Advice needed with ash

ejendres

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
412
Reaction score
246
Hey guys. I'm building an Ash Telecaster for my bud and included a tummy carve. I used a rasp to rough out the tummy carve and got a pretty smooth curve. However when I sand out the tool marks I'm getting ripples along the grain. Basically the grain is sanding quicker than the rest of the wood. I've re-shaped the tummy carve twice now and tried different ways of sanding out the tool marks and both times I get the same ripples with the grain.

Any advice for avoiding this?
 

jkes01

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
2,915
Reaction score
2,029
Have you tried smoothing with a cabinet scraper?
 

ejendres

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
412
Reaction score
246
I've never used a scraper and do not own one.
 

Skyjerk

Meatbomb
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
6,456
Reaction score
7,896
wrap sand paper around a curved sanding block or fat dowel. You just need a backing to the sand paper that isnt flexible and wont dig in deeper where the wood is softer. Hand sanding is problematic for woods like that.
 

ejendres

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
412
Reaction score
246
Thanks Skyjerk, that's a brain fart on my part. I should have done that from jump.
 

dcomiskey

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
353
Reaction score
249
You can also just use a razor blade. I use them all the time for scraping small areas. Since they’re about 1.5-2” long, they work great for the tummy and arm contours.
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
33,720
Reaction score
107,070
If the wood is indeed swamp ash, then it is very punky, as they say. The grain on swamp ash is always an issue to work with. In my experience, after the filing and rasping has provided your basic shapes, then sanding is the way to go. Take it to 220, then you'll need to start filling that grain. You can make an easier job of it by using a sprayable, sandable sealer at this stage.
 

tabascom16

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2017
Messages
115
Reaction score
91
You need to do 2 things. Number one, you need a firm backing behind the sand paper like a sanding block, not your hand. Second, you need to sand with the block angled in at least 2 different ways called an "X" pattern. Look up automotive paint block sanding. When the sanding block is constantly faced in the same direction it will make ripples as well. You need to put the block in a slightly different angle to take any ridges out from the other direction and vise versa.
 

charisjapan

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
1,578
Reaction score
1,513
I've never used a scraper and do not own one.
You may want to consider getting one! About the least expensive tool available, it can do a lot of things well. While there is a learning curve to sharpening and usage, it's hard to get much simpler than a card scraper.
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
33,720
Reaction score
107,070
You need to do 2 things. Number one, you need a firm backing behind the sand paper like a sanding block, not your hand. Second, you need to sand with the block angled in at least 2 different ways called an "X" pattern. Look up automotive paint block sanding. When the sanding block is constantly faced in the same direction it will make ripples as well. You need to put the block in a slightly different angle to take any ridges out from the other direction and vise versa.

Excellent advice on finish sanding, and I hardly ever see that method discussed.
 

B. Howard

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
670
Reaction score
596
Ash, especially light , musical ash always has deep grain. This is magnified by the angle across the grain in arm bevels and tummy cuts. This is why Fender developed "Fuller-plast"..... to cut down the grain filling process. Oversanding will make this more pronounced, especially on a curved surface.
 




Top