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Rattle Can Nitro Dread

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by JuneauMike, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Most folks I know that like DIY projects have a basic 6 or 8" bench grinder. That's a buffer if you simply install inexpensive cloth wheels on it. And bench-mount buffers (which in reverse of the above, can also be used as grinders with the right wheels) run $40-60 or so at Harbor Freight.

    Orbital "polishers" cost about the same and don't do the job well; buffing-by-hand requires no power equipment but gives the worst results.

    Most DIY work requires appropriate tools. If you are only going to finish ONE guitar then you make do - but if you're going to do a few a tear complaining about the cost of equipment doesn't get you anywhere at all.

    Lacquer finishing (which is NOT "painting"), painting walls, fixing a gate, installing a new door lock, fixing a leaky drain - they all require specific tools.

    If you think lacquer and associated tools are expensive, let me ask this - who is doing the setup and electronics work on the assembled guitars? A basic soldering station costs as much or more than a grinder or buffer; a passable multimeter is at least $35-50; other basic, required tools are a straightedge, a fret rocker, a leveling file, several crowning files (for different size frets at $50-$100) a fret end file, and at least 5-6 nut files (at $15-30 each) just to get by, nut drivers etc.

    Not going to buy those either? Then you can pay a tech do the setup at $75-150 depending on the work required - but you still had to solder and assemble it.

    Proper tools are just a necessary evil.

    Everything in the preceding is part of the job whether you're using aerosols or spray equipment. (yes, including the nozzle, which has to be good quality and the right size for the material being used).

    Differences in formulas- whether aerosol or bulk lacquer - are a critical reason you PRACTICE - especially if you're using any product in the system for the first time. Just starting out with unfamiliar products on the guitar is what gets expensive, as you inevitable encounter problems.

    You can switch nozzles on most aerosols. But if the nozzles suck and you can't change to better ones, why would you use that product? If it's the ONLY product in the color you want you just may be out of luck, or have one of the rare situations where wet sanding is ALWAYS required because of poor product quality.

    But bad results on the guitar should NOT be due to poor application technique. That is why the vast majority of experienced applicators strongly recommend practicing on scrap.

    Common sense also says to practice during the same conditions you'll do the finishing under - acceptable conditions. You do not practice when the humidity is 80% or the temperature 38 degrees F. And you don't finish under those conditions either.

    If the conditions are not right you don't do the work. And there are people who live in locations where "acceptable " environmental windows are either so short or nonexistent (and they can't work inside) that they simply CAN'T do lacquer finishing without professional spray equipment, specialized additives, and training in using them.

    Wanting to do it yourself doesn't mean you can always use aerosol products. There are those who live in locations where economical DIY work just isn't in the cards.

    NOT "polishing" - it's "buffing".

    "Buffing" is what you do to a fresh finish to bring out the gloss, remove slight orange peel, and remove any contaminants.

    "Polishing" is what you do to a guitar you've had a while to maintain it - and it's best to avoid any polish that contains silicones or waxes, which actually attract dirt. "Polish" with products that leave nothing on the surface - Stewmac's "Preservation", extremely fine, pure clay - or a dry, soft, cotton cloth.

    You don't do lacquer finishing when it's raining! And consistency in practice and real application conditions were covered above.

    Most major cities in the US have commercial contractor oriented paint stores that carry RPM products (Rust-Oluem, Watco, Behlens - and Mohawk.) If they can order Mohawk you can get a full assortment of clears, sanding sealer, plus dozens of opaque colors and semi-transparent toners plus touch up pens, paste wood filler, lacquer stains etc.

    Many lacquers you can get on Amazon - several with free shipping if you have Prime. An example - Rust-Oleum's clear gloss costs under $5/can as pof September 2020, and works as well as any other conventional aerosol lacquer (I use it myself on small jobs and repairs).

    Among the others listed you can find inexpensive clears, primers, and a few basic colors.

    If you live in a location where the products can't be shipped in that means they're not legal to use due to air quality regulations. That's also a problem with Tru Oil's penetrating stain - it's not legal here in the L.A. area, for example.

    And if it's not legal you should not be using it!

    Why would you use a product in testing that you're NOT going to use to finish the guitar? It makes as much sense as saying "I used garage door paint to practice, so I'm ready for lacquer work!":lol:

    You also posted a specific example of what NOT to do, as Deft is a "lacquer enamel" - a blend of nitrocellulose lacquer and oil based paint. Colortone is a similar product line.

