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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

Sparkle Particle Sizes

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Uncle Joe, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Let's talk about sparkles. Glitter.

    First something about mica pearl. Mica particles, natural or synthetic, are too tiny to be recognized as Sparkle on a guitar finish. Here's a picture of transparent mica pearls over black. The mica measures 3-9 μ magnified 200x:

    [​IMG]

    Mica is the stuff in pearlescent paints. For metallic looks paint manufacturers also use similarly sized bronze and aluminum powders. This is not what this thread is about. This thread is about Sparkle.

    Let's begin with small Sparkle. Here's a picture, also magnified 200x, of the smallest popular polyester Glitter size of .004 x .004" (100 μ) laying atop the mica pearls. The Glitter is transparent iridescent, like the mica pearls beneath, but the square Glitter particles are huge in comparison:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

  2. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Let's look at the three most popular Glitter particle sizes used on most guitar finishes. From smallest to largest outer-dimension size; .004 x .004" (100 μ), .008" Hex (200 μ) and .015" Hex (400 μ). Here's a shot of all three at 200 x magnification:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture (60x mag) of a gate opening on a rattle can nozzle taken from the cheapest Glitter spray found at a craft store. They use the .004 x .004" size and the gate opening is multiple times greater than the outer dimension of the particle. I've sprinkled three sizes of Glitter over the nozzle, the aforementioned .004 x .004", .008" Hex and .015" Hex:

    [​IMG]

    Notice how huge the nozzle gate opening is compared to the .004 x .004" particle. The .008" Hex may spray, but no way on the .015" Hex, it would clog for sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

  3. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    My $89.00 Epiphone Les Paul Special is en route from Guitar Center/MF's Kansas City warehouse and won't land until Friday. In the meantime I'm going crazy waiting. Can't wait to spray. I've chosen to do it with rattle cans using Red Glitter in particle sizes .004 x .004" and .006 x .006". I've been reading that guys have had success using this in the combination shown below:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

  4. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    The rattle can stuff won't be as dynamic a finish as guitars sprayed with the larger .008" Hex or sprinkled and coated with the relatively humongous .015" Hex, but I'm thinking the little sparkles may look good on the Satin Cherry Epi LP Special I. I've sprinkled the .015" Hex Silver Glitter on a guitar before and the results were so-so. Here's my Squier '51 that I did about ten years ago:

    [​IMG]

    The fact that I sprinkled the guitar with large Glitter (.015" hex) from a hand sifter was a big mistake. Damn the torpedoes. I went on to finish with multiple cans of Clear Acrylic spray and wet sanding. Too much work. Not a great result. Live and learn. It was my first try.
     

  5. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    Your photos aren't showing.
     

  6. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    What exactly is this Glitter? Most of it is simple "Mylar". It's biaxially-oriented polyester film that's vacuum metalized with a few angstroms of aluminum on one side and then coated with translucent color on both sides. The result is shiny film like that used to manufacture metallic balloons. This metallic film is then precision-cut and clarified into particles that are known as Glitter.

    I think most guys get confused about the particle sizes of the stuff, thus this thread.
     

  7. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Ouch. Thanks. I can see them here. I'll try a different computer at a different location and see what happens.
     

  8. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    Working now, thanks.
     

  9. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Thank you. Dropbox failed. I went with Photobucket instead. I wouldn't have known if you didn't mention it.
     

  10. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    The largest Glitter particles I've noticed on guitars are on the Gretsch White Falcon. They had a room full of 'em at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. I'd guess the particle size at .035 x .035", more than four times the surface area of the Glitter particle (.015" Hex) on my Squier '51 and many of Buckocaster's awesome builds.

    [​IMG]
     

  11. kp8

    kp8 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 22, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    I have a danelectro with unusually large sparkles and hate it. I wish I could get it refinished since it is a Korean made DC3 so well worth it I think and fun little guitar.
     

  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    This is a very interesting intro. I have trouble visualizing numbers, so those comparative pics were great for me. I've bought a few different bottles of flake from Daddy Roth, and they don't have a nice explanation like this. Thanks! :)

    I tend to prefer flake a bit on the bigger side, but it greatly increases the amount of clear you need to get on to get a flat surface at the end, so I'm thinking I will downsize my selections in the future.
     

  13. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    The Dick Dale Chartreuse Stratocaster uses .015" Hex Glitter.

    [​IMG]
     

  14. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass Tele-Holic

    573
    Mar 26, 2014
    Tijuana/San Diego
    I don't know why but i personally don't like big glitter on guitars, i love the .008 and maybe some .015 mixed in but anything bigger just doesn't work for me.
    The one i did was .004 and it is just good enough for me.
    Good luck with your project, I'm curious about those krylon cans and the fusion clear.
     

  15. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Thanks. I'm hoping the Glitter Blast Cherry Bomb will look good. I'll take advice learned here and warm up the cans with hot water and then shake the heck out of them before I give it a go.

    I guess it's okay to just scuff up the Epiphone's satin finish with a Scotchbrite pad and then spray the Glitter right on top. What do you think? The Glitter goes on so thick I think I'll be okay, right?
     

  16. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Holic

    999
    Jun 17, 2004
    Wallingford, CT
    I love this paint job. Great color, great big sparkle.
     

  17. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    pic of some Crook sparkles ...

    someone asked me to try and get this kinda flake in a finish...:lol:

    errr.. no can do with spray cans.....:rolleyes:
     

    Attached Files:


  18. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    65
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    I use 0.015" hex flake almost exclusively.

    Have tried smaller. Have tried larger.

    Pretty sure Bill Crook is using 0.015" inch as well.

    Here is one I did with 0.015"

    [​IMG]

    By the way, there is a HUGE difference in quality of flake. The stuff you get from a craft store is not suitable to soak in chemicals. I use flake manufactured by Meadowbrook Inventions and sold by people like TCPGlobal.
     

  19. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    65
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    You know, I think you COULD get it with rattle cans.

    Sprinkle the dry flake from a salt shaker onto wet clear. I did several like that. I worked.
     

  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    +1 I've done it that way twice.
     

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