Misadventures in Swirling

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Element0s, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... or how about swirling colors independently. One color swirl, let it dry, a second, let it dry and a third... or more...

    BTW, this thread is very promising...
     
  2. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    Fer shuuuuuure. Not a bad idea. I imagine success/failure will have a lot to do with choosing the "correct" clearcoat. I'll put that idea on the list... and believe me, I've got a LIST of .... I want to do.

    Someone save my ass my myself.

    New post coming TONITE
     
  3. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    Greetings fellow Forumites.

    I'm prepping to cut Gatekeeper's debut record and go on tour in less than two months which means my spare time is at a record-breaking nadir and my sanity is non-existent. Which probably explains how I got into this mess in the first place. Managed to find a few minutes between trips to the rehearsal studio and the bathroom to do a bit 'o dippin' and blab about it.

    Two pieces tonight. 'Cuz I love ya.



    Episode III: The Testor Becomes The Tested.

    That's RIGHT freakos, we're switching brands. Curiosity got the better of me and I busted out the Testors for the next perilous pair of planks. A smart man would write up a chart and do this RnD stuff NASA scientist style—trying out every single variable in one realm before moving onto the next. But you got me instead, so buckle up. ....'s gon' get bumpy.



    Let's zip straight to the goods:

    Yellow + Red on Black

    [​IMG]

    Interesting stuff here.

    As you can see, we've got some dead-serious syrup going on here. The red and yellow reacted with gusto and zipped around like a swarm of Albertan mosquitos after dark, but again, I got in too late—Skin City, asshole. This time we ended up with huge red globs of bloody mucus in various spots. Not only that, but the thin sheets of yellow resemble freshly-spewn vomit over the black primer.

    Look at the picture again. See them? Look a third time if you don't.

    Bubbles.

    Little bastardy bubbles.

    The guy who runs the woodshop next door to my workplace brought in some bootleg apple vodka for us to take home and try. I uncorked that stuff immediately after pulling this piece out.

    (~192 oz water, ~1.25 tblspn Borax)

    Lessons Learned:

    Testors and Humbrols will both “work”. It's time to experiment with thinning our paints now.

    ***

    Okay, now that I've downed a few oz. of fun juice it's time for the second bout of the evening.

    White + Gold on Black

    [​IMG]

    Christ on a bike.

    What the .... is THAT?!

    This, my dearest Stringers 'O Seven, is what happens when you don't have a single ....nugget of sense when it comes to ratios Paint and Thinner and the use thereof.

    Now, I knew this was true before I even started this project. It's partially why I didn't thin the paint down until my fourth shot at this. I didn't have the guts. And now I have to live with this... thing. This monster of my own making.

    Formulas of Death.

    Since I lack (as mentioned above) a single ....nugget of sense in the Pain:Thinner dept., I went 1:1 on both white and gold. Gave each thinned hue a proper stir, then took them for a dribble into the drink.

    TOTALLY different reaction to previous tests. The paint practically falls out of the eyedroppers and patters to the water's surface like raindrops and go completely-....ing-hog-WILD in the bucket. It's everywhere. Gold driplets spazz along the surface of the water and dress the specks of white like bedazzled semen. It's weird.

    The paint is, again, beyond swirling at this point, but in the completely opposite way.

    It's too damn watery to control.

    I stare flabbergasted at the cyclopean circus act occuring in the bucket, unsure of what to do.

    Hell with it. Let's go for broke.

    Bloop

    The gold runs like hell when I pull the subject from the torture chamber. The white is a mottled galaxy of fungus. It's completely not what you're looking for in a swirl. It goes against nature. It looks like an Incubus album cover. It probably has its own ecosystem. It's dank, bro.

    Despite all this... I find it strangely compelling.

    Most importantly, there wasn't a single trace of the “skinning” which plagued my last two pieces.

    That's a “W” in my books.

    Lessons Learned:

    Thinner makes an incredible difference to how your paints react to the water and to each other and to your swirling apparatus and in the way they contact your subject. Metallic paints will separate the pigment from the metal flakes if you thin them more than a tiny amount, so not recommended. If your paints are too thin, they will run across your subject when they should be sticking to it.

    Many points to ponder tonight.

    If you're lucky, I might stay sober enough to bang out another entry this week.

    No promises.
     
  4. neun Arme

    neun Arme SS.org Regular

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    The last two look very good, imo.
     
  5. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    The metallic orgy is dope. You're onto something.
     
  6. stevexc

    stevexc Laura Like Butter

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    I think I might have a project for you next time I'm (further) out west...

    These experiments are looking great, man! Having fun following your exploits here and on facebook.
     
  7. robski92

    robski92 SS.org Regular

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    This is amazing and inspiring. I love it.
     
  8. Hywel

    Hywel SS.org Regular

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    The white, gold and black one is awesome. Loving this thread. Keep it up!
     
  9. Beefmuffin

    Beefmuffin New Boot Goofin

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    ^^^ this so much!!

    Keep them coming! I'm loving this thread as well :kiss:
     
  10. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    If I had a heart, it would be warmed by the reception my foul-mouthed swirl-diary has received. Much appreciated.

