How to make Headstock Decals

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

  1. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks. You know I've never thought about it - It just does! I lightly score the lacquer with 1200 grit, float the decal off in lukewarm water, apply, dry and dust with lacquer before giving it a few more coats. The only time I had a problem was when I stupidly tried to apply it to a Danish Oil finish and proved that water and oil definitely don't mix.
     
  2. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

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    I think if you don't oversoak the decal when flipping it there is still enough glue on there to stick. I've tested many of my decals and they all stick really well. If you are trying this method I highly recommend making a few extras and testing one out on some scrap that you've finished with the same finish as your neck. Then you'll know if you need to use a decal setting solution or glue mixed into the water.
     
  3. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hello Dave - I followed your link to the blog and like what you've got there.
    For what it's worth, I've also got a stratty project. MM RW neck, Alder Allparts body (looking a lot like yours) swimming pool route and 3xP90 pups. Currently they are as 3 creme soap bars w/ a matte black 'guard.
    I've located a pearly/torty guard and am trying to cut the sc holes out to fit the P90s.
    My sugg - consider the tort instead of Black or white.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  4. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks! A 3 x P90 strat sounds like I great idea. I'll give the tortoiseshell some thought. I do like them but usually over a light solid or natural wood finish.

    Here's a pic of the current state of the Strat. Have been playing it a lot recently, and the white pickguard is growing on me.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Telecastermusic

    Telecastermusic Tele-Meister

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    Davmac, Great link! Just downloaded Inkscape and had aplay with it. Great that you can outline the text. Willtry printing on waterslide tomorrow. Have previously tried outlining decals freehand, noreal success. This is great!
     
  6. lee2112

    lee2112 TDPRI Member

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    For you guys that have done this before, I've got a question.

    I've used the testors inkjet decal paper and my decal went on the headstock great. Misted before hand with some lacquer and the ink held up fine.

    So now I'm putting on coats trying to bury the deal. I'm up to 6 coats of lacquer and I notice that as a coat dries it seems to receed from on top of the deal. Not like a fisheye where I'd suspect I'd smeared something on it. It all seems to go down nicely but once it starts drying you can tell that the decal is now sitting deeper than the rest of the finish. Do I need to just keep laying down the layers?

    I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance.

    Thanks
    Lee
     
  7. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Lee2112...stand off a longer distance...mist on a coat...do not try for a wet layer...do that a couple of times and let us know what happens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  8. lee2112

    lee2112 TDPRI Member

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    Buckocaster, I'm going to try that. I started this morning by doing a little sanding with 1200 with a block to start the leveling and now I'm doing the misting. Maybe I'll lay down a smooth coat at the end of the day and then repeat it all tomorrow.

    I'll follow-up when I get it done. Thanks.
     
  9. Sandia Man

    Sandia Man Tele-Meister

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    I had good results using Krylon clear acrylic spray. Not sure if you can acquire that locally, but it works well
     
  10. GrievousA

    GrievousA TDPRI Member

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    What about decals over black? The ones I have made become invisible!
     
  11. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

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    Just fill them in on the backside with whatever color you like and they will become visible! What image are you trying to make show up on black?
     
  12. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Since we brought this post back from the dead, I thought I would repost this deal I posted in one of my threads


    Forum member JBennett designed me an awesome logo, and emailed me the picture.

    I open that picture in Paint, and add whatever I want, like a name.

    [​IMG]

    Then I copy that image into Microsoft WORD, inverse the image, and fill up the paper with replications.
    [​IMG]

    Then I print off the decal.

    [​IMG]

    Color in the middle with silver metallic. I used Testors Enamel Silver.

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut around the perimeter of the decal, so I have less clear decal on the headstock.

    [​IMG]

    I mix a little elmers glue into warm water.
    [​IMG]

    I get everything ready, the application process goes quickly.

    [​IMG]

    My application process.

    1. Make sure the headstock is finished and sanded smooth.
    2. Dunk the decal in the warm water - 20-45 seconds
    3. Place the decal where I want it on the headstock.
    4. Lightly squegee air from under the decal. From the center out.
    5. Carefully slide the backing off.
    6. Refract the neck in the light to look for imperfections.
    *. If there are air bubbles or the decal is slightly off, I dunk my finger in the water, and squeegee the decal. from the center to the outside.
    7. Daub the decal dry with the paper towel. center to the outside.
    8. Dunk my finger in white vinegar. rub it on the decal lightly. from center to outside.
    9. repeat the paper towel step.
    10. Allow to dry for a day or two.
    11. Bury in lacquer.

     
    _JA_ and anyone like this.
  13. conorb

    conorb TDPRI Member

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    This is a really great thread.

    In the past I've just used Avery decal paper and printed it out my inkjet printer using standard Pantone colors in Illustrator for gold and silver metallic. It's looks pretty good and is easy to apply. I sprayed a couple of coats of Behlen's clear lacquer over it.

    Here's what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course the inkjet output is neither gold or silver so I like the idea of filling it from the back with real paint.

    I'm definitely going to try that next.

    conorb
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  14. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    Ok we need this thread to get "sticky." Thanks Bennet and Colt, once again fantastic contributions here from everyone.

    And just so I can claim to have added something helpful: Laser jet decal paper doesn't run when it's dry. This might happen with inkjet paper so it's recommended that you lightly spray some clear over the printed sheet before you cut out (or soak) the individual decals.

    Oh, and of course this process works well for DIY stomp boxes, too.
     
  15. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I made the change to Laser paper after a good friend of mine called and said the decal on his guitar ran after he walked from a stage to his vehicle in a light rain. That decal had about 3 light coats of lacquer on top before it was installed.
     
  16. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to color one decal in & then "stack" another decal on top of it to regain the sharp outlines. It worked o.k., but The decal becomes so thick that it was hard to bury under lacquer. I saw Colt's tutorial & tried it. Much easier & a much better finished product. (Thanks Colt!) The only thing I would add is, if you can't figure out how to "inverse" your graphics, check your printer properties. There is usually an option to print a "mirror" image.

    Bob
     
  17. GrievousA

    GrievousA TDPRI Member

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    Did ya'll see my thread? Gold Gibson logo placed on black background: When I use clear decal film the gold Gibson becomes almost invisible. Suggestions? I uplaoded several photos for review.

    Thanks,
    Billy
    \
     
  18. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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  19. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

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    It's all in this thread. Fill it in on the underside with opaque gold paint and it will appear sharp and bright on your black headstock.

    J
     
  20. GrievousA

    GrievousA TDPRI Member

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    J and others - Thanks for the info. It's the orignal "Gibson" script-liuke logo as used on my 1978 J45. See attached photos.

    I assume I must use clear decal film when applying the opague gold, correct? I have either clear or white decal film/paper.

    This is a great idea! I try ASAP.

    Thanks,
    Billy
     

    Attached Files:

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