Sanding a Swamp Ash Body

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
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Dear Warmothites,  :turtle:

How's it going?? :yourock: It's been a few months since I lasted posted. :headbang5 I was pondering about which Wudtone finish to stain my Swamp Ash Telecaster body. Was thinking about the Honey finish, but you guys were saying it was probably too light for what I was going for. And you were so right. I ended up getting the TV Girl and Dairy Blonde finishes, and after testing on a random piece of Swamp Ash I had, a blend between the two with some gold highlights looks amazing. Now I have to stain the real deal!

My question is: How exactly do I sand it? Wudtone recommends 180 grit, but doesn't really specify which method to use, and this is probably because most people know what they're doing... lol.
- Do I just take a piece of sand paper or a sanding sponge at 180 grit and go to town?
- Or is an orbital sander better? I don't have that, but I do have a big Dremel tool with a flat triangular 'sandpaper holder', how does that sound? - - Lastly, when do I uh stop sanding? I know the wood has to be sanded down pretty well to absorb the most amount of stain.

Thanks everyone! Love you all  :band:  :headbang1:
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,311
I’m pretty sure that the warmoth bodies are sanded to at least 220 grit.  So you're done.
 

stratamania

Senior member
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9,204
As Rick said the bodies are already sanded so you should not need to do so for the sake of it.
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
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41
Thank you both so much! I was reading the Wudtone manual and they were really stressing about sanding the body, making the sure the grain is open and ready to take in the stain. Sanding to 180 grit is best apparently, but 220 is good too. So I'll see if I'm going to sand it further or not. Would this make any difference, based off both of your extensive experiences? If I am sanding it, 180 grit paper by hand is the way to go?

Also, I have a maple grit that may need sanding, I have to look if it was sanded or not. But honestly I'm more curious about this than anything else. When sanding the maple fretboard, won't you be sanding the inlay's as well? And I guess when finishing the neck you... have to make tiny tape circles to cover the inlays?? That sounds insane, that's probably not right, right?

Thank you all!!!
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
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910
TheVelvetBulldozer said:
Thank you both so much! I was reading the Wudtone manual and they were really stressing about sanding the body, making the sure the grain is open and ready to take in the stain. Sanding to 180 grit is best apparently, but 220 is good too. So I'll see if I'm going to sand it further or not. Would this make any difference, based off both of your extensive experiences? If I am sanding it, 180 grit paper by hand is the way to go?

Also, I have a maple grit that may need sanding, I have to look if it was sanded or not. But honestly I'm more curious about this than anything else. When sanding the maple fretboard, won't you be sanding the inlay's as well? And I guess when finishing the neck you... have to make tiny tape circles to cover the inlays?? That sounds insane, that's probably not right, right?

Thank you all!!!

Sanding to 180 might make a small difference, probably not anything significant. If you want to sand I would do so with a sanding block (for the flat areas) and by hand (for the curved parts and edges). Just make sure that it is all sanded evenly.

For the maple neck (I assume you're talking about a neck) that depends on what you're doing to it. Assuming it's unfinished? and that you just want to finish it, I don't think you need to do any sanding.
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,311
I’ve used the woodtone finishes.  You don’t need to sand more.  You sir, are good to go.
 

Steve_Karl

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1,618
OP
Make sure you know that 180 is rougher that 220.

and ... doesn't swamp ash want to have grain filler to get a final smooth finish?
 

stratamania

Senior member
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9,204
Steve_Karl said:
and ... doesn't swamp ash want to have grain filler to get a final smooth finish?

Wudtone finishes tend towards not using much of a grain filler if at all to achieve an open grain finish, otherwise normally it does need grain filler.
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
Messages
41
stratamania said:
Steve_Karl said:
and ... doesn't swamp ash want to have grain filler to get a final smooth finish?

Wudtone finishes tend towards not using much of a grain filler if at all to achieve an open grain finish, otherwise normally it does need grain filler.

