Natural Masked Binding

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Natural Masked Binding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:03 am

I am finishing one of my new guitars in a purple burst, and I want to do natural masked bindings. I have some good automotive masking tape, 1/4 inch wide.
The problem I am foreseeing is bleed through. The body edges are rounded slightly, and the tape is not sticking well where it has to bend over the edge and around a corner at the same time.

Does anyone have some good tips on how to avoid bleed through in this situation?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Nick Middleton » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:26 am

You can first mask the body around the binding and put a coat of clear on the binding to protect the wood from soaking the dye. Then mask the binding and put the dye on as normal. If anything does get on the binding, it will only be on the surface and should take only a little sanding or scraping to get it off.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:11 pm

Yep. That sounds likea good solution. Thanks for your help.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:01 pm

Nick's solution works, but it adds an extra step. All you have to do is seal the entire body before you mask the binding off for spraying the color coats.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Dave Stewart » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:09 pm

Mark Swanson wrote:Nick's solution works, but it adds an extra step. All you have to do is seal the entire body before you mask the binding off for spraying the color coats.

......and, as additional protection, spray clear first (which seals the tape edge) before toned 'burst.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Nick Middleton » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:33 pm

It is easier to just spray the whole body however, I personally like to put the dye into the wood to get the figure to "pop" If the body is sealed, then you're just tinting over the figure. In this case it will work.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Yeah, I should have mentioned that I am using transparent stain in the middle and then doing the darkened edges in solid color.
I definitely want the grain to pop in the center portion. Sealing would prevent that.
I will probably do a grain filler though. Will that prevent the stain from showing the grain also? I am using Crystalac clear filler.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:42 pm

I am a believer in just putting the color in the first coats of the finish itself. I don't hold much with the "Popping" of the grain, a lot of that is myth and if you tint the color right, it works just as well.
And Dave, yes, when I say "seal" the wood, I mean spray a good basecoat of clear first. When the surface is nice and smooth it's easy to mask and get a good clean edge.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby John Sonksen » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:04 pm

I'm gonna put my two cents in as I just went through the "dye the wood, pop the grain" versus "spray your color coat on over the lacquer" and I now fall in the latter category. I used brown trams tint to pop the grain at first, and although it looked pretty good in photos, in person it looked totally flat.
Image

The dye penetrates the soft wood which gives you the nice ribbons, but it seems to affect the reflectivity of this opposing grain which is what gives you the shimmering, changing effect in figured wood. It's called chatoyancy and is a term used most often in the gem trade to describe reflections and refractions under the initial surface.

So I ended up being quite disappointed with the results, ended up stripping it back to bare wood which was a major pain in the @$$!

Back to the drawing board, I sprayed several coats of clear and made up some very thin toners out of lac thinner, trans tint and maybe 20% nitro to give it some grab. Here's what I ended up with:

Image

Still get the grain showing and you still get the chatoyancy. I'm sold
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:38 pm

I've not tried either technique, but I've seen results from both processes that look great. Some of the tutorials I've seen that document the dye on bare wood method involve sanding back significantly to reveal and brighten the lighter grain areas. But perhaps this is the extra step that Mark describes, and the same (or similar) effect can be achieved through tinting the finish.

BTW, great results John!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Mark Swanson » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:46 pm

Yes, once you sand it almost all off and leave the deeper color in the grain, that's what is supposed to give more contrast or pop. And of course it looks rather flat after this step, it will look that way after any dye is applied. When you build up the clear and polish, that goes away, and the "pop" treatment is part of the early base coats.
But John shows why I think of it as mostly myth, it doesn't make any difference in the end- unless you are changing the color in the base coat, then of course it will, but if you sand most of it off...you just don't need to do it. John's photo is great!
The extra step I referred to is in the masking off. First masking the binding off, spraying, and then masking off the rest of the guitar in two steps is not needed....I'd just spray a few good coats of clear as a basecoat over the whole body and then mask the binding off and add the color coats.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby John Sonksen » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Thanks Jason! Thanks Mark!

Actually finally assembled it and strung it today and she plays great!

Ok, back on topic. I think you're right Jason, sanding it back would help for sure. I think if anybody does it the best approach is to mix a very thin toner and spray it on. I would avoid wiping it because sometimes you end up with a blotchy result due to inconsistent porosity of the wood surface. I thought I could mitigate this by sanding it to 400 grit and applying a thin coat of shellac before wiping the stain on. I don't feel it was successful though, so my advice would be to spray it no matter what.

That being said, I'm not sure it's really worth the extra effort like Mark says. I've got years of cabinet shop experience with stains and toners on all kinds of woods and was highly skeptical of spraying color over base coats of lacquer. In my experience strictly toning wood had a masking effect. I don't know if it's because of the gloss lacquer or the fineness of the particles in trans tint, but I would say I got the color I wanted and the grain showing nicely, so in this case I'm pleased to be proven wrong.

Two things for anyone spraying color between coats. Watch the wetness of the toner as you're putting it down. Too much at once can lead to pooling and subsequent precipitation of pigments, which will read as spots. (I have some). Second, make sure to mist coat your first coat of lacquer if you use lacquer thinner as your stain base, as a wet coat can lead to what I described above. Third, give yourself plenty of finish over the color coats for sanding and buffing, or else you might end up being in a situation like this:

Image

And last, make sure your spray gun is absolutely clean before you lay down your clear because I'm pretty sure it's darn near impossible to touch up something like that. And then you'll find yourself going back to this,
Image

Don't let that happen to you, and good luck!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:20 pm

I have already finished one of my guitars by first wiping on some black stain, then sanding it down. This produced an ugly grayish color that I went over with the red stain I used for the color.
Again, this dried to an ugly red-brown that really began to come alive under the coats of clear. I sprayed 8 coats of clear, dry sanding between every 3rd coat, before beginning the wet sanding and buffing.
It came out beautifully, so I don't have a problem doing that kind of finish.
I think I'm going to clear coat the natural binding, and then stain.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Chuck Raudonis » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:43 am

Gordon Bellerose wrote:I have already finished one of my guitars by first wiping on some black stain, then sanding it down. This produced an ugly grayish color that I went over with the red stain I used for the color.
Again, this dried to an ugly red-brown that really began to come alive under the coats of clear. I sprayed 8 coats of clear, dry sanding between every 3rd coat, before beginning the wet sanding and buffing.
It came out beautifully, so I don't have a problem doing that kind of finish.
I think I'm going to clear coat the natural binding, and then stain.


Like we always say here, without pictures, it doesn't exist. :)

Can we see the results?

Thanks.
http://TheWaywardLuthier.wordpress.com - Adventures of a novice bass maker
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:55 pm

I'm pretty new here and I haven't posted pics on this forum before, so I'm hoping this works. :)

Here's a shot of the rear of the body.

Image

Another of the side. You can see the grain nicely in the side too.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby John Sonksen » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:59 pm

I like the shape, have a front shot?
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:14 pm

Since any finish that I am to apply will be brushed/rubbed on (no spray gear, no space for it, no plans for it), I really liked the accessibility of the technique presented in this OLF tutorial...

http://luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopi ... 17&t=35889

It gives me hope that the subtle curl of the maple drop-top that I have in process will eventually be more visible under finish. Not looking for miracles, but this is something I can do.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Natural Masked Binding

Postby Chuck Raudonis » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:25 pm

That is really nice! Thanks for sharing Gordon.
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