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Headstock clear coat... Nitrocellulose Q?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by rockinforJesus, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    Hopefully you guys are not getting sick of the Gibson content I have been posting lately. The Gibson Talk forum is much less interactive than this forum, and y'all have been so friendly and helpful here :)
    Regarding my 2014 Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker, I'm on a quest to dress this guitar up. I recently added a new pickguard, and just ordered some new tuners. Went with the Kluson Revolution G Mounts.
    The headstock on this guitar has a silkscreened logo, and the finish is matte black. I would like to clear coat the headstock before I put the new tuners on it.

    So the question is this... other than rattle can clear lacquer, what are my options? Would that be a good option? Looking for something that is readily available, and will enhance the look, without looking cheesy. I think this last step will complete this guitar for me.
    Any thoughts?
    LPMM headstock.jpg
     
  2. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I'd be more inclined to do a wipe-on poly on that. Take some extra time compared to rattle can but you'll have more control. Just me though.
     
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  3. wildeman

    wildeman Country Gent

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I'd rattle can clear that for sure, it would take about 15 min. But if you're unsure do like Eman suggested. If you spray just mask the sides, back and nut/ end of board.
     
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  5. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Country Gent

    Age:
    51
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I am always anxious that any colour applied to a surface may react in an unpleasant way. The problem here is, that you cannot test it before you spray over your guitar`s headstock.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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  6. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Yeah, don't spring for expensive nitro in a can when you're just spraying over poly anyway.
     
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  7. Bill

    Bill Country Gent

    Oct 16, 2012
    Cambs, UK
    It's nitro isn't it? being Gibson? I didn't think they did any poly finishes, could be wrong. If it's nitro mask up and spray, and pull the masking right away. Lets the edge 'fold' nicely.
    If it is nitro, spray nitro on it - not standard off-the-self paint which is usually acrylic and likely to react.

    But much easier to just get some T-Cut or a proper paint cutting/buffing compound and buff that up to a shine.
     
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  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Synchromatic

    941
    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I thought Gibson used a nitro lacquer over their stuff, but since I'm not a Gibson dude, I'm probably wrong about this model.

    I love nitro, it's easy and forgiving, buffs out nicely. Spraying means less leveling. Deft, that stuff is pretty cheap but takes a while to harden. I use the black and red (gloss) can Minwax, it's a fast drying nitro lacquer. I also use Watco and McFaddens, all good stuff. 3/4 coats might get you from burning through an edge. You could potentially have it gas off enough after a week or two--wet sand and buff. Sounds like a hassle to me -- which leads me to ask, why clear coat it?

    For speed, poly spray would be my next guess...but only if the factory finish is not nitro!
     
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  9. wildeman

    wildeman Country Gent

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    ReRanch nitro is great stuff and will ship to your door.
     
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  10. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    The finish on the guitar is Nitrocellulose according to Gibson's website. Maybe that is just the body color? Not sure if that includes the matte black finish on the headstock.
     
  11. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I'll admit ignorance here. I see they do claim to use nitro finishes for everything but I strongly suspect a heavy dose of plastcizers in the mix.
     
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  12. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Synchromatic

    802
    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Spray a couple light coats of shellac then nitro clear just to be sure?
     
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  13. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    IMG_0087.JPG IMG_0088.JPG
    So after this discussion and consulting with TDPRI, I found out Home Depot sells Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer. The MSDS on their site says it is a nitrocellulose paint. 5 coats later, the waiting begins before the "rubbing out" process.
    I will probably just use 1500 grit wet sand paper, then buff it out.
    Any suggestions for a buffing compound?
     
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  14. Mal Belford

    Mal Belford Gretschie

    282
    Apr 4, 2016
    Sweden
    Yaikes....Thats some orange peel you got there.......

    The paint must go on "wet" so it levels out......not to much so its rinning either....so the paint/laquer can level out....

    If a friend with Aitbrush.....the result will be better.....and if neccecary retarder may be used...
     
