Decals

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rocket
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Decals

Post by rocket » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:21 pm

Sorry but i'm OVER the labour intensive expensive pearl logo headstock inlay thingy, just over it. Looking at other options of leaving my mark on my instruments, thinking about the waterslide decal or vinyl decal options, has anybody got some recommendations along those lines, thanks for any offers of illumination!!!

Rod.
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simso
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Re: Decals

Post by simso » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:09 pm

Why do you say they are expensive, are you buying the shell precut or cuttj g it from raw stock yourself

Decals are fine, I like real shell personally more

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peter.coombe
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Re: Decals

Post by peter.coombe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:28 am

That sounds familiar, although the reasons are slightly different. I wanted to get away from shell so I could avoid the paperwork involved when sending to the USA. I looked at decals and tried a couple but they really did not work. Maybe there is something that works but I could not find it. I went down the CNC route. Bought a small Chinese CNC and my name on the headstock is now in wood. It was not an easy road, the Chinese CNC was a pain to get working properly. Problems with one controller not assembled properly so did not work, slippage, problems with the junk spindle and so on. I spent a lot of time fixing all the problems and modified it to take a Dremel, and that works, but I need to use a really small bit so it cuts slow so as not to break the bit. Broke a few bits before I got it working properly. Next was buying the software and getting that to do what I needed. Spent a lot of time on that as well. Once I got it working I cut a number of inlays and it has already paid for itself, although maybe not for the time sorting out the problems. A more robust CNC with a decent spindle may be on the shopping list for the future, but I am still going through the inlays I made in the first run.

Here is the end result, the wood is European Maple. I actually like it more than the shell which is getting to be expensive.
headstock.JPG
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blackalex1952
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Re: Decals

Post by blackalex1952 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:57 pm

Personally I prefer shell because it catches the light on stage and looks really nice. I have also had success with having a trophy engraver who uses a laser cut to engrave the headstock veneer prior to gluing the veneer in place. I have used el cheapo chemist warehouse gold nitrocellulose nailpolish after grain filling the headstock veneer so that the nail polish can be levelled with sandpaper. The trick is to use a pin to remove the carbon from the inlay prior to applying the nailpolish. I then spray with nitrocellulose over the headstock...this works fine for as an example, the owners name or the words "custom built" or whatever. I have seen large inlays done with the nailpolish and laser engraving...but as I said, pearl inlays catch the light under stage conditions and as the inlays are made of different pieces of pearl the light flashes off them at different angles so the look is quite spectacular. Cheers! Ross
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Mike Thomas
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Re: Decals

Post by Mike Thomas » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:34 pm

I have used the laser engraving method that Blackalex refers to. I copied the design file onto a memory stick, took it together with a few ebony headplate veneers to a local trophy engraver, and he had them ready to collect in a couple of days. It was a few years ago, but I think it cost me less than $10 each. I then filled the engraving with a powder pigmented West Systems epoxy mix. It worked fine.
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simso
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Re: Decals

Post by simso » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:39 pm

Nice and clean
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rocket
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Re: Decals

Post by rocket » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:50 pm

Thanks for your ideas gents!!

Rod
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blackalex1952
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Re: Decals

Post by blackalex1952 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:29 pm

Mike Thomas, I found the el cheapo nail polish gave a better result than the pigment which I tried first.The gold nail polish is shinier! Cheaper too! Cheers! Ross
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blackalex1952
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Re: Decals

Post by blackalex1952 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:31 pm

These guys might help also:https://www.luthierdecals.com/index.php/album/album-2, depending on what you have in mind...there are lots of companies in the US doing all sorts of work...cheers!Ross
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benldwyer
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Re: Decals

Post by benldwyer » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:09 pm

I use Rothco frost, they post over from the UK, great service, super thin decals. Probably pricey, but Im happy with them.

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peter.coombe
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Re: Decals

Post by peter.coombe » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:07 am

The laser engraving/nail polish method looks interesting. I should be able to do that with my CNC by using the same tiny bit I use to cut my logo. That opens up a lot of possibilities, just need the time to program and debug some of the possibilities. Once done though I can make as many as I like.
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CNCWorksNZ
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Re: Decals

Post by CNCWorksNZ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:44 pm

peter.coombe wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:07 am
The laser engraving/nail polish method looks interesting. I should be able to do that with my CNC by using the same tiny bit I use to cut my logo. That opens up a lot of possibilities, just need the time to program and debug some of the possibilities. Once done though I can make as many as I like.
These are relatively inexpensive. I have one which clips to the Z=Axis on my CNC Router.
You use the Z-Axis to focus the LASER, then just use X & Y Coordinates to do the rest. No outsourcing then.

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Mike Thomas
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Re: Decals

Post by Mike Thomas » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:15 pm

Ross, have you had any issues with nail polish shrinking/sinking over time as the solvents evaporate? I was wary of using it for that reason, but my concern may have been unfounded.
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blackalex1952
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Re: Decals

Post by blackalex1952 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:34 pm

Mike Thomas wrote:
Ross, have you had any issues with nail polish shrinking/sinking over time as the solvents evaporate? I was wary of using it for that reason, but my concern may have been unfounded.
Didn't shrink Mike, but my method is to give several light coats of polish with about a week to off gas. I used Chemist Warehouse nail polish, and I'm pretty sure that it's nitrocellulose anyway. If it's not, it has been fine. The first guitar I used it on was in 2015 and it's still ok. I tried the pigment you suggested at the time ...it was difficult to source and was both expensive and not as bright. I got the idea from an electric guitar builder in Melbourne who said that it was his girlfriend's idea! I grain fill with layers of shellac on the headstock veneer first, then I fill the laser cutting with nail polish followed by levelling with sandpaper prior to spraying nitrocellulose. It's important to clean the excess carbon left in the engraving process with a pin first. I've also used red nail polish on bluegum, maple or other light coloured woods. Lots of colours available, including black.
"Rocket"...I have used Rothco decals as well on a couple of Fender Telecasters for a client, but a word of warning, they are delicate to work with... Barry Kerr, who has retired, has done some interesting headstock inlays that he used to have made in the USA. Worth researching!
Cheers! Ross
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