Exactly! Love the open grain finish, it's going to be great. Going to stain a maple NECK* (I said grit before, my brain decides to sleep sometimes!) today, and I am going to tape off the frets and the nut so they don't get stained. But what do I do about the fret board inlay's? Do I have to make tiny tape circles and and cover them  :laughing7: :laughing3: :toothy12:
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
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41
Also, upon examining my swamp ash body, I saw a tiny dent that I remember causing due to recklessness... I probably should sand it so it's level. Thanks for the suggestion @ragamuffin, I'm going to use my 180 grit sanding sponge for the flat parts and paper for the curves.
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
Messages
41
Steve_Karl said:
OP
Make sure you know that 180 is rougher that 220.

and ... doesn't swamp ash want to have grain filler to get a final smooth finish?

Yes 180 grit is definitely rougher than 220, that thing could scratch!! I'm only going to sand to 180 to get rid of the dent, other than that, thanks to you guys, I know that my swamp ash body is ready for a finish!
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
If you have a small dent they can often be removed by taking a damp cloth applying it to the body where the dent is and then heating the cloth with an clothes iron to steam the dent out.

This is preferable to sanding a dent. A dent is compressed wood fibres and sanding will not decompress the fibres just remove them eventually and then you are left with a hole.
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
412
stratamania said:
Steve_Karl said:
and ... doesn't swamp ash want to have grain filler to get a final smooth finish?

Wudtone finishes tend towards not using much of a grain filler if at all to achieve an open grain finish, otherwise normally it does need grain filler.

So what you're saying is that one would not use Wudtone to fill wood....

No, no, don't get up. I know where the exit is. I'll show myself out.
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
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41
stratamania said:
If you have a small dent they can often be removed by taking a damp cloth applying it to the body where the dent is and then heating the cloth with an clothes iron to steam the dent out.

This is preferable to sanding a dent. A dent is compressed wood fibres and sanding will not decompress the fibres just remove them eventually and then you are left with a hole.

Perfect, I'll try this!
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
Messages
41
And about staining and maple fretboard, what do I do about the inlay's? Is it ok if I get stain on them? I'm sure it would be easy to remove afterwards with a wet cloth?
 

Rick

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4,311
If it's black plastic it just wears off and who cares.  Also, the woodtone people respond to emails.
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
Messages
41
rick2 said:
If it's black plastic it just wears off and who cares.  Also, the woodtone people respond to emails.

Thanks! It is black plastic. Last time I checked, there was only one poor guy responding to the Wudtone emails... they are fairly busy. That was December 2021. Maybe it's different now. I'd rather not bother them with trivial matters-- yet still very important for me since I'm such a newb  :laughing7:
 

TheVelvetBulldozer

Active member
Messages
41
Hey again everyone,

I’m replying to you all now about the Tele maple neck instead of the Swamp Ash body. I got a Musikraft neck and I received it unfinished, and it was supposedly sanded down to 220 grit. Rough enough according to the Wudtone guidelines (https://www.byoguitar.com/Images/products/KitInstructions/Wudtone%20Instructions%20-%20Neck.pdf). I got the Aged Vintage Yellow, which looks like this on the site:

https://www.wudtone.com/product/finishing-kit-for-neck-aged-vintage-yellow/

To get a finish, in the end, like this:

But after 4 or 5 tint coats, I ended up getting something like this….


Almost there! But not dark enough, way too pale! I also think only the first coat made the biggest difference everything after that only made subtle colour changes. But it said this on the site that it would probably be this way. I also don’t have anymore tint left! I really don’t think anymore would have made a difference though!

Why did this happen do you think? Maybe I should have sanded before applying? To *really* make sure it was around 250 grit?

Now, what do I do? But more of the same tint? Just add like an oil or something to darken the colour? Or completely restart by sanding it down and using another finishing method instead?

Also, if I have to do this, how do sand this exactly? The finish shouldn’t be hard to remove but it’s going to be hard to avoid the frets and fret inlays!

Thanks everyone!
 
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