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What clear coat finishes are people in the UK using?  

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tv1010101
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07/09/2020 12:34 pm  

Bump! This is a great Q...

I too would love to know 

What clear coat finishes are people in the UK using?

We use our CureUV system but realise it is prohibitively expensive...

I've only ever used oil-type finishes - though I've experimented with a few different ones including the standard Liberon finishing oi, Tru-oil, Crimson's finishing oils, and various Osmo products.

Also tried wax over the top of oil, though that didn't work out so well!

I've applied oil-over-stain and oil straight onto wood.

 


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Edwin
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07/09/2020 12:58 pm  

I use Spray Max 2k and 1k rattle cans. Sprays well and easy to level-sand and polish. It's the stuff Brad Angove uses most of the time in his rattle can video's. These are available in the UK.

WARNING: nasty stuff, especially the 2k clear. Wear a good quality mask and gloves at all times....

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......


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Jonathan Hodgson
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07/09/2020 1:00 pm  
Posted by: @markbailey 
We use our CureUV system but realise it is prohibitively expensive...

The Solarez products look like a great solution for the home luthier Since they don't need specialist UV equipment (sunlight will do) or spray equipment (though they have versions that work with spray guns if you want that), there are different options depending on your priorities with regards to hardness, odour and workability, and they are reasonably priced, unfortunately you can't buy them here and shipping from the states is a bit nuts as I indicated in my first post.
I did suggest to Crimson Guitars in an email last year that they should look at "I can't believe it's not lacquer" in the hope that they might choose to become an importer, but that's not happened yet so I'm guessing it won't.


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tv1010101
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07/09/2020 2:15 pm  

I did suggest to Crimson Guitars in an email last year that they should look at "I can't believe it's not lacquer" in the hope that they might choose to become an importer, but that's not happened yet so I'm guessing it won't.

Looks like their UK distributor is only focused on the surfboard products.

Wonder if it's something @markbailey would be interested in investigating - if it's genuinely a useful product for guitar finishing that'd be suitable for us to use ...


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Deej
 Deej
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07/09/2020 2:42 pm  

We use our CureUV system but realise it is prohibitively expensive...

But it’s damn lovely especially the Matt  ? 


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Jonathan Hodgson
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07/09/2020 3:00 pm  

I use Spray Max 2k and 1k rattle cans.

How many cans do you find you need, and how long does the 2k remain useable? I know it starts going off as soon as you break the seal, but do you have to get all the coats done in one go or and can you apply a few coats, leave it overnight, then come back scuff sand and add a couple more without having to use a fresh can?


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darrenking
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07/09/2020 5:13 pm  

Check out NitorLack ( https://nitorlack.com/en)

Based in Spain, so shipping cost is very reasonable, and available in rattle cans or tins for compressor sprayers. Very impressed with the finish and sands and polishes beautifully.


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Jonathan Hodgson
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07/09/2020 6:08 pm  

@darrenking
That's a very interesting range (some of the text in the English descriptions is quite amusingly bad, but I can work out most of what they mean).
Being in Spain is good, at least until the end of the year (it's still an unknown what will happen with shipping and import duties then).
Which specific product(s) have you used? They have five different clear coats it seems.


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tv1010101
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07/09/2020 6:21 pm  

I've never used this, but have heard some good reports (and seen some good results)

https://manchesterguitartech.co.uk/product/clear-gloss-nitrocellulose-lacquer-aerosol/

 


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John L (Boo)
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07/09/2020 8:28 pm  

If you want to use 2k, you are not limited to using Spray Max in rattle cans. I would say nearly every car body supplies now offers their own 2k clear in rattle cans. Fundamentally it’s all the same stuff with different labels on them so check out your nearest (or online) suppliers and see what they have. Right now I live near Blackpool so I tend to get a lot of paint products from Martin Brown Paints, they do 2k clear in Gloss, Satin and Matt.

https://shop.martinbrownpaints.com/aerosols/clear-lacquer-aerosol

The open time for 2k can depends on the weather and environmental conditions on the day you are spraying. If it’s a hot day, it’s going to go off very quickly so keep the can out of the heat if you can. If it’s a cold day, you have a longer open time but this stuff dries by chemical reaction, it has a catalyst, so it will still become unsprayable within an hour or so. If the weather has high humidity (check your phone app for the day’s humidity percentage) for the day, you can get moisture in the paint/lacquer and it can bloom (a milky look). It’s still a superior product to nitro, that’s why the car manufacturing industry switched to it decades ago. There are hacks with 2k to combat environmental conditions but they can come with problems if employed. If the weather is hot you can use a retarder, this will slow the chemical reaction down and increase the open time. If the weather is cold you can use an accelerator (called Rocket) that speeds up the chemical reaction so it will cure in a reasonable time frame. Using these can hinder the flattening and polishing process when cured so it’s best to stick to the standard stuff and spray on an average day. 

