Can We Make Vegas Gold Sparkle with Roth Rattlebombs? Let's Find Out!

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by erix, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    A couple of years ago I got it bad for a 2014 Vegas Gold Sparkle Baja. I waited for a long time for one to come up for sale but they never did. Figuring I'd have to make my own eventually I bought some Roth products to do the deed. Of course the day they arrived I scored the Baja of my dreams on the 'Bay and the spray cans went down in the basement...

    Fast forward to last fall when I made my first body from scratch but to do it I made two bodies at the same time - one was the guinea pig that I'd try new stuff on and the other was the real deal. The real deal came out great. The pig came out almost great but still good enough and, because it was lightweight, I decided to hang on to it and build it out one day.

    Now that my basement is nearly done and I have another build that will need finished soon I thought I'd dig up the spray bombs and use the pig for practice. Once done I'd be able to settle the age old question which is the title of this post!

    Step one is the prep. You need a flat surface for metallic and flakes as any wrinkle or wood grain will show right through. Since this body had a lot of deeper grain as well as some voids I filled a lot of it with automotive spot putty first. Here it is sanded back.
    IMG_9559.jpg

    Spot putty is like super thick lacquer. It doesn't shrink and sands very smooth with no air bubbles. But you don't use it as a fill or it will shrink down a bit. I had a knot hole that needed filled but I packed it with sawdust and CA first so the spot putty only smoothed the top. You can also see a divet from a clamp that got filled as well as grooves from just sliding around the bench.
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    Next step was primer. I used SEM high-build in white. This stuff lays down thick and sands really nice wet or dry.
    IMG_9561.jpg
    You can see the fine powder from sanding here. Note that ridge at the neck pocket from the routing - I'll have to fix that!
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    In the right light I could see that I needed more filling. I was hoping the primer would fill the grain in one step but it was not to be.
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    Yuck!
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    Spot Putty Extravaganza! This may look like a lot but I'll sand off almost all of it.
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    The back wasn't as bad..
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    I didn't take pics of the sanding back the spot putty and shooting another layer of primer. Here is the second coat of primer getting sanded back with a block. It is very important to use a block if you want to get a truly flat surface! Never use your fingers alone or you will make grooves all over the place.
    IMG_9590.jpg

    I use this little rubber sanding block for the sides and curvy areas. It's the cat's meow!
    IMG_9591.jpg
     
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  2. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    And here is almost $100 of spray cans (shipped). Roth has all kinds of fun names for their colors and I couldn't tell which to use so I sent a picture of a Vegas Gold Baja to their customer service address and they suggested a kit comprised of Warm Beer base, Warm Beer flake, Warm Beer kandy, and 2K gloss clear. Note the respirator mask. YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED ONE OF THESE!!!!
    IMG_9773.jpg

    Warm Beer? Yeah, I guess it does look like that....
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    Mounted up and wiped with degreaser
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    The first coat of base is misted on. Base is a fine metallic and is the color that will show through the flake. You want nice even coverage of base!
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    Coat two of base. The Roth spray bombs have excellent tips and the propellant is like a jet engine. I was getting stripes until I moved the can 16" away from the body! After three coats you could clear it and have a nice fine gold color. I'm not sure what color that would match - Shoreline? Aztec? Frost? None of the above?
    IMG_9777.jpg

    Next went on the flake. This is a gold-colored flake in a transparent binder.
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    Sparkles! It was fun watching all the flakes flitting through the air as I sprayed this. Again, I was 16+" away from the body.
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    I used almost the whole can of flake!
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    Sparkles even through a blurry photo!
    IMG_9785.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  3. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Next up was the kandy. If it was going to go south this was the time. Kandy is like a shader coat, the more you put on the darker it gets.

    First coat is looking Vegas Baby!
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    Mmmmm yes.....
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    Second coat - getting close!
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    Third coat - UH OH!!! TOO MUCH KANDY!!! I buried the flake....
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    I reached for the can of flake while the kandy was still wet and covered the face again. The sparkle came back. Not the ideal way to do it but way better than it was.
    WEXJ8535.jpg

    And after the first coat of 2K clear.
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    I sprayed the whole can of 2K over three coats with 15 minutes between them. About 30 minutes after the last coat I brought it inside to hang overnight and let the garage air out. There was a cloud of 2K that needed to dissipate before I would pull the cars in and the floor in the spray area was still sticky! Be careful using this stuff!

    Later today I'll post pictures of the body as it is now alongside my Baja. Stay Tuned!
     
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  4. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    All told the spraying process took about 2.5 hours last night and when it was all over I was kinda disgusted with myself over the kandy krushing the flake. Last night there were visible areas that looked like two different colors of base coat with the majority of the second color appearing right where I had applied too much. As I lay down to sleep I thought I might use the pig to be my first heavy relic attempt....

    But in the morning things were very different. It was all one tone now and sparkly all over!
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    Also, there was almost no orange peel in the clear. The 2K flowed out very nicely.
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    The backside didn't get the too-much-kandy treatment but I still floated some flake on it during those crazy panicked moments. It came out stunning.
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    Up close and personal...
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    I took it outside to photograph but the reflections were too distracting
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    and..
    IMG_9797.jpg
     
  5. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    So did we meet our goal of matching Vegas Gold Sparkle?

    Kinda..
    IMG_9798.jpg

    Obvs the Baja has much larger flake and no kandy over them. They reflect a lot of light back to your eye. But the color.... the color is almost there. It might have been perfect had I stopped at two kandy koats.
    IMG_9799.jpg

    They both have a LOT of flake. The pig's sparkel looks more dense because of the size difference and you cant see any of the base coat.
    IMG_9801.jpg

    Close up of the Baja..
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    Same view of Golidipig.
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    The flake is hard to photograph but you can see the orange peel in the clear here compared to the smooth finish of the Baja. I've no doubt I can get Goldipig that smooth.
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    Now comes the fun time: waiting for it to cure and choosing a pick guard! Aged white one-ply?
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    Bright white one ply?
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    Tortoise? We shall see! I even have a red celluloid around here that may just push it over the cliff....
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    So! The verdict: This project was about making a sparkly guitar using as little equipment as possible and it 100% met the goal.

    Yes, you can get the color of Vegas Gold Sparkle but not the same size of flake using the Roth Rattlebombs. You get a great sparkly finish but not the SAME finish. This was expected.

    Yes, you can screw it up if you are not careful, especially with the kandy!

    Yes, the Roth products sprayed really nice. I warmed them in a hot water bath and shook them for 5 minutes minimum before using and they came out like a rocket. I used a timer to measure flash time and initially used 7 minutes but that was way too long, it was ready to spray again in around 5 minutes.

    Yes, the 2K is a nice spraying product but plan on having all the safety equipment. Two and a half hours in the spray booth without gear is suicide!

    Yes, the Roth products cost a bit o'money and you could probably buy a $14 HF gun and do it yourself with your own air compressor (if you have one. And a filter. And a drier...) but you will be spending about the same in material (between the flake, clear, reducers, shading toner, etc...) not to mention the time it takes to build up your skills and recipes to get the look you are after.

    I loved how it turned out and I'm sure I will be making another sparkly guitar one of these days!
     
  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Honestly, that's really an outstanding result.
     
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  7. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Very nice.

    It’s fun, eh?
     
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