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Issues with my first shellac finish, help?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by scottymc, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    "dimples" could mean any of several things, including slight orange peel - or "fisheye". The two are treated very differently and to be cautious you really should post pictures if at all possible.
     

  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    As mentioned above it could be several things. I'll address the one I've come across...
    What type of wood is it? Those dimples could be grain/pores that were not filled.
    If that's the case, need to judge do the dimples show enough to be filled by a filler? or are they shallow enough that a few more coats of shellac will level them? If the filler is need, you won't need to sand off the previous shellac, you will however need to spray another sealer coat after the filler be it shellac of top coat.
     

  3. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

    246
    Dec 17, 2015
    Virginia
    8A97A367-0319-4C77-8FE8-E499BDEFA898.jpeg 5DF6FBAF-0D72-468A-B3E4-DAE72C5DA4A1.jpeg 5E779910-4757-4778-A6A5-4E7C80EF89F6.jpeg E80BD1C2-A4BE-474F-941C-01C7F3E99B04.jpeg 61A3901D-CBF8-4059-AB25-24C4FE15A262.jpeg Ambrosia maple top and back, poplar in the middle. Sanded to 420 grit. No fill, looking on this forum it is said many times that maple doesn’t need grain fill. Found a run also.
     

  4. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

    246
    Dec 17, 2015
    Virginia
    Hopefully these pictures are clear enough, lighting wasn’t great.
     

  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Try dampening a lint-free cloth with denatured alcohol or high-grade ethanol. Golden Grain is the perfect shellac solvent, but maybe a little too pricey!
    In an inconspicuous spot, see if your alcohol rag smooths out the dimples.

    I really don’t like rattlebomb shellac, and if you are concerned with toxicity, you shouldn’t either. They use chemicals in it, I think to preserve it, but maybe as cheaper substitutes for good alcohol, but if you spray it, you should use the same precautions as with lacquer. Sorry.

    The good news is if the alcohol rag smoothies out the dimples, you can salvage this coat, probably need a light sanding. And at least brush, pad, or French polish your shellac on. If you want, you can try spraying the aerosol on to a lint-free pad, but I would get amber or sealcoat liquid shellac and manually apply it. Actually, I would buy fresh shellac flakes and mix ithem with alcohol, it’s how I’ve gotten the best results with shellac.
     
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  6. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I'd lay a few more coats on and then block sand. 400grit or soo.That happens quite a lot with the rattle can version of shellac, as Rick said, lots of chem in those cans.
     

  7. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

    246
    Dec 17, 2015
    Virginia
    So my plan was to use lacquer over the shellac, the shellac being a sealer. That is four coats at this point, is that enough to sand?
     

  8. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I think it falls with in the maybe range.
    If you do 400 or 600 with a light touch then yes. If you're too aggressive you'll sand through. I guess it's more about how confident you are about the sanding. I like to be able to see the film before I start sanding, it doesn't have to bee super thick, just enough so you can smooth it out.
     

  9. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

    246
    Dec 17, 2015
    Virginia
    Okay, no maybes. I am putting on a few more light coats and will try sanding. Thanks for the help.
     
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  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Possibly. "Coats" doesn't mean much though. The actual thickness could fall ina very wide range. But if it's being used as a sealer sanding isn't much of a problem.

    I would not use 400 grit myself though. I'd start with 1500, wet sand and see where you get after just a few strokes. 400 could take it down so fast you'd get into the wood almost right away.

    I think I see two issues:

    1. The material was "dry sprayed", i. e. not heavy enough fo any flow to occur. What I see are not "dimples" but "lumps". I would try smoothing an area in a control cavity with denatured alcohol and see if that levels it out. If so you are spraying "dry" and need to be very cautious of that when spraying lacquer.

    2. It looks like the end grain (at the cutaway especially) is very open and soaking up material. Even maple can be quite open in these areas and I use paste wood filler in these areas whenever needed.

    But I suggest the same thing I usually do - prepare a piece of scrap and apply the spray entire system - including polishing - before doing any (more in this case) work on the guitar. It'll save you headaches if you find these things out before you've encountered problems on the "real" piece - especially when you are using materials you're unfamiliar with. You are able to fine-tue your spray technique and eliminate things like "dry spray".

    The guesswork goes away and questions end up being asked over parts you're not worried about.
     
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  11. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    589
    Oct 28, 2015
    Kalamazoo
    Looks good so far. You need to carefully sand down the roughness using truly flat tools. As you do this you have to keep on staring at the guitar. If it looks like you are getting down to the wood stop and apply more finish. Use the finest grit of sandpaper that takes off the bumps in a reasonable amount of time. Keep on staring at the sandpaper. If the sandpaper gets little hard lumps in it ("corns") get a fresh piece of sandpaper. The corns will make big scratches, your goal is to get the surface flat and covered with smaller and smaller scratches at each step. Sometimes I get away with using a tiny stainless steel brush to take the corns off the paper.
    Once you get it flat try to put on another coat. Spraying is always a skilled operation trying to keep the result in the middle between too dry/thin (orange peel) and wet/thick (runs). Either of these are easy to fix but is sure is fun to spray a level gloss!

    What you are doing is totally routine. With shellac and lacquer you can always keep going and repair anything, especially if you are not using dyes.
     

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