I’m not for one minute suggesting I’m the ultimate expert on 2k clear but I have used it professionally for many years and continue to use it for hobbies. I’m always willing to listen to what paint products other people use for guitars, to their experience and expertise of using these products. I think between us all here in this forum we can come up with a short list of acceptable products to use. It’s not about showing off what we know just for the sake of ego, whatever we know we share and make it accessible for others to put into practice.

I might buy a GoPro and make some videos!  

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Jonathan Hodgson
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07/09/2020 9:38 pm  

I think between us all here in this forum we can come up with a short list of acceptable products to use.

That's along the lines of what I was thinking when I asked the original question. There's a fairly recent YouTube video by Chris from Highline Guitars where he gives the selection of finishing products he's personally settled on (after trying quite a variety over the years) from which he selects depending on certain criteria such as the look he's after, how quickly he has to get it to a customer and how tough he needs it to be.
A similar sort of shortlist but with products that are available this side of the pond would, I think, be rather useful. As would tips, tricks and warnings from people with experience of using them such as yourself.
Thanks for your info on 2K finishes, very helpful.


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John L (Boo)
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07/09/2020 11:23 pm  

@jonhodgson No probs, I think it’s important we are all here to help each other out with everything. I know what you mean about YouTube videos, most of them are American/Canadian and maybe some Australian and  it’s difficult to find those products in the UK/Europe. If it’s better for the environment then I’m glad they are unavailable on this side of the pond. It’s definitely something we should all (in the UK) look into to create a list of finishing products, Highline Guitars style, for us here in Europe. It’s a new project and challenge for us. 

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Edwin
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08/09/2020 8:57 am  
Posted by: @

John L gave most of the answers ? 

Spraymax is available in 400 and 250 ml cans. I spray a light mist coat first and then max. 3 wet coats. 400 ml is too much for a guitar body, so I use 250 ml, although it is relatively more expensive. I typically use 3 cans (about 9-10 coats) in total. For necks I use 1k, because even a 250 ml 2k can is too much for three coats for a neck. You'll end up using only about half the can and the rest will go off..... With a 400 ml can of 1k I am able to completely finish a neck.  

For a complete guitar with a set neck I reckon you can use a 400 ml can per session.

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......


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John L (Boo)
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08/09/2020 10:53 am  

@e-den-hertog Thanks, I think the way I’m going at the moment, I would batch spray a few guitars and necks so I could calculate how many cans I would need. So, with doing more than one job, 400ml cans will not be wasted. Using cans as opposed to using a spray gun is more expensive. If you are going to be making and spraying guitars indefinitely, it really does make sense to invest in a spray gun and compressor. It can seem very daunting at first but as you learn, practice and gain more experience, it becomes easy. Before you know it, it becomes second nature and you will be left thinking what all the fuss and worry was about. Think back of when learning to drive, it’s a bit tricky at first but how easy is it now? 

A rattle can of 2k clear (on average) is about £20 in the year 2020

https://shop.martinbrownpaints.com/aerosols/clear-lacquer-aerosol?product_id=1320

 

A 1lire 2k clear kit (with activator, 500ml) for a spray gun (on average) is about £35. In the year 2020

https://shop.martinbrownpaints.com/car-paints/clear-lacquer/2k-lacquer-kit-1l

Rattle cans, once activated, have about an hour to be used and after that the open time has gone and the whole can is unusable. 

With the same 2k stuff you mix yourself, you can calculate how much you need, mix it and use it. It has the same open time as a rattle can because it is the same stuff but this way you get little to no waste. So this way the clear coat product lasts longer and you get way more mileage out of the tin. You can paint many guitars with this option. You actually get 1.5 litres of product, 1 litre of clear and 500ml of activator. It goes a long way and it has a long shelf life in its unactivated state. You can open it, mix what you need, put the tin back on the shelf, mix a bit more to use for another job a month down the line, put it back on the shelf........ The can of clear and the tin of activator, when in their separate cans, unmixed will last months and months on the shelf after opening (with the lids replaced, obviously). When I was spraying cars, I used to buy it by the gallon (literally), that works out even cheaper.

It is way more cost effective in the long run to get set up with a spray setup. It doesn’t cost as much as you think for the equipment needed at home, in your garage to get started. You are also not limited to using 2k, you can use the same equipment to spray 1k, Nitro, waterborne, water based etc.....

 

I’ll do some costings and put a package together of what would be acceptable for a home spray setup. I’m not talking about a huge pro compressor and expensive spray guns, just decent quality stuff you would need at home. 

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