Misadventures in Swirling

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

  1. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    I've found this entire thing to be both informative and of high comedic value- bravo! Reminds me of AVG from Youtube.
     
  2. mpexus

    mpexus SS.org Regular

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    Best one for me, different than the JEM like clones we see all day and it has an Organic look on its own.
     
  3. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    It's my favorite, too - Reminds me of the slick of grease floating on one of my blood-free BMs. I'd happily send in a body to be refinished in it.
     
  4. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    :agreed:
     
  5. kigorri

    kigorri SS.org Regular

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    I love this thread. Thanks for posting up all the trial and error and making it a good read.
     
  6. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I've been ran off my feet and I'm fresh outta luck so here's a quick filler post until I get a chance to scriven up some fresh BS. Maybe tomorrow morning unless I'm too hung over. Tuesday night, right?

    Behind-The-Scenes AXXXION



    [​IMG]

    ^ NEW TERRORS AWAIT! I buy my Testors on Amazon and Sunward Hobbies dot see eh.



    [​IMG]

    ^ Quick screencappie of how the water looked pre-dip on my last test. Very marbley. I haven't been able to really nail the classic "swirl" look yet. Not sure if it's my paints, my actual swirling technique, or if it's because I don't have a big enough bucket to play in.



    [​IMG]

    ^ Quick shot of my humble workstation. I commandeer the laundry/entry room for my Testor tomfoolery. Not recommend cuz it's dusty and I'm expecting the dryer to overheat and explode the chemicals in the closet any day now but it's the best I got until Vancouver's monsoon season ends and I can start doing this horse.... outside.

    Oh yeah, I swirled a stapler last week. .... it. Maybe I'll start an Etsy store.

    Talk soon,
     
  7. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    Sounds like we both need a doctor.

    Interesting that people seem most interested in the Gold/White/Black slop-fest that I came up completely on accident. I'll have to fool around with those colours a bit more.
     
  8. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    How do you clean up the swirling bucket afterwards? Skim the paint off and then dump the water down the drain?
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Pics?
     
  10. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    You recreated Misþyrming's album art for Söngvar elds og óreiðu:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SteveFireland

    SteveFireland SS.org Regular

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    Those are the best swirls I've ever seen! Top notch. I know you say you don't know what you're doing but I'm surprised you don't have people queuing up to have you do their guitars.
     
  12. Beefmuffin

    Beefmuffin New Boot Goofin

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    I was just getting ready to say....I've got a 7 string Jackson with a reverse headstock coming my way soon and I believe a swirl might be in order haha. Something like a black, purple, with a touch of lime/slime green (huge joker fan).....
     
  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire tinkerer/aspiring builder/8 string hoarder

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    one of these days I'm going to swirl some guitars. this has got me gassing for a good swirled destroyer or iceman...
     
  14. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    Sorry for the silence. I'm playing hooky on the work computer right now, staving off the endless toil as long as I can. I'm sore. I went to hot yoga on the weekend for the first time. Promptly undid the session with a trip to the pub. Got food poisoning afterwards so all in all it was pretty interesting and I might go back. Great way to sweat yer balls off. If you've got game you could maybe pick up chicks, i dunno


    Okay so I teased my last post with hints of swirled staplers (cuz I'm a total Loonie-Tune) and the good scholar Lord Bostjan requested a picture so here ya go:



    [​IMG]



    So this is a Stapler that staples things together (with staples) and I bought it at Staples.

    I scuff'd it up with some 220 grit sandpaper until it was a scratchy dark grey colour, masked off the metal areas with painters tape. Primed it with white spray-bombs until I had a solid, relatively-even layer of white on there. Took about four coats. Wait about 10-15 minutes between coats of spray paint unless you're in a humid climate. Watch Star Wars: Rogue One theater recordings between sessions, cringe every time a character from the original series shows up. Guzzle vodka when you realize that the new characters are mostly crap and there's really no saving the film. Watch it three more times anyway.

    Give about 24 hours (or 12 dead-eyed viewings of Star Wars, whichever comes first) to dry and then you're ready to go. You could lightly scuff the primer a bit prior to swirling if you feel thus inclined.

    So this actually turned out alright, all things considered.

    Colours: Fluoro Blue, Fluoro Green, White on White primer

    For the first time EVER, I had paint fall through the surface of the water and land in a little ball on the bottom of my bucket. Fock. Granted, I've been using less and less Borax in my water these days without noticing much difference. Went back and added some more and added more thinner to the mix than I probably should have. Whoops.

    NOTE: Different thinners are strong/weaker than others. The Testors-branded stuff that comes with the combo-packs is weaker than my mineral-spirits, it seems.

    Okay, let's try this again...

    White went it first and I gave it a good few minutes to really spread and create a film. The first colour always seems to spread nicely. The blue goes in next and it doesn't spread all that well, despite the fact that it's thinned a bit more than needed. I try dropping some green in there to help push the blue around but instead I end up with a hippie's acid flashback in there.

