Question for newmann..

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1/4/2018 6:42 PM

..or anybody else with experience with lacquer.
Do you use any lacquer in your shop? If so, I would probably benefit from your experience. I am re finishing my Les Paul. Also ,my son and I are thinking about building some guitars and I really need to know WTF I am doing on the finishing. I'm not sure if you already know this, but most guitar builders use nitro lacquer for the finish. Some use acrylic and poly but most use nitro lacquer. Any tips would be appreciated as I am having some issues.

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1/5/2018 5:49 AM

May I ask why you're refinishing it? Usually people love the way the lacquer cracks on their old les pauls. I know i love how mine is aging.

I broke my headstock off my lespaul years ago and had it professionally done by the best luthier in the Pittsburgh area. He used a Nitro lacquer to keep the guitar as original as possible and he left it in a humidity controlled environment for weeks, maybe months... I don't remember. Anyway... The lacquer never sat right and this is a guy who does this regularly. Never completely cured and stayed tacky. Held dirt and oil from my hands and you could literally take your finger nail and scrape it right off.

Anyway, my point is, if you don't know what you're doing, please do not spray your expensive guitar. You will most likely ruin it. Learn on the guitars you're building. Nitro lacquer is a very temperamental type of paint that can be very easily messed up if you don't have the experience with it.

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1/5/2018 6:43 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

May I ask why you're refinishing it? Usually people love the way the lacquer cracks on their old les pauls. I know i love how mine is aging.

I broke my headstock off my lespaul years ago and had it professionally done by the best luthier in the Pittsburgh area. He used a Nitro lacquer to keep the guitar as original as possible and he left it in a humidity controlled environment for weeks, maybe months... I don't remember. Anyway... The lacquer never sat right and this is a guy who does this regularly. Never completely cured and stayed tacky. Held dirt and oil from my hands and you could literally take your finger nail and scrape it right off.

Anyway, my point is, if you don't know what you're doing, please do not spray your expensive guitar. You will most likely ruin it. Learn on the guitars you're building. Nitro lacquer is a very temperamental type of paint that can be very easily messed up if you don't have the experience with it.

Since this will go to both you and Borg, Borg is listed as in my neck of the woods. Don't know anything about paint or guitars. Having said that our area is a mecca for really high end auto restorations. Many who we've done business with.
I don't know if that talent crosses over to painting guitars but if it's that important and you're interested I could probably get you in touch with a very high end guy.
TM

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1/5/2018 6:49 AM

Without going into too much detail, this was a road thrashed guitar. Broken and missing bindings, severe buckle rash, chips, dents and a bridge pickup modification that I wanted to restore to the original P-90 pocket. No way to repair without a total refinish. I've been practicing with lacquer on other subjects and thought I knew my shit then the weather changed and I had a few setbacks. One of the great things about lacquer is that it's fairly easy to strip and redo. No ruining there. I ruined it when I carved out the bridge pickup pocket to fit a Humbucker 45 years ago. I'm looking for advice on sprayer type, additives like retarders, viscosity and weather considerations. I figured newmann might have some experince.

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1/5/2018 7:05 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

May I ask why you're refinishing it? Usually people love the way the lacquer cracks on their old les pauls. I know i love how mine is aging.

I broke my headstock off my lespaul years ago and had it professionally done by the best luthier in the Pittsburgh area. He used a Nitro lacquer to keep the guitar as original as possible and he left it in a humidity controlled environment for weeks, maybe months... I don't remember. Anyway... The lacquer never sat right and this is a guy who does this regularly. Never completely cured and stayed tacky. Held dirt and oil from my hands and you could literally take your finger nail and scrape it right off.

Anyway, my point is, if you don't know what you're doing, please do not spray your expensive guitar. You will most likely ruin it. Learn on the guitars you're building. Nitro lacquer is a very temperamental type of paint that can be very easily messed up if you don't have the experience with it.

ToolMaker wrote:

Since this will go to both you and Borg, Borg is listed as in my neck of the woods. Don't know anything about paint or guitars. Having said that our area is a mecca for really high end auto restorations. Many who we've done business with.
I don't know if that talent crosses over to painting guitars but if it's that important and you're interested I could probably get you in touch with a very high end guy.
TM

Yes, just up the road from you in Long Beach.
From what I gather, automotive lacquer is slightly different but the process is pretty much the same. Basically why I am paging newmann. I may be back to you on that. Thanks.

