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Pre- Catalysed Laquer Finishing


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I have sprayed a couple of guitars with Microcat 1220 pre-cat . This is a Mirotone product from Australia.

It gives a hard, fairly tough surface and dries really quickly so you don't have to wait long to lightly sand between coats. I just use a ordinary suction spray gun with a 2 hp compressor, probably a tad small but is OK. I was looking at a gravity or HVLP gun but the costs for the semi-hollow are mounting up so I don't want to outlay the expense at this time.

I am no expert by any means and am looking to improve on my finish. I use a 50 percent semi gloss finish as it hides any slight imperfections better and doesn't show up finger marks.

One acoustic I added a black tint to the lacquer and sprayed the neck, back and sides with the top clear and the other acoustic had an all clear finish.

Any pro painters or furniture finishers share any good tips re gun set up and spray pressures, techniques etc?

By the way I have built a jig so I can mount and rotate the guitar mounted between headstock and end pin. I figured I can do most of my spraying in the flat position and turn it as I need.

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The most obvious thing to know (which you already may know) is that you have to be religious about cleaning your gun thoroughly after using any kind of catalyzing finish, there is no forgiveness with that stuff and you'll ruin a gun pretty quick if your cleansing habits aren't up to snuff.

If you're using pre-cat, make sure it's fresh, as pre-cat has a shelf life of about a year I think, which is one reason I use catalyzed (not pre-catalyzed) and mix in the catalyst myself as needed, it never goes bad that way.

Also, you typically need much less thinner than normal lacquer.

Besides that, it shoots identical to lacquer, whatever pressure you normally use to shoot lacquer will work fine for the pre-cat.

I think it has a bonding window of about 2 hours.

Also, to get a high gloss, you MUST have some sort of pedestal buffer system, the orange pads on a drill don't cut it for that stuff.

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