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Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:49 pm
by Mike Conner
Chuck Tweedy and others contributed lots of useful details on finishing guitars using General Finishes Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane in this recent thread:
http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4092

This thread and the experience gained using Enduro-Var on my most recent archtop guitar motivated me to revise the finishing section of my Archtop Build Journal. The 4th edition of the Journal will be ready for posting soon.

Here is the finishing section from the Journal, focused on the details and methods I am using for Enduro-Var. My focus is on using foam brushes and easy to obtain sandpaper and automotive polishing compounds to get near-professional results. I am still learning and refining my technique, and there are certain several other ways to get high quality results.

I can't seem to attach the document as a PDF, so I scanned the individual pages to JPG. PM me if you want a emailed copy of the current draft of the Journal.
Finishing with Enduro-Var - Title pg.jpg

Finishing with Enduro-Var - Pg 1.jpg

Finishing with Enduro-Var - Pg 2.jpg

Finishing with Enduro-Var - Pg 3.jpg

Finishing with Enduro-Var - Pg 4.jpg


//mike

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:47 pm
by Mark Grazier
Thanks for posting this Mike, very helpful.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:36 pm
by Beate Ritzert
Just a remark: i have been working with water based PU acrylic laquer a few times. I found it pretty convenient to use micromesh sanding paper *wet* up to the finest available grit (12000 (!)), switching from normal wet paper i was using for the coarse grits (typically 320, 400, 600, 1200) There are sets of all sizes in a useful size and to a moderate price. That procedure will lead to a gloss superior to that of many industry made guitars, so additional buffing is often not necessary.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:21 am
by Todd Stock
The problem with EnduroVar wet sanding using water is that it shows witness lines on buff-out. DAMHIKT.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:05 am
by Gordon Bellerose
I've been using a product called "Britetone", made by the same company that makes crystylac products.
I was never able to get their grain filler to work to my satisfaction, but this water base lacquer is pretty nice.
It builds thickness quicker than the EM-6000 I was using, and it dries water clear with no tinge of blue whatsoever.

I have had to repair it and it repairs nicely also.
Quite expensive. 130 Canadian per 4 litres. That's about 100 American.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:56 pm
by Randolph Rhett
Todd Stock wrote:The problem with EnduroVar wet sanding using water is that it shows witness lines on buff-out. DAMHIKT.


So what do you do then? Dry sand with micromesh? Use some other lubricant?

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:46 am
by Steve Sawyer
Todd Stock wrote:The problem with EnduroVar wet sanding using water is that it shows witness lines on buff-out. DAMHIKT.

I'll second Randolph's question! :)

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:16 pm
by Jason Rodgers
Todd Stock wrote:The problem with EnduroVar wet sanding using water is that it shows witness lines on buff-out. DAMHIKT.

There might be enough differences with the High Performance finish that there aren't witness lines, but StewMac recommends wet sanding in their instructions for waterbased finishes. http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Re ... edule.html

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:35 am
by Pete Halliday
Wet sanding with naptha as the lubricant seems to work very well.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:16 am
by Mike Conner
Thanks, Pete
However, using naptha would definitely get me away from the waterborne, explosive vapor free environment that has been my goal ;-)

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:42 pm
by Pete Halliday
Have you had any issues with cloudiness in the finish? I am not quite happy with the final result after sanding and buffing and trying to figure out what to change for next time or maybe to re-work this one. My process was basically as you laid out in the document above (including water with a drop of soap as the lubricant).

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:06 pm
by Mike Conner
Pete,
Hard to say exactly what may be the issue. I haven't seen any cloudiness that lasted more than a day or so. I do think that if the finish doesn't release all of the water content then "blushing" can be trapped in the layers. The finish is cloudy in the can and has dried quite clear for me with the thin coats I strive for. Maybe wait it out a few days and see if remaining water content is released?

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:54 am
by Mike Conner
Pete,
Also, as time has gone by I still wonder whether sticking with dry sanding would be better. I have been assuming that after 10 days the finish is cured enough to not be affected by a little water on the surface to lubricate the sanding and reduce loading on the sandpaper. It has been some time since I have finished an instrument now and I am feeling the pull to get back to building.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:57 am
by Brian Evans
I've been looking at using EM6000 (if it ever warms up enough that they can ship it - it freezes, so they say...) and reading that they specifically recommend dry sanding, not water sanding. Makes sense to me as EM6000, like Enduro-var, is a non-catalyzed finish. It dries, it doesn't chemically change during a curing process the way a pre or post catalyzed finish does. This is of course what gives in the same "burn-in" capability as nitro-cellulose lacquer, and is I think a reasonable compromise. It makes some kind of sense to me to not get a water based finish wet.

Brian

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:59 am
by Pete Halliday
Thanks, Mike. Cloudiness might not even be the right word. I have a guitar that is complete except for final set-up on a wall hanger and it happened to be next to a 45 year old Fender. Just the reflection off of overhead lights or from the window across the room are much clearer in the old finish than in the new. I think that the problem is probably user error as the finish looked very good before leveling and bringing the shine back up. It's been probably four weeks at this point since the last coat went on and I don't think that this is really a blushing issue. One suggestion that I saw elsewhere was after the final leveling with 400 grit to use EV thinned 50/50 with water and wipe on 4-6 coats which at least allegedly results in a very flat final finish that is almost ready to go straight to buffing. I may try that option.

Re: Finishing with Enduro-Var Water Based Urethane - Detailed Method

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:01 am
by Pete Halliday
And yes, dry sanding may really be the way to go. Chris from Highline Guitars (of YouTube fame) makes a similar point about only dry sanding with the waterborne finish.