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mistermikev

what do you know about nitro lacquer?

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4 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

still suing

All I have are these worthless guitars I made. One of them needs refinishing.

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Can't believe I missed this one. Here's some crap off the top of my head. 
I setup a temporary booth outside using a very large plastic sheet stapled to deck posts under deck. It makes a largish space, maybe 15 foot square. I pull the spray gun and hose under the sheet and hang it on a nail on a post. Compressor stays outside between this booth and the shop. I'm wearing a full Tyvek suit, head sock, respirator with organic vapor cartridges, and it fits tight. Some kind of eye protection. This is all critical. Holding breath and hoping you don;t breathe overspray isn't even close to OK. That sent me to the ER once, and was very unpleasant,  though it was something worse than nitro. 

I've got desiccant balls, and dry traps inline between the gun and compressor which is critical for nitro. You do not want any moisture coming from the tank or hose to be trapped in the finish. That causes the dreaded cloudy milky haze. ScottR had good advice on coats and frequency. I will tell you that I always push the limits here because I'm gambling on humidity and weather with my temporary outside booth. You decide the ratio of nitro and solvent that you spray, there are different mixes for different stages, for instance a higher solvent ratio for a final light pass can help flow out. I'm always pushing how heavy my coats are, and how many I can get on and have been lucky so far. I wouldn't spray unless I had some blush eraser on hand, it's amazing. It will work days after you spray, but I think there's a point in curing where it has reduced effectiveness.

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I just bought a "portable" greenhouse off Amazon to spray in. Yeah it was $80, but it's awesome. Goes together easy, take it apart for the future. Super handy as a ghetto spray booth to avoid particles in the wind (a must if ever doing a solid color IMO).

Chris

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Just renewing my lease of @mistermikev's thread as I'm almost ready to spray some clear nitro over my stained and sealed body.

Based on what I've read above from the experts among us - My plan is to spray say 3 coats per day (an hour or so apart), until I've got > 1o coats, leave it a couple of weeks then do a level sand, then leave it a further week or so before finishing my level sanding and buffing...

Does this sound like a good plan or is it fraught with disaster? 

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as you know no expert here but having done it with the watco nitro in a very dry climate all sounds good except you may need more than 10 coats (very thin for me).  I would plan to spray it up and do a wetsand right away to see if you can get to a very smooth surface before you start the 'waiting weeks' because you'd hate to wait and find out you need more clear.  also... given your wet climate you may want to wait a little longer between coats. 

just some newbie thoughts.

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On 8/19/2019 at 7:55 PM, mistermikev said:

as you know no expert here but having done it with the watco nitro in a very dry climate all sounds good except you may need more than 10 coats (very thin for me).  I would plan to spray it up and do a wetsand right away to see if you can get to a very smooth surface before you start the 'waiting weeks' because you'd hate to wait and find out you need more clear.  also... given your wet climate you may want to wait a little longer between coats. 

just some newbie thoughts.

Thanks bud, I've just done my first light coat, I was nervous like my first ever truss rod route :D Did it outside with a long sleeve, mask and goggles and gloves, could still smell it occasionally so opted not to breath. Definitely won't he spraying it in my garage, might even invest in a full face mask. I think my only options are to do 2 coats per day pre and post work given that I need the light. Luckily I discovered how awkward it is to hold the guitar and spray the sides at the same time, especially the bottom, so I put it it on a shoebox on the workmate so I could walk around it and spray the sides evenly, then held it by the neck to spray the back and front. Hopefully it comes out OK.

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well the good thing is.. at least in my experience... it's a very forgiving finish afa if you get a divot/blemish because new coats actually melt into old coats.  stuff smells something aweful tho.

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:51 PM, mistermikev said:

well the good thing is.. at least in my experience... it's a very forgiving finish afa if you get a divot/blemish because new coats actually melt into old coats.  stuff smells something aweful tho.

you're right, it's an awesome finish. Mine is coming along nicely. I've lost count how many coats I've done now, almost two 400ml cans, I've sprayed at least a couple of times per day, apart from Friday when 87% humidity was forecast. Going to leave it several days now and do a level sand, then I'll decide whether or not to leave it for there for buffing or spray the rest of the can over it. 

So far the only sanding I've done is to remove the odd spec of dust that landed on it while curing in the garage. There is a bit of orange peel to sort out, but nowhere near as bad as I thought! The back seems to have gone on a lot smoother than the front, I'm putting that down to the face that I brushed sealer on the back and sides then sanded viciously where as I just sprayed lots of light coats of sealer on the top and sanded lightly with wire wool.

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wow, that's going to look great when it's done.  looks like you got-her-on-the-run.  nice work.

soon my garage will be tollerable for more than 10mins at a time. 

