Cold weather finish

Bob J

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Now that winter is returning to the northern hemisphere, I’m faced with the dilemma of putting finish on my guitar projects. The 3 guitars I’ve built this year (kit build and 2 from scratch) have all received lacquer finishes from rattle cans, which need temperatures at least in the 60s F to spray. As I don’t see warm temperatures like that returning for any extended period of days in the foreseeable future, is there another type of finish I can experiment with over the winter, either in a cold garage or indoors in my basement? Oil finishes, wipe-on poly etc? These guitar projects are my therapy and I don’t know what to do over the winter…
 

Bob J

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Really?! No one?

what are we, bears? Do we hibernate all winter? Do we stop building guitars and brew beer instead?

Some of you must be putting finish on over the winter… or at least have tried…
 

natec

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My (limited) experience with shooting aerosol nitro (stew mac) in Portland is that the humidity matters more than the outside temp.

I sprayed last winter on dry days when the temperature was 50 degrees f and had good results as long as the humidity was below 40.
 

stratisfied

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I've sprayed lacquer in the cold with no ill affects. With the bodyneck /paint at room temp. I step outside, do my coat quickly, and then retreat indoors for it to dry. The odor is minimal and I just run my ceiling fan with a nearby door ajar for ventilation.
 

edvard

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Tru Oil is perfect for long winter nights because it takes days and days and days. ;)

For it to dry? No. To build up a tolerable finish thickness? Yep. I thought Tru-Oil was great because I could do it in my house and not stink up the place, and it wouldn't take a month to cure. Joke's on me; it took a few weeks of "3 application sessions followed by light sanding when it was dry" every day before I could consider it "finished" :rolleyes:

But otherwise, yes, Tru-Oil works.
 

mfguitar

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I only use water-based poly now spayed indoors with an airbrush. Many times in the past I have sprayed Lac outside after warming the can and having all parts warm then I would bring in the house. You still get some odor but it's not too bad.
 

Jupiter

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For it to dry? No. To build up a tolerable finish thickness? Yep. I thought Tru-Oil was great because I could do it in my house and not stink up the place, and it wouldn't take a month to cure. Joke's on me; it took a few weeks of "3 application sessions followed by light sanding when it was dry" every day before I could consider it "finished" :rolleyes:

But otherwise, yes, Tru-Oil works.
yep, exactly. It's a durable, attractive finish on bare wood, and it's technically easy to apply, and you can go anywhere between super-thin satin finish and bulletproof high-gloss, and it will harden up nicely in a day or two if the temps are reasonable, but it's a LOTTA VERY THIN COATS.
 

El Tele Lobo

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As several others have posted, I've done a Tru-Oil finish in the winter...bear in mind, winter in west central Florida is more like spring or summer elsewhere. But I did a few build threads on here where I documented my process and results. The results were decent...could have been better if I was a little more patient and a little better at progressive finish sanding. But I was happy with my results.
 

Freeman Keller

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I've tried TruOil and several water born finishes and didn't like them. French polish is an option but I wouldn't put it on an electric guitar. Since I'm addicted to nitro I try to time my building so the guitar is ready to finish when the conditions are right.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I heat my garage to a high temp to spray finish...in July. Seriously. It rarely gets above 70F here. The same method should work for you in January. FWIW, I plan my projects so summers are occupied by finishing.
 

old wrench

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A few years back, I built a spray booth in my basement shop that evacuates all of the fumes to the outdoors, so I can spray lacquer year-round whenever the humidity cooperates :).


For my old gal and myself, TruOil's fumes aren't too objectionable, so TO always an option, although I just use it on necks now.


Ideally - I'd like to find a sprayable water-based finish that looks and performs like solvent-based lacquer, that I could spray year-round indoors, but I haven't come across that product yet.

I've used some of the General Finishes Enduro-Var that actually works pretty well - it even has a slight amber hue to it, but it's not quite exactly what I'd really like ;)

.
 

stratisfied

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i could not stand the odor of TruOil, applying or drying. Afterwards, the odor just lingered. I would huff lacquer all day long over the TruOil
 

old wrench

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Target Coatings EM6000...


It sounds promising :).

It's quite a bit more expensive than the product I've been using (Sherwin Williams Lowvoc Lacquer), but getting away from lacquer fumes (it may be Lovoc, but it's still solvent-based lacquer ;)), and the lacquer thinner, would be worth it.

TC_TechDataSheet_EM6000_R3.indd (netdna-ssl.com)



Cleaning spray equipment with water instead of lacquer thinner?

Sounds pretty good to me :)


Have you used EM6000 yourself, Jim?


.
 

FretBuzzAldrin

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Wiping: Wipe on poly is nice but you need to be patient, as it takes many thin coats and you may have to sand off some nibs here and there.

Brushing: So far I'm pretty happy with Crystalac and Solarez: I can't believe it's not lacquer, which is UV cured. Pretty crazy how it works.

Spraying: What these guys said ^
 

old wrench

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Well, I talked myself into trying the EM6000 :).

It's about three times (or so ;)) what I pay for SW Lovoc, but if it does what it's supposed to do, it might be worth it

Just bought a gallon - $77 bucks shipped ($60/gal plus $17 to ship) - so, we'll see how it does


.
 

Bob J

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We’ll, I bought a small bottle of tru oil today, I’ll try it on the neck I’m working on. Not in a rush, I’m fine with doing a thin coat a day for a few weeks. Will probably take that long to get even marginal days to spray any lacquer.

I do have a Mr. heater that I will use in my in insulated garage occasionally, but I wouldn’t spray In there when that thins fired up!
 




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