Fireglow touch-up or refin

Exceptional restoration is in the details

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Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (zenitb) » Sat May 29, 2010 2:08 pm

I have some experience in refinishing natural and solid color Gibson/Fender guitars. Ricks are new to me and I wonder about Fireglow refinishing or touchups.
I need advice on supplies/materials. an anyone help?
Thanks!
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (doctorwho) » Mon May 31, 2010 3:13 am

Have you used the search function? There might be some previous references to this subject.

I think that Paul W. is celebrating the Memorial Day holiday, so he should be back and see this by Tuesday ... :)
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Mon May 31, 2010 10:00 am

What better way to celebrate the early hours of the holiday than checking in here? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Good idea to try the SEARCH function--there has been a lot written on this. FG is difficult but not impossible to touch up. Perfect, undetectable touchups are about as common as boobs on a bull. This is because a Fireglo comprises a translucent red dye sprayed in varying thickness over sealed wood, which is then coated with a varnish for protection and impact resistance.

The best results for small chips can be gotten using nail lacquer in a color that is an exact match for the red on your particular Rick. And because Fireglo varies from decade to decade, year to year, and even instrument to instrument, from a pinkish red to a bright red to brownish red due to a whole passel of factors, each match will likeley be different. The trick is to dab accurateley until the color is a good match, allow it to dry and harden and then overfill the touch-up with an additional drop of clear lacquer. Sand the bump after it's hardened, until it's flat, using #1000 wet or dry sandpaper on a small block, and polish to a high gloss with polishing compound on a soft cotton cloth. Wax to protect.

That's a brief overview of the procedure; more detailed instructions are given in other threads.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (zenitb) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:14 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful reply Paul. You mention nail lacquer as a possible solution for small marks - this makes me wonder about the adhesion of nitro or acrylic lacquer over a larger area the CV finish? Can you "feather"??. This is a 1960's guitar and the area to be repaired is on the sides with a little area near the 'horns'
I can see sanding, sealing, applying dye(s) to match the FG and then a clear coat. I have never worked with catalyzed clears (though there is always a first time!) and for a repair/touch up over a very specific area I wonder if my 'usual' clear finish will suffice?
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:39 pm

Michael, this is a complex topic.

Usually, I'm doing total refinishes on guitars and restorations. Time and experience has shown me that finish touch-ups are often as labor-intensive as complete refinishes. It is usually easier to strip a guitar down to bare maple and do a complete, factory-quality refinish using the best pro materials and careful methods, than to try to guess what could have been used in previous touch-ups or what type of wax is inhibiting the new finish, or why the new area looks wrong against the old (which leads to faking a patina), or any one of a hundred other special situations arise when an old finish is oversprayed or dabbed in.

Beyond what I've already said, I am not comfortable giving advice, because except in the most general informational sense, I'm working blind. Oftentimes I can't even tell from a detailed photo, what is needed on a specific instrument.

If the guitar has a nice patine which includes a moderate number of chps and scratches, I'd say you're better off leaving it as it is, in both long and short run. Get it playing well and enjoy it.

If it looks like Rory Gallagher owned it, but he didn't in fact, decide if you want a complete restoration. If Rory owned it, cash it out and buy a house with a music room.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (zenitb) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:40 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:

If it looks like Rory Gallagher owned it, but he didn't in fact, decide if you want a complete restoration. If Rory owned it, cash it out and buy a house with a music room.


Not that lucky!

I suppose that I could take the idea of a full refin more seriously. If so, the next question is do I strip down to the bare wood or try to work with some vestiges of the original reddish hue? And the clear/top coat - CV only, nitro, acrylic or that wacky water based stuff? (I have only used half of that list and like the way that it is possible to sand-out 'mistakes' and if I get too crazy with the buffer, I can top coat with perfect adhesion, invisibly.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:27 pm

Again, a huge topic, and I could write a book on painting alone, not to mention sensitive stripping (that's an opening for you, Jeff... :mrgreen: ) and planning a restoration...

My preferences?

Vinyl sealer, custom-mixed urethane dyes, catalyzing urethane varnish.

How-to? Too complex for this site; nobody does an online or video how-to, on finishing with this system--everybody does nitro.

If you're going to do a real pro job, you can't use rattle cans. Anybody who tells you otherwise (and there are a lot of amateurs who will) is somebody who has never mastered a spray gun. Buncha cowards, if ya ask me.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (zenitb) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:33 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:Again, a huge topic, and I could write a book on painting alone, not to mention sensitive stripping (that's an opening for you, Jeff... :mrgreen: ) and planning a restoration...

My preferences?

Vinyl sealer, custom-mixed urethane dyes, catalyzing urethane varnish.

How-to? Too complex for this site; nobody does an online or video how-to, on finishing with this system--everybody does nitro.

If you're going to do a real pro job, you can't use rattle cans. Anybody who tells you otherwise (and there are a lot of amateurs who will) is somebody who has never mastered a spray gun. Buncha cowards, if ya ask me.


I have an automotive-type touch-up gun that has served me well since the 70's so rattle cans, though not totally foreign to me, are not necessary....
I am capable of practicing on scrap pieces until I get the feel of the products. Manufacturers' reps can sometimes be informative too.
Do you feel able to mention some brand names for the products mentioned in your reply? Like a smart guy once said, "Nothing succeeds like success"
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:59 pm

First off, your automotive touch up gun is obsolete. Everyone is now using HVLP guns.

I'd like to recommend a superb, inexpensive ($120.00) HVLP gun that outperforms my $500.00 SATA and Binks guns for guitar finishing. It's the Sharpe Finex 3000 with a 1.3mm or 1.4mm nozzle, equipped with the 3M PPS cup system to save on solvents and waste. Spray at 25 PSI, medium pattern.

Next, materials: Vinyl sealer from either Behlen or Seagrave (formerly Lawrence-McFadden).

Urethane automotive colors; I prefer PPG. You can also use acrylic lacquer.

Top clear varnish coats: PPG EC-700 with medium catalyst, cut with PPG DT-870 reducer. 55 parts catalyzed clear varnish, 45 parts DT-870.

Good luck!
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (zenitb) » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:49 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:First off, your automotive touch up gun is obsolete. Everyone is now using HVLP guns.

!

I am sure that you'll find stuff in my workshop that predates my spray gun!
I tried HVLP in the mid-nineties and at that time (I was painting a car) the package was a compressor and a gun; the gun used a large diameter air feed that was more like a vacuum cleaner than a typical compressed air line. I am certain that things have evolved since then and, I don't paint cars anymore so I use a venerable compressor that is oiless and originally intended for commercial airbush use. It is quiet, compact, reliable but... puts out about 1.5 CFM
which limits the touch up gun to relatively thin media (OK by me, so far) and will be far short of the 6-7 CFM that HVLP guns require.

Having shot a large project with HVLP, I know that it is economical in its use of paint and produces minimal overspray. These features might be appealing in some ways but it doesn't make me want to change my old school rig - just yet. Maybe I'm just stubborn - hell, I don't even have a cell phone!
Anyway, thanks for the details on the supplies.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (electrofaro) » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:40 pm

Paul, what's your view of "repairing" poly lacquer with glue? I've seen it done, ended with a little bump which was not sanded down or anything.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:30 pm

Werner, if bumps are OK, there are all sorts of materials that can be used, including pasta sauce.
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Re: Fireglow touch-up or refin

Postby (electrofaro) » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:34 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:including pasta sauce.

That only works well with Italian guitars :lol:
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