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Finish Help (Lacquer not sticking to edge)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by marko138, Jan 8, 2018.


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  1. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Hey guys...I'm having an issue. When I spray lacquer on to the head stock (Squier Jazz bass) it won't stick to the bottom edge. It seems to pull away from the edge. It sticks just fine everywhere else, except the edge. (The edge nearest where the original Squier logo used to be).

    I've sanded the original finish off. I've sanded the entire edge of the headstock to soften the 90 degree angle but nothing seems to work. I've attached a photo, it's tough to see but you can sorta see there where it's not glossy on the very edge, say about 1/8" or so from the edge itself.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Photo Jan 08, 8 34 37 PM.
     
  2. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Looks like it may have been taped off there previously? Has there ever been a product with silicone in it near that edge?
     
    marko138 likes this.
  3. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Not that I'm aware of. It came off of a stock Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass. I took the hardware off and sanded the logo and original finish off. The only tape I've put on is on the sides to prevent the lacquer overspray from hitting there.
     
  4. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Very strange, I'm at a loss but then again I'm not a spray finish expert. :D
     
    marko138 likes this.
  5. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Hopefully one of these guys who sprays more than i do will chime in...:)
     
  6. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Thanks. I hope so.
     
  7. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Did you sand the entire headstock, using the same grit of sandpaper, and it's not sticking to the edge? Or did you sand back the edge separately?
     
  8. Did you spray sealer first? Some poly finishes leave residue in the wood,especially in the edge or endgrain making it hard for lacquer to stick to....it's hardening and pulling back before the "roots" grab. Stew-mac and others sell "fisheye" preventer, or flowout promoters that reduce the surface tension of the lacquer allowing it to lay out more while it hardens.
     
  9. Might be some contamination that went thru the original finish , some cleaners are that strong ( pledge come to mind ) I would sand it back and clean the wood with acetone and recoat . I hate when those things happen
     
    marko138 likes this.
  10. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    I've only sanded the top of the headstock, then when it wouldn't stick I sanded the edges down to round them off a bit. Other than than I've left the sides and back of it as it was.

    I didn't spray any sealer. I'll look for some of those. Thanks.
     
  11. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Thanks. I'll give that a shot.

    I appreciate the help.
     
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If you use Dunlop 49 to clean your gear, it has silicone in it. I do not know if that is actually what is going on but it is a possibility.
     
    marko138 likes this.
  13. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    I agree with what the guys have said above. More than likely you had some surface contaminant - potentially even in your sandpaper - that has interfered with adhesion in that area.
     
  14. I rarely use sealers on wood.

    You've got some contamination going on tgere that may have wicked deep into the wood and if you cannot get it cleaned up, you're in trouble.

    Me?

    I'd overspray the area and scrub some of your clearcoat into the bad zone with very clean fingers and then let it dry.

    Then sand it back to level again with 800# and spray on a medium mist coat..... sand it one last time with 1000# or 1200# wet/dry, wetted with mineral spirits (paint thinner-brush cleaner) and put on a final coat to see what happens.

    Don't use water for a wetting agent when you're working on wood.

    What brand clear coat are you using. Some are junk.

    If you can use a very hard polyurethane clear coat, get Minwax Helmsman Marine Spar Varnish.

    I've used that for years with very satisfactory performance and results.
     
    jchrisk1 likes this.
  15. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Thanks guys. I appreciate the tips. I've sanded it back. I'm confident it's down to bare wood. I may not have gotten all of the old poly off the first time. Perhaps lacquer doesn't like to stick to poly? I don't know, but it's knocked way back now with brand new sand paper and wiped down with acetone.

    I'll try another couple of coats of lacquer tomorrow.

    I'm using Rustoleum lacquer. I've used it on other projects in the past with good results, though not on barewood. The last project was also a Squier headstock that I lightly sanded, shot with black rustoleum lacquer, then this same clear.

    I have a can of Reranch nitro lacquer but didn't want to use a new can for just a headstock. Perhaps I should use it anyway?

    Photo Jan 09, 8 45 23 PM.
     
  16. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    The Rustoleum lacquer should be fine. The blue bass in my profile pic was finished with it.

    If you have a scraper, it might be worth taking a few light shavings off that edge.

    Also be sure to relieve the edge a little bit with some 220 grit paper. It's frightfully easy to sand through the finish on a sharp edge.
     
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  17. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Hey gents, just wanted to check in. I hit it with a light mist coat first then went a bit heavier about 30 minutes later. The edge was better, but still pulling back slightly. So, I used my finger and smeared the lacquer back toward the edge. Hit it with another coat and let it sit over night. I sanded it with 800 today and put two more coats on it. It looks pretty good. My plan is to put 2 more coats on it tomorrow and let it sit for a few days before I put the decal on it.

    Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it.

    Photo Jan 11, 9 13 58 PM. Photo Jan 11, 9 15 09 PM.
     

  18. I've used that trick a number of times on customer's guitars and even a couple of those wooden boxes they use as drums - a cajon. Rubbing the finish into the wood usually pushes it deep enough for it to get between enough fibers to get the natural attraction that the liquid has for itself, to make attachment to the contaminated surface.

    You're going to put the decal between clear coats - right? If you're unsure how to do that - just ask me (or anyone else you want to) in this same post and we can get it buried inside the finish and make it look better.

    Otherwise it'll look odd sitting on top of the clear coats - and subject to being damaged easily too.
     
    Beej likes this.
  19. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Absolutely. I was going to use this process: Decal Application Pic/Tutorial

    I found that thread while searching for solution to this problem.
     
    Beej likes this.
  20. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    aaaaaand I've sanded through part of the decal. I guess the wet sanding between coats was taking off more than I thought. Back to square one.
     

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