Today was a very satisfying day with the Fender.
I started by putting on a cheap set of temporary strings to get the saddle height set, which went very quickly and required very little additional adjustment beyond the sanding I had already done.
With that set, I took the strings back off, and spent some quality time getting scratches out of the finish, polishing and buffing, and generally making things look pretty.
The most egregious flaw was a spot on the back which looked like it had rubbed on either a wall hanger or a belt buckle for some time. It took some patience, persistence, and careful application of 2000 grit wet sandpaper and polishing compound, but as you can see, the result was well worth it.
After the polishing and fine-tuning, I put on a set of Martin strings, and put the final hardware back on. Glad to say it looks and sounds great. I took several more pics in anticipation of putting this instrument up on eBay sometime this weekend. The photos are all pretty high resolution, so if you click on one of the previews here, it will open the full-resolution photo that you can download if you like.
I will post an update here with the auction details once the auction is up. If you subscribe to the blog, you will get an email update when the info is posted. Let me know in the comments what you think.