Water based lacquer schedule?

samueldixon

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Hi, about to start spraying clear on a bound painted solid body using Enduro Pre-Cat Lacquer Water-Based Topcoat and was wondering if anyone had a water based lacquer specific schedule they've had success using? I've seen plenty of schedules for solvent based lacquers but there doesn't seem to be as much out there regarding water based ones.

Specifically looking for info on if you spray sanding sealer first (and if you thin it), timing between coats, when/if you level sand (wet or dry), cure times, and how you like to buff and what products you use.

If there is a thread on this already that I've missed my apologies!
 
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Freeman Keller

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About ten or twelve years ago I decided that I didn't like all the issues associated with nitrocellulose lacquer and I would try the "water born" lacquers that were being touted by several builders. I first tried whatever StewMac was selling under their brand name and which Dan Erlewine had a pretty good shooting schedule in his book on guitar finishing. I wasn't satisfied with the finish but still liked the idea of water born so I next tried KTM-9 which LMII was selling. Again, the theory is good but the finishes were not as good as I could get with lacquer so I went back and have shot solvent based lacquer ever since.

Note, I have not tried the Target EM6000 nor the Enduro stuff - I have seen very nice finishes with both but frankly I've been burned too many times and figure I'll just go ahead with what I know.

Some things that I did learn, however, is that once you start shooting you'd better be prepared to finish or you really risk getting witness lines when you sand between coats. I got the best results shooting three coats a day and when I was done cleaning my gun I left some DNA in the cup. When I was ready for the next coat I misted a fine coat of the alcohol which seemed to make the surface slightly tacky and the next coat seemed to melt in a little (but not like solvent lacquer). KTM had a base coat, thats what I used, I see that LMII sells a base coat for the Target product. I don't know if Enduro does, if so I would use it. I pretty much followed a standard lacquer schedule - seal with a couple of coats, three coats a day sand to 320 between, cure for two weeks (these products actually do chemically cure), wet sand to 2000, buff with compound.

There was a pretty good article in American Lutherie a while back talking about "water born" lacquers and how they work. There are a lot of hydrocarbons in the solvent mix and you should definitely take precautions.

Also, there are a couple of forumites who use the Target finish and get stunning results, almost good enough to make me want to try again. I'll let them chime in.

 

samueldixon

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Thanks Freeman, I'd love to be able to use a solvent based lacquer but I'm forced to shoot in my basement and the water based stuff isn't anywhere close to as toxic as the solvent based stuff (I still wear a mask and ventilate of course).
 

samueldixon

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This guy uses that lacquer, so this video might help.



Somewhere to start, thanks!

1 coat per hour for 5 coats then let dry overnight.

Next morning dry sand with 600 grit then spray 5 more coats (1 coat per hour)

Repeat sanding and 5 more coats.

After 15 coats let cure for 10 days.

Then sand with 1200 grit and buff.
 

Beebe

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Thanks Freeman, I'd love to be able to use a solvent based lacquer but I'm forced to shoot in my basement and the water based stuff isn't anywhere close to as toxic as the solvent based stuff (I still wear a mask and ventilate of course).

This is why I spray non toxic alcohol soluble resins (Shellac, Copal, Benzoin, Sandarac, Mastic...) with 190 Proof Everclear I'm my basement. They melt into the previous coat just like nitro does.
 

Freeman Keller

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Is the everclear for you or the guitar?

Why the guitar, of course. Hic...

IMG_6538.JPG
 

old wrench

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General Finishes should have an application data sheet for that product

I've been experimenting with a similar water-based product - Target Coating EM6000

Maybe some of what I've learned about EM6000 will carry over to the General Finish stuff and help out


EM6000 is a water-base acrylic lacquer that you can use as a sealer, to build film thickness, and as a finish coat

You can thin it if you want, with - tap water!!!

Target says you can thin it with 50% water to use as a sealer coat

*I've used it full-strength - right out of the can, or thinned 10% with tap water

It's like most finishes - it works best within a certain temperature and humidity range

It's quite a bit more blush-resistant than solvent-based lacquer, but higher humidity slows down the dry time quite a bit

*EM6000 wants to dry between coats - if you don't let each coat dry before applying successive coats, you'll be asking for runs -


*Target recommends 30 minutes between coats, but it doesn't matter if it takes 20 minutes or 120 minutes - it needs to dry between coats

*If you've used any type of an oil-based stain or filler on the body, you'll want to make sure it's completely and thoroughly dry - Target recommends wiping down with a 50% water/50% denatured alcohol solution to remove any contaminants before spraying -

*If there is any sort of oil or other contamination left behind you just might end up with fisheyes or other weirdness!


