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Stain and Nitro trouble


Crusader
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I'm spraying again and guess what? I'm having trouble! - Oh no you're kidding! this never happens!

Here's the story

I sanded this thing from 180 through to 2000 grit then applied some stain then lacquered, which was all okay but it was too dark. So I sanded it again from 80 through to 2000 again and now I have runs and its like the top has oily patches where the lacquer just doesn't stick. I doubt if I will be happy to just sand it back a bit, no I will have to go all the way again back to bare wood

I realise a few mistakes. 1) I reduced the stain with the wrong thinners 2) I didn't let the stain dry before spraying, and 3) or should be 1, I rushed into it

I'm just posting this to see if anyone has suggestions that I haven't thought of, and if not then this is just for your amusement...

This is the colour I want but you can see the run and the dry patch

IMG_5578.thumb.jpg.1a97d4589004e6109ad665747babddfa.jpg

 

The Lacquer I'm using is Mohawk which I've used before and had good results but this time I'm using some stain. I wiped stain into the top and put a little into the lacquer as well. The second time I had found the proper filters and the gun was spraying nicely

IMG_5554.thumb.jpg.a2e629ce7e9c28d6fa978f59984481d8.jpg

 

After it dried overnight this is what it looked like

Is the problem just because I didn't wait for it to dry out before spraying? or could it also be the stain is not compatible? Thats all I can think of really 

IMG_5580.thumb.jpg.d1dec1b624848af422a4bdb23b8e1ef5.jpg

 

I had ideas of doing some kind of Sunburst to hide those maple 'wings' but I find it hard enough when doing lacquer

Any suggestions greatly appreciated

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I would first say stop at 400 to 600grit. 800 at the most before you spray the lacquer. Good adhesion needs some tooth for it to stick. You can then sand the lacquer to finish once it is on and cured. Also I would use a dye to mix with the lacquer not a stain. Something like Transtint or an aniline dye.

mk

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Another thing I learned from Drak was to always mix your dye with the solvent for the clear, in this case lacquer thinner and then mix it with the lacquer....

Just re-read your post and see you did mix with thinner first albeit the wrong one. I guess I'm fully agreeing with your conclusions then.

SR

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What @MiKro said about the sanding, plus after getting to the highest grit wipe it with a damp rag to raise the grain, let dry, sand again, wipe and let dry, sand again. After a few dampings and resandings the surface should not raise any grain if your sanding hand has been light enough.

Another option to dye is to spray the base layer of lacquer and let it dry, sand it matte lightly. Then spray a light coat of lacquer, followed by the spirit stain over the wet lacquer. While still wet, spray a thicker layer of clear lacquer to seal your colour. For several colours like a burst you can either spray all dyes during the same process or, if you're insecure, spray a semi-light coat of lacquer between the dyes to allow for wiping the last layer off with thinner while still wet. I've done the wipe-off with a tobacco burst when it became too dark in the center.

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I really appreciate all the suggestions but I'm going to keep it simple. I will take the advice of stopping at 600 grit but I just know if I try anything fancy I will stuff it up. After the first attempt turned out too dark I tried sanding the centre with the aim of getting a sunburst type of finish (see photo) but I had no confidence in proceeding

I was worried the stain not being compatible with the lacquer but no-one has said anything like that, so thats good. And after all I had good results with a test on scrap wood

I'm going to sand it and maybe use stain, then let it dry and just spray with clear. I don't know where I would get dye, there aren't that many places here in Perth that have things like that. The place where I got this stain is like 40 miles away, half way to Geraldton!

 

This is my attempt at sanding off the dark lacquer to get a sunburst (which I abandoned)

IMG_5567.thumb.jpg.553742de657ec3cc08c1a50b4a0c19ab.jpg

Edited by Crusader
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well if it makes you feel any better... I'm fighting with nitro a bit myself right now.  seems it doesn't like two things: the grain fill I used, and the ca glue and dust I used.  got it on the run now, but every time I would sand it up to a perfect level surface... spray nitro and all of the sudden I'd get little spots where the finish would 'sink in'.  I guess that's just the down side of nitro... I still love it!!

guitar has a lot of potential to look killer so... just keep chasing it.  btw... is that slot what I think it is?  piezo?

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3 hours ago, mistermikev said:

btw... is that slot what I think it is?  piezo?

Yep it sure is. I've tried it on a previous guitar and it works quite well. I hope I can get the lacquer out of the slot!

