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I have a buddy who owns a vinyl cutting machine and am thinking of starting a joint venture with him. Basically we would cut vinyl graphics for guitars. They could be used a few ways.

1. Dont have the money for refinish, add vinyl flames of tribal logos etc... (could be offered generically and specificaly for guitars like the rg)

2. Paint masks for complex designs, much the way Rc car painters use them.

2.5 Leave them in place before you clear coat?

3. Im not sure but it seems like you could use them to help with inlays. A peice of vinyl with the vine on it laid on the board to mark all your cuts instead of masking it. Using the cut out parts to lay in what youv'e cut and possibly to template your acrylic.

People could also request custom one off's or exclusive masks for a set up fee.

Would you buy them, and what would you pay? I think im going to work on some samples to trade him for a guitar hes been wanting. Maybe its my excuse to buy the PRS 5 pack from Brian.

Let me know what you think, nothings for sale yet. If it happens there will definitley be intro rates and project guitar specials.


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Isnt there a company already doing this?? Ive seen the ads in guitar magazines. Never seen their stickers on a guitar though, and to be honest, i think it makes it look cheap. Vinyl pretend inlays are one step lower than those self adhesive abalone stickers, which are much more exclusive looking, and still cop a bad rap.

My opinion is that its a waste of your time, but please proove me wrong!

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They could be cool for "masking" for painting

Think of things like the Zakk Wylde bulls eye finish.......

If you can do high quailty color photo stuff & it would be able to hold under the clear coat without bubbling then it could be VERY cool!

I would be interested, I have a TON of photoshop artwork & graphics that I would use If I could figure out a way to do it

I had a string a few months ago on this very subject & have since found out that the way Jackson does their graphics is with a plastic "shrinkwrap" type of process

If you want help with artwork or design ideas let me know


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You have to be very careful with vinyl, alot of clears will attack it, or won't stick to it at all. What you have to remember, is your paint bond will only be as good as the vinyl glue bond. Small area's such as logo's are ok to do, but large graphics may become problematic.

Paint masks however are a decent idea, problem is, most custom shops don't want to use a generic design. I have done the same finish more than once, but it's my design, maybe based on someone else's, but it's mine.

Also, I have a sign guy that does all my stuff for less than it would cost me to have to buy it and ship it to me.

But, do it for yourself, and have fun with it! :D You can offer them for sale, just don't expect to get rich quick, it's like the bobbin toppers, they pay for themselves and postage, and maybe every 40 Brian has enough profit to buy lunch B)

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Im not talking about faking inlays w/ vinyl. Im talking about masking your route with one peice and using the vinyl you removed to put in the routes like some of the jems do.

about all you'd benifit from with inlays is having a vinyl print that you could cut through with an exacto knife once it's applied to the fretboard. Having tape, or vinyl on the board while you route works ok, but it lifts as soon as you get close to the edge and makes it very tough to see what you are doing. Also, when you route, a fair bit of heat is generated, this makes the glue sticky and make a mess right at the edge of the route. Not a huge deal as you end up sanding it anyway, but it's just one more hurdle to overcome.

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I just had an epiphany (how's that for a $2 word!!!)

I understand Jeremy's words of caution regarding being very careful with vinyl & the fact that alot of clears will attack it, or won't stick to it at all.

And I know that Jeremy is the MAN & absolutely knows what he is talking about!

But my thought was this

Isn't Fenders photoflame, in theory, the same type of concept that we are talking about?

If so, that covers the entire guitar & would have the same issues with the vinyl glue bond.

Or am I way off base?

Dave K

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O.K.....now we are getting somewhere B)

I should have know Doug would know about this :D

My next question is...can clear polyester be shot with a normal spray-gun?

If so, what brand do you use?

Any drawbacks or limitations using clear polyester?


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you can use a regular gun as long as you can change tips....it requires a larger 2.2 mm tip....and adequate pressure....the only drawback is that it takes a while to get used to shooting something that thick......but once you get it down, its dreamy...there isnt a more durable finish out there

i use a devilbiss millinium gravity gun .....id like to move up to sata, but thats a big leap for a guy like me.....personally, i hope to have someone hired this week to do all the painting for me....i hate painting

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