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.