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  15. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I held the spray can about 8-10 " away from the headstock for each pass (a few in each direction/coat), then let is sit for 15 minutes between coats. I did a total of 5 coats.
    Might take some work to get it to a smooth finish, but I'm determined to get it right.
     
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  16. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    573
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    I was going to suggest the Minwax lacquer and you beat me to it. Good job! I used it to finish a pickguard for a homebuilt archtop guitar (shown here) and it worked well. (My brother now owns this guitar and loves it - D'Armond 2K pickups).

    To polish the lacquer finish, I used the following schedule:

    First, make sure the lacquer is cured (let it sit for a week or two). The surface should be dry and hard.

    From Home Depot, get the following 3M automotive (wet/dry) sandpaper grits: 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000. You can also find these at automotive supply stores.

    Get a small flat sanding block (you can use a pink eraser or a hard, flat wood block). Cut the papers into pieces you can wrap around the block. Mark the grit on the back in pen for later identification.

    Next, get plastic container and fill it with warm water and a dash of dishwashing detergent so you get a soapy mixture. Soak your papers in the soapy water for an hour or so.

    Start with the lowest grit (400) and sand until you have made a uniform, dull sheen on the lacquer surface. Wipe off the water and residue as you go. Continue this process with the next finest paper and so on until you reach 2000 grit. At this point, your sanding should produce a "squeak" and the surface should be flat and shiny.

    You can now buff out the surface with automotive running compound like 3M Finesse-it II or Meguires #7. You should be able to achieve a near mirror finish this way from pure hand rubbing/polishing, but a buffing wheel would be less labor intensive.

    Good luck!

    IMG_1656.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  17. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    Now that's what I'm talking 'bout... clear, understandable, and doable.
    Thanks Frank_NH, great job on that guitar, looks great and I'm sure it plays even better!!
    If you guys and gals want to see the finished product, I'll post in a week or so when the tuners are installed.
    Happy New Years all :)
     
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  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Synchromatic

    941
    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Frank_NH has it down pat..nice work!

    I might add that you can get away with starting at 600 to level and working up to 1200 or 1500, then polishing compound and finishing with a scratch remover--all by hand, it's such a small area and there is less risk of a sand through by hand. Don't forget to plug the bare wood holes with some wax, the tuner holes with a little painters tape (cut to fit within the tuner bushing footprint, it won't be seen). You don't want to get any water in the wood. I use Turtle wax's premium polishing compound, and finish with Meguire's swirl x, seems to work fine.

    You wouldn't hurt anything by spraying on another 3 coats. 5 coats seems like alot for one day, but you also mist coated each coat, by the look of the orange peel. If the silkscreen is raised off the original finish, you'll want to have extra insurance you don't sand into that by throwing on a few more healthy looking coats.

    I only do 3 coats a day, 30 minutes apart (its hot and dry here)--cool thing about Minwax is I can spray 15 minutes apart no problem. Start again with the mist coat, then go on with 2 heavier coats, enough to make it look shiny/wet. Sometimes I have to move the can slower, or an inch closer to do this--this will level out your surface if you find the sweet spot, any more will cause runs. Last thing--waiting 4 weeks is better than 2, even for a small piece of the neck. Have fun and good luck!
     
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  19. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    Thank you all for your help
    I am sure this will turn out great
     
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  20. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    573
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    Great advice, BorderRadio. I should have mentioned that you can risk sand through if the lacquer coats are too thin. So spray on more lacquer if needed. The good thing about lacquer is that subsequent coats "burn in" to the previous ones, and so you won't get "witness lines" in the finish.

    Also, if you have orange peel, probably 400 grit is a good starting point, but if you can always start with 600 grit and see if it removes the orange peel.
     
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  21. rockinforJesus

    rockinforJesus Gretschie

    198
    Nov 7, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I wet sanded with 600, then 2000 grit to remove the orange peel, then put 3 "wet" coats of lacquer on it. Going a little slower during spraying did the trick to get it to lay flat. It now has an almost smooth and very shiny finish to it. The tuners I ordered should be here tomorrow.
    How long should I wait before putting them and the truss rod cover back on? Minwax says the finish cures in 24 hours.
     
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