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Poster finish bass - the Lady of Shalott

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pklima, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. pklima

    pklima

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    So, I've done a few fabric finish basses, but I'm now being asked to do one with a poster finish. It's actually the first bass I did a fabric finish on - the girl I sold it to is asking me if I can redo it with a poster of that Lady of Shalott painiting by John William Waterhouse.

    [​IMG]

    She found a poster that's a good size. The bass is a P copy, with a pickguard, so she plans to order two copies. One for the body and one for the pickguard, to be aligned perfectly. Quick and very dirty Photoshop showing the rough size and planned placement.

    [​IMG]

    Luna sells acoustic guitars with the same painting, but they're aligned wrong. Well, aligned right for sitting on a stand not being played, but pick up the guitar to play and the boat will tip over and she'll fall into the water. Not good. Not what we want.

    [​IMG]

    The bass was my first attempt at a fabric finish, it came out too dark and dull and misaligned. Plus, she says it doesn't look girly enough, it looks like she borrowed it from her boyfriend. And, hey, this also means I get to cut the BURBERRY BRIT tag off the headstock and reattach it to my Burberry bass. So I don't mind redoing it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So... what should I know about doing a poster finish on a bass? I guess it will be a lot like doing a fabric finish but not quite. In other words, here's the important part of this post:

    1. Should I brush it with filler before spraying lacquer, or do posters not need that? In general will this need less lacquer than fabric?

    2. How do I get the images aligned? With two copies of the poster and a non-repeating pattern, I have to get it right the first time. Any trickery?

    3. Avoiding wrinkling - will that be hard? Any tips? A wrinkle in fabric can be stretched out before the glue dries, but on a poster it would stay forever...

    4. Anything else I need to know?

    5. Or is a poster completely the wrong technology and do we need to do something completely completely different to get that image on that bass?
  2. kris pung

    kris pung

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    I would think it should be easier to bury a poster over fabric and I imagine the process will be very similar. The trickiest part will be aligning the image on both the body and pickguard, good luck.
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

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    No idea on the lacquering. But, to align, I think you could put the two posters on top of each other, ensuring they are aligned with each other. Then put the pickguard down where you want it and use a punch to make holes in the posters through the pickguard screw holes. Then you can put each piece on later, aligning the holes to the screw holes in the body and the pickguard.

    I loved what you did with the various fabric basses. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
  4. pklima

    pklima

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    Thanks, that's a really good idea. I suspected that the screw holes might somehow be the key to aligning things.
  5. INTP

    INTP

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    This reminded me of a video I saw the other day. I don't know if it will work for what you're doing, but it might generate some ideas, perhaps?

    Check out his printing technique at about 6:10


    I wonder if this technique (or some other) would work to print the image on some kind of fabric, then apply the fabric to the bass? The right fabric might make it look more like a canvas, and also allow you to use the technique that you've already used for your other basses.

    I look forward to seeing how this turns out.
  6. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Seems good for small projects like this but unless you possibly find a company that does large transfers... so back to the poster.
    It's similar to what you are doing w/fabric, basically decoupage, or even wallpaper. You need to attach it w/some sort of adhesive like a spray-mount or (3M?) double stick tape. The object is a very thin tight bond. Double stick tape will give you the most control as you can pull the backing off one strip at a time until it's aligned correctly. Once down, spray lacquer in light/thin coats is the way to go. Curves and edges are problematic unless the poster stock is thin - can't advise there. When Fender did the paisley/flower prints (wallpaper) on their guitars/basses they tapered the paper (at the edge) and sprayed a halo on the edges so as not to have to bend the paper around the curves. Good luck.
  7. pklima

    pklima

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    Yup, that looks like an interesting technology, but probably not one I'll be able to use here. Another I'd love to try sometime is hydrographics - perfect for a camo bass where it won't matter if things get a bit wobbly.

    Here I'm definitely going to stop before the edges and do a narrow black burst. Edges, especially on rounded corners, are always the hardest part of these, and with paper will probably be even worse than with fabric.
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    If your poster-stock is thin, you should be able to spray enough layers of lacquer to fine-sand the stock edges smooth w/o digging into the image so once spraying the black halo it will look like a consistent transition.
  9. pklima

    pklima

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    Will see how thick they are soon. She's ordered the posters now. If they're thin I wonder if I'll need to spray white primer over the body so the black won't show through the lighter parts, will need to do a test...

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