Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guitar Build Update: Applying Finish To The Envirocaster Part 3

I the last update, I showed how I spray a burst with my Iwata airbrush.
To apply the water-based topcoat, I usually use an HVLP sprayer, but
it has always seemed like overkill for something as small as a guitar
body. For the Envirocaster, I am using a Badger Crescendo 175T with
a large needle. This will allow me to apply just the right amount of
lacquer with greater precision.

In keeping with the environmental theme, I used Hydrocoat
Resisthane Plus, which is a water-based, pre-cat lacquer. It goes on
smooth and dries rock-hard. Plus, there is absolutely no odor. Best of all, it's safe for the environment and clean-up can be done in a sink.
You can't say that about nitrocellulose lacquer!
In part 4, I'll show you how I finished the neck with pure tung oil. It's not water-based of course, but it's still better than using nitro. Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Chris, just to let you know that I've finally finished the Highline Special. You can see some pictures in my blog:

    By the way, beatiful painting of the envirocaster.

  2. Aprendiz, beautiful job! I like how you recessed the area for the knobs. Nice touch. Now if you'll carve a trough under the bridge, you'll be able to get the action you need. Also, I guessing you have a ground loop in your wiring, which is causing the hiss.. But otherwise, you have a great guitar that you can pass down as an heirloom.

  3. Thank you. I'm still studying the best way to make the carving under the bridge. I think another thing that would improve the wiring is to connect the ground to the bridge, which I've not done. Cheers.

  4. Looks amazing! Interesting how many applications you can use the airbrush for. I was looking at getting an airbrush system for custom graphics. Seeing though how you applied the finish would you recommend your large needle setup for individual production work? Obviously seems like a better way to go than expensive preval units or aerosol! Plus I don't have enough space for a large HVLP setup and spray booth haha!

  5. Archaon012, The Crescendo 175t with a large or medium needle works great with just a 1/10hp compressor. I'd been looking for a sprayer that fits between the Iwata and my HVLP, but couldn't find anything. Then I remembered I had the Badger buried in an old tool box. It's nice because I can fill the bottle with lacquer (more than enough to cover a guitar with one coat) and spray just as fast as my HVLP. There is still overspray, but no where near as much.