    They are NOT lacquers and can take hours - even days - to dry. They also yellow more quickly and discolor, especially if exposed to ammoniated cleaners (like Windex). They're two product lines unlike 90% of the products on the market.

    Do research on products and make sure you understand them BEFORE buying them!

    Neither would I - and inferring that I suggested that is rude.

    And I didn't suggest this EITHER - this had been a respectful discussion but with these last two quotes you're way out of line. Don't put words in my mouth.

    The reasons for talking about practice AFTER the fact:

    1. For future reference. It's to help the OP and others in FUTURE projects.

    2. As general information, as these threads can be found via Google - and often "searchers" don't read a whole thread, just a post or two. So putting things in complete context and posting generally recommended standard procedures helps keep them out of trouble.
     
  2. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    LOL! This is exactly how I do it - make shift stand (mine is ABS instead if PVC) with guitar bolted to s stick of wood so I can turn it - and spray in the front of the garage with the door open!
     
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  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can actually cite specific examples of you telling an OP that the only proper way to apply lacquer is with some form of atomizing paint system. In this post alone, you make it clear the the "proper tools" are a necessary evil. I am sure that deep down you think your harsh lectures are a service that you provide to the ignorant masses who don't have decades of professional painting experience. However, you may have noticed that you find yourself in conflict frequently. That's because your brow beating, finger wagging and overly condescending approach to sharing what you know insults more people than it helps. Additionally, your advice is often less helpful than you think. It lacks empathy and a careful understanding of the OPs environment. If someone says they are painting a body on a guitar with aerosol paints, they don't need you to unpack the advantages of owning a spray unit and mixing paints for the conditions anymore than they need to hear chapter and verse on why their approach is a bad idea. Just stick to the conditions you are presented with, or skip the post entirely.

    Applying lacquer is painting, and I'm not arguing your finer points to ad nausium. And polishing and buffing I use synonymously and don't need more finger wagging on the differences between the two, they are literally a hill of beans to me. If you want to actually help future projects, learn how to communicate in a way that doesn't alienate so many hobbyists. I read a lot of your postings before I ever started my project so, suffice it to say, I could have written pretty much everything you've said here from memory.

    I have a bench grinder as well. I am not going to convert it to a buffing wheel for a one off guitar body. And the RPMs of a bench grinder make it more of a threat to my finish than a hand held drill, so again, no thanks. I also have a soldering station that I am sure is not as nice as the industrial grade stations that are used by Fender employees. And despite that, it still seems to do a great job of soldering a solid joint.

    You actually could provide a great resource to the hobbyists in this forum if you chose to use your knowledge to tackle substandard materials, poor environmental conditions, to salvage work. Nine times out of ten, these threads are really about salvaging a less than ideal outcome. So take the crappiest piece of pine you can find in your woodpile, the cheapest paint you can get at the hardware store and wait for rain. Then make it work and share some tricks for how you did that. It doesn't' take much professional knowledge just to deride folks for not owning the very best equipment or not following the paint industry's best practices for their shade tree project. It takes a lot of it to figure out how to get good results in bad conditions. Be that guy, rather than the curmudgeon who is there to remind all of us scruffs how we'd never make it in the lofty world of guitar refinishing.
     
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  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, I love that thing. And it breaks down nice too so I don't have one more bulky fixture cluttering up my garage. With PVC, you could also make a pretty sweet mini paint booth on your workbench that can provide forced ventilation for the overspray and break down into a pretty compact pile of sticks. If I ever do this in the summer when my wife needs her greenhouse back, that may be the thing I do.
     
  5. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've just been waiting for days where there is little to no wind and the humidity is not too high for spray cans... I'm still way early in the learning phase of this guitar finishing thing, but I've managed to do a couple of things right ;)
     
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  6. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    I still have the clay bars I got from Stew-Mac almost 20 years ago, when I didn't know any better. I am sure you can get the same stuff better and/or cheaper elsewhere (like almost everything at Stew-Mac).

    Not sure if it matters or not, But I've always kept it stored in a Ziplock.
     
  7. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for replying. So clay bars, are they rubbed on by hand? What's the general process?
     
  8. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    "Clay" might actually be a misnomer. They're actually blocks of buffing compound. I have always just called them "clay" because they come in a brick. True clay as used on cars is something different, I think.
     
