Brite-Tone: new waterborne finish

Guerra Cues

I build one cue at a time
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hello folks,

I just wanted to share a finish I am using now.
I used in the past on my cues PPG finish, then once my divorce cleared and I was able to set my shop again after not being able to make cues for 2 years, I went to UV finish since I could not spray anymore. I did a batch of 8 or 9 cues and I was using Solarez with their sealer and gloss finish and also using the Solacure lamps.
The problem with Solarez was the smell and I couldn't achieve the finish that my cues were famous for when I use PPG auto clear. On top of that I received like 4 different batches of Solarez that was contaminated with a white powder. My cues after being wet sanded looked like there was maple dust on them (I have a air dust filter running next to my finish station). I gave up on Solarez even after I complained and got a call from the Solarez owner sending my money back and more gloss "filtered" finish so he said... :cool:

I started my journey looking for alternatives until I came across the company Crystalac and their amazing finish Brite-Tone which is used by guitar, banjo, flute and other instrument makers.
As some of you know, guitars take quite a beating so I thought I would give these guys a try, specially after I talked to a few guitar luthiers using the product.
I have finish about 5 cues now and I am using the their Clear Wood Grain Filler (awesome to cover pores on burl woods), Wood Sealer (by far the best sealer I have ever used) and the Brite-Tone for the finish.
I know that for cuemakers their finish is kind of a secret but I have seen cuemakers getting sick and dying from the finish being used. Not only this finish can be brushed on but I am spraying with a $36.95 HVLP gun from HF (using a 0.8mm needle, Crystalac recommends a 1mm) and I start wet sanding at 1000 grit, I might use 800 if I see a couple runs on the finish. You can recoat every 2 hours and you do need like 6 to 8 coats of this finish on the cues, the finish does not leave any type of haze when dry, it is crystal clear.
If you care about your health and not having a stinky shop when you lay finish on your cues you might want to give this a try.
The only chemical you need to clean your spray gun and your gloves is something called H2O (water) :thumbup:
Like with any other finish there is a learning curve but the finish flows extremely well. I like to leave the cue spin slowly for a good 10/15 minutes before I hang it and I get no runs on the finish.
You can contact David Sheppard at 423-218-8561, super nice people that will go the extra mile to make you happy.
I am not the best person to talk about the chemical composition but the finish is hard, does not yellow and flows better than a lot of auto-clears that I have used in the past, keep in mind that you will need to lay more coats because the flash recoat time is 2 hours, don't try to spray or brush again every 15 minutes because it will be a recipe for disaster. Be patient and the results will be awesome.
Also this finish it's only one part, no need to mix it with any other crazy chemical.



David from Crystalac might chime in on this thread. I can only talk about my personal experience with the finish if anybody has any questions.
Here is a link to their store:
https://thecrystalacstore.com/products/brite-tone-instrument-finish (I buy the gallon, which is a lot cheaper)
More info on the finish here:
http://www.crystalac.info/musical-instruments.html


Since I was the first cuemaker (to their knowledge) using this finish, David authorized me to post a 10% discount and free shipping on CONUS for aybody that mentions my name Tony to him, David Sheppard and Crystalac can be reached at 423-218-8561
 
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Dave38

theemperorhasnoclotheson
Silver Member
How long afterwards do you have to wait before you can sand and buff? Any issues sticking to metal?
Dave
 

Guerra Cues

I build one cue at a time
Gold Member
Silver Member
How long afterwards do you have to wait before you can sand and buff? Any issues sticking to metal?

Dave



Dave,

I like to wait 48 hours but you can do it 24 hours after. Almost like any other automotive clear, I used to wait when I sprayed auto clear at least 48 hours.
I haven’t tried on metal because I do not use any metal rings on my cues but so far no issues on phenolics or anything like that. One thing that is very important is making sure you remove wax or oils the cue might have with Acetone.
I love their sealer because as as you know when you put together cocobolo and maple as an example the cocobolo bleeds like a pig and with their sealer I’m yet to see a cocobolo cue bleeding.
Bellow are a few cues that I just finished. Pics are not the best but I hope you get the idea.





