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Aug 25, 2019 - 9:08:57 PM
189 posts since 2/14/2010

While at the Johnson County Tennessee Old Time Fiddlers Convention this weekend in Laurel Bloomery, Tn, me and Mac Traynham really enjoyed meeting the super fine folks at CrystaLac Finishes in Mountain City, Tn only 1 mile from the music park. I have been in the search for the perfect finish for my banjos, a finish that's waterbase, especially where it wouldn't be so harmful on my breathing and not dangerous to use like solvent base finishes. I started using CrystaLac at the beginning of this year and my look for the perfect finish is now over. They mentioned to us that they just sent a shipment of Britetone to StewMac and soon it’ll also be available thru them besides the CrystaLac store. It doesn't leave a blue hue like many other waterbase finishes. Give em a try!  CrystaLac Store
Kevin

Edited by - Round Peak Banjos on 08/25/2019 21:14:56

Aug 26, 2019 - 6:43:18 AM

290 posts since 3/26/2015

Are you using the gloss finish? It does look attractive especially for the low VOCs

Aug 26, 2019 - 6:53:11 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14383 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Round Peak Banjos

While at the Johnson County Tennessee Old Time Fiddlers Convention this weekend in Laurel Bloomery, Tn, me and Mac Traynham really enjoyed meeting the super fine folks at CrystaLac Finishes in Mountain City, Tn only 1 mile from the music park. I have been in the search for the perfect finish for my banjos, a finish that's waterbase, especially where it wouldn't be so harmful on my breathing and not dangerous to use like solvent base finishes. I started using CrystaLac at the beginning of this year and my look for the perfect finish is now over. They mentioned to us that they just sent a shipment of Britetone to StewMac and soon it’ll also be available thru them besides the CrystaLac store. It doesn't leave a blue hue like many other waterbase finishes. Give em a try!  CrystaLac Store
Kevin


Always a good thing to come across another finish alternative.

I've been using Minwax wipe-on poly in satin for years but picked up a can of Varathane Ultimate water-based poly to try out.  There's a long-running finishing topic on Talkbass and the new formulation of the Varathane does not have any of the "blue" artifacts after application.  The folks who are using it love it, both as a wipe-on and a sprayed finish.  Many are mixing in tiny amounts of water-soluble tints for sunburst and color finishes.

https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/varathane/ultimate-polyurethane-water-based

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:03:24 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by CompanionBanjo

Are you using the gloss finish? It does look attractive especially for the low VOCs

 

I used gloss on the first 5 banjos this year and they all turned out perfect using a HVLP gun at 35psi, shot 2 coats of their sanding sealer, shot 8 coats gloss total, lightly scuffed up with med scotchbrite pads between the first 5 coats, wet sanded then buffed. 

The last banjo I finished I used their satin and it also turned out wonderful, first shot 5 coats of gloss to build up finish, scuff between coats then finished up with 3 coats of satin and it's done.

Crystalac told me that Rockbridge guitars uses their Britetone finish, check them out.

Kevin

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:15:32 AM

256 posts since 5/29/2015

How sensitive are these different recommendations to blushing from humidity?

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:47:29 AM
likes this

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Banner Blue

How sensitive are these different recommendations to blushing from humidity?


I haven't had any trouble at all, I've sprayed with the humidity 80% in the shop and raining outside with no issues. They said the ideal temp/humidity is 70 degrees and no more than 70% humidity, if it's pretty hot and or humid I do add a little bit of their retarder.

Kevin

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:47:55 AM

1825 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Banner Blue

How sensitive are these different recommendations to blushing from humidity?


I'm interested in info on this as well. All of the WB finishes I've sprayed in the past would spray beautifully one day and then be a terrible pain on the next making it hard to develop any kind of consistent process.

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:56:24 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by rudy
quote:
Originally posted by Round Peak Banjos

While at the Johnson County Tennessee Old Time Fiddlers Convention this weekend in Laurel Bloomery, Tn, me and Mac Traynham really enjoyed meeting the super fine folks at CrystaLac Finishes in Mountain City, Tn only 1 mile from the music park. I have been in the search for the perfect finish for my banjos, a finish that's waterbase, especially where it wouldn't be so harmful on my breathing and not dangerous to use like solvent base finishes. I started using CrystaLac at the beginning of this year and my look for the perfect finish is now over. They mentioned to us that they just sent a shipment of Britetone to StewMac and soon it’ll also be available thru them besides the CrystaLac store. It doesn't leave a blue hue like many other waterbase finishes. Give em a try!  CrystaLac Store
Kevin


Always a good thing to come across another finish alternative.

I've been using Minwax wipe-on poly in satin for years but picked up a can of Varathane Ultimate water-based poly to try out.  There's a long-running finishing topic on Talkbass and the new formulation of the Varathane does not have any of the "blue" artifacts after application.  The folks who are using it love it, both as a wipe-on and a sprayed finish.  Many are mixing in tiny amounts of water-soluble tints for sunburst and color finishes.

https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/varathane/ultimate-polyurethane-water-based


Thanks, Rudy! I've been extremely happy with them and also like supporting small businesses especially close to home, they employ three people and they also have their own line of tints, dyes and pigments that can be added to their finishes. The founder of the company worked at DuPont and helped develop their waterborne finishes.  

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:58:44 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

Aug 26, 2019 - 7:59:56 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

Aug 26, 2019 - 10:04:34 AM

559 posts since 2/19/2012

Looks really good. What sort of results would you expect as a wipe-on? Would you use it on a Gibson RB-170 or is that just too great a departure from nitrocellulose?

