With one week left of my program, I’m making all haste to get both the guitar and mandolin finished. Boy! I cannot wait to play-in (put some pick scratches) these instruments. I’m afraid that I’ll be hauling the freshly lacquered guitar around too much; on the other hand, I believe the spirit varnish of the mandolin should be just fine.
This week went by in a flash as the mando got the neck glued in, fingerboard installed, side markers cut and installed, bridge fit and tailpiece mounting holes drilled, and a bone nut fit. I’m very tempted to string it up in the white, but I’m not certain there would be any benefit in more voicing work at this point, and I don’t want to delay the varnishing any longer than necessary,
It is amazing, the amount of fine detail work that goes into a well-made instrument. Just when you think you’re out of the woods, BAM, you start sanding out the scratches, going finer and finer. Then, all the imperfections rear their ugly heads. So you do the best you can, and sand, scrape, sand, inspect, sand, and so on.
Meanwhile, I’ve been making practice boards to dial in my sunburst colors and spirit varnish technique. It actually makes a nice way to break the monotany of sanding all of the nooks and crannies of the F5. So far, I’m pretty pleased with the results of a combination of orange dewaxed shellac as a sealer and glaze; with Tru oil as a topcoat.