Luxe Paul Neck Prep and Finishing

The replacement label for the Luxe Paul arrived on Monday and I applied it to the headstock the same day. It was much thinner than I expected, and was very difficult to align correctly. It dried quickly and when I looked closely, I saw many wrinkles in it. Thankfully I asked Greg if he experienced this too, because I assumed that I could cover the wrinkles with lacquer and sand them out, but Greg advised me to re-wet it and see if I could flatten it out. I gave that a try and it worked really well.  You can see the differences in images 3 and 4 below.

Once the label was fixed, I taped off the headstock and prepared to spray it with nitrocellulose lacquer. I ended up doing two sets of 4-5 thin coats. I didn’t want the headstock to be too glossy, and I think the lacquer was starting to buckle the label. You can see this in the “F” in Fendson if you look closely.

After letting the lacquer dry for 2 days, I installed the bushings and tuners. I used matte board and slip-joint pliers to press the bushing into place. I had reamed the holes to be slightly larger at the top, but it was still a tight fit.

These are vintage-style, aged nickel Kluson tuners that look a little dark in these photos, but match the other hardware I have for the guitar, and are the same ones that are on my telecaster.

The only things left to do is any secondary polishing, and then install the string Ts.

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3 thoughts on “Luxe Paul Neck Prep and Finishing

  1. Looks really good! Nice pictures, too. Nice job on the drilling and reaming.

    I probably would have suggested final sanding/polishing before attaching the tuners, but it’s just a matter of convenience and taste. You’re in the relicked zone, so variations in glossiness would make it look aged. Ultimately you can do whatever you need to with those polishing papers. You got those, right? The glossiness is achieved by polishing, regardless of how many coats of finish are on it. If you don’t want a full gloss, then stop at the pink or blue paper. The white one would make it the glossiest of the set. I think you should try out the fine ones first to see what effect they have on the raw finish. You could probably skip the first two or three grits of papers – they are pretty rough. The best way to flatten the bumps is with sandpaper on a block. It doesn’t really look bumpy though, and that doesn’t seem to be a big concern for you since you’re going with an aged look, so you could probably skip to finger-sanding with the papers.

    1. Yeah I was actually a little nervous about doing any serious sanding. I did knock down the high points and sanded the edges, but it seems really thin and I didn’t want to risk having to re-spray it. I do have the polishing papers and I’ll probably do that tonight. I want to sand the Klusons a bit too with the 2000 grit. Then polish them up a bit. They are just a little too uniformly aged and dull, and I’d like to have a little more shine in them.

  2. I didn’t know you did any sanding. I wasn’t suggesting that it needed more. I wasn’t sure what you meant by “secondary polishing”. It makes sense now. I like the idea of going over the tuners while they’re on there with the papers. It looks like a pretty good aging finish on them in the pictures, but I agree that they’re a bit too uniform. It will probably come together more when you put strings on it.

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