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Guess I'll have to try making one of those, just because of the curves and colours, including the burst. If I didn't know better I'd think you've spent most of your life building guitars, honing the skills acquired under the tuition of luthiers with very good teaching skills. Are you sure you aren't a reincarnation of some late guitar builder like Paul Bigsby or Orville Gibson?

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19 hours ago, mistermikev said:

wow, that's going to look great when it's done.  looks like you got-her-on-the-run.  nice work.

soon my garage will be tollerable for more than 10mins at a time. 

I thought your workshop was your basement, if you're going to have 2 workshops, I'll be very jealous. I could really do with a larger space that I could partition off for a seperate room for finishing

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I wish it was a basement... but no... just the garage.  technically my kitchen becomes my workshop from time to time (wife hates that!) and so I am going to clam 1 1/4 workshops.

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12 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I had forgotten how nice that back looks!

SR

Different back ;) Nice to know my carving is consistent though :D 

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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

Different back ;) Nice to know my carving is consistent though :D 

Nice to know my memory hasn't completely left the building.:blink:

SR

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careful sheriff bart... I think mongo is taking a liking to your backside (hehe - sorry, can't help my juvenile mindset... I am who I am)! :hyper

 

does look v nice tho.

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So after doing a load of level sanding about a week or so after spraying, I sanded through the back 😢 

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I managed to get the front levelled off quite nicely but I had to be quite aggressive and use 400 grit to get it all level, which made me think that If I haven't gone through the front yet, there is a strong possibility I will while buffing, so more coats needed. But annoyingly out of lacquer.

So I got this, it's the Earlex 6003 HVLP system and I had a go with it today using Morrells nitro with a splash of thinners.

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Practiced on a bit of cardboard first to get the settings on the gun right and then had a go on the axe, the difference in the results I'm getting are night and day. Filmed these short clips about an hour after spraying, got a run to sort out on the front which I'll try scraping/sanding out tomorrow, but I'm confident there is plenty of lacquer on it now, the coverage is far superior and it's gone on and levelled out a lot better than it was out of the can (probably a lot of that is down to poor technique), but much happier :D 

 

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Shiny! I could see your mirror image on the back!

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I've always been afraid of sanding through....so I always spray  a lot of nitro just to take the worry out of it. Plus, nitro shrinks to about half its original thickness after a couple of weeks. I'm glad to see you switching up to a spray gun and compressor. Even a cheap set up will do a much better job than spray cans and buying notro by the quart or liter is much cheaper than by the spray can.

SR

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2 hours ago, ScottR said:

I've always been afraid of sanding through....so I always spray  a lot of nitro just to take the worry out of it. Plus, nitro shrinks to about half its original thickness after a couple of weeks. I'm glad to see you switching up to a spray gun and compressor. Even a cheap set up will do a much better job than spray cans and buying notro by the quart or liter is much cheaper than by the spray can.

SR

You're absolutely right, 2 400ml cans of clear lacquer cost me £40 inc postage (tbh I think I needed at least 3 cans). For the same money, I got a 5L tin of pre cat nitro and 1L of lacquer thinner (though I have learnt that I should have done that the other way round, used quite a bit of thinners cleaning the gun and pot out). Anyway, it really won't take a long time for that HVLP box to pay for itself. 

I also have the option of tinting lacquer now, which will work great for my DC  builds :) 

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15 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I also have the option of tinting lacquer now, which will work great for my DC  builds :) 

Yes, we've been leaving that point out, haven't we. That little option is a game changer. You can keep more chatoyance, by using less dye in the wood and more in the clear coat. And the color looks deeper as well.  And tinting is the best way to go for bursts. You may want to get you a cheap little airbrush for your bursts very easy and controllable. In fact I do all my tinting with the air brush. That way I never have to worry about cleaning the color out of my spray gun.

SR

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5 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Yes, we've been leaving that point out, haven't we. That little option is a game changer. You can keep more chatoyance, by using less dye in the wood and more in the clear coat. And the color looks deeper as well.  And tinting is the best way to go for bursts. You may want to get you a cheap little airbrush for your bursts very easy and controllable. In fact I do all my tinting with the air brush. That way I never have to worry about cleaning the color out of my spray gun.

SR

Funny you mention chatoyance, I was comparing the finish I'm working on with my PRS - fire red burst (ie. red flame top with black flames and a burst) now contrast between the flames is much greater on the PRS, the flames really stand out, but there is absolutely no chatoyance to be seen, where as the one I'm working on is more of a dark blue in the flames than black (even though my base stain was black) so the figure doesn't stand out as much (granted a lot of this can be to do with the unique pieces of wood and the finish, prs, I believe use acrylic on core models) but there is a load of chatoyance still in mine :) 

Talking of guns and air brushes, what is better in your opinion, gravity fed or pressure fed guns? 

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