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Poly over lacquer?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by teej, Jul 11, 2005.


  1. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Well, I've finished my jazz bass, but the lacquer finish didn't come out as well as I hoped. It's not very glossy. :( So I was wondering.... will poly clear coat work over acryllic lacquer color coat?
     
  2. thedoctor

    thedoctor

    Jun 20, 2005
    Yep, but never try it the other way. You will need to scuff up the laquer prior to putting the poly on with some 600 or so. Have you rubbed it out or buffed it yet? You may have what you want hiding under the surface. I don't buff my guitars but, instead, hand rub-out after a few weeks with rouge polish and automotive swirl-eliminator. Takes a while but I have the time.
     
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I've only wiped it with a microfiber cloth. The finish isn't very smooth either, but I suspect that's because I didn't sand between coats.

    The color I used was metallic, so I was affraid that any sanding would take this sparkle away. Can someone confirm this?

    Also, I didn't wait long enough for the lacquer to fully harden, so my pants put tiny dimples and creases on the back of the body. :nono: I've got a P-bass with a glass-like finish, which is what I'm aiming for on this jazz. I've thought about steel wool to smooth out the finish, but I don't want the satin aftereffects. And I've looked into rubbing compound, but I've already invested way too much $$$ into this project to spend $8 on the smallest bottle of compound. :smug:
     
  4. thedoctor

    thedoctor

    Jun 20, 2005
    Patience, dude! Wait a couple of weeks and, for GOD's sake, play nude. Those jean ripples are gonna be a boog to get out. All finishes need a week or four to harden to the point where you can finalize the "look". Go to any auto detailer and ask if you can wet your rag with some swirl-eliminater compound. A dab and four hours will get you to heaven, slowly. Do not sand cause it ain't ready or needed.
     
  5. Jeez-0-pete Teej, what have I said on here over and over? :eyebrow: It's dry when you can touch it but it's not CURED until you can't smell ANY of the solvent and then, especially with some of the laboratory finishes, you should wait longer. You and I have been in, what, 99% humidity? for weeks now and nothing shy of some spilled alcohol is going to dry to cured in these conditions. The fact that consumer grade polyurethanes cure only by evaporation is one of their main drawbacks.

    Now you are definitely going to have to let it cure to the point that it's cracklin' hard to be able to do anything with it if it really can be saved. Most likely, it's going to involve removal of the finish because most home applied finishes aren't thick enough to layer sand and then rebuff to a polished finish. Maybe you should just start removing the finish now and avoid the rush later.

    Now, here's a question for you - Are you absolutely sure that you let the lacquer underneath the poly cure? Because if you didn't, you are in for a not-so-good time. The lacquer thinner will keep the poly soft as it outgasses and that could take a very, very long time if it happens at all.
     
  6. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I know, I know... I kept telling myself "Let it cure! Let it cure!" but I just couldn't wait to play it! I paid for it though... :smug: It worked out kinda good though because now it's better than before. I've added a forearm contour, radiused the edges just a little more, and gave the lower horn a bit of a scallop on the inside bottom edge for better reach of those upper frets (yeah, I'm an upper fret user). I just have to smooth sand and prep it for paint, which I'll have tomorrow.

    But now that I've heard and seen everything, I won't be so anxious to play it right away. :cool: