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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone,

I've never been a fan of General Finishes products (my experience with finishing furniture I've made), but this one caught my eye... simply because they're advertised specifically for guitar finishing.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else here has used these products, and if so, what were your thoughts?

Thanks,

Marty
 

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I’ve used it. Not a super huge fan.....

The sealer is water-thin and not very useful. The topcoat sprays nicely, but even with adding reducer it tends to flash off quickly and leaves tiny air bubbles in the finish, that fill with slurry when you wet sand, leaving ugly white pecks all over the place. And it takes a long time to cure. Can only spray 1-2 coats per day.

It’s also not compatible with anything except itself - including shellac! You can’t spray it over shellac, which is a problem for me.

On the plus side, it is high-solids and frewer costs are required. And, I’ve never had it develop the dreaded blue hue of water based, even over black.

I actually prefer Target products. It sprays nicer and builds well. Over darker colours you need to watch for the hue. I tend to thin the first few coats and add reducer. Over darker colours I’ve had much better success spraying 2 coats per day to avoid the blue hue. I’m actually spraying this stuff this very weekend.
 

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welcome Marty
I use it. After countless years of resisting water borne finishes, I finally caved in and gave them an honest try. I was pleasantly surprised, and never looked back. What I like best aside from the lack of mind-altering fumes, is the water cleanup. I love the hot water cleanup! It goes on nice, you really have to do something stupid to get a run out of it. Fast drying just like the real thing and they seem to burn in nicely. This is going over new wood. I haven't used it yet for repairs or touchups on old instruments. Straight into an HVLP gun through a cone filter and shoot. On guitars, I usually do about 6 coats before first sanding, 1 coat a day. Most of my use of it has been on cabinets where it's 3 to 4 coats and no wet sanding.

The one I've used mostly is a Target Coatings product:
EM6000 Production Lacquer

But this last round I bought the Brite Tone stuff and it seems as good. I've got the sealer, filler and top coat.
Guitar / Instrument Finishes
 

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Welcome aboard Marty. I've only used the grain filler and was pleased with the way the product performed and the ease of application.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, gang, thanks for your helpful responses! I'll reply to each of you in turn:

Ayr Guitars, I, too, am a Target Coatings user (nearly 10 years, now) and have been quite impressed with its line-up of products. I've played around with tinting their EM-1000 sander/sealer for sunburst effects, which I plan to use when I refinish my Yamaha FG-150 as mentioned in a separate post. I'm thinking I'll use their EM-6000 lacquer (gloss sheen) for its topcoating. I should also mention that I've got their grain filler but haven't attempted to spray any of it just yet. Have you tried it and if so, what're you spraying it with? I have a few different HVLP guns; two of which are turbine driven and two others compressor driven. I also have Fuji's new reduced-pressure gun which of course runs off the compressor; it's their gravity cup model and I'll soon be picking up a pressure-pot model to use with my furniture finishing. That particular set-up may be more appropriate to apply the filler with, as it should be able to more capable at handling higher-viscosity products such as the filler.

Lincoln, as mentioned in my response to Ayr Guitars, I'm a huge Target Coatings fan, so thanks for your perspectives on both the General Finishes and Target Coatings line-up. Just one question regarding the amount of time you're waiting between coats: if I understood you correctly, you're waiting one full day between each coat? From my experience spraying furniture, I can easily shoot 6 coats of lacquer each day, and usually sand only after the first coat. If I'm using buffing compound to develop an absolutely piano-type of gloss finish on my furniture, I'll wait one full day to allow the finish to harden a but more beforehand. Of course, it takes 5 full days for the Target Coatings lacquer to fully cure, so perhaps I'm pushing it a bit, but so far I've been able to get away with it. Here's an excerpt from their webpage where they talk about waiting time between coats and sanding recommendations:

"Allow each coat to dr y for a minimum of 25-30 minutes before recoating. Sanding between each coat is not necessary unless contamination has effected the film formation, or if the last coat has dried for more then 24 hours. Sand with 400-grit sandpaper to remove surface imperfections, runs, sags and contamination. Moving up to 600 or 800-grit sandpaper is recommended if a high-build finish is required. Remove sanding dust as specified and apply final coat as required."

Tarbender, thanks for your info on the GF grain filler. How have you been applying it?
 

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I would recommend sticking with the Target coatings rather than switch to Brite Tone. I have both in my shop and I reach for the Target more often than not.

Em6000 is good stuff. The Em1000 sealer has been frustrating me lately.... it doesn’t like to go over itself. So the first couple coats that soak into the wood go on on, but more than they and it craters up. Almost like fish-eyes, only it’s not fisheyes. I like using it to help fill the grain, but I’ve stopped doing that because it takes forever to level-sand. Now I just thin down some em6000; have been considering giving up on em1000 and just using shellac as a sealer. I generally spray shellac anyway to bring out the features of the wood and it always sprays beautifully.

I’ve used their filler, I apply it with a brush and squeegee. It’s not clear, so not good under a clear finish. My preference for filler is actually Timbermate. I’ve been really hoping to try the clear gel filler from Lee Valley but they’ve been out of stock all winter.

I spray using a Capspray turbine unit. 4-stage, has lots of power and atomizes well.
 
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