Under "normal" conditions, Target says EM6000 needs 120 hours (5 days) to reach the point where it is "chemically cured" - it dries pretty quickly, but there is some sort of a cross-linking process it goes through as it "cures"

As far as sanding goes - I'm treating EM6000 the same as solvent lacquer - if there is no need to sand between coats, I don't - but, Target does recommend sanding if it's been over 24 hours since the previous coat



The schedule you mention in post #5 sounds pretty reasonable

*Thin coats (3 mils for EM6000 is recommended) are what you want - thick coats will give you very similar problems as thick solvent lacquer coats, nothing but trouble - keep 'em thin

*I've used the same equipment for EM6000 as I use for solvent lacquer - either Fuji Turbine HVLP or my old HF trim gun and compressor - the stuff sprays nice

For clean-up - all it takes is warm tap water!!! - although you can also use 50% water/50%dna if you want



Here's a link to the application data sheet for EM6000 - it's not the same product you are using, but it's similar and might have some helpful info



Good Luck and let us know how it goes -

These water-based finishes seem to be getting better as time goes on, I used Enduro-Var a couple of years ago, but I didn't get much experience with it, all I had was a quart - the current formulation of EM6000 is "version 8.0" - apparently, it's undergone a number of changes

.
 

samueldixon

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General Finishes should have an application data sheet for that product

I've been experimenting with a similar water-based product - Target Coating EM6000

Maybe some of what I've learned about EM6000 will carry over to the General Finish stuff and help out


EM6000 is a water-base acrylic lacquer that you can use as a sealer, to build film thickness, and as a finish coat

You can thin it if you want, with - tap water!!!

Target says you can thin it with 50% water to use as a sealer coat

*I've used it full-strength - right out of the can, or thinned 10% with tap water

It's like most finishes - it works best within a certain temperature and humidity range

It's quite a bit more blush-resistant than solvent-based lacquer, but higher humidity slows down the dry time quite a bit

*EM6000 wants to dry between coats - if you don't let each coat dry before applying successive coats, you'll be asking for runs -


*Target recommends 30 minutes between coats, but it doesn't matter if it takes 20 minutes or 120 minutes - it needs to dry between coats

*If you've used any type of an oil-based stain or filler on the body, you'll want to make sure it's completely and thoroughly dry - Target recommends wiping down with a 50% water/50% denatured alcohol solution to remove any contaminants before spraying -

*If there is any sort of oil or other contamination left behind you just might end up with fisheyes or other weirdness!


Under "normal" conditions, Target says EM6000 needs 120 hours (5 days) to reach the point where it is "chemically cured" - it dries pretty quickly, but there is some sort of a cross-linking process it goes through as it "cures"

As far as sanding goes - I'm treating EM6000 the same as solvent lacquer - if there is no need to sand between coats, I don't - but, Target does recommend sanding if it's been over 24 hours since the previous coat



The schedule you mention in post #5 sounds pretty reasonable

*Thin coats (3 mils for EM6000 is recommended) are what you want - thick coats will give you very similar problems as thick solvent lacquer coats, nothing but trouble - keep 'em thin

*I've used the same equipment for EM6000 as I use for solvent lacquer - either Fuji Turbine HVLP or my old HF trim gun and compressor - the stuff sprays nice

For clean-up - all it takes is warm tap water!!! - although you can also use 50% water/50%dna if you want



Here's a link to the application data sheet for EM6000 - it's not the same product you are using, but it's similar and might have some helpful info



Good Luck and let us know how it goes -

These water-based finishes seem to be getting better as time goes on, I used Enduro-Var a couple of years ago, but I didn't get much experience with it, all I had was a quart - the current formulation of EM6000 is "version 8.0" - apparently, it's undergone a number of changes

.
Just what I was looking for thanks!

When you say "dry" between coats is there something you are looking for? You obviously don't want to touch it to test right?

So you don't sand at all? Just go straight to buffing?

What would you say ideal temp/humidity is? Currently my basement is at 72 and 50%.
 

old wrench

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You'll be able to recognize "dry" pretty quickly just by how it looks (good lighting really helps), but there is always someplace you can poke with a finger - like a pickup pocket

I don't sand in between coats, but some wet sanding is usually required before buffing

72 F. is OK

50% RH is considered high for lacquer - I believe Target recommends 35% for EM6000

I don't know what General Finishes temperature and humidity parameters are, so I won't say that you won't run into any problems spraying your GF stuff at 50% RH - I really have no idea

I will say that I was able to spray EM6000 in 50%+ humidity without it blushing, but it takes extra time to dry and you have to keep the coats real thin otherwise they will sag

There's been a learning curve for me in switching over to water-based finish - I'm still learning!

