Awesome, Bruce. Just awesome. It took me quite a while to get the gloss I wanted with Tru-oil, and my technique mimics this but with a few changes. I may like yours better though! Well done.I have a method that was taught ot me by Michael Tobias, its roughly a 5 day process
once the guitar is well sanded to at least 180 grit ( 220 is better)
Start with a "soak coat" first
Use a small rag to wipe on liberal amounts of oil and keep the surface wet for 10-15 minutes. Wipe off excess and let dry for as long as you want. but not less than 24 hours. this coat is very important as it seals the wood and the deeper the oil goes the better your protection against moisture later. pay attention to end grains as they soak up more oil.
2. Starting with 400 grit sandpaper. dip the sandpaper in a small amount of oil and sand in circular motions in a small area. the oil will begin to make a paste from the sanding dust, that you will want to push into the grain as much as possible. once the oil/dust paste starts to get stiff-ish, wipe off excess paste going across the wood grain. let dry another 24 hours. woods like ash ( or other wide grain woods) may require a sanding block to keep the wood surfaces flat. Clsoe grains like mahogany and Maples usually don't need a block.
3. Repeat step 2 useing 600 grit.
4. Repeat with 1200 grit
5. Take a 400 count cotton sheet and cut into a 12" square. roll into a very tight, smooth surfaced, ball.
use the ball as you did the sandpapers.. dip into the oil and "polish" the wood surface.
when the oil gets warm and stiff-ish,
wipe off VERY vigoursly WITH the grain, with a clean 400 count sheet ( balled up) damped with a VERY small amount of orange or lemon oil.
Buff and polish during and after this wipe off step and you should have a very nice glossy French polished finish. be careful of fingerprints.. as the oil drys, it will keep imprints in its surface.
I recommend you wear one cotton glove on one hand to hold the guitar with while you buff. watch for hard items on your worksurface. I fact I recommend that you use something soft to do this whole process on.
let dry another 24 and your done.
I prefer General Finishes Seal-a-cell and when I go to the 1200 grit paper i switch to Amour Seal also made by G.F.
This type of finish is not for the nambie pambie.. It require tons of elbow grease. Do it wrong and it looks like crap. do it right and it looks like a million bucks. if your arm is not hurting halfway through step 2... your doing it wrong.
This works well, though I use mineral spirits instead, up to 50% mineral spirits is the recommended thinner / max ratio as per Birchwood Casey.For maximum gloss, I reduce the Truoil 50% with naphtha for the final coat. This reduces streaking from the rag too.
Thats a new one on me, I'll have to check it out sometime. It just goes to my previous point, there are lots of ways to get great results and everyone will find the way that works best for them.Have you guys heard the new Tru-Oil trick? Apply it with a soaked pad made from a brown paper bag (i.e. grocery store).