Nitro drying time?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Slowtwitch, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    I just finished my first nitrocellulose lacquer job. I know nitro dries, not cures and melts into itself and takes 2-4 weeks to dry.

    I really enjoyed working with Nitro over 2k poly, but...

    the first attempt didn't go well... after 6 weeks of which 3 weeks of drying in sunlight, the finish was still tacky. At the advise from the paintshop man, I stripped it and started over.

    This time the colour coats dried much better, but I felt the clear coat still didn't dry all that well.

    After prime, I sprayed 3 coats colour (approx 1:1 nitro:thinners) with 20min between coats.
    Next day 2-3 coats clear, sanding between coats removing imperfections/ dust particles.
    Next day 3 coats. So all together 6 clear coats

    After 5-10min the paint is "dry"-ish and I can sand very lightly even, but tacky. Most times I left an hour before sanding.

    When done, 2 days later I tried sanding. the paint still rolls but doesn't clog paper when wet sanding.
    I could sand to 2500 grit. But I can't let the guitar lie on anything or it will get imprints

    So it's been 6 days now and although it feels dry to the immediate touch, it's still tacky.

    NOW I know you suppose to leave it to dry for at least 2 weeks, but is there hope that this job will dry in a week, it feels still the same as after 1 hour drying???

    The job really came out superb, and I really really don't want to redo it again

    After spraying was done
    Screenshot_20191027_080830.jpeg

    After 2500, and current
    IMG_20191029_122606.jpeg
     
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  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    You'll be told that you can buff it immediately (or nearly so) but for an amateur finisher like me, I tend to follow direction on published finishing schedules which call for 2 or more weeks between the last coat and buffing. I try to wait longer and I have had NO problems with the two dozen guitars I've finished.

    I figure even if I could buff it sooner, why push the envelope. Its taken me a month to build this thing, why risk screwing it up because I read somewhere that I don't have to wait. Sure beats scraping it off and starting over.
     
  3. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Holic

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    Some gloss nitro takes FOREVER. Like months. Some take just a sjort time.

    Thick nitro takes very long. You want a warm place to let it gas off.

    Deft used to be good, changed formula, now its no good. Minwax seems ok. Mokawk is king of rattlecan
     
  4. Ragin Cajun

    Ragin Cajun Tele-Meister

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    I left my first ( and only) build to dry in the sun after spraying it one afternoon. The result- gas bubbles. Scrape and start over. Based on my limited experience, i would say- don't be in a hurry to start sanding/buffing. As Freeman Keller above pointed out, don't screw up all that work by being impatient.
     
  5. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    I let my thumbnail be the judge.

    It may not be very scientific, but it hasn't let me down yet :).

    g
     
  6. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    You have gotten a bad batch of nitro, no way it should feel tacky days later. Pitch it and get a fresh can.
     
  7. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    this is my experience too. nitro dries really fast. i can usually level sand in 24 hours... and feel perfectly okay to use it after less than a week. i still prefer poly for how resistant it is to scratches and imprints... but your results seem really abnormal
     
  8. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Man, I want to see more images of that guitar. I have a body like that waiting.
     
  9. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    You mean the supplier's batch,as he just gives me what I need for the job (like 250ml). But yes, this is my concern.:confused:

    Also didn't mentioned it, but we have warm weather this side, heading into Summer, although I'm at the coast so moderately high humidity on ave. And I'm wondering if this plays a factor, not being a very dry air climate?
     
  10. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Reverse body, reverse headstock, through neck construction Firebird/ Tele. Here's a mock-up;)
    IMG_20190804_180407.jpeg IMG_20190806_200404.jpeg
    IMG_20191103_192344.jpeg
     
  11. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great minds blah blah blah...

    2pc ash body, raised center, P90 neck ;) Want to stain/sand back for a natural finish.
    20190613_100126.jpg 20190613_095301.jpg

    Cant wait to see your final product. Looks good!
     
  12. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    We need more details like, what brand nitro are you using?
    If Deft then you'll likely be waiting awhile.
    What's the humidity there? High humidity can keep things tacky for longer than usual.
     
  13. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Ave humidity is around 77%, mid to high. Temp currently mid to high 20's (deg Celsius).

    Don't know Nitro brand, as it is decanted into a small container for me from the shop. But I can find out.

    Interesting though, is the colour nitro runs on the paint can is solidly hard, while the clear nitro runs on the can is hard but I can scratch it off with my finger nail
     
  14. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Humidity is what I think you are dealing with. You may need an additional solvent to help the cure. It's not gassing off as it would in 50% humidity. Do you have a room with a dehumidifier? I would let it sit in there for a few days if you do.
     
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  15. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Avoid heating it in the sun to try to dry faster - all that does is make the surface skin over and the stuff underneath is trapped, just as bad as it would with house paint (don't ask me how I know that).

    Very nice job on that body -- and finish -- by the way.

    Humidity is probably more of a concern when spraying (blush) than when drying, so long as you have air flow you should not have a problem. If you got the sample of material from someone who uses industrial supplies, I wouldn't be surprised if they have different reducer (thinner) formulations meant to speed or slow drying depending on the ambient conditions (like they do for car paint), and if that's the case they probably already reduced it with something that's appropriate for your weather conditions (if that helps to reduce your concerns, because otherwise there's not much you can do about it but wait it out...).
     
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  16. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Thx for the advise and encouragement.

    Today I feel there's hope!!!!:):):)

    To my touch, and my family's, it feels like the paint is dryer than before! In 3 day's time it would be 2 weeks.

    I'll keep you posted ;)
     
  17. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Pretty good guess you are spraying your coats on too heavy, followed by spraying on the next coat too soon leaving solvent not yet expelled from the previous coat trapped. Keep doing it coat after coat & you have a mega time length soft finish

    If you are going for glass finish on each coat it is too heavy. If you do light coats you can do every 20-60 minutes. Heavy, its a total guess always longer than a bunch of light coats.

    Good looking project!

    Eric
     
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  18. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Mmmm, think you might be right, combined with higher ave humidity.
    I'll just play the patience game.

    Just did a headstock with the same can's clear nitro - 3 coats clear, and a day later it feels pretty dry

    2500 grit, and polished on day 2, but it was only 3 coats, not 4 colour and 6 clear coats
    IMG_20191110_133314.jpeg
     
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  19. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Headstock looks gorgeous!

    I always do 8-10 clear coats. I also spray in midwest humidity that is seldom under 70% and often above 80 except for winter. On difference is I mix my own thinning ratios or slight retarding at 80+%. Patience is the key.

    Heavy coats and too close together in humidity will also trap moisture in the layers that doesn't have time to evaporate out before the next coat seal it in. A lot happens with humidity, heavy coats, and too close together. I will can spray most of my coats in a day but only having time to spray in short windows of time usually drags it into 2 days.

    The core of learning is trying, learning, trying again better.

    Eric
     
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  20. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    With the thumbnail test, it should leave no mark at all, correct?

    The body is definitely getting dryer/ less tacky, but my thumbnail still leaves marks
     
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