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Thread: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

  1. #1
    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Things were moving along fine today. Got my neck set and was getting it warmed up for the hide glue and I got my heat lamp a bit too close. Dang
    This critter is already a month past my projected finish date. At least the buyer is an understanding kind of guy.Click image for larger version. 

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    Does anyone have a good remedy for this. It was sealed and colored with shellac and then nitro on top 3-4 coats.
    I was wondering about melting it with lacquer thinner or denatured alcohol or the blush remover which seems to melt lacquer if applied liberally. It has changed the color because of the lift so simply leveling and buffing won't work. It needs (I think) to lay back down on the color coat. I'm not sure if I can match the color if needed.
    Anyone who has a fix for this that will keep me from going all the way back or a Larry Sparks Pick guard would be much appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    No ideas, my experience is that there ain't no easy way.

    If the color is in the coating, you may be able to blend with a good airbrush (iwata, etc).

    But I will say that the rest of the instrument looks gorgeous. Really nice work.

    Reminds me of the mandolin I put in the sun to cure faster. Blisters all over the top, looked like a second degree burn.

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  4. #3
    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Thanks Marty. I seem to be getting slower and more prone to these setbacks lately. AGE I guess. Thanks for the kind words on the build in general. I'm really excited to hear it. It's a 00 14 fret made with the cocobolo I got from James Condino last year.

  5. #4
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Houchens View Post
    ...I seem to be getting slower and more prone to these setbacks lately. AGE I guess...
    Say it ain't so!
    (Same here, seems like mistakes are always waiting... lurking...)

    I don't think anything short of stripping away the damaged finish and touching it up will help.
    Might as well try some butyl cellosolve (lacquer melt) first since the damage is done, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

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  7. #5
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    At this point I would wet sand lightly to see if it would somewhat level the blisters out without disturbing the base color. If the base color still looks OK you'll have to build some lacquer coats and wet sand back quite a few times. The blisters will show up as craters until you get enough finish on them to level with the topmost coat. Not much else I would try short of stripping and doing the top again.Which for as much as a PITA it would be might be quicker.
    Hughes F-5 #1
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  9. #6
    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Thanks Guys. I'm afraid you confirmed my fears. This particular guitar has been a real bugger.Part of me would like nothing better than to give the guy his deposit back and set it in the closet for a few months. But, Onward through the fog.

  10. #7
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Sand down the top to almost bare wood, and redo it. It's a new instrument. I've done that more than once.

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  12. #8
    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    Yep, Steamed neck back out this morning. Here we go again.

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    Default Re: Not my day. Lacquer blisters.

    So sorry, David. When I CA glued my entire thumb to the top of a clients acoustic, I spent 2 days cleaning off the leftovers. When I walked in the local hardware store to get a bit of acetone, I became an instant legend.

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