I don’t see many harmonicas that aren’t bare shiny metal. There’s a few exceptions, high priced wood covers and flat black being the most common. But what about just popping off the covers and giving them a paintjob? That couldn’t effect the sound somehow could it?
Paint them what – Like an old VW from the hippy-dippy days?!
I have seen a customizer who does artistic work on the bottoms of the wooden combs.
But this is all on the outside.
Methinks if you put anything on the inside of the covers, it will create a dampening effect. To test this out before painting anything, get some surgical tape and do what old timers call gasketing on the inside of the covers.
If you like the sound and feel of it – And you want to go for a thin layer of non-toxic non-fume paint or something similar:
Hey, by all means, go for it!
Keep On Harpin’!
What I had in mind was just spraypainting the outside of the covers a nice red, or deep metallic orange.
Sure, a do-it-yourself-almost-looks-like Turbolids here:
Sounds like a plan, Stan!
You’d have to get a non-toxic paint of some kind, maybe more like an epoxy paint that you’d bake onto the cover in the oven. My Deuce and a Quarter has black covers with a little Electra 225 logo on it that looks pretty cool. Dad had a 1963 Buick Electra 225 convertible, I loved that car. Guess that might have been one of the reasons I bought the harp,LOL.
Yeah, I’ve realized what a bad idea this is after practicing a bit more with my Spec20. lol
I actually have a neighbor who paints cars for a living…maybe if I get good I’ll have him do me up something crazy.
Must be nice living next to an Earl ‘I’ll Paint Any Car For $99!’ Scheib kind of guy!
Of course, that was back in the day when cars were bigger and more varied in their modeling; so now along with the same look-alike smaller imports, putt-putt battery cars and such, no doubt the price has gone up on the paint jobs too!
Electro-plating would be the way to go. But the cost would be VERY high! Hardly worth it.
Careful on the electroplating and painting guys. Electroplating uses some very unfriendly stuff.
If you paint the covers, use something you don’t mind eating, because you will. Better to do a little research to find out what’s in the paint or what kind to use. When we seal the wooden combs, we use the same stuff you would use on wooden dishes, bowls and countertops. I don’t know if automotive paint is ok to lick day after day. You would need something with a lot of hardener like that though to keep it from coming off in your mouth.
Maybe powder coating would work. I know it is tough as hell and don’t come very easily with anything
I have some harmonicas with brass mouthcovers that are coated/sprayed with clear lacquer. Not fond of them at all, but it has more to do with the shape than the materials. I do play them and haven’t noticed any lacquer coming off.
So if you want to paint your mouthcovers I’d recommend lacquer.
as each coat of lacquer melts into the last i would apply at least five coats, with a light (400 grit or more) sanding between coats.
Sounds like a good idea…these are the only two concerns I have:
Make sure its a paint that can be digested!
Also, you don’t want the paint to make the surface a bit more ‘grabby’…but thats I say!