Day 5 – Sanding Forever & Ever

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I spent the day sanding. And I mean the whole day. It was important to first get both sides rid of glue and any non-stick paper that were left on from the gluing process and then to buff out any imperfections, rough edges or water marks.

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After that was completed it was time to get the thickness down a few millimetres. I would’ve thought it would be a quick process but it really wasn’t as you had to make sure that it was even.

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The sanding room was caked in the millimetres I shaved off by the time I was done with it.

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So dusty…

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Simba the workshop doggy and my dusty clothes.

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After a little break from the crazy dust, I went back into sanding again. This time it was important to get thicknessing. Thicknessing is the process of tuning your pieces of wood for the guitar. I had no idea but it’s sanded down so that it is thicker in the middle and thinner on the edges. Back pieces are surprisingly thinner than the front with mine. It varies depending on the wood and sizes of guitar (dreadnoughts differ from my OM shape) but mine was roughly 2.6mm in the middle, 2.4mm on the edges and the front piece was thicker at 2.8mm in the middle, 2.6mm on the edges. It took such a long time for me to get it even everywhere.

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It was a constant process of sanding, stopping, measuring and repeat.

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The dust got to me so I had to upgrade to Darth Vader.

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And off we go again – sanding, stopping and measuring.

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Precision is key.. so I had to keep on checking. Unfortunately, my first go (with the back piece) was no where near as even and perfect as my front piece. But I’m a novice haha. After I got both my pieces thicknessed (I had no idea this was even a word, I had to check the dictionary when the Hancock boys were talking about it), it was time to get the harsh grit made by the sanding by switching over to finer grades. I didn’t even notice in the dim light the marks that the sander actually makes. I tried to take a photo of it but hopefully you can see the tiny baby crop circles made by the tough grit sandpaper. It took quite a bit of dropping down levels of fineness to get it out from my pieces.

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This whole process made me get to know the orbital sander very well. After emerging from the sanding room after 7 hours I quickly got my bracing cut and ready for when I came back into the workshop after the weekend.

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These were the bracing for the back piece made from spruce. First I drew out lines on my back piece to make sure I measure, cut and (later on) glue them on straight.

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Constant precision is key. I’m a perfectionist at heart but even I am not trained to see imperfections such as angled cuts, bumpy surfaces and mathematically incorrect curves in the wood hahaha. The Hancock boys just see them without even squinting at the wood pieces.

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Ready for gluing on another day!

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I was shocked to find that my boogies were completely the same colour as my blackwood. I didn’t feel like I was inhaling that much dust but it just goes to show how unaware we are on what we breathe in and how miraculous our nose hairs are at filtering. Oh, I forgot to mention this was with wearing a mask too!

I’m missing a day tomorrow due to playing at Teneriffe Festival, so I’ll have to be a bit on the ball next week to catch up on a lost day.