    I spent most of the weekend drunk at a bush party in Langely, BC but I managed to drag myself back into the sultry glare of Testors fluorescents this afternoon. I was even able to get around to setting up the '87 Model 3 Charvel that I've been tinkering with. Sunday Funday!

    OH OH OH!

    I had one of them ding ding lightbulb moments on my drive home. This particular ding involved controlling the water temperature in the bucket.

    Up until this point I've experimented with water that was “cool” and “warm” and “barely lukewarm” and I've heard tell of 75-79 degrees being prime-time. But where would one find a small submersible water heater with an accurate temperature controller that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars?

    At Petsmart, you absolute shambling twit.

    (Referring to myself)

    D'oiiiiiiiiiioioioioioi

    Your local petshop will have an aquarium section, and in that aquarium section you will find a host of small, submersible tank heaters and most of them have some sort of accurate control system. Mine cost about $34 bucks. I forgot the make/model but it's made in Germany and it's got a fun twisty knob (much like your own) which controls the temp coming from the provocatively-shaped element.

    I reviewed a few more Youtube clips and found that 78 F is a preferred temperature amongst Borax-users. Fill 'er up, plug 'er in, set a timer and pray.



    Another two'fer.

    Colours: Black 'n Blue.

    [​IMG]

    Awright awright awwwwright.

    Ok. Cool. I don't hate it. Though I'll admit that the picture looks more vibrant than the actual piece.

    So this piece of wood was initially primed black, which, as you all know from a previous installment, means we're going to get subtle hues in our final product.

    The water heater seemed to do a good job of... whatever it is that the water temperature has an impact on. You'd probably get good enough result by leaving your (full) water container for a few hours (or overnight) to reach room temp. But for those of you in a hurry, this is the way to do it.

    I gave the water about 30 mins to sit and warm up.

    This time I went for much less thinner. Approx 10%.

    In went the paints. Double double toil/trouble etc etc

    Still got some gnarly skin-zone going on in the bucket at swirl-time. More thinner probably required to stave off the skinning of the paint.

    As a side-note, I'm using less and less Borax in my tests, while keeping the water level relatively similar. I think I'm at a single heaping tblspn Borax in about 192oz of water. I have yet to notice a massive difference in paint → water relations. None of my paints have fallen thru the surface of the water, thought it's still anyone's game out here, folks.

    LESSON LEARNED: Get a cheap fish tank heater from your local pet store and set to 78 F. And thinning ratios will likely take a few tries to nail down.



    Colours: Black 'n Blue. (ON WHITE PRIMER)

    It might be worth mentioning that whenever I had black paint to be swirled, it's the first colour to get chucked in the bucket.

    One thing about Deanswirled is that his bucket is ALWAYS black when he starts dropping colours in. At first, I thought that was just the tank he was using. But nay, good Seven-Stringers, the only sensible answer came clear after a few more careful watches:

    Good 'ol Deaner Deaner Pumpkin Bleeder blackens up his water a few steps in advance to any other colours being introduced to the bucket. Starting with that nice, even layer of black before any colours go in is what keeps his patterns looking rich and full. You could probably get similar results in swirls without black paint. Maybe a good rule of thumb is to always start with your darkest colour????

    Paragraphs To Ponder for $500, Alex. ^^^^^

    With this idea in mind, I thinned my black ink down like a sleazy bartender and dumped bunch in and waited a few minutes for it to spread.

    Then I went in with the blue and more black, also thinned, a bit more than previously.


    [​IMG]

    Now THIS, is Pod-Racing.

    I giggled like a raving buffoon when I withdrew this piece from the drink. Giggled, people.

    FINALLY! A design that I would actually put on a guitar and take onstage with me. Took about 6 kicks in the can (or drips in the can if you will, ohohohho) but here we ....ing ARE.

    I wish I'd kept better track of the paint:thinner ratio. I really wish I had. Whatever I did, it worked so much better—very little skinning(*) when I got all up in there with the toothpick and started swirling the paint. Thinned paint is so much easier to push around the surface of the water, it's not even in the same area code as some of my previous pieces.

    The blue and black also POP POP POPS something fierce over the white primer.

    Eeeeeeexcellent, Smithers.

    (*) ATCHUNG: Let it be known that I left the heater in the water while swirling this piece (on the outside of the plastic bag lining the little trash bucket I'm swirling in) and the paint closest to the heat DID begin to dry out and skin over in that particular area. IF YOU DO DECIDE TO LEAVE STUFF IN THE BUCKET WHILE YOU SWIRL... Please for the love of sweet, sanctified Christ, line your bucket with a plastic bag to keep the paints from getting ....ing everywhere. For real, this will cut down on headaches, clean-up time and divorce by about 5000%. PLEASE DO THIS.

    The reality here is that you only need to "section off" The surface of the water. Lotsa pro swirlers have these massive tanks but they used a wooden "frame" (or similar) to create a good-sized square area for the paints to sit in. If you want to do swirl-painting on a semi-regular basis, this would probably be the way to go.

