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I believe it was HDS who did the tutorial, I applaude his efforts, think it's a shame that some of the more "magical" things about guitars get given away like this, but to me the results speak for themselves, the borax method works, and kind of swirls, but they don't look very good to me. Full prop's to HDS for the tutorial and such, it gives people some insight, but when you really discover what is involved in a swirl that looks as good as an ATD, you discover that what ATD charges is really not expensive at all.
 

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Hey 'Ya Yo Gak',
That looks GREAT!!!!!!What material is it done on?Did you use the technique described in those articles?Have you got any further tips or advice you can add?I don't really want to Swirl a guitar body but I like messing about with a bit of Art and I'd like to give this a go.I'd be grateful for any info you can give me!
All the Best!.................JTM45!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I know Alden did his swirls before that tutorial was done, I also know he spent a ton on the paints used, to do proper swirls you require very good paints, there are many that will do an ok job, but as I recall Alden was telling me he spent about $250 on the paints when he started foolin with the swirling, he also bought a used freezer to use as his dipping tank LOL!!!
Alden has done about the only home brewed swirls I've seen that I thought were decent (no offense to anyone else intended) and it's mostly because of the paints he used, they were automotive urethanes, however, he also has access to a full paint facility in his dad's shop so the toxicity level of the clears etc was not an issue for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, I never saw the tut there, old ago I guess. Well, no one can complain that they can't find something one swirling. B)

Dan
 

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littlegreenman said:
I believe it was HDS who did the tutorial, I applaude his efforts, think it's a shame that some of the more "magical" things about guitars get given away like this, but to me the results speak for themselves, the borax method works, and kind of swirls, but they don't look very good to me. Full prop's to HDS for the tutorial and such, it gives people some insight, but when you really discover what is involved in a swirl that looks as good as an ATD, you discover that what ATD charges is really not expensive at all.
Well, I dont think its shame at all. It encourages competition, it makes this finish available for the people who doesnt live in North America, and I ve seen homemade swirls that look as good as ATD, MKR or Herc Fedes swirls.

What is so "magical" about swirls? It just a cool paint job. May be no one should share ideas about custom finishes and woods.... I shouldnt tell anybody what woods I used on the Cusotm PGM or how it was done, or how much it costed me to customize the birdeye maple S or the RBM1 or the RT, or how it was made. I probably should do the same with the custom RBM, so I ensure that nobody will ever have a guitar with similar features?

When someone has the facilities and the technology, it has the upper hand for making the job. Now, if your pricing is way off, there will be new competitors who will do it for less (eve when the probably have higher costs)

If ATD pricing is correct, why are you against the disclosure of the method?
 

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The way I see it is even if you know all the tricks it takes soo much time and effort, and it costs quite a bit to get few decent paints that Darren’s (ATD) prices are a steal.
Don’t forget that he’ll re-swirl a guitar if you don’t like the swirl and he also applies clear on it professionaly and that alone probably takes several hours.
With so much costs, time and effort involved I don’t know how Darren manages to make a living out of swirling.

ilia
 

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I dindt mean to say that ATD or Hercs Fede prices were high or low. I think their prices are fair enough. All Im saying is that I favour the disclosure of info when it comes to luthiery issues or finishes.

If I lived in the states or canada and wanted a swirl I would probably go with ATD or Herc Fede, but if you live in foreign countries with high customs taxes and shipping costs, then you may want to try with a local luthier. That is why I think that swirling tutorials are usefull. =)
 

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RCB said:
If ATD pricing is correct, why are you against the disclosure of the method?
Primarily because the technique used to swirl a body is not an easy one and can lead to the body being totally destroyed. It's much more critical than just a bad paint job.
You can't imagine the number of emails I got after people saw this tutorial and tried a home brew swirl.
Emails like
"I tried swirling my guitar and the body cracked, it's my only guitar, can you repair it? I really don't have any money though, that's why I tried it myself"

"I tried swirling my guitar but I really hate how it looks, it's all runny and gross looking, can you refinish it for me again?"

"I swirled my own guitar using the tutorial I saw on project guitar, but I can't clear it myself, can you clear it?"

Well, first of all, repairing somebodies mistakes is more work than doing it in the first place, so I quote a price then get called a robber for the money I need to fix what they tried to do. I will not clear a finish that somebody else applies as I have no control over how the paint will react, not only that, when they find out that the clear alone is half the cost of an ATD swirl they think again that I'm ripping them off. It doesn't seem to matter than the clear I use is $300 a gallon and it takes a good 6 to 10 hours to do perfect clear on a swirled body.

It's the same as inlay, I don't tell everyone that emails me how to inlay a neck, I also won't sell precut inlay pieces, because it's something that will make or break a guitar. I don't want to be blamed for somebody screwing up their neck.

As for the secrets in luthiery, I guess I always just really looked up to luthiers, painters, etc, it was all a form of magic. Just like watching an illusionist do something, I dont' think all the secrets should be given away. I have no problem with people experimenting, and learning on their own, but I thought it was really crappy when that one magician made a TV show about how the tricks were done.

The reason there are so few people doing swirls properly isn't because it's a huge secret, or that it's an impossible task, it's that it is not a cheap finish to do and unless you are willing to accept that you may need to redo it, or refund a customer, you best not do it. That's why I don't offer swirls, chrome finishes, or LED's, I know how they're all done, I know methods to do them, I choose not to do them. There is a liability risk there that I don't want to deal with. People will bitch, I get people bitching to me about their own projects that they've goofed up on.

Hey, to each their own, I just think some things should be left as secrets, it's part of the mysteries of life, I don't condone what's been done, maybe I don't agree with it, but I don't agree with many things in life that happen, doesn't mean it's right or wrong in anyway though.

Jeremy
 

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I see it this way.... the more people DIY swirl the more value an original/master such as ATD/herc would become. Any modification of a guitar has an implied risk... some more than others. People are going to experiment, so a proper DIY swirl listing might actually reduce user-error and the "bitching effect" of what LGM posted above... glen
 

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RCB said:
If I lived in the states or canada and wanted a swirl I would probably go with ATD or Herc Fede
Slightly off topic, but Herc hasn't been taking any new orders for about a year now and he's still trying to finish guitars from 2003. It sounds as if he won't be doing any more for a while either.

Rich
 

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Well I'm still dreaming of my rat 97 Black Uni done up like the 9-11 Jem you did LGM. Red, white and blue swirl with the same pyramids. Unless my axe looks super cool naked (with all of the black stripped off), you'll likely be getting my business within a year or so.
 

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Wow that was sometime ago, Im getting old =p

Yes, its all about the paints. Auto paint is what ATD uses Im sure. You can get auto paint in small amounts for your project and not break the bank. Go to a bodyshop and they will hook you up. I swirled my pc case in it. BUT this paint can kill you! Not somthing you should use if you dont have propper preps for it. I have used artists oil paint and it comes out just as well.

I did the tut for fun not to take away from anyone. I never planned to become a expert at it. I just do stuff and move on to the next. A hobbyist. I did see someone is doing it and selling them on ebay with poor clearcoat jobs =p Im sure they used my tut.

But I have move away from swirling and now working on mirror chrome which is looking awsome! To give you an idea, 8 oz of Chrome paint+ Clearcoat ($75) is pretty good for doing it your self. One thing I was thinking about is if I could swirl with the chrome ;)
 
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