Shaftesbury Les Paul: Headstock logos

In between paint and lacquer coats I’ve been putting some thought into how I’m going to apply a logo to the headstock. I’ve had some great suggestions from the guys on the Six String Bliss Forum ranging from water-slide decals, silkscreening, a super simple way of installing MOP inlays and craftstore lettering decals.

I’ve decided to go with with laser print water slide decals, which will be printed, the letters filled in with white or gold ink, applied to the headstock and then lacquered into place. This is the easiest of the options (with the exception of craftstore lettering) and, should it go wrong, the easiest to remove.

With that decided I used Inkscape to finalise the lettering design.

I then opened this up in The GIMP, to create what I’m actually going to print on to the water-slide paper.

The steps I took to transform the first image to the second, were:

  • Using the “colour select” tool, cut the white and gold text, leaving the transparency.
  • Grow the selection by 20 pixels.
  • Invert the selection.
  • Cut the selection.
  • Flip the image horizonally.

This leaves just the black border for the letters.

The GIMP allows you to set the image size at the point you print it out, so I was able to accurately shrink my large image to the 65mm width I need.

To test this out I printed a version on white paper (but without the horizontal flip).

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2 thoughts on “Shaftesbury Les Paul: Headstock logos

  1. Hello! What water slide paper is it you’re using? I used this method on one of my pedals previously and didn’t need to invert any images. Oh and I’m not sure if it has been mentioned yet but don’t forget a layer or two of clear coat on the decals before water dunking them.

  2. Thanks! It’s the laser print stuff, which, I gather goes on back to front. The outer surface is the one that goes down on to the headstock. I think it is water resistant, because of the laser print, but I’ll give it a light dust of lacquer first, because this starts to dissolve the edges of transfer. I’ve got a couple of spare bits of wood to try it on first, so hopefully I can iron out any problems, and get reasonably proficient before I tackle the headstock itself.

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