I saw a photo of someone doing it and wondered if others are. Sure would be a time saver when just doing a  neck touchup. Masking a body with paper often feels like the longest part of a repair.

At the moment, the makeup air humidity outside my shop is approaching absolute zero. So, if the landscape doesn't burst into flames first, it would help prevent drying an instrument out as well.

I've been applying thinners and the lacquer I use to the plastic without it melting but it still makes me nervous. 

Anyone? Everyone?

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I have never had a problem masking with plastic bags but it's only there to prevent over spray problems. Areas adjacent to places getting sprayed are taped. Reasonable care should cause no problems.

Thanks Paul!

 I thought I'd just do a scan for horror stories. It's been working  fine for me.

Next time I'll use something that lays flat for the top mask though. A bag wont lay flat enough when trying to shoot a fingerboard edge at a low angle. Sure is a quick way to cover a body though.

Hi all,

I think that we have all lamented how much time and fiddly stuff that masking and lacquer protection takes, to the extent that I have in the past taken shortcuts that haven't proven to be all that short.   I have, at the urging of my fellow geniuses in the auto spray business, taken to using commercial products which are more expensive than plastic bags and old t shirts and reams of masking tape, but so quick and convenient that the time saved and the quality of protection is well worth it.

Any auto paint shop has rolls of masking tape combined with a plastic roll of "drop sheet" plastic (various widths) which makes neck and body masking a one step operation.  Also check out "feathering tape" which my mate showed me - it blends in new lacquer edges to old finishes without a hard edge or messy attempts to blend an edge into old finish.  3M has a great site devoted to these sorts of products to give you an idea of whats out there - not saying use 3M, but they do have a lot of problem solving products which aren't widely know about in the general luthiery business.   We all know their abrasives but their finishing gear and so on is also worth a look.   



Thanks Russell!  

The distance between how to do something and how to do it quickly enough to put food on the table can be epic. Advice from those that can do the latter is always gold. 

Hey Rusty

what is 3M's name for that   "feathering tape" couldn't find it under that name on there site,, and thanks for the tip

It's called 3m smooth transitioning tape.  You can make you own by folding over the edge onto itself with regular masking tape.

True as, I watched my mate demonstrate this technique by "rolling"  auto masking  tape back onto itself on his thigh to do the same sort of thing.  Works the same but the "transitioning tape" is easier to describe if I had not relied on my memory! 


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