    LESSON LEARNED: Gotta NAIL that thinner amount to get nice designs happening in the bucket. Also, get your heater the hell OUT OF THERE when you start dropping paints. LASTLY, put your black paint (or your darkest?) in FIRST, let it spread out and create a pre-coloured surface in the bucket for you to start playing with.

    That's all my time 'til the next time.
     
  11. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    Beautiful.
     
  12. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    This thread is amazing, and your writing is hysterical in the best of ways!
     
  13. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    Every swirl tinted with purple prose.
     
  14. wrtp

    wrtp SS.org Regular

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    haven't read anything only seen the photos
    I think you should use a different brand (or type) enamels and make sure they are all of the same product line so they have similar properties (weight)
    got similar effect from using paints that just didn't work
     
  15. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    It's worth the read
     
  16. Hammertone

    Hammertone SS.org Regular

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    The balance between control and randomness is fascinating. More, please.
     
  17. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I'll be dipping into the subject (OHOHOHHO) of different paints pretty soon here. I'm using exclusively oil-based enamels (Humbrols and Testors, butmain Testors) right now which seems to be the norm for these DIY efforts. What paints have you tried?

    I've got a piece to show you sad bastards (I'm sad too, it's all good) here that illustrates some of the most defining, crucial, flat-out un....withable points that will determine the success/failure of your swirls when dealing with the materials I'm using.

    Observe:



    [​IMG]



    Red + Black over Red Basecoat using Testors paints.

    People went ape.... over this one when I posted it on my Facebook page. A bunch of folks loved it for some reason. And yeah, I guess it looks kinda cool in the photo but...

    in person it's a lot more ”Blood Sausage” than ”Sound of Perseverance.”

    I personally consider this to be the most brutally-failed piece of all my attempts thus far. Why exactly? Well just look at it. Like, really look at it. The blotchiness. The tiny orange-peel bubbles on the black spots. These are the results you get when you completely stick your dick into the potato-salad that is “Paint-Thinner Ratios” and “Surface Drying Times.”

    So here's the skinny:

    If you don't thin the paints at all, the paint will dry on the surface of the water quickly. Probably before you'll have time to swirl your colours into a satisfactory design + dunk the object of your swirling fancy. You ever left Campbell's Cream Of Chicken Soup sitting out for ten minutes? It's like that. Imagine dunking yer guitar in old-ass soup. ....in' GROSS, right?

    If you thin your paints over-much, then you'll end up with a runny mess that will blend too easily on the surface and you'll end up with an overly-detailed bucket of ....—which may work if you're swirling something small (stay tuned for an upcoming post with an example of this).

    Now, here's the kicker. De clinch. The jesuschristwhydidittakemesolongtoclueintothis point of the whole fiasco:

    If you dunk yer junk without letting yer thinned paints settle into a semi-dry state, then you're gonna end up with the same blood-vomit disaster that I did in today's example.

    Meaning....

    IF YER PAINT IS THIN, JUST LET 'ER SKIN.

    (an artistic simplification. whatever)

    To extrapolate on that, you basically need to find the perfect time to dip you materials based on how thick/thin your paint is. There's probably a lot of other factors that go into this, such as water temp, but if you're using yer handy-dandy fishtank heater like yours truly then thankfully you can keep that variable much less varied.

    If your paint is too thin when you dunk, then it won't dry on the face of your dipped subject quickly enough, and it'll just run across the newly-swirled surface (the water you're submerging the item into don't help matters either), leaving a trail of turmoil and destruction in its dribbley wake. This has happened in a few of my pieces if you look carefully enough (the Gold/White orgy etc), but this most recent test is a pretty brutal example of just how ....ty your .... can be shat.

    What I've started doing is “testing” the paint surface with a toothpick. You can eyeball the thickness of your paint based on how greedy and grabby it gets. As an added bonus, you can use the toothpick to do fine-tuned edits of your swirl pattern. See an opening between colours you want to fill? Give it a prick. Bit 'o dust or debris floating in there? Stabby McStab that ............. Keep some paper towel handy so you can wipe it clean between pricks.

    Anyways, thin your .... down, get your patterns happening, then give it a few minutes. Walk yer dog. Take a dump. No rush. Whip up some Ichiban like the lazy sack of .... you are. No hurry. Rewatch season 5 of Game of Thrones. NO ....ING RUSH.

    Don't believe me? Watch some of the Deanswirls videos again. The later ones. You can see him drop the paints, swirl his design, then the camera cut for an undisclosed amount of time, bringing us to the dipping phase. VERY ....ING CLEVER DEAN, BUT I'M ONTO YOUR CRAFTY ASS.

    Don't dip until you're on the cusp of surface skin.

    We all want to get our junk wet, I know. I know. But you gotta wait until the last possible moment.

    Got a few more goodies (and baddies) coming up. Will probably try a guitar body soon, just gotta build a drying rack/dummy neck.

    <3 <3 <3
     
  18. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    :yesway::agreed:
     
  19. DslDwg

    DslDwg SS.org Regular

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  20. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Truly you have a way with, er, ....
     

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