Cheap Guitars + OEM Toner = Rock ‘n’ Roll Machines!



This should be an easy job: transferring Toner Buzz and Cash 4 Toners logos to two inexpensive acoustic guitars. My 17-year-old autistic son and I have made and repaired guitars since 2017. We’d done work like this in the past...this would be no trouble!

But nothing good comes easy. Even mediocrity was a challenge.

A Good Start With Great Toner

The project started fine. We removed the guitar hardware and sanded down the bodies. Toner Buzz hooked us up with a set of genuine Samsung toner cartridges...which was great, because we made a LOT of prints for this project!

We printed the logos in reverse and applied them to the guitar bodies with water-based polyurethane. The Toner Buzz guitar only needed a couple of trimmed logos, while the Cash 4 Toners guitar took four sheets of carefully aligned paper.

Transferring images to wood

Transfer Trouble

The polyurethane transfers were a new process for us; in the past, we used latex gel medium to transfer images to guitar bodies. The polyurethane didn’t work out very well. There were a lot of blemishes and missing patches of toner on the guitar surface.

So we sanded everything back and tried again, using Liquitex gel medium. Everything looked good… until….

Artwork Attack, Autism Pivot

Tragedy struck. Well, not tragedy, exactly, but my son. Inspired by seeing me sand the blemished logos off, my son decided to scrape the new logos off! Ugh!

We sanded everything down and tried again…but so did my son. He scraped the logos off again, this time with a pair of scissors. Argh!

The Toner Buzz guitar was we turned it into another guitar entirely! Sometimes autism means making abrupt changes in direction! Learn to pivot!

Back To Square One

We sanded everything back to Ground Zero, but some of the gouges in the Toner Buzz guitar were pretty deep. We patched everything as best we could and reapplied the Toner Buzz and Cash 4 Toners logos on the guitars using latex gel.

The results were better than with the polyurethane but still lacking. The Cash 4 Toners guitar needed patches and the surface wasn’t very smooth. The Toner Buzz axe suffered from similar problems; what’s up with the lumpy-bumpy finish? We’ll try using liquid latex instead of gel for our next guitar project.

sanding down the Toner Buzz guitar

Rock ‘n’ Roll Machines

The final results were less than what we hoped for, but we did end up with three unique instruments instead of the planned two. All three guitars needed fretwork, neck adjustments, and new strings. But, after a bit of tweaking, all three guitars play and sound pretty good! Win, win, win!

Thanks Toner Buzz and Cash 4 Toners!

Rob Errera

Rob Errera

Rob Errera is an award-winning journalist embedded in the world of printers and printing supplies. Rob has nearly two decades of experience writing about cutting edge technology, business trends, and the ever-evolving industry of printing.

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