I started out by spraying test panels to find out how the stuff acts - in particular, how it sprays with my equipment - for me, developing a good technique requires practice

I'd suggest spraying some cheap test panels (even if it's just cardboard) with your GF stuff to see how it sprays and lays down before tackling something that you value :)

.
 

samueldixon

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You'll be able to recognize "dry" pretty quickly just by how it looks (good lighting really helps), but there is always someplace you can poke with a finger - like a pickup pocket

I don't sand in between coats, but some wet sanding is usually required before buffing

72 F. is OK

50% RH is considered high for lacquer - I believe Target recommends 35% for EM6000

I don't know what General Finishes temperature and humidity parameters are, so I won't say that you won't run into any problems spraying your GF stuff at 50% RH - I really have no idea

I will say that I was able to spray EM6000 in 50%+ humidity without it blushing, but it takes extra time to dry and you have to keep the coats real thin otherwise they will sag

There's been a learning curve for me in switching over to water-based finish - I'm still learning!

I started out by spraying test panels to find out how the stuff acts - in particular, how it sprays with my equipment - for me, developing a good technique requires practice

I'd suggest spraying some cheap test panels (even if it's just cardboard) with your GF stuff to see how it sprays and lays down before tackling something that you value :)

.
Oh one last question, if I'm waiting an hour between coats should I clean my gun each time?
 

old wrench

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Just what I was looking for thanks!

When you say "dry" between coats is there something you are looking for? You obviously don't want to touch it to test right?

So you don't sand at all? Just go straight to buffing?

What would you say ideal temp/humidity is? Currently my basement is at 72 and 50%.



There ya go! :)

According to the application data sheet for your product - your conditions (72F and 50%RH) are more or less ideal for the GF product you are using

That data sheet has the important info that you want to know and follow - like one hour dry time between coats


Oh one last question, if I'm waiting an hour between coats should I clean my gun each time?


I've always been pretty fussy about keeping my spray guns clean - it only takes 5 or maybe 10 minutes to do a good thorough job of cleaning one up (when using lacquer), and I do it after every spray "session" or at the end of the day

Using EM6000, I've found that I can let the gun sit with lacquer in the cup for the time between coats - even when it's an hour between coats - without any problems - and still be able to easily clean the gun at the end of the spraying "session" or end of the day

Your GF lacquer may act in a similar way - but I don't know for sure

GF might have some sort of a resource with further info about using your lacquer - like a FAQ or blog posts - everything you can learn about it helps



For cleaning spray equipment, I see that for your product GF recommends using their "GF brush and gun cleaner"

For EM6000 clean-up, Target recommends warm water or a 50/50 mix of water and denatured alcohol

Target also recommends that if you use any soap to clean the equipment you need to thoroughly flush it out with water

.
 

Jim_in_PA

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Oh one last question, if I'm waiting an hour between coats should I clean my gun each time?
Unless your gun is a bleeder and not sealed, no need to clean your gun between coats and that would be wasteful. I've gone two days with EM6000 (and most other waterborne finishes) with no issues...'just clean the "booger" off the nozzle before starting your next coat. Disclaimer, I use the 3M PPS cup system which means there's no air in with the finish. Without that, I'd likely not leave the gun charged overnight, but a long-long day...no problem.
 

Jim_in_PA

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Just don't put in too much...you don't want to thin waterborne finishes too much as it negatively affects the products. Water is not the "solvent"...it's just the carrier...so too much water and/or extender and you start to spread the actual finish molecules out so much it compromises the quality of the finish.
 

Silverface

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Specifically looking for info on if you spray sanding sealer first (and if you thin it), timing between coats, when/if you level sand (wet or dry), cure times, and how you like to buff and what products you use.
I late on this - but this is exactly the type of situation where you READ the directions - and if you don't understand them call the manufacturer's tech support staff. That's what they are there for.

And unless it's a plural component or "precatalyzed" lacquer, it doesn't "cure" - it dries ONLY by evaporation. This is a big reason why thin coats are critical - and applying the entire system on scrap wood repeatedly until you get acceptable results is how you learn.

DO NOT try to learn as you apply each coat - work out all the kinks before you touch the guitar.
 




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