My test of Simtec 2K Urethane. (Fender’s top coat)

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by wadeeinkauf, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. po-boy

    po-boy Tele-Holic

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    great looking work and lots of info - thanks for sharing -
     
  2. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    To tell you the truth..I don't know. Simtec says they have been working with Fender and others for years...Taylor uses it also according to some posts on the net. Semtec tech support told me they sell to "several" major guitar manufactures. They say their product line is specially formulated for the major industries they supply to. Radoms, aircraft, fiberglass, auto dash boards, guitar. I am sure one can get great results with automotive 2K products as well but in my case the only thing I know about auto 2K automotive products is to tell the auto paint store guy the car and color I have and he gives me a "kit" for that little job. There are sooooo many auto 2K products and the auto paint guy does not have a clue about what auto paint will work on wood.....
    So to answer your question. For me, if this 2K product is used by Fender and Taylor it was worth a try....hence this test...It works and works great...easier, faster and more durable and more professional looking than any other finish I have tried... Because of the frustration I went through trying to find a "retail quality" finish for my guitars I wanted to share what I found....
    Wade
     
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  3. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Wade. I spoke to Mike at Simtec today and they are sending me some
    28x50 easy sanding sealer and 37x4 Super clear to try. I have two upcoming builds I am going to try it one. One is a custom hybrid Strat/Tele build for a friend of mine and the other is a "Keef" inspired Tele for my friend Tony Bruno. Now I just have to figure out how to tint it to get get the colors and effects I want.
     
  4. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Great!!! Please add your findings and pictures here when you finish your build.
     
  5. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

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    BTW I have been applying auto finishes including 2k to guitars for many years but there has always been a question about the transition from bare wood to the under-coat that is the foundation for the paint or top-coat. I have used traditional auto sealers and primers, traditional wood sealers and primers, 2k, lacquer and truthfully the best results have come from 2k urethane auto products like PPG - at least for me anyway. What I am really after is a hard and clear sealer that builds well and is solvent safe. This is what I see Fender doing and you can coat over their stuff with pretty much anything including nitrocellulose lacquer which is attractive to me because I can satisfy my desire to use that as a top coat in certain situations while still having that super-stable under coat to work with as opposed to something like Vinyl Sealer or Bulls Eye which are both reactive to topcoats. Anyway, thank you for the information and the inspiration! -Frank
     
  6. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    My worries exactly...Just trying things, as many supposed experts say is BS. You have no way of knowing what will happen 1 or two years....
    What I have come to understand is these polyester sanding sealers like Simtec 28-50 are compatible with everything once it has cured. I use the the 28-50 because you can spray it...the downside to it is it takes 24 hours to cure before you can sand it and re-coat if needed. I often need 3 coats on my reclaimed lumber which can have pretty serious issues. Another polyester sanding sealer I use is Solarez Polyester UV Cure grain filler and sealer. It cures with sunlight in 10 minutes. It is used in surfboard production....There is a UV cure top coat as well (again used extensively in surfboard finishes) I tried this but you cannot not spray it...it cannot be thinned and it did not seem crystal clear....it was good but cannot compare to urethane.
     
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  7. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

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    Well I finally got around to using the Simtech 28x50 sanding sealer. I am working with a strat body made of northern ash which has very deep grain. I didn't want to use grain filler because I dyed the body and I like how the dye colored the gran and I didn't want that to change. I wanted something clear and decided to give it a try. After a call to Simtech support, I prepped the body and shot 4 coats of the sealer. I will say that this is the nastiest stuff I have ever sprayed bar none. It is very much like thinned out fiberglass resin and dries as hard as a rock in about 10 hours (overnight). I was initially worried because it didn't seem to get very hard between coats, it would get kind of stringy after 20-30 minutes, maybe I should have waited longer. It went on smooth and it did build enough to fill in the deep ash grain straight away but I had to do some heavy sanding with 180 and then 320 on a DA to get it flat and I ended up going through on the edges in a few spots that I then had to go back and touch up and blend with the rest of it. I think next time I will either pre-fill it with something like Solarez or spray 2-3 coats of the sealer, sand with 180 or 220 and go back with another 2-3 coats to get a nice uniform flat finish. This is some pretty radical deep grained ash though so I am really impressed with it's build and fill abilities. It's a good product although it's a little pricey. I will be spraying the topcoat clear tomorrow and I will post some pics after that. Thanks.
     
  8. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Frankencat, Thanks for sharing. I have found that for me it is much easier and faster to use the UV cure Solarez filler. Both Solarez and Simtec 28x50 are a polyester. I put Solarez on by pouring a small amount on the wood and spread it on with a credit card...pull off the excess. Cure it by putting it in the sunshine for around 10 minutes....sand...and do it again. It takes about 3 coats like this for me on my very open grain/wormy reclaimed chestnut. I did not like having to wait overnight to sand and re-coat the 28x50. I did not see any difference in quality between either product.....Also note that both Solarez and Simtec said that these products can not be thinned. Wade
     
  9. frankencat

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    Thanks Wade. DO you see any difference in clarity between the two products?
    -Frank
     
  10. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    I did not notice any difference at all.
     
