General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

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Chuck Tweedy
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General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Pretty much the subject line.
I'm expecting to use NC lacquer on my next instrument, but not looking forward to the inevitable gas-mask situations (are you mummy?)
I'm hoping that some day in my lifetime waterborne finishes will be good enough ... wondering if that day is here.
I now have a really bad shoulder and I don't expect to be able to FP ever again :-(

TIA
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Jason Rodgers
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I thank my daughter for catching that Dr Who reference!

Nothing to say about the finish, as I've been watching for a possible candidate, as well. But what's up with the shoulder?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Thanks Lily!! Saved your Dad. But I forgot the "my". It's "Are you my mummy?"

Accessory nerve damage. Likely due to a combination of a broken clavicle from years ago (bike accident), arthritis (AKA old age), and swimming. Sad sack.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Michael Lewis
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Michael Lewis »

General finishes does make some good waterborne finishes. I know of more than one high end maker that likes the 'Endurovar' made by General Finishes. Talk with the factory rep, and learn how to use the finish. You can make that day be here.

David King
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by David King »

I've gone through a couple of gallons and I'm impressed at the durability and the look of this endurovar on my fir floors and trim. It has an amber tint that's quite believable. It builds quickly without any of the blushing seen on other WBs and I find that it sands as well as any finish I've ever tried. Buffing still seems a bit of a chore because it won't melt the way NC lacquer does. I'm sure it's as tough or tougher than nitro. What little spraying I've done went well but to be honest it brushes as well or better than any varnish I've used.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

How is the hand feel? On some of the WB finishes I have used, there is a fair amount of drag to the finish surface, not good for necks.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Thanks guys.
Does it feel like a varnish David? I've used oil varnish a few times (like old Behlen Rockhard), and although it does not buff to a high gloss, the feel is amazing.
I wouldn't want a guitar to feel plastic.
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David King
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by David King »

It feels great to me with the final coat of gloss untouched and two coats underneath leveled with 220. If I were going with a satin finish I sand with a 320 foam pad or 0000 steel wool.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Great, thanks David.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

David King
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by David King »

Stewart McDonald tends to show up late to the party once they are sure that a product will work well. Check prices locally as you may find it's much cheaper that way and certainly handier.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

David King wrote:It feels great to me with the final coat of gloss untouched and two coats underneath leveled with 220. If I were going with a satin finish I sand with a 320 foam pad or 0000 steel wool.
Really? And brushed on?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

David King
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by David King »

Jason et al, please note that I've only used it on fir floors and trim in my house and not on any guitars yet.
Here's from the General finishes website Q & A:
"What is the difference between Enduro-Var and High Performance? Biggest difference is Enduro-Var ambers and High Performance is water white with no amber. Enduro-Var is a modified urethane with no acrylic and is slightly more durable, chemical and water resistant. High Performance is a combination of urethane and acrylic and is durable enough for most interior projects"
Once you let a brush harden with Endurovar it's not coming back, the polymerization is one-way and from this bit above I'd imagine that the High- Performance can burn in a bit between coats.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Check prices locally as you may find it's much cheaper that way and certainly handier
I already know my local Rockler carries it.
Stewart McDonald tends to show up late to the party once they are sure that a product will work well
Which is exactly why I asked here. Corroboration.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Jason Rodgers
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Man, I gotta check this stuff out. I have a simple kitchen project I need to do, and I think I'll grab a can to give it a go.

Such a simple finish schedule http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Re ... edule.html
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

As I am kinda new to guitar building, and live in Canada where the VOC laws won't allow a lot of solvent based products, all I have ever used is water based lacquers.
I have been using Target EM 6000, but recently switched to Brite-Tone. The EM seems to go a bit blue.

So far I really like the Brite-Tone as it sprays well, with only about 6-7 coats being required. (They say 5-6) It dries really hard, sands fairly easily, and polishes to a deep gloss.
In fact it is so hard that I am having trouble getting my buffer to bite enough to do any good.

It dries water white, so don't depend on it to amber your wood.

I usually use 2-3 coats on the neck, just enough to seal it, and then sand it with 3M scotch-brite grey.
So far so good.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

I just got a small can of Enduro-Var at the local Rockler.
Interesting that it needs to be applied directly to raw wood - expressly NOT over shellac.
sacrilege! :-)

I'm testing it over my woods, and seeing if I can understand their finish schedule. It seems that I need to wait a minimum of 2 hours before re-coating. What I don't see is the MAX time I can wait between coats. Since it is an oxygen cured resin, then I expect there is a max time before it is so cross-linked it will not accept a new coat.
This stuff is definitely more sophistocated than the water-borne junk I've used in the past.

Yikes - the stuff I padded on only 5 minutes ago is already totally dry to the touch. This is looking good!
I'll have to go all the way to buffed to give the 100% go ahead, but I'll tell you one thing this smells a HELL of a lot better than NC lacquer.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Jason Rodgers
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Chuck Tweedy wrote:I just got a small can of Enduro-Var at the local Rockler.
Interesting that it needs to be applied directly to raw wood - expressly NOT over shellac.
sacrilege! :-)

I'm testing it over my woods, and seeing if I can understand their finish schedule. It seems that I need to wait a minimum of 2 hours before re-coating. What I don't see is the MAX time I can wait between coats. Since it is an oxygen cured resin, then I expect there is a max time before it is so cross-linked it will not accept a new coat.
This stuff is definitely more sophistocated than the water-borne junk I've used in the past.
Hmm, since shellac is used to protect wood when binding and such, that might be a problem. I wonder if sanding back to wood - at least to remove the film sitting on top - will suffice?

So, you think there is a magic window for applying subsequent coats? For example: you must wait longer than X hours, but no more than X hours? I often need to apply coats as I am able, sometimes longer reapplication times being more typical.

Keep us posted.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

David King
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by David King »

I think the application directly to raw wood helps with clarity and depth. They were probably concerned about delamination with shellac containing wax. Crosslinking probably takes several days to a week so you may have some time between coats.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

With a bit more research, I found that General wants you to apply this stuff directly to wood - it sticks to wood.
So they say you can wash coat with shellac, but use a thin cut (1lb - dewaxed), and sand back so there is an exposed wood surface for the finish to stick to.

It dries crazy-fast, and I can sand it a few hours after application. Not clogging, sands to fluffy white powder.

And, because it is high-solids and self-leveling ... it fills pores!!! Not with the first application, but I have 4 coats on there now, and I think I will be able to sand to flat after I get back from work today.
Remaining hopeful - need to see the final sanded, buffed finish. But it is looking good.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: General Finishes Waterbase Topcoat - SM is pushing this - anyone tried it?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

I applied a thick, wet coat right before starting that previous post, and it is dry to the touch now.
crazy fast.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

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