Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

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Paul Henneberry
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Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:30 pm

Hi,
This is my first post to this forum. I’ve been watching from the sidelines for a while and really appreciate the mix of gallery and Q&A. Inspiring and informative.
I make soprano ukes as a hobby and currently spray finish with Wattyl Stylewood precat lacquer 95% gloss. I use it because I’m familiar with the product, its locally available and I already had some on the shelf from previous adventures in woodcraft. I’m happy enough with the results but I haven’t sprayed anything else to compare it to. It’s shiny, durable, doesn’t react with my superglue grain filling and doesn’t blush unless I spray when it is very cold and wet. Generally, I’m satisfied with the product but most of you guys seem to use Miratone 3220. I need to buy some lacquer so what benefits would I get if I swapped to Miratone?
Based on an interesting previous thread I will be upgrading to a new gun which will probably be an Iwata LPH-80-124G with a 250 ml pot so thanks to those that contributes to that question.
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cheers

Paul

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Nick
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Nick » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:35 am

Welcome to the forum Paul! some nice little ukes there. I use the 3220, it is also a pre cat lacquer so from what you say of the Wattyl ( I've never even heard of it let alone used it (we do have Wattyl products here in NZ but never seen that one) so I can't comment on a direct comparison) they sound very similar so if you are happy with the Wattyl and the results you get then stick with it. As they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it!
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:40 am

Hi Nick,
The Wattyl stylewood might be the same stuff that they used to (or maybe still ) marketed as Isoguard. I think I remember a Wattyl shop guy telling me that the 20 litre tins got labelled isoguard and sold to the trade and the 4 litre tins got labelled stylewood and sold to the home handyman market but I heard that a while ago and might have mixed it up. I'm over in Western Australia and it's the Miratone that's a bit hard to get. I can only find one distributor and its a bit of a trek from my place.
Thanks for the comments on my little ukes.

cheers
Paul

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Jeremy D » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:19 am

Hi Paul,

Nice ukes. There is a discussion on this at viewtopic.php?t=1335
Jeremy D

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by needsmorecowbel » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:13 pm

I was reading somewhere on the forum recently (can't recall exactly where) that if you use the mirotone sealers in your finishing system (i.e sealer then topcoat) you run the risk of cloudiness in your overall finish due to the matting agent within the sealer. So for matt/ satin furniture it's not so much of an issue but for guitars (satin, semigloss, full gloss) it can be an issue. I think that's why Stu (bluestone guitars), in that link, was using a 2 pac polyurethane sealer before the mirotone precat topcoat in his finishing system.

Someone chime in if that is completely the contrary. I've only used a little bit of mirotone precat sealer and topcoat (mainly at trade school). But my teacher suggested it was a distinct possibility to be aware of.

Stu

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:11 am

Thanks Jeremy, that's exactly what I was looking for, the experience of somebody who had made the switch.
cheers
Paul
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Dave M » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:03 am

Is 'pre cat' still a nitrocellulose finish?
------------------
Dave

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:35 am

Hi Dave, I cut this from the Wattyl data sheet so I guess so. Mindful of opening a can of worms, maybe one of the finishing experts could enlighten us to what nitro lacquer actually is and what the catalyst actually does. I'm just beginning to appreciate how little I know about this stuff but I had assumed it dried and hardened by solvent evaporation. I'm starting to see why so many threads here are about finishing.
cheers
Paul



DESCRIPTION • an ultra premium, pre-catalysed nitrocellulose lacquer for interior timber
PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS • excellent feel and appearance • superior flexibility and durability • excellent mar resistance • high build • excellent abrasion-resistance • excellent resistance to alcohol, moisture and perspiration • specifically formulated to resist yellowing. However, because of Stylwood’s initial honey colour it is not recommended for use over very pale substrates (eg. Liming white), without first testing for suitability • designed to beautify and protect high-quality home, office and commercial woodwork, cabinets and wall panelling • not recommended for kitchens or wet areas. Use Spectrothane or Acid Cat finishes for these locations
Note: We advise that you test this product to determine if it is suitable for your particular use.
COLOUR AND GLOSS • clear, in a range of gloss levels (10, 30, 50, 70 and 95%)
BASIC DATA AT 25°C and 50% RELATIVE HUMIDITY
• dust free .................................. 20 minutes
• touch-dry ................................. 45 minutes
• recoat ..................................... 2-3 hours • sandable .................................. 1 hour
• practical spreading rate................ 9m²/L
• shelf life (cool, dry place) ............. at least 12 months in unopened container

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Allen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:46 pm

I've never used the Watyl product, but from the cut and paste it doesn't appear to be anything like Microtone 3220.

The dust free, touch dry and re-coat time make me think more of some sort of varnish type product. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it doesn't seem to be comparing apples to apples.
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Nick » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:09 am

Allen wrote:I've never used the Watyl product, but from the cut and paste it doesn't appear to be anything like Microtone 3220.