  11. frankencat

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    I'll tell you what, this clear is pretty amazing. Super shiny and flows out like a mofo! Also when they say 20 mins pot life they are not kidding! It was hardening in the cup as I put the last coat on lol. Very nice though, I will be buying more. Thanks for turning me onto this stuff!
    -Frank
    Here's a crappy pic after I sprayed the first coat. I call this "Gator Burst". You really have to see it in the light. Lots of blues and purples and of course the yellows and greens are dominant. I will take some proper pics when it's cured.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

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    Better pics -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  13. Larkins

    Larkins Tele-Meister

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    Sim tec has a uv filler (59x1) that dries super fast in sunlight if you don’t want to use solarez.

    Great stuff.
     
  14. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Frank,
    That is gorgeous! When you have time will you tell us what technique/dyes you used on this. My next build will be a green burst on flame maple.

    Also, any suggestions on the best spray rig/setup would be much appreciated. I have been using a harbor freight automotive gun ... I think it is a 1.4 mm tip. Since the coats need to be put on pretty wet to avoid orange peel I am thinking I need to move to a larger tip. I have experimented with thinning with a fast urethane reducer. In the last conditions I was spraying in .....California winter....I did notice that it is VERY important to wait the 45 minutes between coats to allow gas off. I did a neck a couple of weeks ago got a few small gas off bubbles. Just cleaned it off with acetone and re-shot it. Wade
     
  15. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Larkins,
    Do you have experience with the 59x1? That would be great. I thought SimTec support told me that the product required the UV light band that was only produced by those very expensive UV lights...
     
  16. frankencat

    frankencat Tele-Meister

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    Wade, I used a combination of Mixol for the blue and red and Trans Tint lemon yellow for the center. I mixed them with water and wiped them on with a rag until it looked right. The last thing I did was put some of the blue in an airbrush and feather it out some more to get the colors I wanted and the burst pattern nice and smooth. It's time consuming but I wanted to do it with dyes this time so that the grain would pick it up. This was a big reason I wanted a clear filler like the Simtech sealer - I wanted something very clear. I buffed it out today although I think I should have waited another day as it was a pain in the a$$. But it turned out nice and since my confidence was up I decided to finish a solid Wenge neck the same way. I sprayed the sealer about 2 hours ago and left it for tomorrow. We'll see how that turns out but I think it will take a few go-rounds to get it all flat and smooth. :)
     
  17. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Great...look forward to seeing the neck. I also have observed that it seems to take two full days to cure completely otherwise it is easy to get it too hot when buffing at high RPM...
    Wade
     
  18. Larkins

    Larkins Tele-Meister

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    I use 59x1 daily, with a UV light. When I get some all over tools or tables, I just put them out in the sun and it dries real fast. I have had some on my gloves hands too when going outside and when the sun hits it, it kicks off really fast.

    On Monday, I’ll try curing the 59x1 using the sun only on some mahogany scraps and report back.
     
  19. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    Greatly appreciated....Thank you!!!!
     
  20. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    My latest build is this green one. The finish is as follows: I used the UV-Cure Grain Sealer from Solarez. It is a polyester sanding sealer like the simtec prestec coating but will cure in sunlight in about 5 minutes. It takes me about 3 coats to get a good coating and seal everywhere on the body. You end up sanding back down to the wood in a few spots hence another thin coat until you get it built up. You put this stuff on very thin…Put about a teaspoon full on the wood and wipe it/spread it with a credit card or business card…get a thin coat all over the body doing this and take it into bright sunlight for 3 to 5 minutes…sand and do it again until you have a good smooth surface all over the body. I used transTint green dye and transTint black dye. TransTint the brand name purchased from LMII, StewMac product is ColorTone Liquid Stains. I will not buy the LMII product again as the green dye had small particles and had to be filtered…I have never had this problem with ColorTone. Anyway I mixed in the green and the black to get the very dark edge of the burst and put that on first with a air brush. It would be better to use your regular spray gun it you have a good one to avoid overspray drying…you need to get a good wet coat and it is hard to do with the airbrush. Next mix up the green you want… I just mix up the simtec normally about a half pint at a time….put the color in until I get the color I want. I use a small auto spray gun I have from Harbor Freight. Spray on a good wet coat of finish with color…..WAIT 45 minutes between coats….this is very important or you will has gas off bubbles coming through the next coat. No need to clean the gun between these 45 minutes coats just wipe off the nozzle. When you get the color you want put SEVERAL clear coats over the color coats. Wait AT LEAST 48 hours for the finish to cure. Now you can sand and polish and will not get down to the color coats. If you do not have enough clear and get into the color it will screw up the color….the sanded parts will be lighter that the other. Also you really have to be careful not to get runs…..on some I have no problems just let it dry and sand level with 400 grit paper and then polish….this time I had tiny gas bubbles that formed in the runs. This may have been caused because my product is now 2 years old. Simtec says the shelf life is 6 months…so not sure what is going on.
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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