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Nitro question.


musmanjam
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I'm refinishing a strat and a les paul as project guitars. I'd like to do both in a gloss black nitro. I have access to a HVLP sprayer. Anyone have any advice on where I can get clear nitro lacquer as well as how to do black? Is there much difference between brands of lacquer? Where can I purchase lacquer? Do I add black pigment to the clear for black or can I buy black by itself?

That's probably enough questions for now. Thanks to whoever can help.

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I just did the sides of my guitar black. I went against everything I preach and used "Jet" Black Nitro in a rattle can...It really worked well. I've since used my sprayer to coat with gloss nitro and it looks great. I'm sure you can track down black nitro if you really try..but I looked for a while and couldn't come up with anything.

Adding black dye to it will give you a translucent black, which I imagine you don't want. I'd consider using the rattle cans - it's quick and easy. Since you'll be using the HVLP gun for the clear coat - it will turn out fine.

Yes, there is a difference between brands of Lacquer. I've been using Parks and having a good experience with it. McFaddens is the other brand favored by luthiers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To 'mix' black gloss, I use Behlen's Solar Lux black alcohol dye and Tints All Lamp Black blended together in my clear lacquer.

The Tints All is way cheap (like, $2.00 per tube cheap), it's available at any artist supply store, and it is a PIGMENT, not a dye, so it is solid, it is not translucent like an anilyne dye is.

I add these to straight lacquer thinner to break them down first before adding the mix into the lacquer.

I too have done the same thing Ben has done, used Behlen's aerosol can black lacquer and clear-coated over it. Not sure I would use that for an entire body, I use it occasionally to do the sides of a body, like between binding, and rear bouts, areas like that...

Believe it or not, you can tint black by adding either blue or orange, they will 'lean' the black certain ways. Really, you can add anything to black...green, blue, orange, red...depending on how much you add, you can get some neat results. :D

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I have used rattlecan nitro from both StewMac and ReRanch. While StewMac doesn't have the rattlecan selection that ReRanch does, I have found their stuff to be easier to work with and the price is WAY lower. In your case, the selection doesn't matter anyway since you want to use StewMac's readily available clear and black anyway.

May your project go smoothly and finish up beautifully!

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I'm refinishing a strat and a les paul as project guitars. I'd like to do both in a gloss black nitro. I have access to a HVLP sprayer. Anyone have any advice on where I can get clear nitro lacquer as well as how to do black? Is there much difference between brands of lacquer? Where can I purchase lacquer? Do I add black pigment to the clear for black or can I buy black by itself?

That's probably enough questions for now. Thanks to whoever can help.

You have access to an HVLP sprayer and are wanting to use Nitro. You do know that there are better paints out there don't you?

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You have access to an HVLP sprayer and are wanting to use Nitro.  You do know that there are better paints out there don't you?

well now that depends on what you want,now doesn't it?

i like nitro because it is light, tough and inexpensive

gibson STILL uses it and many on this forum do as well.

poly has benifits too.lgm made a good list of pros and cons a while back between nitro,polyu,and polyester...they all have benifits .it is true that polyu is tougher than nitro but that doesn't make nitro inferior.some swear that it lets the instrument "breathe" better

all that said though if i had a gun i would also be shooting poly,and i probably will change over soon,but nitro is still an accepted guitar finish

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...?showtopic=1892

:D

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Poly is much tougher to buff out to a super-gloss shine than lacquer is.

You can get total pro results with a minumum of tools and equipment to get lacquer to pro standards.

To do that with poly, you pretty much have to have a pedestal buffer, real flannel buffs, and the proper compounds and the right 'touch' to avoid burn-thrus causing you to strip and start over again.

Poly is also harder to touch up if you nick a chip off. And you better be a perfectionist about cleaning your guns, if you get lazy and let poly dry up in your gun, kiss it goodbye, it's trashcan bound. Lacquer you can re-liquify at any time, even months down the road.

Poly is very dangerous as well, it can permanently damage your central nervous system. Well, lacquer can too, but poly is just more dangerous to play around with.

If you're setting up a pro shop, then no problem, it (the pedestal buffer) belongs there anyway, but for the backyard guy only building minimal units, it is added machines, floor space, and materials, not just the difference in buying the product itself or spraying it.

Just noting that there is the back door as well as the front door when it comes to choosing finishes.

Choosing a finish is actually choosing an entire SYSTEM of finishing, because every finish has it's surrounding 'stuff' that goes along with it.

I like Poly too, but for a backyard builder, it is a bit of a pain.

My answers are usually aimed at the amateur builder, not some guy doing this for a living, it's 2 different outlooks, 2 different pocketbooks, 2 different approaches. :D

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You can get Lawrence McFadden 3651 gloss lacquer and compatible sealer from www.woodfinishingsupplies.com.

If you want black paint and have access to a spray gun you can make your own using a compatible universal tinting color added to the clear lacquer to make a paint. If you add a dye like Behlen Solarlux it won't obscure the wood the way a pigmented colorant will.

Good luck, hope this helps.

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