Applying your own logo or design to your build or parts-caster feels fantastic. And it’s not so difficult. Say hello to the water-slide decal.
I've applied a few headstock decals in my time. Applying another maker's logo isn't something I normally do, though.
The name of Dan Lakin will probably be familiar to many of you. Dan was the 'Lak' in Lakland basses. A few years ago he sold his interest in that company and a non-compete clause in the sale meant he hasn't been able to sell instruments since then. That's no longer the case and Lakin is back with D. Lakin Basses.
And this is one of the first.
My customer was given a very early model that he really likes. However, because it was an early instrument, it sneaked out with no headstock decal. Dan was kind enough to send a couple over and so I found myself applying someone else's logo to an instrument.
We're also taking advantage of this job to move the string tree. Originally, this was installed a little too far along the headstock—closer to the D-string tuner. This lead to a shallow break angle at the nut—not what we want. The production models of these basses that I've seen all have the string tree in a better position closer to the nut.
As it's just a small screw hole, we'll get a better result with a filler than with a wood plug. I've got a number of wood fillers of different shades but I can usually get a better match by mixing one or more together.
With the hole filled, I can prep and seal the headstock under a couple of coats of lacquer. The maple makes it pretty easy to get enough build for a flat surface to apply the decal. It's a water-slide decal like the model airplanes you made as a kid (or was that just me). This means it's very thin and very delicate.
Some really light coats seal the decal in and I can build up a little more lacquer over it.
All done. I hope it meets with Dan's approval.
This is just a quick post (mainly because I think this is cool). I seem to have a lot of finishing work on lately which has made for a reasonably time-consuming run. There's quite a bit of work in finishing, especially in refinishing or doing cool little custom things like this.
This one needed paint-on 'binding'— and believe me when I say that was time-consuming (I envy the skill of those pin-striper guys you sometimes see on the car-customisation shows). Then a Hammers decal was applied and lacquered over.
Since I spent much of my formative years with Iron Maiden cranked on the stereo, it was really, really, fun to Steve-Harrisise this bass.