The dust free, touch dry and re-coat time make me think more of some sort of varnish type product. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it doesn't seem to be comparing apples to apples.
Yes that touch dry time does sound a bit 'off' for a pure Lacquer and the high build along with "initial honey colour" would hint at the addition of some sort of varnish or Polyurethane. True, a comparison wouldn't be starting from a level playing field.
But don't 'not' use the Wattyl because of it! If it works for you and the Mirotone is hard to get in W.A then stick with the Wattyl, some people finish with oil, some with spray bombs, some with water based finishes, hell, some even French Polish! :wink: :D what ever works for you I'd say.
But...... if you ever do get the chance to use it, Mirotone is a great product, easy to apply and really takes a nice polish ( best gloss I've ever gotten on my instruments and I've tried a few).
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Daniel » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm

I don't know if anyone is still using this thread but I can give you quite a lot of info on 3220 precat

There is a tech at Miratone Aust who actually knows stuff. His name is Lyndon. This is some of the info he gave me.

It is 20 to 30% nitrocellulose which is why it dries so quick. The catalyzed part is two other laquers that have a molecular action creating a permanent bond which takes about a week to complete. There is also some oil to soften it. So this stuff is a mix of 3 laquers and oil and is incredibly versatile.

I have a serious problem with it however. I use a satin version of 3220 as a topcoat. (all the rest is gloss) This topcoat even when fully cured is sensitive to oil and a few other substances. So if I go to oil a bridge and I get some on the soundboard, rubbing it off will polish the topcoat and wreck the satin finish.

I am going to have another go with Stylewood as I was using it before I swapped (because 3220 is nearly half the price) I will try to give an update on how that goes.

I currently use 3220 as a sealer, then a two pack pu as a sanding layer. Then I do detailing etc with more 3220 gloss and the satin layer goes on at the end. The reason for using 3220 before and after the pu is that if I go through the pu layer. the new 3220 will match the sealer coat in color.

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:37 pm

Howdee,
So I made the change from Wattyl Stylewood 95% to Miratone 3220 for my latest batch of soprano ukes and I thought I’d share my comparison of the products.
In no particular order of importance-
• They smell very different. Stylewood has (to my nose) the typical auto lacquer smell but the miratone smells unlike anything I have ever used, almost oily. The smell and airborne dust hangs around the workshop for a lot longer which meant a lot more lost time while the fumes cleared.
• I used the miratone ultraslow thinner (1242) at about 20% which really slowed the touch dry time. I could still leave a finger print in the film after 30 minutes even when spraying at 25degC. I grain filled with cyanoacrylate and didn’t use a sanding sealer. I think because of the extended touch dry time the lacquer found some unfilled pores to run into which left little craters in the first coat. I found that the stylewood was touch dry in about 2 minutes so it didn’t have time to flow into imperfections to the same extent. I know that contradicts the data sheet that I cut and pasted into a post above but that was my experience.
• The miratone seems to have a higher solids content. I sprayed 5 coats of miratone like I did with the stylewood but didn’t have any rub throughs at all unlike my experiences with the stylewood. I’ll be trying four coats next time.
• The miratone is definitely clearer in colour but when I compared a uke from this batch made from super curly blackwood with an identical one from an earlier batch I couldn’t see any difference in the colour of the finished wood. I think a slight difference might be apparent on a pale coloured soundboard though.
• Here’s a big one for stylewood- it sands much cleaner. The miratone gums up the abrasive whether I was dry sanding or wet sanding which wasn’t a problem with the stylewood. This was even after I left the miratone to cure for 3 weeks. This was only a problem until the surface film was rubbed away. After that and through the finer grades it rubbed to a nice fine slurry which was easy to clean up. Lightly dragging my finger nails over the day old stylewood had the same feeling as a phone touch screen while lightly dragging them over miratone (even after 3 weeks ) felt like a glossy picture in a magazine. Now that it has been cut and buffed it feels hard and durable but off the gun it behaves like it dries with a waxy or oily film on the surface. I’m a total newby to this spraying lark but that is my impression.
• The Miratone on this batch definitely has a higher gloss but it’s not a fair comparison because I followed Simmo’s tip in his recent link about buffing and used 3M perfect-it ultrafine machine polish. Wow, that stuff is great. I should go back and use it on my old stylewood finished ukes.
• Miratone is about 30% cheaper than stylewood when you include the branded thinners

At the end of the day they both do the job but I would probably lean towards the miratone because of the higher solids content. I just wish I had a choice of suppliers over here in the West. And to close, a couple of happy snaps of my finished soprano's.

cheers

Paul
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by rocket » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:01 pm

When you say 20% ultra slow it sounds a lot . I usually go 50/50 product and thinners and if that is the thinners being 90/ medium 10/ ultra slow.

