Gold and the Olympic
Next step was to add some UV stained Olympic White. Que nerves again.
The first step is to damage a perfectly good headstock and key the aged poly finish with 280 grit sand paper. At first I was going to leave the small piece of fretboard behind the nut unpainted, but later decided that was a bit fiddly.
I masked up the edges so that colour coats were only on the face of the headstock. I have a stack of car spray tins in the shed so I did give this a grey primer coat before applying the Olympic White nitro cellulose paint from Manchester Guitar Tech. Word of warning... there’s a reason they don’t use this paint widely any more and you have to wear a good mask!
This is after the white coats compared to the aged poly body...
It’s lucky I did my homework first! Manchester Guitar Tech also sells a tinted lacquer (and has an excellent blog of his own), so I sprayed on three coats to get close to the aged poly finish.
Three was too much.
So out with the sandpaper, more white and only 2 coats of aged lacquer. The colour is closer and in some lights very close, but it is not a match. I’m not too worried about it as Fender used to spray their headstocks in a separate process to the bodies and often age differently... and I think it would be difficult to tell once they are firmly bolted 2 feet apart!!
The process of sanding and recoating hasn’t left the best of edges. My perfectionist side was saying it needs to be redone, whilst my realism side was telling me I’ll bash it soon enough and that effort would be wasted!!
Talking or bashing.... clumsy oaf!!
Then onto the logo. I had some trouble actually getting these to separate from the carrier paper, but when they did they went on well and dried nice and flat.
To seal these and finish the head stock it’s a slow process of spraying light coats of clear lacquer over the headstock, waiting 24 hours to harden and then flatting with a block of wood and 1200 grit wet and dry paper. Rinse and repeat until the raised logo disappears. This takes about 4 days!
These photos are a bit crappy, but essentially they have been sprayed and are at the flatting stage. The bright ring is where the logo stands proud. The more coats and more flatting, the more this ring disappears!
Ive not masked the sides of the headstock during the process of applying the clear coats as I want to seal the join at the edge of the paint and I want to let the paint pass the headstock when spraying. This avoids a masking line that would need to be sanded back and run the risk of damaging the polycoat.
For those who haven’t flatted cellulose paint it is a bit odd seeing it dull down and losing its gloss but it’s nice when the next coats go on and it starts to pop again.
Once flat, a few final coats of clear, with a good final wet coat and this will be then left to harden fully for a couple of weeks, followed by incremmetal 1200, 2000 and 3000 gauge sanding then polishing to a deep shine!
...and there she is all bolted together, happy days!
Next, back to electrics.