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1/5/2018 7:11 AM

Nitro is a very forgiving finish. I spray with a Sata Minijet but a cheap jamb gun works fine. I usually spray 7 to 10 coats about an hour apart after sanding to 320 or so. I'll then let it shrink for 2 to 4 weeks. Level sand and then carefully shoot a wet coat with lacquer diluted with 30 to 50 percent thinner. Wait a week or two and then rub out with Meguiars polishes. There are a lot of different regimens with nitro that work. I'd suggest going to a forum like the MIMF and asking questions or researching some of their archives. http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/index.php?sid=e0a4a4be0408b460c7bc55e3bbb1a23e

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1/5/2018 7:37 AM

Foghorn wrote:

Nitro is a very forgiving finish. I spray with a Sata Minijet but a cheap jamb gun works fine. I usually spray 7 to 10 coats about an hour apart after sanding to 320 or so. I'll then let it shrink for 2 to 4 weeks. Level sand and then carefully shoot a wet coat with lacquer diluted with 30 to 50 percent thinner. Wait a week or two and then rub out with Meguiars polishes. There are a lot of different regimens with nitro that work. I'd suggest going to a forum like the MIMF and asking questions or researching some of their archives. http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/index.php?sid=e0a4a4be0408b460c7bc55e3bbb1a23e

One of my issues now is that I'm using aerosol cans and have no control over flashoff. Really hard to keep a wet edge. In CA, they are forced to use acetone for thinner and it's too fast. I now have 11 coats on because I know I have some wet sanding to do before buffing. Will be setting up for spraying on next project so I will have more control.
What brand of lacquer are you using?
Approx thinner/lacquer mix?
Are you using any retarders?
Thanks for the help.

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1/5/2018 7:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/5/2018 7:51 AM

Foghorn wrote:

Nitro is a very forgiving finish. I spray with a Sata Minijet but a cheap jamb gun works fine. I usually spray 7 to 10 coats about an hour apart after sanding to 320 or so. I'll then let it shrink for 2 to 4 weeks. Level sand and then carefully shoot a wet coat with lacquer diluted with 30 to 50 percent thinner. Wait a week or two and then rub out with Meguiars polishes. There are a lot of different regimens with nitro that work. I'd suggest going to a forum like the MIMF and asking questions or researching some of their archives. http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/index.php?sid=e0a4a4be0408b460c7bc55e3bbb1a23e

borg wrote:

One of my issues now is that I'm using aerosol cans and have no control over flashoff. Really hard to keep a wet edge. In CA, they are forced to use acetone for thinner and it's too fast. I now have 11 coats on because I know I have some wet sanding to do before buffing. Will be setting up for spraying on next project so I will have more control.
What brand of lacquer are you using?
Approx thinner/lacquer mix?
Are you using any retarders?
Thanks for the help.

I use Mohawk sprayed without thinning until the final coat. I use Mohawk's lacquer thinner for that. Many luthiers South of the border use Cardinal brand. http://www.lmii.com/products/finishing/finishes/cardinal-spray-lacquer or Seagraves http://www.lmii.com/products/finishing/finishes/seagrave-spray-lacquer I don't use retarders although if you're shooting in high humidity, it's a good idea to prevent blushing. Even though it's a forgiving finish, there are basic considerations with humidity being a big one. I luckily don't have the limitations you have in CA with thinner types. Nitro appears to be going the way of the dodo in many states and eventually here as well. I'm lucky I still have a few gallons as it's getting tougher to get and spray legally. Many are going to waterbournes, wipe ons, catalyzed stuff etc. I've never tried the rattle cans although I know of others who have had success. My understanding is that a lot more coats are required as there are much lower solids in the cans so much slower build.

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1/5/2018 7:53 AM

Foghorn wrote:

I use Mohawk sprayed without thinning until the final coat. I use Mohawk's lacquer thinner for that. Many luthiers South of the border use Cardinal brand. http://www.lmii.com/products/finishing/finishes/cardinal-spray-lacquer or Seagraves http://www.lmii.com/products/finishing/finishes/seagrave-spray-lacquer I don't use retarders although if you're shooting in high humidity, it's a good idea to prevent blushing. Even though it's a forgiving finish, there are basic considerations with humidity being a big one. I luckily don't have the limitations you have in CA with thinner types. Nitro appears to be going the way of the dodo in many states and eventually here as well. I'm lucky I still have a few gallons as it's getting tougher to get and spray legally. Many are going to waterbournes, wipe ons, catalyzed stuff etc. I've never tried the rattle cans although I know of others who have had success. My understanding is that a lot more coats are required as there are much lower solids in the cans so much slower build.

Good info. I used to use Cardinal's Urethane for machinery with this gun:
Photo
Should I try it or upgrade?

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1/5/2018 8:07 AM

borg wrote:

Good info. I used to use Cardinal's Urethane for machinery with this gun:
Photo
Should I try it or upgrade?

Should work fine as long as you get good dispersion using the right tip and pressure. I like the HVLP gun as it reduces the overspray substantially. As I said before though, many use the $30 jamb guns with great success. A little cheaper than my Sata Minijet which was around $700 when all was said and done.

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