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

How to make Headstock Decals

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Doth, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Doth

    Doth Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 9, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Hey Guys,

    I would like custom headstock decals for a few of my partscasters. I can find replica Fender decals, but I am not interested in a Fender decal. I would like to create something custom around my name in the style of the Fender logo.

    Does anybody know how to do this?

    Thank you,
    Don
     

  2. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    There's loads of threads covering just that. Search for "waterslide decals" and pay particular attention to anything said by JBennett. He really knows what he's talking about.

    Following the advice I've found here I just completed this one yesterday.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. Doth

    Doth Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 9, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    davmac,

    That came out awesome. Great job. That is exactly what I am looking for, except right handed and with my name ;).

    Was it hard to do?

    Don
     

  4. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 11, 2010
    Western Canada
    The short answer is, waterslide paper, a vector-graphics editing program such as coreldraw or adobe illustrator. Some seem to get by with photoshop or gimp, printing out at 600 dpi resolution. there are various techniques. hand painted metallic fills if you want to get fancy, logo right side up, printed normal. logo reversed, applied backside up.

    It takes a bit of practice, but it's not rocket science

    plenty of info around this forum. search decal, water slide, or logo - here's a couple of my recents.

    [​IMG]
     

  5. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    40
    Jun 23, 2008
    Cold Spring, NY
    Thanks davmac. Nice work. That came out great!

    I use laserjet printing on waterslide decal paper with my own designs (I use adobe illustrator but any vector based drawing program will work Or you could just draw something freehand and scan it in). They I use my own top-secret soak-n-flip method where I seal the decal top with lacquer, then soak-n- flip the decal over, let it dry and fill in the script with metallic enamel paint. it holds up really well and looks sharp. I've made many of them and they have a very retro feel, especially when coated with tinted clear coat.

    Here is how they look.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  6. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    Thanks JBennett. All down to your great advice.

    Doth, the way I did it was to draw it out using Inkscape, a free vector drawing program that you can download from http://inkscape.org/. If you want a copy of the artwork to use as a starting point, just shoot me a PM.
    I print it out onto waterslide paper that I bought cheaply on eBay. I flip the logo horizontally so that it prints out as a mirror image on the waterslide paper. I then colour in the back with a liquid gold pen that I got from an art/gift shop. This is simpler (although less effective) than the method JBennett uses. It is worth replicating the image and printing off three of four because you will most likely bugger up one or two of them.

    [​IMG]

    I let the ink thoroughly dry before soaking in water and sliding onto the headstock. Once that's dry I shoot over it with a couple of coats of clear nitrocellulose lacquer, a wet rubdown with 1200 grit wet'n'dry and a T-Cut and polish.

    tvvoodoo, I just spotted the "Turdocaster, with auto-flush tremolo". Genius!
     

  7. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    40
    Jun 23, 2008
    Cold Spring, NY
    I'll do a step by step photo tutorial of my method sometime when I have the time.
    Davmac has certainly done a good job with the quicker reverse-print method.

    I like to print on the top for a couple reasons. One, you get a slight raised surface on the black lineart which I think resembles the original screenprinted decals. Two, you can clear coat the decal before soaking/flipping/applying which makes the decal much more durable to work with.
     

  8. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    A much better approach, as you'd have seen if I'd taken pictures of the other guitar I was doing at the same time. This one was finished in danish oil and the transfer didn't adhere to the surface at all, but in doing it the dampened gold ink had seeped into the finish underneath. I'm now in the middle of sanding it all back to bare wood and starting again. I could have saved myself a lot of time...
     

  9. Doth

    Doth Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 9, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    JBennett,

    I am definitely going to be chatting with you soon. I think the first step of the process would be to come up with a creative name!

    Don
     

  10. gogirlguitars

    gogirlguitars Tele-Holic

    I have not been able to find decal paper in any hobby store. Guess it's an online order. Not in hobby lobby
     

  11. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

    366
    Sep 12, 2009
    Wisconsin
    I have bought it at Hobby Lobby; My local independent hobby store carries it, too - It's usually in the model paint aisle.

    You can also get it here:

    http://www.decalpaper.com
     

  12. gogirlguitars

    gogirlguitars Tele-Holic

    Any idea what it's called? i have seen stuff in hobby lobby but it's been sticker paper?
     

  13. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

    366
    Sep 12, 2009
    Wisconsin
    Here's what you need.

    [​IMG]

    The paper comes in either clear or white, in other words the background of the decal you print will be either white or transparent. For some designs, white is actually better, for example if you have white areas on the design, they will print as clear, so if you don't want to see woodgrain through those areas, use white. For most purposes, however, clear will work fine.
     

  14. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    I've always bought the paper from eBay. Just search for "waterslide decal paper".

    Make sure you buy the right type (Laser or Inkjet) for your printer.

    BTW: If it is an Inkjet, the finishing process is a bit more complicated because the printer ink is water soluble. You'll need to waterproof the back of the decal with a coat or two of lacquer.
     

  15. tuuur

    tuuur Friend of Leo's

    Nov 12, 2006
    the Netherlands
    Just be sure you seal it with lacquer that is not water based.

    The Testors sealer is currently no longer available in the Netherlands because of the solvents in the can. I have not found a good replacement yet; my last 5 or 6 attempts all failed due to the decals dissolving in the water.
     

  16. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    Good point! I use Re Ranch nitrocellulose lacquers which are available in the UK from http://www.manchesterguitartech.co.uk/lacquer.html.
     

  17. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Dec 31, 2009
    Queensland Australia


    I haven't tried it myself as yet, but I have heard you can spray them with hair spray. I bought a can last week but haven't printed the decals yet.

    Regards DC
     

  18. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    JBennett designed my script for me, and sent me a computer file.

    I print my own off on decal paper from decalpaper.com.

    [​IMG]
     

  19. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

    85
    Mar 2, 2011
    paris
    Guys I love this thread, and I sure one day make my own decal partcaster!
     

  20. alscort93

    alscort93 Tele-Meister

    281
    Jan 23, 2011
    Webb City, MO
    How do you make them stick if you reverse print it like that? Looks great by the way.
     

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