One milestone has been achieved, as I got to put on the first spit coat of shellac today.
After gluing the bindings, I use my (well, my father's) hand held sander with 100 grit paper to level the bindings to the top, back and sides. Compared to scraper or hand sanding, this really speeds things up. I machine sand down to 240 grit and then switch to hand sanding, using 240-320-400-600-800grit papers. Sanding light colored spruce top and maple bindings simultaneously with the very color contaminant cocobolo takes a certain work procedure. With fresh paper, first top and bindings, then the back and sides, then with another fresh paper, the bindings again. I used a shoe brush and a dry cotton rag to get rid of the cocobolo dust.
When the sanding is done, it's time to cover up the easily stained parts with a few layers of shellac. This keep the colors in their proper places. A lot of filling pores and gaps ahead, but looking good already!