Step by step neck and body finishing- how does this look?



My son and I are just getting into guitar building so I've been digging around the forum for knowledge. I think I have a plan for refinishing but was hoping to get approval from the experts. I've ordered a black korina strat body and a maple/rosewood neck from Warmoth that should be here soon. I know there are lots of different opinions about the best ways to do things so I understand I won't likely get a consensus but I basically want to make sure I don't do anything ridiculous and either mess this up or cause myself unnecessary headaches.

For the neck and fingerboard, I was planning to follow Ben Eller's lead and use Tru-Oil followed by gun stock wax.
[list type=decimal]
[*]Depending on condition of the wood (should be good from Warmoth I'm guessing), sand with 220 block
[*]After if feels pretty smooth, sand with 320 block
[*]Lightly wet to raise grain and then sand to smooth again.
[*]Repeat until lightly wetting wood raises no grain.
[*]Do it all again with 400.
[*]Allow to dry fully.
[*]Using a clean cotton rag, apply a very thin layer of Tru-Oil wiping with the grain.
[*]Allow to dry until it's dry (2 hours?)
[*]Apply another thin layer of Tru-Oil.
[*]Repeat steps 6 and 7 for 2-3 more times
[*]Buff (?) with 3M 0000 steel wool substitute until it feel super smooth
[*]Repeat steps 6 thru 9 again until I'm really tired of doing that
[*]With a new clean cotton rag apply a thin coat of gun stock wax and buff it in.
[*]Repeat a few times.

Question: Do I need to do anything special to the rosewood fretboard beyond just working around the frets themselves?

We're hoping to make the body look like cagey's black korina VIP. If I could figure out how to link to things, I'd do that here.

Here are the steps as I understand them:

Wood Prep:
[list type=decimal]
[*]Sand with a 320 sanding block. (Sand any sharp edges to have a slight radius.)
[*]Wet the wood slightly to raise the grain and sand again.
[*]Repeat as necessary to get things nice and smooth.

[list type=decimal]
[*]Mix 1/2 oz of the powdered dye (water based Cardinal from ReRanch) with 1 quart of water.
[*]With a clean cloth wipe on with the direction of the grain.
[*]If it doesn't appear dark enough, add a little more dye to the solution and re-apply.
[*]If it is too dark, wipe with a damp cloth.
[*]Let dry for however long it takes to dry.
[*]Possibly sand here with 400 and repeat step 4 to bring out the grain. (Question: is this necessary?)


Apply a Nitrocellulose Sealer (eg
[list type=decimal]
[*]Place can of lacquer in hot water to warm lacquer (put in hot water before each application)
[*]Spray a light tack coat, wait an hour.
[*]Spray a wet coat, let dry at least 2 hours
[*]Spray a second wet coat, let dry overnight.
[*]Lightly sand with 400 if necessary, dust in the lacquer or any runs.
[*]Apply a wet coat, let dry 2 hours.
[*]Apply a wet coat, let dry overnight.
[*]Lightly (wet?) sand with 600 grit over a sanding block until there are no shiny spots.
[*]Note: if while sanding I see color on the sandpaper, it means I sanded through and need to start the sealer process again...

Apply water based clear grain filler like
[list type=decimal]
[*]With a clean rag, wipe grain filler on going against the grain.
[*]Let sit briefly
[*]Wipe with a wrung but wet rag to remove excess filler
[*]Let dry 24 hours
[*]Sand with 600 grit over a block until smooth
[*]Repeat if necessary.[/list]
Question: Would a black or dark red grain filler bring the grain out more?

Apply nitrocellulose Clear Lacquer.
[list type=decimal]
[*]Place can of lacquer in hot water to warm lacquer (put in hot water before each application)
[*]Spray a light tack coat, wait an hour.
[*]Spray a wet coat, let dry at least 2 hours
[*]Spray a second wet coat, let dry overnight.
[*]Lightly sand with 600 if necessary, dust in the lacquer or any runs.
[*]Repeat steps 3 thru 5 for 4 to 6 days.
[*]Let it sit a couple weeks
[*]Wet sand with 1000 grit, then 1200, then 1500... ?
[*]Buff it up

Thank you for any an all corrections, additions, deletions, clarifications, or any other -tions you can think of.
On the tru oil on a neck that has not been finished don't use Ben Elllers method. I'm assuming you ordered the neck unfinished so you don't need to sand finish away.

Maybe do a light prep with some 400. Here's one I did and more info and photos to look at. You can do less coats if you want.
Wow, that's a beautiful neck. Thanks for sharing...

You're right, I won't have any finish to remove, just wasn't sure which grit to start with for the final sanding before treating the wood.

One question for you...

You used a Gunstock filler and sealer first. Is that necessary? I hadn't accounted for that.
Thanks and no problem, the sealer filler isn't needed on maple as it is close pored. I used very little of it. The same holds true for tru oil a little goes a long way.

If you were going to try to tru oil an open pored wood such as mahogany using the sealer filler would help but in that case i would probably use more than one coat of the stuff.

Ernie Ball on the Musicmans, use a mix of the tru oil and wax, which is possibly thinned too. They almost do a wipe on and off procedure from what I have heard. But I have one of their guitars and after playing it for a while it's so smooth and fast it's crazy.