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Thread: Airbrush for finishing (necks)

  1. #1
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Airbrush for finishing (necks)

    I know this is nothing new, but I thought I'd share my recent experience...

    I recently acquired an inexpensive airbrush kit with the intention of using it to spray necks. My thought was that it would be an effective and efficient alternative to my big gravity gun.
    Well, I was right. I wish I'd done this a while ago!

    I didn't want to spend 100's of dollars for my first foray into the process, so opted for a budget model (off fleabay) but the quality actually appears to be pretty good (at least from my newbie perspective).

    This neck I'm doing is a refret and complete re-finish, but the airbrush will be just perfect for re-spraying a finished maple board after a refret. It provides a nicely targeted spray area with very little overspray and allows for much more control than a rattle can. Also clean up is less intensive than my full size gun. I'm currently spraying poly, but can't wait to blow some lacquer through it.

    I know an entire guitar can be done with an airbrush (I've seen plenty that have achieved great results) but I think I'll stick to the large gun for bodies.

    I encourage anyone that's using rattle can poly or lacquer to get an airbrush and have a go. They can be used in the same environment that you're using for your can spraying (with less mess from overspray). I reckon it will be more cost effective in the long run too.

    I'll keep using this cheapie model for now, but can see a higher quality unit in my future.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  2. Liked by: kuanjb

  3. #2
    Member caseyone1's Avatar
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    Hi McCreed,
    I just bought an $18 gravity fed medium size spray gun, but I have a double action airbrush and I am hoping to do some lavaburst black and red effects on my body.
    I have been thinking of going water-based acrylic, I saw a YouTube tutorial from a luthier who swears by it.
    I read the only way for it to work with the clear finish is for it to be absolutely cured.
    So I would love to see a picture of your airbrush work.
    Cheers
    Regards
    Caseyone1
    A.K.A. Steve

  4. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    In my experience you need a gravity-feed airbrush to work with nitro (or else one with a pressurised paint container so that the paint is pushed into the nozzle). I couldn't get nitro to work at all with just a suction-only bottle-feed system. Too viscous or dense even when very thinned and all I got was a very dry powder residue.

    So I now use a compressor and a gravity feed mini-spray gun as the initial full-sized gun just ate up the paint, most of which was wasted as overspray.

  5. #4
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Hi caseyone1.

    I've only used my airbrush for clear coat with polyurethane and acrylic lacquer on necks, so I can't speak to w/b enamel. Also being clear, pictures are going to show you much.

    What I like about the airbrush (mine is double action also) is doing a maple fretboard, I don't get excessive build up of material at the frets. (damming)
    I do have to apply more coats because of the lighter delivery of material, but I feel I have more control than using my full size gravity gun. FWIW, my airbrush will do both gravity or suction.

    I should also say I am still very much a novice with using spray gear, but so far my results been an improvement over rattle cans.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #5
    Member caseyone1's Avatar
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    Hi McCreed,
    Thanks for the fretboard tip. I expected the “light delivery” would lead to a longer process overall. I think I will use
    My medium gun (when it arrives) to do
    All the larger areas, save the little fella for the fret board.
    Cheers
    Steve
    Regards
    Caseyone1
    A.K.A. Steve

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