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Applying Sealer


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Hi guys i was applying sealer to my guitar, I was sanding between coats and the first 2 went well, but at the third one apparently i didn't clean up well and got dust under the 3rd coat, what should i use to keep the guitar clean between coats? a wet rag? cuz i was buffing it out with a dry cloth but that aparently didn't take care of it, thanx

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If you're doing a completely natural Mahogony body, then Don't use sealer at all, or stop now.

Nitro sanding sealer is just nitro lacquer with -soap- added to it to make it sand easier, and it will dull the look. That's ALL sanding sealer is.

Sanding sealer 'might' have a few more solids in it to help fill pores, but really nothing major, and the soap additives in it will lessen your beautiful see-thru gloss look and actually make your finish SOFTER. You think soap dries hard? :D

Just use straight lacquer from here on out.

It's best to pore-fill Mahogony if you're going to go with a natural look so your lac coats build faster, but what's done is done. Give the sealer a rest.

Sealer is really a completely unnecessary product. Regular lacquer isn't THAT hard to sand for chrissakes, and that's the ONLY reason to use sanding sealer, it makes it easier to sand, but there's the tradeoff of having a slightly duller look when you're done.

I never use sanding sealer for anything. Ever.

Oh. And you don't need to sand between every coat. You can shoot as many coats as you want, then level everything all at once if you want to.

There are many roads to the same result with finishing products. B)

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well i was gonna remove all the sealer i applied yesterday, I have acatalizaed lacquer in clear gloss, should i aplly it directly? in the directions it says i should use it along with sealer...i also bought that catalized lacquer in cherry

for another guitar i'll paint that color, same procedure? apply directly and then clear gloss?

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Yes.

'Understanding Wood Finishing' by Bob Flexner. :D

Eddie: If you're really using catalyzed lacquer, then I would start from scratch, sand everything back off, and I mean everything, and pore fill the pores with a nice pore filler. It will help darken the pores and make the grain stand out nicer, and give you a completely flat surface to shoot on.

See, the old finishers' rule is: you never apply a harder coat over a softer coat. And cat-lac is a harder finish than regular lac or sanding sealer lac.

Also, I don't know how you intend on buffing it out at the end, but cat-lac needs professional buffing equipment to bring it to a high gloss. The Stew-Mac orange buffing pads on a drill (what I use) is not enough to cut it, so another warning there.

I'm sure you must have run across some of my old posts reguarding catalyzed lacquer and it's tremendous dangers, so you better be shooting under completely professional conditions if you're shooting Cat if you want to live to play that guitar.

But if that's what you're using, and you're properly protected, then know this: catalyzed lacquer has -many- times the solids content that regular lacquer does. Cat-lac is like shooting Poly as far as solids content goes, which means it builds QUICK. Which also means it will sag and run a little easier since more product is going on the instrument.

And cat-lac is a cross-linker, which means you have a window to shoot as many coats as you're going to shoot for that day. Then the next day, you need to sand the surface to get a physical adhesion going between yesterdays' coats and todays coats, as dried coats do not stick to new coats after the window has passed like regular lac does.

So...you SURE Catalyzed Lacquer is what you have?

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Yes.

'Understanding Wood Finishing' by Bob Flexner. B)

Eddie: If you're really using catalyzed lacquer, then I would start from scratch, sand everything back off, and I mean everything, and pore fill the pores with a nice pore filler. It will help darken the pores and make the grain stand out nicer, and give you a completely flat surface to shoot on.

See, the old finishers' rule is: you never apply a harder coat over a softer coat. And cat-lac is a harder finish than regular lac or sanding sealer lac.

Also, I don't know how you intend on buffing it out at the end, but cat-lac needs professional buffing equipment to bring it to a high gloss. The Stew-Mac orange buffing pads on a drill (what I use) is not enough to cut it, so another warning there.

I'm sure you must have run across some of my old posts reguarding catalyzed lacquer and it's tremendous dangers, so you better be shooting under completely professional conditions if you're shooting Cat if you want to live to play that guitar.

But if that's what you're using, and you're properly protected, then know this: catalyzed lacquer has -many- times the solids content that regular lacquer does. Cat-lac is like shooting Poly as far as solids content goes, which means it builds QUICK. Which also means it will sag and run a little easier since more product is going on the instrument.

And cat-lac is a cross-linker, which means you have a window to shoot as many coats as you're going to shoot for that day. Then the next day, you need to sand the surface to get a physical adhesion going between yesterdays' coats and todays coats, as dried coats do not stick to new coats after the window has passed like regular lac does.

So...you SURE Catalyzed Lacquer is what you have?

Drak, i removed all the sealer,and sanded everything back, i don't have a pore filler and i believe it's catalized lacquer cuz that's was what i was told it was at the store, it came with a catalizer to mix, so i believe it's catalized lacquer, also i didn't read any of your posts regarding it :D but i shot a coat in my backyard and i was wearing a mask, the first coat came out pretty good and it really brings out the character of the mahogany, now i am just awaiting for the lacquer to harden to sand and apply the neck coat, i was planning to sand in between coats to a 320 grit, then for the final coat, wet sanding on 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000, so that's it...i'll read your old posts...Thanx man

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If you have a separate catalyst, then yes, you have the real deal there.