Thanks for the words of encouragement, I started sanding the top again today. It really bugs me at first but I'm getting over it and I'm sure I will get a good job done in the end. Hope your project works out!

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Just now, Crusader said:

Yep it sure is. I've tried it on a previous guitar and it works quite well. I hope I can get the lacquer out of the slot!

Thanks for the words of encouragement, I started sanding the top again today. It really bugs me at first but I'm getting over it and I'm sure I will get a good job done in the end. Hope your project works out!

right on.  so... how is the piezo held in place?  I'm just curious as I've got a build in the wings where I've got some ideas of putting a rope piezo near the neck joint.  I was planning on building a decorative piece to hide it there.  what are you using for preamp?  I've got a couple layouts I've done but anticipate using a clone from the ashbory bass (proj is for a bass).

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On 3/15/2020 at 1:23 AM, mistermikev said:

right on.  so... how is the piezo held in place?

Under the saddle same as an accoustic which was all due to a mistake when I carved the neck angle. It turned out too shallow for a Tunomatic and it wasn't enough for a Bone Saddle, so I made one out of Rosewood!

IMG_4683.thumb.jpg.105afcab5565054fa9ae9d9e035ea3d2.jpg

 

I've often had the idea which stemmed from a Les Paul Axcess I had for a while. That had Piezo's in the Tunomatic but there's a LOT of wires and I thought a Piezo under the saddle is so much more simple

The previous guitar with a Piezo has a make-shift bridge but also has the option of a normal Tunomatic. When using the Piezo on this one it doesn't sound very "convincing" So I will probably install the Tunomatic and leave that permanent

IMG_1747i.thumb.JPG.8dffcd7044fea5218046f340772b4ecc.JPG

 

Something that came out of all this is; I don't notice any difference in sound between the Tunomatic, Bone or Rosewood Saddles

Wow those f-holes are big!

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I'm not an expert I've only sprayed lacquer once from my hvlp gun, but I had a big old run down the front of the guitar between the pickups. Instead of sanding it all level again, I just kept on spraying until I was comfortable that there was plenty lacquer on the body. Then I level sanded and it was fine, that's the beauty of lacquer. I would say that you are totally sanding much too fine though, 2000 is giving very little for the lacquer to adhere to. I only sanded up to 320 but still got a glass like finish.

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2 hours ago, Crusader said:

Under the saddle same as an accoustic which was all due to a mistake when I carved the neck angle. It turned out too shallow for a Tunomatic and it wasn't enough for a Bone Saddle, so I made one out of Rosewood!

I've often had the idea which stemmed from a Les Paul Axcess I had for a while. That had Piezo's in the Tunomatic but there's a LOT of wires and I thought a Piezo under the saddle is so much more simple

The previous guitar with a Piezo has a make-shift bridge but also has the option of a normal Tunomatic. When using the Piezo on this one it doesn't sound very "convincing" So I will probably install the Tunomatic and leave that permanent

Something that came out of all this is; I don't notice any difference in sound between the Tunomatic, Bone or Rosewood Saddles

Wow those f-holes are big!

some interesting stuff there.  very cool and I appreciate you sharing.  

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On 3/14/2020 at 3:33 AM, MiKro said:

I would first say stop at 400 to 600grit. 800 at the most before you spray the lacquer. Good adhesion needs some tooth for it to stick...

On 3/16/2020 at 5:43 PM, ADFinlayson said:

....I would say that you are totally sanding much too fine though, 2000 is giving very little for the lacquer to adhere to. I only sanded up to 320 but still got a glass like finish.

You know what? I have no recollection of what I did on the last guitar AND what I said in my opening statement of this topic is not true, I only sanded to 1000 grit before staining. I have no idea why I went to 2000 the second time. I think I'm losing it!

The grit level of sandpaper I've used is not something I've documented before. I can't find photos or notes or anything from previous builds. I suppose its something I thought I'd just remember

Huh!

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1 minute ago, Crusader said:

You know what? I have no recollection of what I did on the last guitar AND what I said in my opening statement of this topic is not true, I only sanded to 1000 grit before staining. I have no idea why I went to 2000 the second time. I think I'm losing it!

The grit level of sandpaper I've used is not something I've documented before. I can't find photos or notes or anything from previous builds. I suppose its something I thought I'd just remember

Huh!

you probably can't remember because there were so many grits 😂 320 is plenty for lacquer 

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3 hours ago, Crusader said:

why is it better to use dye?

