How do you match a headstock to this killer pickguard?  Our friend Dave Slusser figured out a technique, and he is kind enough to share it with us.  Read on!

The finish is three coats of StewMac waterbased grain filler sanded to 320 grit between coats, then two coats of StewMac sanding sealer ( aerosol ), 320 grit between first and second coat, 600 grit after second.  Then three coats of StewMac Black Gloss Nitro ( aerosol ) 320 grit after coats one and two... 600 grit after coat three.

Then here's where all the experimenting came in.  I finally ended up using an Encore Metallic Silver waterbased acid free ink in stamp pad form.  These can be gotten at Michaels craft store chain.  They are distributed by Tsukineko, Inc  Redmond, WA.  Check out all their products at www.tsukineko.com   The reason for my choice was because of the waterbased/acid-free thing.  I needed something that would allow me to wipe off the ink without any trace if I made a mistake while stamping.  Some of the other brand/types of inks are solvent based and WILL bite right fast to the lacquer and cannot be removed without sanding and re-spraying.  I did find that while this IS an water-based acid-free type of ink, water does NOT remove it completely and will leave a residue of the same color that can't be removed.  So, after experimentation, I found that plain old mineral spirits does remove it completely, however, you will need to work at it and do it as quickly as possible after the mistake has been made.  I found that a bit of soap and water after the removal will take off the rest of any residue.  BUT, here again, speed is the key, you cannot let it set. 

I believe, in hind sight, that if one wanted to invest a bit more time, it would be a good idea to stamp one design at a time and seal each with clear lacquer before stamping the next.  This would keep any chance of " erasing " one of the design by mistake to a minimum.  Next, I used a Paisley rubber stamp from Inkadinkado # 95784-MM ( if anyone's interested ) check them out at www.inkadinkado.com   Then I just experimented with the placement of the stamps until I had about what I wanted.  Afterward I clear coated with StewMac clear ( three coats ) sanding after each coat with 600 grit, and then a little hand buffing with some swirl mark remover.  Now remember, this whole thing was just an experiment. 

I do plan to do the actual bass with this on the headstock, but for now, it's just something to play with.  I believe that this could lead to some very interesting and creative guitars from your contributors in the future. 

Dave added, "Could you add the web address for that Paisley pickguard? It's from John Polk at http://www.terrapinguitars.com."

Dave Slusser
Summerhill Studios

As always, thanks Dave!  

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