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Reverse head decals.

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Hello.

This is really a question for experienced luthiers/builders.

I am in need of a bit of technical advice for a refinish job.

Many years ago I had a problem with the finish on the head of a pre-eb '78 Stingray.

The good people of Musicman responded by sending me a new head decal. Before I had chance to get the job done the bass was stolen, never to reappear.

I now own another S'Ray, and again I want to refinish the head. Problem is, when I look at the decal it is printed in reverse, by which I mean the back of the decal is the topside, visible on the backing sheet, (photos attached). There is also a registration line printed on the backing to obtain the correct positioning on the head, all of which suggests the method of fixing is to lay the decal on the head, backing sheet uppermost, positioned with the registration mark and then remove the backing.I am thinking that maybe this operation should be done onto wet varnish, and then wet the backing to remove it when the varnish is dry.

I seek opinions and advice as I only have one shot at this, hopefully someone out there has had to do this previously.

 

 

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I'd imagine if you set it onto wet varnish, the backing paper will stick like sh*t to a blanket and it'll be a nightmare to get off, plus the moisture will possibly react with the wet varnish and make it bubbly.

If it's a waterslide, apply it to a dry, sealed surface, then seal it with a clearcoat layer or two, lightly rub down when dry with some fine grit (2000/3000) wet and dry, then clearcoat again and repeat until you're happy.

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Points taken but the why is the decal reversed? You cannot easily slide it off the backing onto the surface, as with normal waterslide decals,  plus the registration marks are on the opposite side.

I have refinished many instruments, and used waterslide decals on numerous occasions, but the way this decal is presented suggests some other modus operandi.

I think I will post on the TB site, might find a retired MM worker !!

  

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Maybe the decal is printed in 'reverse' so that you can use the markings on the back of the backing paper to place the decal really accurately - just a guess.

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That is exactly what the registration marks on the back are for, this is a decal for factory production use.

But they only work if the decal is face down, i.e. the back of the decal on the head of the instrument, the backing paper above it.

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