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New water based lacquer?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass Kahuna, Nov 19, 2003.


  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I'm very interested to find out if anyone has tried the new water based lacquer that I've seen at Stewart MacDonald (or other suppliers).

    How are the results you've gotten? Does each successive layer burn into the previous to avoid witness lines? Was it easy to work with? What type of spray gun did you use? Have you tried adding stains or dyes to it for translucent finishes or sunbursts?

    Thanks!

    :^)~
     
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Wow.... crickets.... anyone?

    :^)~
     
  3. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    I've not used it myself but I recall reading something about it over on the ReRanch forum, that it was difficult to bring to a high gloss. Dunno if it's true though...
     
  4. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    YUK!
    I tried that stuff and gave it quite a few chances. I never got anything even close in results to conventional finishes. I use polyurethane and polyester and the hardness is lightyears beyond what water based finishes can achieve. I think the lacquer is comparable, but I don't think conventional lacquer is hard enough either.
    My advice? Stay away from waterbased finishes. Eventually they might be something, but they're not even close yet.
     
  5. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Carey, not to hijack the thread but I'd love it if sometime you would share some of your finishing techniques. Even in photos I can tell what you are achieving is orders of magnitude above anything I've been able to do.
     
  6. Carey

    Carey

    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Timmy,
    I use polyester for my gloss finishes and polyuerethane for my satin finishes. These are pretty high tech catalyzed finishes. The polyester is the same stuff that Pat Wilkins uses and it's amazing stuff. It dries to the touch within an hour of spraying. Of course it doesn't fully cure for a couple days, and when it does it gets VERY hard. That's when things get interesting and you have to sand and buff it. It takes me about three hours to sand and buff a polyester finish to my satisfaction. It looks like glass when it's done right and it's far more durable than any lacquer finish could be.
    The satin is a little easier to do, but still a bit of work. The main difficulty is getting a good finish off the gun. I have yet to do this to my satisfaction - I usually end up sanding flat with 600 grit and steel wool rubbing for a nice hand rubbed effect.
    Both of these finishes build up rapidly with the polyeurethane needing to be a little more lightly applied than the polyester. I spray four coats of the polyester sanding sealer 15 minutes apart and let it dry for at least two days. Then I sand it flat with 280 grit and spray color if it needs it and then four coats of topcoat, again, 15 minutes apart. Then, in a few days, it's time to sand and buff.
    The polyeuretane is similar, but you have to wait an hour between coats. It takes longer to fully cure too, but it's less apparent because of the satin look.
    Anyway, that was kind of random, but you hopefully can get the gist of what my finishes are like.

    Oh, remember that these finishes are intended for professional use only in a proper spraying environment. In other words, don't try this at home. ;)
     
  7. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Thanks Carey :) That's very interesting and informative; thanks for taking the time to explain. [dream]Maybe someday I'll have the facilities to try something like that.[/dream]