There's this issue with proper terminology. It seems that somewhere stain and dye are used as synonymes, somewhere else there's a big difference. The difference is that stain contains very fine pigment solids whereas dye is totally liquid. On bare wood the solids of stain fill the microscopic pores, enhancing the grain. If you mix stain with lacquer the result is similar to the metal flake lacquer, only less shiny and with smaller particles.  Or, if it makes more sense, it's similar to mixing clay to water for a grey stain, the result being opaque instead of transparent.

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Thanks for your reply, so if its a bit opaque then that's okay I want to try to hide the joints on the edges of the lower bout. I originally wanted to hide them with a sunburst of some kind but I've given up on that idea

You might not have noticed but the top is made up of three pieces and you might think I've got them around the wrong way. The piece on the upper side has flame and the lower edge has none. I did it this way so the grain matches and I hope it won't stand out too much

IMG_5617.thumb.jpg.cb73debe5305dae1958906e88cadc788.jpg

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At first I didn't notice what you meant... But yes, a burst should hide those extension pieces pretty well. You can do it on bare wood, or if you so wish, do the black on bare wood and the fading on lacquer. Many ways to skin a cat...

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9 hours ago, Crusader said:

 

Getting back to this, would you put stain on the wood AND use dye in the lacquer? and why is it better to use dye?

@Bizman62 answered the stain question. I use dye mixed with clear coat as to get an even color. I sometimes use dye to the wood like a stain. I always first seal the wood with a few coats of lacquer first so that the dye or stain does not blotch. The shellac sets a depth barrier so to speak allowing for a consistent color on the wood.

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2 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

At first I didn't notice what you meant... But yes, a burst should hide those extension pieces pretty well. You can do it on bare wood, or if you so wish, do the black on bare wood and the fading on lacquer. Many ways to skin a cat...

Yes many ways

I do like a burst with black around the edges but now I've had the opportunity to see the top with lacquer applied I think the concept of matching grain instead of flame has worked quite well. You don't notice the add-on pieces because they reflect light the same way

 

15 minutes ago, MiKro said:

.....I always seal the wood with a few coats of lacquer first so that the dye or stain does not blotch. The shellac sets a depth barrier so to speak allowing for a consistent color on the wood

I've tried that but the stain melts the nitro, do you spray it on?

I wipe it on with a cotton rag, diluted heaps. On this occasion 18 to 1 and I went over it 3 times to get the colour I want and to make it look even.....however you might be right because even after that I look at it and think some areas still look bare. The trouble is whenever I use stain in the lacquer I mess it up when I rub down

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15 minutes ago, Crusader said:

>snip<

 

I've tried that but the stain melts the nitro, do you spray it on?

I wipe it on with a cotton rag, diluted heaps. On this occasion 18 to 1 and I went over it 3 times to get the colour I want and to make it look even.....however you might be right because even after that I look at it and think some areas still look bare. The trouble is whenever I use stain in the lacquer I mess it up when I rub down

I don't use stain in lacquer only dye. I do not use any stain at all, only dyes. Yes I spray only as well.

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Thanks for your reply, yes after a while its all starting to sink in, I get the picture. When using stain in the lacquer (seems to me) you have to use so much that it alters its properties but dye is so concentrated that you use only a little and it doesn't change the lacquer at all

Well I'm at the crossroads now and I could go ahead with what I've got or I could buy some dye and aim for a sunburst finish. I just don't think I have time though

cheers

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Well the woes just keep piling up

I realised I was having problems with moisture so I replaced the blue beads in my water trap and the filter in the gun and gave it all a good clean up. But even after all that I got these white patches after I sprayed the guitar with just thinners. I know there is an issue with my thinners because after washing spray gun parts it left a white residue on them which I could scrape off with my thumb nail. I solved that problem by filtering the thinners but it didn't help when I sprayed

Is my thinners contaminated with water? Should I use it? Any suggestions?

The weather today was a very nice 91 degrees with a bit of cloud in the sky and a slight breeze. A little humid but not like sweaty Brisbane so I don't think there's any issues there

(Edit) I just realised - I think there was overspray from doing the top in that area

IMG_5793.thumb.jpg.a6b71384502ddf6041c7a6d1f5b6c5a6.jpg

Edited by Crusader
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