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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I'm sure the answer is no, but I'm stumped. Is there any other kind of finish that will work with nitro?

I'm fixing up an old Gibson LG from the 50's, it has a fairly serious head stock break that I'll be addressing with a back strap, obviously I'll inevitably need to add some finish to the new wood. I have not been able to find nitro-cellulose lacquer anywhere in Canada, and definitive advice about what's possibly available is as scarce.

There's lots of "lacquer" (I've used some post-catalyzed stuff before) available but everyone at the paint stores and in the wood finishing industry around here I talk to kind of just shrugs and says they don't bring it in anymore, or its unavailable. It also doesn't help that a lot of people I've talked to locally use the word "lacquer" as a catch all term and seem to think of all the options as interchangeable. I haven't had much luck online either.

I'd welcome any suggestions for a source or an alternative solution.

Conor


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:42 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
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Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
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Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Welcome to the post nitro age of Lutherie.

Lots of other things "work" with nitro. If all you need is adhesion then most other materials will work, especially over lacquer from the 50's due not only to it's age but the formulas used then. Something that will buff in seamlessly? That is a different question. Most auto repair clears will work for buffing into almost anything with proper prep but may lift old nitro so a test is in order if you try that.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: Conor_Searl (Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:16 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:28 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 536
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
B. Howard wrote:
Welcome to the post nitro age of Lutherie.

Lots of other things "work" with nitro. If all you need is adhesion then most other materials will work, especially over lacquer from the 50's due not only to it's age but the formulas used then. Something that will buff in seamlessly? That is a different question. Most auto repair clears will work for buffing into almost anything with proper prep but may lift old nitro so a test is in order if you try that.


Thanks Brian, I'm going to keep digging a little more. I talked to another luthier nearby and he gave me some leads to chase down. But I won't jump into the repair until I get my lacquer questions sorted out, so if I do need to test some alternative finish I can do it on the back of the head stock where I'll be removing material anyway for the back strap, since I have no other 50 year old nitro kicking around to test compatibility with.

What do you mean by proper prep?

Its funny when I started out diving into the world of luthiery I loved all the classic designs and was just uninterested in anything not associated with 60's and earlier guitars. The more I learn and grow though, the less interested I am in those guitars, and I'm so much more interested in builders that are moving the ball a little farther down the field (within reason). I guess I'm losing my grip on "mojo".


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:29 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Focus: Repair
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Conor_Searl wrote:
What do you mean by proper prep?


Witness lines between materials can be greatly minimized by taking care to prep the zone where the two finishes overlap and blend carefully. A good cleaning is in order first so no surface contaminates make a line between coats. Scuffing in the area is also very important. If using an auto refinish cut in clear follow the TDS for that coating for sanding grit. It will be the same as used between coats without wet stacking.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: Conor_Searl (Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:53 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:31 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Shellac can be made to blend into nitro well. Stew Mac sells rattle cans of Nitro will they not deliver to Canada?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Then there's TruOil which plays well with nitro or poly finishes, and in some cases - cyanoacrylate finishes (but it requires thought and prep before using). TruOil is basically foolproof, super glues not so much.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Conor_Searl (Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:30 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:29 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 536
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
jfmckenna wrote:
Shellac can be made to blend into nitro well. Stew Mac sells rattle cans of Nitro will they not deliver to Canada?


Nope, no nitro over the border. Turns out Mohawk does have a distributor in Canada. I just need to get those guys to sell to me, they won't take customers off the street, or off the internet apparently. So I'll wait to see if they'll set me up as a COD account.

There's lots of leeway with this particular instrument. As an extremely beat up 50's LG-1 there's not much value. The friend that picked it up basically had me in mind, saw it as a project to cut my teeth on a few different repairs I have yet to do, so if the nitro thing falls through I may try the shellac route.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 10:22 am
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First name: Brian
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City: Okanagan Centre
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Conor, richelieu carries Mohawk products.
There is one in Victoria

B

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These users thanked the author Bri for the post: Conor_Searl (Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:46 am)
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:54 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Industrial Plastic and Paints in Nanaimo carries the Mohawk classic instrument nitro as well. I have some at the house if you need some Conor

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These users thanked the author tysam for the post: Conor_Searl (Fri May 17, 2019 6:46 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 536
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
tysam wrote:
Industrial Plastic and Paints in Nanaimo carries the Mohawk classic instrument nitro as well. I have some at the house if you need some Conor


Thanks Alan. I got set up with a Richelieu account and ordered some online.


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