know that is a rough grit, but that's why I put as many coats as I did on the guitar. When I get everything smooth, I'm going to move up to 600, 800, 1000, and then either 1200 or 1500 depending on what I can get my hands on locally. These will all be block sanded wet. After I get to the 1500 grit stage, I want to start with some polishing compounds. The polishing tutorial in the refinishing thread uses Stew Mac polishing compounds, which are expensive and come in much larger quantities than I need for this one guitar body. I'm thinking of using 3 compounds, and I'll link to them in order.

1. applied by hand with a 100% cotton cloth. The description says that it removes scratches up to 1200 grit so I thought it would be a good starting point.

2. also applied by hand. This stuff is supposed to remove scratches up to 1500 grit, which I think would work well as a second step. Also, I own a bottle of this stuff already, and anything I can do to save money would be a good thing. I'd like to try and use this stuff if it is at all possible, I've already got waaaaay too much money tied up in this project.

3. applied with a buffing pad attached to a power drill. I've been looking at but I am open to suggestions there. I'm looking at this stuff because that website says to follow the fine cut rubbing compound with it. The buffing pad is another area I'm not sure on, but I want something I can chuck in a drill, because I don't know really how often I'm going to use it, so being able to use tools I already have would be a plus.

4. A coat of a quality automotive paste wax, something probably of the Meguiar's variety that I can pick up in a store, just as a protective top coat.

Does this sound ok? If I sand up to 1500 grit properly do I still really need step 1? It'd be really nice if all I had to buy was the high grit sandpaper, the Machine Polish, and a buffing pad.

I'm open to any suggestions though, I honestly know nothing about this stuff. Like I said above, I want to do a good job, but I'm only polishing one guitar body and don't need commercial grade (and commercial priced) stuff. I will take any advice you have to offer though.

Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance.
1998 PRS CE 22-10 Top Natural Finish
MIM HSS Strat-Electron Blue
Sounds like you have done your research.

However, don't touch the 400, 600 and probably the 800.

Note that I am talking about P grade papers. Not CAMI grade. Use P grade (European) paper if you can.

Start with P1000 grit, warm soapy water and soak the paper in it for 20 mins before you start.
Then go 1200, 1500 and higher if you can. If you can get P2000, use that too then rub two bits of it together and this will make it more like P3000 grit.

San in an X pattern. Go at an angle across the body //////, then come back the other way \\\\\\.

Use a block as you mentioned, but do the edges by hand, and go over them, not along them...very gently.

Have another bowl of clean water and a cloth to rinse of then DRY. Do this regularly to check your progress.

The three compounds you mention may be fine, however, you could start with Meguiars Scratch X2.0, then the one you have, then a hand glaze.

Using a machine is fine, but only if you know what you are doing. You don't want to go over 1400 RPM and on a drill, will be real awkward. On an angle grinder would be better. However, be careful. Machining uses certain foam pads of various types as the finish progresses. What you are actually doing is reheating the clear, so you can easily burn right through the clear if you aren't very careful...I've seen a guy do it...not pretty.

Meguiars do foam application pads, in a two pack for hand application...very good idea.

Also get some decent Microfibre cloths.

You may have seen me post this in the other thread but it is worth a read, buffing is near the bottom.

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Last edited by Skeet UK at Oct 29, 2009,