Problem With Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by vonbeck2, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. vonbeck2

    vonbeck2 New Member

    Nov 1, 2018
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    Greetings everyone,

    I am new to guitar building and have completed 2 guitars. On both guitars I have finished them with Mohawk Classical Instrument Lacquer. I am an experienced wood worker but have not had much experience at all with lacquer. After some trial and error and by the 2nd instrument I feel confident that my application technique is sufficient. I am able to apply a level coat, sand and buff it to a nice finish after a 2 week dry time.
    The problem I am having is that the lacquer seems very soft. So soft that the finish is being removed by contact. I first noticed in where my arm rest on the instrument on the lower bout while playing. All of the lacquer rubbed off to bare wood. I thought that perhaps I had sanded to thin so I repaired the area. I began to notice that the lacquer is dulling on the back of the instrument as well where it rest against my body. This problem repeated itself on the second instrument as well.

    Has anyone else used Mohawk Classical Instrument Lacquer? Is it too soft, I was under the impression it is the same as Behlen. Could this problem be the result of adding to much retarder? Any ideas or suggestions would help.

    Any suggestions on another lacquer brand? Would it be better to switch to a conversion varnish for my next build?
  2. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

    May 16, 2013
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    I'm not familiar with Mohawk, but have used Stew Mac, Behlen, and ReRanch with excellent results.

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