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Precat Lacquer

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Collin D Plonker, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2020
    Has anyone else seen good results with precatalyzed lacquer? I ordered it my mistake on my last build and was astonished at the cure time and quality. I used Mohawk brand in a rattle can ordered from Amazon. I used the semigloss last time, going for a matte. It came out really nice and was cured overnight.

    I did research on it, and apparently cabinet makers love it because they can ship the same day they spray. I also saw Texas Toast guitars use it in a video.

    Of course, the finish doesn't age like nitro, so no yellowing or that annoying feeling of lacquer balls on the fretting hand that don't stick to your hand but still make you wipe it on your pants.

    What is your experience with this kind of lacquer. I'd really like your opinion.
    Dereksys38 and Boreas like this.
  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 3, 2019
    Adirondack Coast, NY

    No experience, but would love to see your results! Pix, pix, pix!
    Dereksys38 likes this.
  3. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Feb 2, 2017
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I used the Mohawk pre-cat in rattlecans on the first couple of builds.

    It works excellent :).

    I think it works just as well as the Sherwin Williams Lovac that I've been spraying more recently.

    The SW stuff is cheaper because I buy it by the gallon, but I can't say that I can see any difference between it and the Mohawk pre-cat in the finished product. Mohawk rattlecans are actually pretty cheap too, especially compared to other spray can lacquers.

    I still keep a few cans of the Mohawk stuff on hand for when I don't feel like screwing around with the spray rig.

    The "pre-catalyzed" part is nothing to be concerned with; as I understand, it's just a mild acid that helps the lacquer harden up quicker.

  4. Dr Chim Richalds

    Dr Chim Richalds TDPRI Member

    Feb 10, 2021
    New Jersey
    What about amount of coats? I'm reading that there should only be a maximum of three coats applied, as opposed to nitro where you want to build between 8-10 coats. I'm seeing some reports online of people's finishes cracking due to over applying the precat.

    I plan on shooting some Mohawk Precat Gloss over an ash body for a natural finish. I'm planning on using the typical 3 light passes = 1 coat approach, but what about wait times between coats? And are there maximum recommended wait times since this stuff sets up quicker?

    I have a call into Mohawk's technical department so hopefully they can shed some light, but if anyone has any further tips in the meantime I'd appreciate it. I'll share everything I learn from Mohawk once I get the return call.

  5. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

    Mar 21, 2003
    DC 'Burbs
    I think what they'll tell you is that there is a 'window' of time for re-application.
    If you re-apply during the 'window', your new coat blends and bonds with the prior coat with no problems.
    While 'in the window', one coat will still chemically 'attach' to the prior coat because the prior coat hasn't yet fully cured.
    That's what 'the window' is.
    Beyond the window, you need to sand the prior coat to get adhesion.
    Beyond the window, the prior coat is now done curing, and you can't 'melt into it' any further.

    In other words, catalyzing products, after the window has expired, don't 'melt' into one another.
    It's done (the catalyzing process has been completed), its cured, basically.
    Since there is no chemical linking (or cross-linking) between coats after the window closes...
    You have to form whats called a mechanical bond, which means sanding the prior coat, so they 'attach' mechanically instead of chemically.

    Which, really, all goes to your theory of it being a great product under the right circumstances.
    As long as you're 'in the window', and its laying out nicely for you, you can just keep shooting that thing and be all done in a few hours.
    Catalyzing finishes usually have a much higher solids content than the typical Home Depot stuff, it builds fast.

    Used foolishly (no mask, breathing the stuff in repeatedly) it does cause permanent neural damage that you won't notice for 20-30 years...
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