Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Headstock waterslide technique: which to choose?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by stale facet, May 21, 2017.

  1. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Clear poly will clear-coat anything poly. In fact, if you get a scuff on a headstock-tip, poly whether wipe-on or spray, can fix that easily. It blends-in easily without evidence of repair. Poly doesn't work over nitro, though. So, you never want to repair nitro with poly. But nitro can be used over poly, as Fender did on the 70s Teles decals. They used tinted nitro over the poly peghead. That's what my luthier taught me years ago and I've always followed that advice, to good results.
     

  2. McCart

    McCart TDPRI Member

    Age:
    72
    70
    Mar 12, 2016
    California
    I have found that not all water slides are created equal. Some of them leave absolutely no witness lines and others look more like decals. I just did some lazer jet slides and they went on beautifully. The thinner the better when it comes to water slides.
     

  3. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Here's one I did with poly. This was to convert a build to 70s vintage decal.
     

  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Hmmm - I've found just the opposite and that lacquer has extremely poor adhesion over polyurethanes.

    There are two reasons covering the two most critical types of adhesion:

    1) Chemical - lacquer obtains absolutely no chemical adhesion when applied on polyurethane. The solvents and resins do get any kind of reaction that creates a chemical bond, so chemical adhesion is nonexistent.

    2) Mechanical - lacquer only gains mechanical adhesion when there is some kind of surface profile. As properly-applied polyurethane has no surface profile at all the only methods to create profile are abrasive, i.e. sanding, grinding etc. This will mar the polyurethane finish and is counterproductive, so under normal circumstances there's no mechanical adhesion either.

    This leaves you with only one adhesion method - reduced surface tension, i.e. "suction". This is how decals adhere - the "adhesive" merely reduces surface tension between the decal and polyurethane, allowing the decal to pull down onto the surface. It's also how non-reactive/non-gummy adhesives stick to very smooth surfaces.

    When applied to smooth polyurethane lacquer can normally be scratched off with very little effort. I'm not sure exactly how you have managed to get lacquer to adhere to smooth polyurethane without abrading the surface but I'd love to see any adhesion testing you've done and per which ASTM test method - crosshatch, tape test or whatever.

    No conventional lacquer has ever been able to pass any of them that I'm aware of. Please let us know if you are using a special product or preparation method, because it's virtually impossible otherwise. I spent 35+ years doing tests on them.
     

  5. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't recommend nitro over poly. Just suggested that Fender used to do it, back in the 70s. In fact, I have one. For decal work, I much prefer poly over poly. I've found that roughing-up the surface poly before spaying over the decal with poly, really isn't required. I find poly much easier to work with, for a lot of reasons. I have done a couple using nitro over poly though, and didn't have any of the adhesion problems you described, just found it tougher to work with than the polyurethane products. But, roughing-up the surface with lacquer, is a good suggestion. No scientific experiments here, just trial and error, to arrive at the best processes for guitar finishes.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

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