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Clear lacquer finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Vox Populi, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    So I'm going to be starting a bass building project pretty soon. I'm not going to be cutting any wood, pretty much all assembly stuff. Screwing stuff together, and a little wiring. Nothing I haven't done before.

    Except for one thing, which I am kind of nervous about: the finish. I'd like to be able to put a clear lacquer on a Warmoth ash body, but I'm worried about the possibilities for major screw up. I have a paint sprayer, I have paintbrushes, but what is the best way to apply such a finish without getting big globules or major drippage? And what kind of lacquer would I use?

    I'm trying to take this slow, I don't want to lose a bunch of money in this messing up. I haven't even bought the parts yet, I'm in the research phase. Just looking for some helpful info.

    Sorry if I sound like a total newbie, it's because I am. The only thing I've ever done is pickup wiring.

    Sorry for intruding on you luthiers' turf here, but I'd like to take a chance and see if I have what it takes. ;)
  2. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I used Duplicolor auto lacquer with pretty good results. I'm sticking with wipe-on or spray poly from now on, though. I used the lacquer straight out of the can. Since you're using a sprayer (something I have little experience with), I can only suggest spraying light coats, wait a few hours between coats, sand with 600 grit paper between coats, and don't spray if the humidity is above 70%.
  3. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    And about the newbie thing... just remember that EVERYONE started out as a "newbie" (I don't like that word) at one time. And I do mean everyone -- Ken Smith, Rick Turner, small-shop luthiers like tjclem, Hambone, etc.... don't try telling me about how you were born, covered in sawdust, with a spokeshave in one hand and a router in the other. That's just not possible. I mean... c'mon, let's not delve into the human physical limitations here. :smug:
  4. Zetora


    Aug 16, 2004
    Teej has a very good point there, dont worry, be precautious, thats what the measure twice, cut once saying comes from (maybe not the best for you as they are pre assembled, but maybe of use for screwing). Finishing, just test on scrap (or as I think is more use to you) an inconspicuous area which you may not notice so much, otherwise just sand it out if it all goes well, then try again. I have yet to do all this as I'm only just starting my project which I only just got the wood and most parts for yesterday.

    Good luck on the finish and obviously post pictures :p

  5. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Also, it can never be said too many times with lacquer: always give it sufficient time to dry. Good luck, and post up your results.
  6. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I'd get a decent piece of scrap and do it up exactly how you're going to do the body. You could probably get a small piece of ash to prototype at the local lumberyard. That'd be easier than having to test it on the actual body.