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headstock decals

8/12/1999 3:26 PM
nic headstock decals
Does anyone know if all the Fender headstock decals being auctioned at ebay are fakes? As in made with the toner transfer method?  
8/12/1999 4:26 PM

I would guess they would have to be fakes, but they could possibly be good enough reproductions to look better than a plain headstock. Maybe the seller can be reached via e-mail, and would be able to give you a more thorough description (even an electronic photo) of what he's offering. I puschased a repro decal a few years ago, and it looked ok from a distance, but under close inspection (knowing what to look for) it was obviously not genuine.
8/18/1999 3:47 AM
Steve A.

    I was just checking the FAQ over at the Fender site and I think I read that you can order replacement decals... but you need to send in photos of the guitar (front and back) along with a rubbing of the numbers stamped on the neck. Once they are convinced that you have a real Fender guitar in need of a headstock decal they will pick out one that matches and sell it to you.  
Steve Ahola
8/12/1999 5:07 PM

Anybody with sufficient incentive can have custom decals screen printed at a graphics house. You have to find a graphics house that is... um... also motivated... to infringe the copyright, but it could maybe be done. Toner transfer method is not strictly necessary, although it's one of the possibilities.
8/12/1999 7:15 PM
Mike shaw
I'm thinking about making up some labels (my own design, not Fender) for some guitars I'm planning on building. How does this toner transfer thing work? Will it work with a HP DeskJet printer or only with a printer that uses toner. Thanks!! Mike
8/19/1999 11:22 AM

The DIY decals work this way:  
The basis is the special paper coated with a water-soluble layer of ... something... that toner does not soak into when fused. You can print (or hand letter, or brush or color laser print) onto the paper and the artwork stays on top of the soluble layer. You then spray the paper with two light coats of clear lacquer.  
When this is all dry and hard, you cut out the area of artwork you like and dunk it into a bowl of room-temperature water. The water-soluble gook releases from the paper and you get the lacquer layer as a carrier which holds the printing that slides off the paper. The remaining soluble gook acts as an adhesive to hold the lacquer on whatever surface you put it.  
There are some variations. I believe that you could actually spray lacquer before you print, and if the toner sticks to the lacquer OK, you then coat it in lacquer again and have a more durable decal. I have not tried this. I believe that this would be necessary for doing an ink-jet version of decals because the ink jet droplets might dissolve slightly into the water soluble gook and smear when yo soak them off - maybe, I'm not sure.  
I have printed toner on the stuff, then ironed on IBFoil metallic foil colors which stick to the toner, then lacqured to get gold metallic letters instead of black. This crinkles the surface of the foil slightly when you spray lacquer, but that makes it look like thicker metallic letters.  
On a guitar headstock, I understand that with several coats of lacquer over the decal, it is no longer detectable as a decal.
8/19/1999 2:15 PM
Mike shaw
Very cool, Thanks You! Do you know where this paper can be found and what it's called. Thanks!! Mike

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