  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Nice job of taking single lines of my posts out of context to fit your purpose. I will only address a couple with quotes - but a few others are my points that applying coating in the wrong temperature and/or humidity conditions generally means there will be problems, and that some simply live in areas unsuitable for coating.

    That's not "discouraging" or mean". It's just good a
    vice to save them from problems.

    This adressed the use of aerosols and that finishing a guitar here and there
    DOESN'T JUSTIFY THE COST OF SPRAY EQUIPMENT! BUT - spray equipment WILL help you do a better job. But the many complaints that aerosols can't be "adjusted" to ambient conditions but the alternative - basic HVLP equipment - costs too much is pointless. Don't complain - save your money or don't DIY. Same goes for spending money on practice materials. You don't but a car a go drive it - you learn how. You also learn how to play guitar before playing gigs.....

    Note above "aerosol" and "economical". The point being there are situations where aerosols are not technically practical - they WON'T work. You need spray equipment, bulk lacquers and the solvents and additives that make them usable in given environments.

    And complaining about it, again, is pointless. It just *IS*.

    I'm going to cut this off here - taking my comments out of context ant trying to turn me into an evil, discouraging taskmaster is ridiculous - and weird.

    I refuse to waste any more of my time correcting misuse of small pieces of my posts when I could be helping people with sensible advice. If you want to play with out of context pieces of posts or whatever, play with them yourself.
     
  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you to all who contributed to this project. I finished it and have been playing the guitar for the last week. Its a Stratocaster which are the most fiddly of all the casters so it's taken me most of the week to just nudge it here and there until its so comfortable and perfect that I find myself playing it even when I don't really have the time or inclination to play guitar. I'd say that counts as a successful outcome.

    It's not perfect but it never was going to be perfect and in a few years it will look even less perfect (and in a way, more perfect). Anyway, could not be happier with the outcome. I got lots of practical advice on how to approach this and came out the other end a bit smarter than I was to begin with.

    body1.jpg body3.jpg body2.jpg neck1.jpg neck2.jpg

    I've got Fender CS 54s in the guitar and its wired with a blender circuit. That's the first time I've used that circuit and I am really enjoying it. I also cut the nut myself and have to say its the best that I've done. I think this is maybe my fourth or fifth nut. I'm sure its not perfect, but it feels pretty great to me. I did another thread on the nut itself since I was very apprehensive about how best to approach that. Again, great advice from other posters helped me through it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is abundantly clear that you are unreachable, and no amount of advice is going to get through. I'm sorry. So you will continue to have conflicts and butt up against and otherwise rub other DIY folks the wrong way while any constructive advice they may be able to tease out of the long and generally condescending lectures will be missed. If that is entertaining to you, then that's fine. But it quit being entertaining to me quite a while ago. I wish you well.
     
  12. Alaman

    Alaman Tele-Meister

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    Very nice job! I hope mine turns out as well as yours. I had no idea you had embarked on nearly the same journey a month earlier than me until I just read thru this thread. Many of your observations and experience, I am finding to be same on my project.
     
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  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Mike, I understand what you're saying.

    But the thing you're not getting is that you're "correcting" me about thingsI didn't say. For example, I've never said you MUST have spray equipment for good finish work - only that it makes it easier AND allows you to spray in environments (low temperature, for example) where aerosols won't work "well" (clarification - you can spray aerosols in VERY low temp conditions, but it will be much more difficult to get a good finish.).

    And not being able to afford a buffer when you have a bench grinder is solved by attaching buffing wheels to the grinder. The expense, including buffing sticks is about 20 or 30 bucks and will eliminate sanding of light orange peel as well. Besides that, 6" buffers - which work fine - only run about $50 at Harbor Freight.

    I'm making suggestions that help amateur finishers get good results - and although they may not want to hear it, I also tell them if they are in a situation where DIY work just isn't practical. That is to save them money, frustration and time - not to argue with them.

    It's like my insistence that practice application of a FULL system should be done on scrap if you've never used even one of the products before, because many products interact - and if you have a "surprise" problem on your actual guitar, it might be an irreversible situation.

    And that's NOT fun - and this is supposed to be fun. So I continue to "beat a dead horse" and tell everyone to practice everything from prep through buffing on scrap before doing a single thing to the guitar.

