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Thread: Mohawk Lacquer

  1. #1

    Default Mohawk Lacquer

    I am considering using their topcoat, either the instrumental lacquer or their piano lacquer.

    I will also use whatever lacquer thinner they propose (I think they call theirs "reducer") and their sealer (I think they are using a vinyl). I want to build and F5 in glass white, so what step is in-between the vinyl and the topcoats, to get me a cream white color? Do they have a white lacquer they want me to tint that is much like their topcoat? Or do I use any suitable lacquer I can tint?

    In other words, has anyone used the Mohawk system?

    Other questions: What is the actual cure time before buffing ( I am use to waiting a month or so!). How much retarder are you using per gallon, how much are you thinking it, etc.

    Any input from those who have used it will be GREATLY appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    I've been using Mohawk stringed instrument lacquer for the past few years. I use the "blush resistant" reducer, and I don't measure the amount, I just add reducer until I get my desired viscosity for spraying. I've used blond shellac for a sealer and I've used vinyl sealer, both with success. I like to let the lacquer cure for at least a week, preferably at least two weeks, longer if convenient. I seldom use retarder because the reducer is slow enough that I usually don't need it, but it works well when I do need it, and it also improves flow-out of the sprayed coats. Once again, I don't measure the amount added.

    The only white top I have done was varnished, so I can't advise how to do that with lacquer. Mohawk has a large catalog and tech lines where you can call for guidance, so they very well might have the materials and info that you need.
    (If I was doing it, I would mix white pigment with shellac to make a paint and proceed with: sealer, paint, then clear lacquer. I would, of course, try that on scrap wood to assure compatibility before doing it on an instrument.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    Thank you John! I really appreciate it! I think I will call their tech line and see what they recommend. I was going to use Sayer lacquer from Spain because it was given to me in the color I am looking for, but I hate the idea of running into a problem because I messed around with their system.

    What is the desired viscosity you are looking for? Do you use a cup to measure it?

    What are you spraying with, and what does your rubbing out routine look like?

    Again, thank you for the help! I really really really appreciate it!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    BTW, went on your website and saw your photos of your work. Stunning! Absolutely stunning!

  5. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevchenko View Post

    What is the desired viscosity you are looking for? Do you use a cup to measure it?
    Unfortunately, no I do not use a cup to measure. I simply watch as the material runs and drips off of my stir stick, consider the weather, whether it is an early coat or later coat, how much I want the material to build or flow and so forth. When it looks 'right' then I spray.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevchenko View Post
    What are you spraying with, and what does your rubbing out routine look like?
    I am currently spraying with a $36 (approximately) dollar Harbor Freight siphon feed gun, though I keep saying I'm going to get a high quality pressure feed system when I feel like spending the money. The cheap gun gives good results, so...

    As I said, I like to wait as long as possible for cure before buffing lacquer. I start with 600 to 800 grit sandpaper and level sand through 1500 grit, then on to the stationary buffer and Menzerna compounds (medium followed by fine on separate buffing wheels). Some final hand rubbing with Novus 2 polish, and if all went well it's done.

    Oh, and thanks for the kind words!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    I second John's suggestion of of using the tech line to pick the brains of people who know the product line, especially considering you want a solid color.

    BTW, I haven't used Cardinal products, but in general, reducer and thinner are not necessarily the same thing. Thinner is good for cleaning equipment and can be bought anywhere. The reducer (some manufacturers call it flow enhancer) will give you more set time to avoid blush and also give you better flowout. The trade off is too thin increases the risk of runs. Temperature and humidity influence how much reducer is necessary. It's a learning curve for sure.

    I think your cure time of a month is a safe bet, I've heard of lots of acoustic builders who wait that long. Nitro continues to shrink back for a long time. Good luck in your finish adventure.

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  8. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mohawk Lacquer

    Clicked on this thread thinking it discussed a hair product.

    Oops, sorry...
    Allen Hopkins
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