I started sanding the inlay a bit early since it was just a test. I removed the majority of the excess material with a single-cut file. I then sanded with 180 grit sandpaper, followed by 220 and then 400. I used a proper sanding block because it was hard enough that it would not warp around the rise of the inlay. I wanted to make sure I was only sanding the inlay and not the wood around it. I still found that I was making a fair amount of sawdust. Before sanding on the guitar neck, I think I will protect the headstock with tape during the more aggressive phases of sanding.
|A single cut file was used to remove most of the extra material.|
|Sanding with a shading block.|
I began to see circles of wood poking throughout the back epoxy. At first I assumed that this was wood showing where the epoxy had been sanded through. Then I realized that the wood was appearing in places where there should be no wood. This turned out to be sawdust collecting in low points in the epoxy. Bubbles had formed in the glue when I applied it and now I was sanding into the gaps. There were also gaps in the small open spaces inside the letters. There was little or no epoxy inside the "o" and "e."
|Picking the dust out of the holes in the epoxy.|
A couple of ideas came to mind on how to prevent this in the future. Fist I would use a thin wire to tamp the epoxy down after applying it with the toothpick. The epoxy had a 90 minute set time so there would be plenty of time to work with it. I would also pile it on a bit thicker as shown in the article I referenced for setting inlays. This might allow room for the bubbles to move upward and hopefully come to rest above the wood. Then when I sanded, the bubbles would be removed with the excess material. It also occurred to me that it was only about 50 degrees in the garage when I applied the epoxy. This might be making the glue more viscous and causing the bubbles to stay trapped. I would have to do some research.
|Reapplying epoxy into the holes.|
I picked the dust out with an X-acto, mixed some more epoxy and reapplied it over the areas with the depressions. Now I had to wait another 72 hours to see the results.