 
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Big-Tattoo

I'm back
Silver Member
looking as you found the right clear now. I know from an other Cuemaker , Solarez was an pain in the Ass.
RG
 

Guerra Cues

I build one cue at a time
Gold Member
Silver Member
How long have you had cues out there with this finish?

Great question Mike! I have been using the finish for about a month I think... However the finish has been out for close to 20 years and I talked to a few luthiers about durability, one of them has been using the finish almost since the beginning of the company and they were extremely happy about it.
Like any other finish, it takes close to a month to reach a full cure, but the same thing applies to all the auto clears - you can wet sand and buff after 24/48 hours though. I just like the finish because it does not stink, you do not need any solvents to clean your spray gun (only water), it delivers a deep gloss like any other auto clear, it's scratch resistant, non flammable and it's the hardest waterborne I have come across.
We are always looking for better alternatives for finish our products and I thought this finish was worth to share with all the cuemakers on here. I have seen a good amount of people suffering from health issues due to the extremely toxic auto clears being used. Brite-Tone is a good alternative for sure.
 

str8eight

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
He's created an account on here but can't post yet. His username is crystallac or something like that. Tony can you reach out to an admin? I don't know how to do all that stuff.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

Guerra Cues

I build one cue at a time
Gold Member
Silver Member
He's created an account on here but can't post yet. His username is crystallac or something like that. Tony can you reach out to an admin? I don't know how to do all that stuff.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

Already texted Mike Howerton but he is MIA and is PM box is full. I have sent a pm to Mr. Wilson but so far I didn't get a reply yet. Dave Sheppard's user name is The Crystalac C
 

The CrystaLac C

Registered
Hello from CrystaLac Company

Just wanted to introduce myself and give everyone my contact info. I am with the CrystaLac Company and can answer most of your questions.

David - Marketing and Distributor Communications
david@beckerlab.com
(423)218-8561 Direct Line
 

Canadian cue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

The CrystaLac C

Registered
Easy Peasy

Could you explain how you would approach sealing and finishing a cue that has Wood, plastics and metal in it's construction.
Thanks

No problem. I would if using all 3 products ( Sanding Sealer, Grain Filler, Brite Tone) first apply sanding sealer and Clear wood Grain Filler to the wood portions of the project only. No need sealing or grain and pour filling on plastic and metal. Brite Tone works great on plastic, metal, glass, gems and stones. Couple of things to remember. If applying over oil or solvent based products be sure they are dry AND gassed off. If you can smell the product you have applied it is not ready for a top coat. Make sure there are no silicone or wax on the cue. Our product is a mechanical bond. They do not melt or burn into the underlying surface. Just apply thin even coats. No need to try to build a heavy coat. It is such high solids it will build on it's own. Minimum of 3 coats. I do 5 minimum on everything. Brite tone is on everything from bowls to dolls. LOL! Check us out on https://www.facebook.com/beckerlabs/
Bowl050.jpg
rb3.jpg
 

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Canadian cue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What is your recommended prep for metallic surfaces? What is the finest grit of paper you could use and still be confident in having good adhesion? Thanks again
 

The CrystaLac C

Registered
Prep

What is your recommended prep for metallic surfaces? What is the finest grit of paper you could use and still be confident in having good adhesion? Thanks again

Just make sure they are free of any contamination. We have Brite Tone on glass, and static vinyl decals. As long as you are free of oil, silicone, or wax you should have no problems with adhesion. I always advise do a couple of sample boards to get the feel of the products.
 

Canadian cue

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just make sure they are free of any contamination. We have Brite Tone on glass, and static vinyl decals. As long as you are free of oil, silicone, or wax you should have no problems with adhesion. I always advise do a couple of sample boards to get the feel of the products.

Thank you for answering my questions
 
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