Make SURE you add the proper amount of catalyst, and if you have to err, err on the side of a little more, not less. If you don't put enough catalyst in there, it won't harden properly.

Also, when you're mixing your batch, add in the catalyst to your thinner first, then add in the lacquer, then shoot.

It's OK if you didn't pore-fill first, Cat-Lac will build -real- quick, and there's no shrink-back, it does have it's positives. :D

The downside to all the good stuff is the protection you need to wear to protect yourself (go overboard if you can...mask, skullcap, long sleeves, etc...), and the fact that you need some -serious- buff power to make it gloss up really good at final buffout.

There is a little trick, which is what I do when I use Cat-Lac.

I shoot the Cat-Lac for a few coats, until at least level, then I switch to regular lacquer to finish off.

Why?

Because I can buff regular lacquer up -real- sweet, and it doesn't break the old finisher's rule...I'm putting a softer finish over top of a harder finish, so everything is Kapichness.

Oh, the other real downside to Cat.

It will -ruin- your gun unless you COMPLETELY clean that muther out after every single daily shoot.

Once it hardens, that's it. You can't soak it in thinner and have it remelt, you HAVE to 100% break down the gun and clean it thoroughly after every daily shoot episode.

Last thing..... The downside to Cat-Lac having so many solids content, that allows you to build coats soooo quick and fast.

Well, those same solids will make the finish have a sort of satin look to it if you put it on too thick, so keep it as thin as you can get away with.

That stuff is so tough, it doesn't need to be very thick anyway.

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hmmm well Drak, it says on the can that it dries to sand in an hour, also it doesn't need any thinner, it's been 4 hours since i gave it the first coat and it's not dry at all, not even to the tact, the proportions on the can for lacquer and catalizer are 20:1, i was using very little lacquer so i applied a little catalizer and i thought i applied too much, because it's better always to add more catalizer than less, also i cleaned my gun and sprayed thinner with it for a good while so i supposse the gun will be clean although i will be more careful for the next coat. The other guitar i'll paint with this cat-lac is another mahogany guitar and the color is light cherry i chose light because that i could control how dark i'd want the color, i want an SG cherry like color, another question( i should have asked this before) cat laq won't crack, right?

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The thicker you apply it the more prone to cracking it is, so once again, keep it reasonable and thin.

Any finish can crack.

Hmmmm, something's not right there I'm afraid. My Cat-Lac dries to the touch in under 10 minutes, it acts exactly like lacquer as far as that's concerned, I hate to say it, but I think you have problems there.

Too much catalyst will screw things up too, you have to be pretty damned precise when measuring the amounts out. I use those little plastic measuring cups that are graded on the sides, can't go wrong with those puppies...cheap too. Any finish supply store should carry them. And if you're using really small amounts, you could use pipettes for measuring.

There's no way on earth catalyzed lacquer takes more than 1/2 hour to dry, that's what the catalyst does, it makes it cure...and very rapidly too.

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So all two part lacquers are much more dangerous? That's what I'm planning on using on my next guitar (maybe), because that's the only basecoat/topcoat system they carry at the only place around here that mixes car paints. It's a lot more expensive than I thought it was going to be, though. I had a friend that got them to match a body panel on his car. A quart of the stuff was like $120. It was really really good paint from what I saw, though. I guess I should look into the safety equipment I'll need.

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yeah i think i used way too much catalizer, i will ask tomorrow at the paint store if they have measures, but in any case, i just have to use 20 parts of lacquer and one part of catalizer, one question: since i think this won't cure, what sure i use to remove this coat? thinner? and then i should scrape it off with a blade? or should i sand it off ( if it cures)

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It's not going to be fun, that's for sure.

I guess I'd go at it with a scraper for starters.

And don't think you can just spray straight catalyst over top of it to dry it (yes, I've had to try it, hehehe) it doesn't work quite that way.

Been there. :D

Ask the place you bought it from, maybe they have an idea. I don't have anything that's quick and easy for ya.

Yes, I would say most 2-part finishes are pretty nasty on the whole.

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Ok scraped that crap off , and mixed it correctly this time, it worked!! now, i have some glossy areas and some other that look satin, the grain is filled and the surface looks even, no pores. What's next? i was planning to start wet sanding with a 320 grit, wet sanding with soapy water, and then go to 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000, is this the way to go?

Edited by eddiewarlock
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No soap! you don't need it. Just let the paper soak on for 1/2 a day. If you only applied the grain sealer, sand with 320 dry. Check again the pores, some stuborn ones decide to unplug, refill those and sand again with 320. Once this is done sand with 400-600 and you can start your finish.

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I thought he WAS doing his finish.

Did I miss something there? :D

Eddie, what the heck are you doing exactly? :D

Are you just doing a sealer coat right now, or are you shooting cat-lac for the whole thing, you're confusing me now, and I'm laughing. B):D

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the grain is filled and the surface looks even, no pores. What's next? i was planning to start wet sanding with a 320 grit, wet sanding with soapy water, and then go to 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000, is this the way to go?

__________

OK, but how can you be done in one day then? This comment above sounds like you're done and moving on to the final buffout stage...in 24 hours!

What's up?

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