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Allen » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:58 am

The smell you are referring to of the Microtone is the ultra slow thinners and 20% ultra slow is too much. Mix your batch up with regular thinners and just a splash of the ultra slow. About 5% is good and no more than 10%.
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Crafty Fox » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:17 pm

Hi Paul,
Are you buying the Miratone from a Perth supplier? Who would that be?
I was using Hichem on my solid electrics, previously available from Carbatec. The Hichem was available in 100% or 60% gloss and I mixed to personal taste. They don't stock it anymore but in any event I'd prefer to follow the advice and experience of members of this forum.
Cheers.
Ken

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Paul Henneberry » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:28 am

Hi Crafty Fox,
I got it from J H Wilberforce in Malaga. I forgot how expensive the ultraslow thinners is and I'll take back what I said about it being cheaper than Stylewood. 4 litres of 3220 gloss lacquer was about $65 and 4 litres of the 1242 ultraslow thinners was about the same as of August last year. If you follow the advice above you will also be up for some regular thinners.

cheers

Paul

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by DarwinStrings » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:15 pm

Supply is a bit of a problem for me with Mirotone, I now buy a stocked item up here. Still a pre-cat lacquer and I buy the satin but if I need gloss I just decant the satin to a gloss. The brand is Pylon and I've never looked at the technical data but it works fine.
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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by Crafty Fox » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks Paul, I'll give them a visit. I'm over that way now and then at Beyond Tools.
Cheers.
Ken

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Re: Miratone or Wattyl Stylewood

Post by donnyb » Sat May 01, 2021 2:13 pm

Paul Henneberry wrote:
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:37 pm
Howdee,
So I made the change from Wattyl Stylewood 95% to Miratone 3220 for my latest batch of soprano ukes and I thought I’d share my comparison of the products.
In no particular order of importance-
• They smell very different. Stylewood has (to my nose) the typical auto lacquer smell but the miratone smells unlike anything I have ever used, almost oily. The smell and airborne dust hangs around the workshop for a lot longer which meant a lot more lost time while the fumes cleared.
• I used the miratone ultraslow thinner (1242) at about 20% which really slowed the touch dry time. I could still leave a finger print in the film after 30 minutes even when spraying at 25degC. I grain filled with cyanoacrylate and didn’t use a sanding sealer. I think because of the extended touch dry time the lacquer found some unfilled pores to run into which left little craters in the first coat. I found that the stylewood was touch dry in about 2 minutes so it didn’t have time to flow into imperfections to the same extent. I know that contradicts the data sheet that I cut and pasted into a post above but that was my experience.
• The miratone seems to have a higher solids content. I sprayed 5 coats of miratone like I did with the stylewood but didn’t have any rub throughs at all unlike my experiences with the stylewood. I’ll be trying four coats next time.
• The miratone is definitely clearer in colour but when I compared a uke from this batch made from super curly blackwood with an identical one from an earlier batch I couldn’t see any difference in the colour of the finished wood. I think a slight difference might be apparent on a pale coloured soundboard though.
• Here’s a big one for stylewood- it sands much cleaner. The miratone gums up the abrasive whether I was dry sanding or wet sanding which wasn’t a problem with the stylewood. This was even after I left the miratone to cure for 3 weeks. This was only a problem until the surface film was rubbed away. After that and through the finer grades it rubbed to a nice fine slurry which was easy to clean up. Lightly dragging my finger nails over the day old stylewood had the same feeling as a phone touch screen while lightly dragging them over miratone (even after 3 weeks ) felt like a glossy picture in a magazine. Now that it has been cut and buffed it feels hard and durable but off the gun it behaves like it dries with a waxy or oily film on the surface. I’m a total newby to this spraying lark but that is my impression.
• The Miratone on this batch definitely has a higher gloss but it’s not a fair comparison because I followed Simmo’s tip in his recent link about buffing and used 3M perfect-it ultrafine machine polish. Wow, that stuff is great. I should go back and use it on my old stylewood finished ukes.
• Miratone is about 30% cheaper than stylewood when you include the branded thinners

At the end of the day they both do the job but I would probably lean towards the miratone because of the higher solids content. I just wish I had a choice of suppliers over here in the West. And to close, a couple of happy snaps of my finished soprano's.

cheers

Paul
DSCN1587.JPGDSCN1541.JPGDSCN1529.JPG
Hi Paul,
I have used Stylewood a few times, always a high gloss level.

I am close to refinishing a 50 year old 12 string spruce top. I want a "satin" finish for this guitar.

The top is sanded back to bare wood, but has imperfections so I dont want to "show them off" with high gloss, but I also dont want a matt finish. Have you tried Stylewood on your ukes that is not 95% gloss ?

Regards,
Don

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