Jump to content

Headstock decal


Recommended Posts

Hey...seems like you are in the same position as me. After my headstock gets stained enough, I am going to put the decal directly on the stained wood. Then I am going to clearcoat/finish it on top.

As for putting it on the finish, I think you could get away with it...but you obviously have to cover it in 3-4 more coats of clear finish...so you might end up with an overly thick/glossy headstock due to the high number of clearcoats.

But you could do it still...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for protection........

On another note think about it before applying direct since there is a chance of it not adhearing to the wood over fine lines of grain thus showing weird bubbles or lines underneath if your using a slide on clear backing decal. I would at least use a sanding sealer over the wood if your planing on staining then apply it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The home-made ink jet ones have a thick film..I buried it under poly and I can still see a faint ridge, I doubt lacquer can bury those. The original NOS Fender and Gibson decals just melt under a few coats of lacquer...they are rare though, I just got lucky knowing a luthier who repaired those guitars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently did a "practice run" trying to make a decal with an ink jet printer and transparency film for overhead projectors. Basically I built a work bench for my basement and used some hard wood floor poly to clear it. I decided to slap an image made out of transparency film on it... just to see how it works. My results were not perfect ... but I did learn a few things about using this method... It seems the way you cut out your decal is directly related to how many coats of clear you will need to "bury the line" . The transparency film I used was .003 in. thick. It will take a lot of clear to bury a line that thick. However, if you cut your decal / image out on an bevel / angle .... you will achieve a more gradual slope to the edge of the decal. I did this by accident while cutting out my decal with a pair of scissors. The spots that were cut on an angle had a much smoother transition and didn't need as much "build up" of clear. I'm going to try using an ex-acto knife held on a 45 degree angle the next time around.

Also .... I realize that most headstock decals are just plain black which is easier to work with. But I used a color image as a test.... Color images will need a white background for the color tones to correct. My image came out darker because it was "natural wood" color behind it. If I had used a white paint behind it .... the white would have trapped the color making the image clearer and brighter.

just my $0.02 worth of useless knowledge .... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem you will get with inkjet decals is that inkjet ink ( and laser toner ) isnt designed to be left in sunlight over a long period - the ink will fade really badly over time, and your headstock will look crappy !

They are OK for short term things, or for trying out ideas, but not for permenant projects.

In answer to the other question - you can lacquer over pretty much anything, the thicker it is the more coats you need to get it all level, but it will get there in the end !

With the stuff we do the clear film is only a few microns thick, so you dont need many coats to cover it. I've never tried lacquering over inkjet stuff, but as the ink isnt waterproof or lacquerproof you'd need to apply a few really dry coats to seal it in before putting finish coats on just to be safe.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear ya about sealing in the ink. I used Modge Podge (sp) to seal in mine. Do you think that fading will still occure even if sin light is not a factor ? I was thinking of trying it on a strat body... but if its going to fade ... I may look at other methods... Having 4 color decal printed up ... for a 1 time thing .. hmmm I smell a lot of $$$$ burning up?

I think I might just try and find a good air brush artist .... that might be the best bet....

On average... if I used a water slide decal... or transparency film with a ink jet printer.... what is the life expectancy ? Alos .. it will be in color... not just black. Any ideas....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, just now I decided to try print off the decal I made. It has the Fender logo, with black STRATOCASTER and MADE IN CANADA (instead of USA hehe), then I have a small pot leaf in between them, which is a basic dark green and black. I left the outline of the Fender logo and kept the inside blank to color in with a paint pen.

Trouble is with an inkjet...it comes out in pools of ink, instead of a nice detailed picture. The letters are 'decent' and the outline of the Fender logo is acceptable, but the green in the leaf is a pool. It's a nice epson, the photo 820, but still lacks the absolute precision of a laser jet.

To town I go with a floppy disk and $15 I guess.... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried the transparency method several times and have never been happy with the results B) . To make things worse, they all gave the appearance of looking good while applying the clear coats but when I finally reached the leveling point and sanded everything nicely, the edges were visible from across the room :D . I haven't read that guide that mike mentioned but I probably won't be doing it again anyway.

I settled on using an airbrush stencil made by a sign maker supplier. It doesn't solve the problems that come with multi-color logo's but for a single color logo, it's hard to beat the quick, easy and great looking results that come with the airbrush/stencil method. It's real cheap also. :D

So, if any of you are spending a lot of time and getting frustrated (even with mike's help) - consider going another route. I would not recommend free-handing for obvious reasons (unless you're an artist). I know some people have got around this by using inlay for the logo but not all guitars look right with an inlay logo and then there's the time involved.

Just wanted to share my solution to the transparency logo frustration that I went through. I know some people have managed to come up with good looking logo's that way but looking back now - I wish I had never bothered with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I should point out here is that the guide we do is intended for our decals, which are not inkjet, laser or overhead transparency types, so may not work with them ! :D

The clear film we print on is only a couple of microns thick, so they dont need much lacquering over to cover them - also once lacquered and levelled, the clear film and its edges are not visible.

We can also supply vinyl stencils for spraying, but these are only really suitable for single colour work unless you have a lot of experience doing them.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...