    Yes - you have to buy more material. Maybe. But if you have a problem by "jumping right in" you may need to buy strippers, bleach, stain-locking primers and so on. AND THEN buy material to practice on scrap!

    So I hope Mike will go back and re-read what I wrote *in context* and study the reasoning behind it, the fact that I'm simply pointing out the reality of each situation, and what you see as "condescending" language is just telling it like it is

    And Mike, I do apologize if I offended you. But to repeat what I said earlier, I DO think you were being bothered by bits and pieces of what you read. Yet if you put those statements back in the entire paragraphs or "groups" of paragraphs there was absolutely nothing to be upset about.
     
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  14. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I assure you I have read everything you've said in my threads and I have read a lot that you have said on other threads as well. It is a given that having the proper equipment and experience increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. That's something that most of the time can go unsaid because it is already that well understood by even the most casual observers.

    What I am saying to you is that you could be a great asset to people by meeting them where they are rather than telling them where they need to be. You could view it as a challenge; "ok, cheap rattle cans outside on a porch on a windy day. That's what we've got to work with." Rather than listing chapter and verse for why that won't work, just tell them what you'd do with the same gear and circumstances. Just doing that immediately recasts your entire narrative into something positive, practical and helpful.

    Much of what people do here are "one off" projects and not part of a dedicated hobby. The dedicated hobbyists already know enough and are committed enough to buy the right tools for the job. The shade tree hobbyists are almost to a person working from a point of salvage. And the fact of the matter is, most paint work regardless of how bad it is can be salvaged. Would you argue this point?

    Reasonably good results are attainable with very limited resources. I got great results with my process, methods and material. But as I look back at your advice it now seems impossible that I could have achieved the results that I did. So there is a disconnect there. Avoiding a problem is always ideal, but often these threads are created because someone wasn't able to avoid that problem. So the only task at hand for those of us who chose to weigh in on the thread is to fix the problem they now face, not to speculate in detail on what mistakes they likely made to create the problem in the first place. You can be a positive force here just by getting out of your comfort zone and taking what you know and applying it to the real world situations that other less experienced people are facing.
     
  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. Unfortunately for me, I ordered the paint in August and it didn't arrive until mid-September. Every day is the rainy season up here, but September is especially so. In retrospect I think controlling humidity is important, but controlling temperature is probably more important, IMO. Most of my painting was done at 74 F and right around 50 percent humidity +/-.

    You can make a pretty serviceable paint booth with some PVC, visqueen and some crude method to heat and ventilate the space. If you plan on breaking it down later then don't glue it (lesson learned, oops). If I had to do this all over again, I'd construct a workbench paint booth (maybe 4' x 4') with a fan and heat lamp rather than a huge tent. Much smaller space to heat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  16. Slippery Jack

    Slippery Jack Tele-Meister

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    This reminds me of the joke about the person asking a local 'Can you please tell me how to get to Tipperary?'. And the local replies 'Well, I wouldn't have started from here.'
     
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  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think in America the joke goes:
    Q: Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?
    A: Practice. Lots of practice.
     
  18. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    That looks great Mike.

    I read every bit of this thread, I hope I learned something. I've sprayed 3-4 maybe guitars and still just kind of have at it every time, it's been years since my last and far most successful attempt.

    Unfortunately I can't remember history so I guess I'm condemned to repeat it. Ah, it's only paint and money, right?
     
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  19. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Mike, what I do is BOTH.

    I help folks work with the tools available to them AND provide information about methods, gear, and application environments that could help them make the job easier.

    I think you're dwelling on thew few situations here I have said that there are situations simply not conducive to coating and/or make a specific type of application very difficult.

    And that's simply stating reality. IMO it's more helpful to let folks know about the facts of a situation than to ignore the facts and possibly have them waste time, money and get frustrated.

    It's simply a matter of providing choices and offering instruction.

    There are always those who will be offended - even by common sense. I've had a guy argue with and get mad at me for advising him that it generally takes spray equipment and special additives to spray lacquer in 35 degree F weather - that most aerosols simply won't apply properly, and to look at the product data sheet for environmental requirements.

    There's jjust nothing I can do about those types of reactions - but I would be doing him a disservice NOT providing that information.

    I hope that's clear, because I'm done repeatedly defending myself from your out-of context quotes and subject matter. It's reaching the point of harassment. We've had a good relationship for years - please drop the redundant criticisms, attacks and personal comments. You've made your points - it's time to stop.
     
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