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PeteD 03-10-2019 08:16 AM

Printer Transfer to Headstock
I'm at the point of thinking about my unique headstock logo and have been considering different methods. Custom inlay is probably beyond where I am today. I was going to default to finding a waterslide decal producer and going that route. But then I started down the YouTube rabbit hole and am learning about the printed pictures to wood transfer process using something like Minwax Polycrilic as the transfer agent.

Most of the examples are shown on lighter woods. Most of my headstocks will be darker woods like EI Rosewood, Macassar Ebony, etc. I was thinking of a gold colored logo and am hoping that the transfer of gold onto dark wood using this process might work ok. Has anyone tried this and if so, any luck?

Also, any good recommendations to creating a more 'professional' looking font script versus just using the fonts provided on MS Word? I'm probably just looking for a logo design featuring my initials, but hoping for something that looks a bit more 'arty' than just their plain fonts provided.

Mongo not so good with the creative stuff...:confused:

mirwa 03-10-2019 08:29 AM

Printed pictures do work, typically you use a laser colour printer and print a reversed image, using a transfer medium (i use modge podge) then apply to the surface and allow to dry for 24hrs, then you lightly rub away the paper.

It looks okay, but does not beat a water decal imo.

Or shell

perttime 03-10-2019 08:43 AM

I believe regular consumer grade printers don't do a good job with gold, or other metal colors. And they don't print white.

PeteD 03-10-2019 09:34 AM

I was going to check with Kinko's or some print shop to see if they have a better gold color to use versus the flat gold you get on standard font with Word.

I know I can find some custom waterslide decal people on Etsy if this printer transfer does not work out well. Just hoping to minimize expense and have the ability to play around with sizing at will. The transfers do look pretty good on the light wood examples from what I have seen. If I can find a more realistic gold color to print, I'll give this a try to see how it comes out and report back.

Fast Jimmy 03-10-2019 07:29 PM

Take a look into using real gold leaf. It will certainly cover any wood finish and be unique.
Fast Jimmy

capohk 03-10-2019 07:36 PM

I looked into this when I designed my headstock logo - I know I wanted gold and home printers won't do that. I put all my effort into creating the best drawing I could for my logo, then paid for a sheet of gold waterslide decals. Just a better use of my time and money, and the result is 100% professional looking.
I used Rothko and Frost in the UK for mine, but I suppose there are loads of places in the US for this.

0.02c having been down the same rabbit hole.

ruby50 03-11-2019 08:37 PM

here is 23k gold leaf on a piece of white oak I selected for the deep open grain:

looks great and has a quality feel to it. here is the installation:

click left and right, text below

mikehartigan 03-15-2019 11:49 AM

I added a pretty authentic looking Fender logo on a Tele project a few years ago that was simply black on a light colored wood. I used a cheap clear waterslide decal I bought on ebay, printed on an old HP inkjet printer. When it dried, I sprayed it with clear lacquer so when I wet it, the ink didn't run (I was actually surprised it worked so well). Slid it onto the peghead, spent a few minutes positioning it and pushing out the bubbles, then let it dry. A few days later, I hit it with about ten coats of lacquer and it looks darned near perfect!

I've been out of the printer market for a few years, so I don't know what's available with respect to metallic inks. You may need to go to a professional for that. The Les Paul logo in the photo posted by @mirwa makes me believe what you're looking for is very doable.

Edgar Poe 03-15-2019 12:23 PM

Hands down you will not beat this guy. 2 decals of your design, cleaned up and silk screen printed on a waterslide decal. I have had many decals made by him and he does stellar work.


ruby50 03-15-2019 12:41 PM

That looks like just what I need - thanks


PeteD 03-15-2019 07:57 PM

Thanks Edgar...I was strongly considering using this guy. Glad to hear he is highly recommended!

Howard Klepper 03-16-2019 12:40 AM

I laser print the waterslide decal with the letters outlined in black, reversed left to right. Then I use a waterproof gold or silver metallic fine tip pen to fill in the letters. You have to use a black outline for this to work.

These pens work well, iirc:

Rudy4 03-16-2019 05:14 PM

You might want to think about using Electroform custom metal overlay stickers:

PeteD 03-17-2019 07:33 AM

Those electroform decals are pretty cool looking! I noted that the company uses that Brazilian luthier's logo as a marketing example on his website. Its a pretty cool logo for sure!

M Hayden 03-17-2019 09:14 AM

You can also print to frisket, which applies easily, and then spray over it.

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