    When you're paints are thinned TOO much then the droplets end up spattering all over your water surface instead of coming out in more controlled areas. Water surface ends up looking like a clown orgy. Ah well, I'm already knee-deep in the .... so might as well see what lies beneath the mire.

    Because the paints are so thin, the paint mixes really easily and you ended up with a stomach-turning ant-colony of squiggles.

    I probably waited close to 10 minutes before dunking the stapler. As mentioned before, use a toothpick to test the surface of the water for viscosity. After ....ing this process up as many times as I have, you'll be able to tell when it's ready. If the paint dribbles off the tip of the toothpick and leaves a wet stain where it was, wait longer. If the has skinned over and clings to the toothpick like a gnarly wad o gum then you've waited too long.

    Now here's where it gets ....ed up:

    Every colour requires a different amount of thinning.

    Yes. Every colour. Different levels of thinner.

    Take a look at the picture again. See how the blue and white have mixed together in a pleasing way? Now look at the green. It's all weird and blotchy and doesn't match the rest of it. Looks like radioactive slime got dumped on it after the fact. Cowabunga, dude

    This is because the green was still “wet” when the white and blue reached the “sweet spot”. This caused the green to contain too much water and made it sprint across the surface of the stapler, taking some of the nice blue and white with it.

    Meaning you gotta figger out the “Prime” ratio for each paint.

    Every individual colour.

    ....

    Have you .... your pants in terror yet?

    I don't have my notes on my right now but I can tell you that you'll want to thin your blacks + whites more than your other colours (as a rule) because they'll usually be going into the water first. And they generally do seem to skin over sooner than lots of my other colours. Green and yellow should be thinned to a small degree. Blues and reds a medium amount.

    But I'm not a doctor nor a professional.

    As a point of interest, I bombed this guy with 3 coats of spray-on glossy clear coat after letting the swirl dry for a couple days. Looks pretty good and is surprisingly smooth for a spray-gig. You could wet sand and buff and go that extra mile of you wanted but I don't have the gear and for a small piece like this it looks just fine.

    ONE FINAL PARTING NOTE:

    The stapler actually looks kinda cool. I was worried that the “high detail” of the extra-thin paint would look like ass but on a small object like this, you can get away with it. I don't think this would work on a guitar or a larger piece.

    But we'll burn that bridge when we cross it.



    Well slap my ass and call me Halford, that's awful kind of you. Cheers.

    I don't have the means to swirl bigger stuff yet but when I do, I'll want to hit a couple of my guitars first. I'm sure that moving up to a bigger amount of water, a larger item and higher volumes of paint will end up being a living hell so let's take things in baby steps.

    I'll take your stapler orders though. This one is fully functional, which is a bonus.

    Back to the salt mines.
     
  15. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    yeah I skim the surface with scrap paper, garbage that, then I take the bucket outside and dump it in the gutter. I'm sure a drain in your house (assuming you've got all the paint out) would be fine.


    (to the rest of the thread: )
    I'm sure this goes without saying but for the sweet love of G-sus (our Chord and Saviour) wear a ....ing MASK and rubber gloves when working with paints and solvents. If anyone is going to die as a result of this, it' better be me.
     
  16. Lemons

    Lemons SS.org Regular

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    The reason you need different ratios of thinner based on the colour is that different types of colours start from a different base material, depending on this base and as a result how much tint is required to reach the colour means one colour is already thinner than another from the start. Like you said, blacks and whites need the most thinning because they're *depending on the shade* likely either an un-tinted base colour or have minimal tint mixed through. So generally brighter and more "out there" colours should need less thinning, that still being dependant on what base colour they're mixed from to some degree.

    Hope that helps, keep it up!
     
  17. penguin_316

    penguin_316 SS.org Regular

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    I've had my dabbling in swirling phone cases and other assorted items about 5 years ago, also using Testors paint and borax.

    Let me help you out with a few things I learned that is vital to a good swirl.
    1. Use warm water and a good handful of borax, don't be stingy with the borax. As long as it can dissolve in the water it's not too much imo, it helps the paint float on the surface better (creates more surface tension).

    2. Whatever you dip, your dipping "bucket" or whatever needs to be deep enough to fully submerge the object. Then clear the surface paint away with your hand or whatever and pull out the object through clear water. Aka, it only gets dipped as it gets dunked into the water, not as you remove it.

    3. Some paint will sink as you try to float it on the surface, it's all good. Make sure you don't have any gaps in your paint that you float on the surface, or your swirls will have gaps(maybe you like gaps I dunno, I didn't care for them).Just make sure before you swirl your object that you have applied a primer coat of spray paint and that the surface is even. I would usually use white primer.

    4. Clearcoating the swirl with clear automotive paint gives your swirls a lot of depth and scratch resistance. Those phone cases would last over a year, people really dug them, if I wasn't so busy working it could have been a side business.

    Good luck.
     
  18. wrtp

    wrtp SS.org Regular

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    some of the shelf all purpose enamels you can find in Greece.
     

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