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Pete Howlett
09-13-2011, 03:27 AM
I've been using this stuff here in the UK. The supplier is Dave King Guitars. Dave is THE authorised repairman for Martin Guitars (yes there is only one in the UK), Sanata Cruz and others plus importer for National Resophonic Guitars. We are really disadvantaged in the UK with a paucity of luthier supplies specilaists and Dave has to import 100 galls of this stuff at a time...

We have used Behlen's and Mcfaddens and like most luthiers find the new operation supplying McFaddens almost impossible to deal with. Recommended by Richard hoover I believe, Dave switched to cardinal and has never looked back.

I've been using it for a a couple of months now and there are a number of things about this lacquer that make it stand out.

Excellent flow out properties - it sprays with a very forgiving nature to my quite rudimentary equipment.
Really good adhesion especially immediately over an epoxy filled finish - no 'additional' barries or adhesion favoring layer required. Good adhesion to ebony
Very quick hardening time - you leave it for longer than 4 days to polish out and you are going to be spending all day at your polisher!
Non- brittle hardness
Mirror shine


This is without doubt the best I have used - thanks dave ;)

thistle3585
09-13-2011, 05:51 AM
I could not find anything on a lacquer at the Cardinal website. I wondered if I had the right company. Can you provide a web address or a product name or number?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-13-2011, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the review Pete. Now ask Dave to ship me some in Hawaii! :)

mketom
09-13-2011, 08:26 AM
I could not find anything on a lacquer at the Cardinal website. I wondered if I had the right company. Can you provide a web address or a product name or number?

http://www.cardinalpaint.com/products/product.php?psid=6

Rick Turner
09-13-2011, 03:08 PM
My associate Addam Stark has switched to Cardinal with fantastic results, and two of the top guys from the company came here to my shop (where Addam shares spray booth space) to do a whole show and tell. They were the most knowledgeable finish company reps I've ever met, and have been incredibly generous with advice helping me find a better epoxy for pre-sealing and pore filling (I'll report in when I get the stuff) and less expensive sandpaper...we go through about $15.00 a day or more in that stuff...it adds up...

Rick Turner
09-13-2011, 03:16 PM
Oh, I believe that Vince Hockey of Southampton in the UK is also a Martin authorized repairman. He's good...really good.

Pete Howlett
09-13-2011, 09:15 PM
I stand corrected - Vince must be the OTHER guy however I thought he had retired. Alweays welcome course corrections especially from you Rick :)

Though you know that 'warranty' for Martin is different outside the US the process for authorization is rigorous and the same for those who want to register here as in the US. Took dave some months. I couldn't do the work - the last time I was in his workshop he had the back off a signature 12 string. It was as clean as anything, down to the purflin channel in the back plate. Painstaking work for which I no longer have the eyesight or the patience.

As for sandpaper I get mine from Canada. I use the Norton 3X which is unbelievable. It lasts three times lomger than any other paper I have tried and wont 'crack' - you can screw it up and unfold it and it is OK. Typically I can't go down to the retail park and buy it... good job I have a 'buyer' in Canada who gets it for me and ships it all free. Daughters; where would we be without them?

Rick Turner
09-13-2011, 10:50 PM
I think Vince is still doing Martin work unless he's so busy as a builder (and he's good...really, really good) that he has no time for repairs and restorations.

Yes, I know about overseas Martin warranty work. I was on the verge of part-time residency in Tasmania a few years ago...long story, not interested in telling at this point...and I looked into doing Martin's service for Australia which would have basically more than covered my costs plus. The thing about warranty work is that you have to understand that you're working for the company, whether it be Martin, Gibson, Guild, etc. You are their representative "in absentia". Owners will try to get you to cover all kinds of normal wear and tear as "warranty work", and part of your job is explaining what can ethically be considered warranty work...and what cannot. Sorry, folks, but temperature and humidity extreme related damage is NOT warranty work. Fret wear is NOT warranty work. The finish damage from a vinyl strap in the case is NOT warranty work. Your desire to have the action down lower than on your Strat is NOT warranty work. Even perfecting the intonation for your setup is NOT warranty work.

C. F. Martin (god love their cotton socks!) has the most generous warranty policy of any company I ever heard of. Good on them, and that's part of what anyone pays for when they buy a new Martin.

Pete Howlett
09-13-2011, 11:50 PM
Blimey Rick - you should be in bed getting some shut-eye!

DeVineGuitars
09-14-2011, 08:42 AM
Excellent flow out properties - it sprays with a very forgiving nature to my quite rudimentary equipment.
Really good adhesion especially immediately over an epoxy filled finish - no 'additional' barries or adhesion favoring layer required. Good adhesion to ebony
Very quick hardening time - you leave it for longer than 4 days to polish out and you are going to be spending all day at your polisher!
Non- brittle hardness
Mirror shine


I've used Cardinal for a few instruments and can say I is by far the best lacquer on the market today. All of the above is very true.
I would add that It is a lot like the old Mcfadden in the way that it "works", but as far as the way it looks, it has a little less warmth to it but much more mirror shine.