View Full Version : Lacquer Chip

Mar-22-2004, 12:52am
I got my Mandolin #3 done today, rubbed out the lacquer and strung her up. All went well except, I dropped the bridge and it hit right on the edge of the treble F hole and made a tiny chip on the lacquer, other than that it looks great.
Question: How do I fix this? Dap in a little lacquer until it is full then re-sand the area and re-rub out the lacquer patch? Please let me know,I will probably leave it alone for a while until I get the mandolin a bit more broke in. Our is it better to fix it right away??
Anyway I will post some photos in a couple days, I left my camera at work. I played her for about 2 hours tonight and it sound pretty good for being a newborn! Overall I am very happy with it, I just wish I did'nt have that one little chip in it, the chip is about 1/32 or less right on the edge of the F hole. Thanks for any help and I will post pics soon! Yonkle

Michael Lewis
Mar-22-2004, 1:55am
You can drop fill the chipped area if you need to make it perfest. However, it is only new once, and things happen. If it isn't too bad I would just live with it.

Gail Hester
Mar-22-2004, 2:24am
Ouch! I donít use lacquer on my mandolins but I have been finishing and refinishing drums and other instruments with lacquer for many years and itís actually very easy to fix dings. If the ding only effects the lacquer, the process is simply to fill with lacquer, sand and buff/polish confining your work to the smallest area possible to fix the problem. I would clean the area of polish or any other contaminates and with a toothpick and apply and smooth the lacquer to fill the area. This usually takes many coats and patients is the key, use a small amount at a time and keep filling until itís a little higher than level. I use a hair dryer to dry the lacquer after each application if I want to speed up the process on small dings. Then Iíd sand level with 600-800 sandpaper and keep going finer until smooth, sometimes youíll have to apply more lacquer fill, be patient and try to feather the edges in confining your area as much as possible. Then use whatever product (non-silicone) you used to buff it out. Hope this helps.

Mar-22-2004, 12:33pm
I'd fix it now because it's still new and why not have it look new? also the new lacquer will blend in better before the other lacquer gets old.
You can speed up the drop filling process by leaving a little lacquer in an open bottle to evaporate down 'til its thicker. Protect it from dust and put the cap back on when it's thick enough to suit you, and keep it for the next chip or ding.

Mar-22-2004, 11:08pm
Thanks guys. I know it's tiny but after months of building and the last thing to do, string it up this happens, I can't live with it, I got the lacquer fill in now, flatten it and buff tomorrow, and hope it don't look worse!

Mar-23-2004, 9:15pm
Thanks Michael, Hester and Sunburst. I got it fixed, it's about 98% un-noticable, I left it a hair high so when it shrinks it wont leave a dip. It was pretty easy, I did what sunburst said and let the lacquer stiffen up a little and packed it in then took one drop of liquid and dropped it over the top to even it out, sanded with 3000-12000 and rubbed it out with Mcguires, I think it will be OK...Thanks again...JD

Mar-23-2004, 9:19pm
It's a good skill to learn. Lacquer gets chipped a lot. Glad the mando is still "new", but you might as well go ahead and put that first big pick scratch in it http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif.

Mar-23-2004, 10:04pm
The best fix I have found for lacquer chips is good old super glue. Easier to fill than laq, dries instantly and burns in just like laq. No witness lines. I just finished filling about six dings in a newer martin. I would pay some one a dollar to find them. What I like about the super glue is start to finish only takes a few minutes. Fill, a few minutes later sand level and then straight to the buffer with no worries about shrinking.

Mar-23-2004, 10:14pm
Sometimes I use superglue. I usually like lacquer better especially on newer softer lacquer because the superglue can be harder than the lacquer and that makes it hard to level-sand. The lacquer on a new instrument is still shrinking and a lacquer drop fill will shrink along with it.
I have more trouble with tiny bubbles in superglue that turn into little pits when sanded and buffed.

Mar-27-2004, 7:24pm
Never had a problem with bubbles myself. I usually put on 2-3 thin coats within a minute or so. I never had a problem with it shrinking though. If I have it buffed then it's at least a month after the laq, no shrinking I can see. If the laquer is still shrinking don't buff it unless you want to do it twice.

Mar-27-2004, 7:35pm
Boboshoes, you're right about the no-shrink feature of superglue.
How did we ever live without that stuff?

Jim Rowland
Mar-27-2004, 11:37pm
Man,Yonkle. Just leave that little old ding in there. It really doesn't hurt your beautiful mandolin. Some guys have a built in jewelers loup in their eye and zoom in on every small defect so they can announce it to you. They are not usually prospective buyers. If they are,just say you'll knock of the sales tax.

Mar-28-2004, 12:50am
Grow: I fixed it. It was easy and I can't even see it now. It was one of those things, thinking if I try to fix it, will I made it worse? Or will it be better?? I took the chance and it is fine now. Thanks to all for the tips. JD