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KTM-9 brush or wipe on?

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 7
Hi all,
I've been happily lurking for a while now, learning loads! but I am to the point of applying the KTM-9 and need some tips.
At The KTM website forum people had suggested padding on ktm-9 to avoid bubbles you get with brushing.
Do you really get bubbles? my 000 is super smooth with z-poxy , wouldn't a slow hand be enough?
I don't mind either technique, the time spent isn't a problem.
I have sponge bruhes, nylon brushes, animal hair, and could easily fashion a french polishing type "rubber" , any thoughts ?

Aug 10, 07 | 5:15 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Bluehorse -- Yes, you really get bubbles. Also, KTM9 and other waterborne lacquers lose about 80% of their thickness as they dry, so you want to be able to put down thick coats. You've probably read other posts here about this, so you know it's just too easy to sand through this stuff if you put it on too thin. I've done it. You probably checked out the info on LMI's site about it from Mike Doolin and John Greven. Doolin has switched to nitro, but his info on KTM9 is still there and worth reading.

If you're brushing, do not use a foam brush as it's the most bubble prone. The brush I've used with most success with waterborne lacquer is a DaVinci 5080 watercolor wash brush -- very soft. Lays down a good thick coat and leaves few bubbles if you put it on really, really slow. Not cheap: $35 at Dakota Art Brushes (the cheapest). The only technique i've found to brush it on and get as few bubbles as the DaVinci brush was to fold a blue paper-type shop towel down to about a 2.5 inch edge, dip the edge in the KTM, and use that edge like a brush, moving very slowly -- "brush" marks were minimal, and the stuff self levels very nicely.

But ... practice on scrap.

Just 2¢ worth. Bill.

Aug 11, 07 | 4:55 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
If you are going to spend $35, spend another 20 and gut:

Compressor and Air Brush or this Air Brush. For $50 or $60, you could be spraying your coats on. I finished an electric with a cheap hobby brush like those, and another electric with a much larger gun. Though the smaller brushes took more coats and more cup refills, I can't tell the difference between the two now. It's worth it.

Aug 13, 07 | 7:02 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Also, no bubbles. Just be careful of the runs....don't coat the guitar too thick with each spray. I just recently picked up and HVLP kit to try, the price was too good to pass up, and I'll let you know how it goes. I have 3 electrics I need to finish sand and pore fill first, so another month and I will try it. It's too humid to spray right now anyway.

Aug 13, 07 | 7:04 am

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 158
For the first time ever Bill, I am going to disagree with you. I found better results with KTM-9 trying to brush it on thinner, ensuring that there were no runs. I basically followed Doolin’s schedule however I guess I put down a few extra coats on the second one. Bluehorse, Bill is spot on, KTM-9 dries thin and is easy to sand through. However with sound preparation you should go well.

The most important thing I learnt about KTM-9 is leaving it to cure. It is a soft plastic type material, it needs the time to harden. Without time to cure, it becomes week at points such as edges and where the fret board was taped off

I have brushed it on both of my guitars, I love the ease of the product the finish I achieved – certainly factory made quality at least.

Aug 18, 07 | 9:42 pm

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