Aug 26, 2019 - 10:37:22 AM

R Buck

USA

2667 posts since 9/5/2006

Kevin, glad you found that. Your banjos are looking great too.

Aug 26, 2019 - 10:46:28 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Parker135

Looks really good. What sort of results would you expect as a wipe-on? Would you use it on a Gibson RB-170 or is that just too great a departure from nitrocellulose?


They said it can be applied over any existing finish, and can be wiped or brushed on according to the instructions. I have only sprayed Britetone and have no experience brushing or wiping it. You can contact them thru their website or their FB page, they're very helpful and will answer questions promptly.

Kevin

Aug 26, 2019 - 10:48:08 AM
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189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by R Buck

Kevin, glad you found that. Your banjos are looking great too.


Thanks, Bob

Kevin

Aug 26, 2019 - 10:56:35 AM

1825 posts since 2/7/2008

Not to be the wet blanket, but watch the reflection at 2:40 in this video. There appears to be a bluish cast on the dark wood in a certain light.


youtube.com/watch?v=yTZukkD2IHQ

Aug 26, 2019 - 11:09:06 AM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Quickstep192

Not to be the wet blanket, but watch the reflection at 2:40 in this video. There appears to be a bluish cast on the dark wood in a certain light.


youtube.com/watch?v=yTZukkD2IHQ


With certain florescent and led lighting you would see that. I've had no issues what so ever. 

Aug 26, 2019 - 11:13:24 AM

12061 posts since 6/29/2005

Thanks for posting that!  I will try a can of it.

I have been using waterborne finishes now for several years for exactly the same reasons as you— no VOCs, no bad smell, so need for an explosion proof fans, and a tougher finish than Nitro.  The only thing I wish was that it was more amber— it's perfectly clear, so you have to use stain on light wood, which I do with maple anyway.

The one I have been using is "Hydrocote Resisthane Plus", which I found out about via Highland Woodworking. It's a green technology formula.

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/hydrocotesatinresisthaneplusquart.aspx.

Here are some pictures of the finish you can get with it.  I would assume it's very similar to Crystalac.  You spray it and rub it down just the same as nitro.

There is nothing that would ever make me go back to nitro.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 08/26/2019 11:14:39

Aug 26, 2019 - 11:20:47 AM

1825 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Round Peak Banjos
quote:
Originally posted by Quickstep192

Not to be the wet blanket, but watch the reflection at 2:40 in this video. There appears to be a bluish cast on the dark wood in a certain light.


youtube.com/watch?v=yTZukkD2IHQ


With certain florescent and led lighting you would see that. I've had no issues what so ever. 

Thanks. That's good to know.


Aug 26, 2019 - 11:35:36 AM

559 posts since 2/19/2012

@Ken LeVan

Ken, that's beautiful. Do you use an HVLP setup or regular gravity or siphon feed spray gun?

Aug 26, 2019 - 1:56:10 PM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

Thanks for posting that!  I will try a can of it.

I have been using waterborne finishes now for several years for exactly the same reasons as you— no VOCs, no bad smell, so need for an explosion proof fans, and a tougher finish than Nitro.  The only thing I wish was that it was more amber— it's perfectly clear, so you have to use stain on light wood, which I do with maple anyway.

The one I have been using is "Hydrocote Resisthane Plus", which I found out about via Highland Woodworking. It's a green technology formula.

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/hydrocotesatinresisthaneplusquart.aspx.

Here are some pictures of the finish you can get with it.  I would assume it's very similar to Crystalac.  You spray it and rub it down just the same as nitro.

There is nothing that would ever make me go back to nitro.

 


Ken, I also use 2 - 3 coats of their amber toned sanding sealer and sometimes I tint the finish.

Here's a link where you can download their Britetone instructions:  tech data sheet

Aug 27, 2019 - 12:55:21 PM

1825 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Round Peak Banjos
quote:

I used gloss on the first 5 banjos this year and they all turned out perfect using a HVLP gun at 35psi


I'm eager to try Crystalac and see if I can duplicate your results. Did you thin the Crystalac at all, or did you spray it full strength? What kind of spray gun and tip size  are you using?

Thanks again for the guidance.  

Aug 27, 2019 - 1:55:49 PM

12061 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Parker135

@Ken LeVan

Ken, that's beautiful. Do you use an HVLP setup or regular gravity or siphon feed spray gun?


I got an old DeVilbiss EGA-503 touch up gun on eBay— it's a siphon type.  I  had 2 of them years ago, and stupidly gave them away thinking they'd always be available, only to find out they are a "classic" and very pricy.

With the waterborne poly finishes, overspray is not a problem, so the need for the gravity gun to reduce VOCs is a non-issue.

I spray it at around 40-45 psi, and the biggest problem is that you have to clean the gun after use because residue won't dissolve with thinner as it does with lacquer.  I keep the gun filled with water as well as I can.

BTW, with that gun, you can use the very small Hellman's mayonnaise jars for the finish, water, etc. and because they are glass, you can see what's in there—part of the charm of that gun.

Aug 27, 2019 - 3:05:22 PM

189 posts since 2/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Quickstep192
quote:
Originally posted by Round Peak Banjos
quote:

I used gloss on the first 5 banjos this year and they all turned out perfect using a HVLP gun at 35psi


I'm eager to try Crystalac and see if I can duplicate your results. Did you thin the Crystalac at all, or did you spray it full strength? What kind of spray gun and tip size  are you using?

Thanks again for the guidance.  


I've been using a hvlp touch up gun from Harbor Freight item# 61473 with the supplied 0.8 tip. I did not thin, it's ready to spray out of the can.

Edited by - Round Peak Banjos on 08/27/2019 15:07:01

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