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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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advice for checking on nitro please.

Need some help with details for checking a nitro finish by freezing then warming.
1) How long should the nitro finish be on the guitar before this will work?
2) How many times does the process need to be done?
3) Would you add a clear finish over the checking?

Thanks in advance for your consideration and answers.

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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It depends on the thickness of the finish how long to wait.

I've done it to a few and the last one I just put the body in the freezer and it checked after only curing a week or two.

The compressed air doesn't really look very realistic. I prefer putting it in a freeze to get parallel lines as opposed to spider webs.

No need to recoat over the checking. That would just remove the check marks because lacquer melts itself. I would wait as long as you can stand it and then take off the neck and hardware then put the body in the freezer.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Hotrodders View Post
Need some help with details for checking a nitro finish by freezing then warming.
1) How long should the nitro finish be on the guitar before this will work?
2) How many times does the process need to be done?
3) Would you add a clear finish over the checking?

Thanks in advance for your consideration and answers.
1 this was done after about 6 - 8 weeks curing time.
2 do it once and do it good. few hours in the freezer and than in the oven at 65 celcius (not hotter otherwise it could be harmfull for the glue between the blanks)
3 no,

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Old January 15th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is also brand dependant. Some brands will check easily, while others wont. If you try checking the finish before it is dry enough, it will crack, and then the cracks will weld themselves back up. I tried checking a guitar after a few days of drying with liquid nitrogen once. The lacquer checked like hell, and I could literally sit there and watch as the lacquer melded back. It was pretty cool to watch, but very frustrating.

So many variables, brand, thickness, spray technique, etc. etc...

IMO, you will get the best results if you wait about 6 weeks.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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147-c,
Very nice!
"than in the oven at 65 celcius "
Did you make some sort of rack, or jig, to hold the body in the oven? 149 degrees F.
Did you create the wear marks before or after?
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Old January 15th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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147-c,
Very nice!
"than in the oven at 65 celcius "
Did you make some sort of rack, or jig, to hold the body in the oven? 149 degrees F.
Did you create the wear marks before or after?
wearmarks were done before, but you can do them afterwards... doesn´t matter in real life you cant predict when a guitar is gonna crack, after a few months and brand new or after 25 years.

I put a smal wooden block in the tremelocavity and a nail in 1 of the 4 screwholes by the neckplate.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks! I'm planning on doing a hardtail copy of my '57.
http://www.strat-talk.com/forum/pre-...8-my-57-a.html
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Old January 15th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Timely question. I'm going through my winter ritual of trying to get some 'natural' checking on my BSB partscaster. It spent a night in the trunk of my car with temps around +18*F.

The finish is a mix of ReRanch and Deft that was done a few years ago (5 maybe), and it still 'heals' a bit after each cold session. I haven't found the heat part to be necessary when temps in the teens are available, YMMV. I'm not a fan of the 'freeze spray' method as the time I tried it I got a shattered looking very fine cracking and some of the finish was actually lost (flaked off).

I still haven't figured out a good way to get 'dirt' into the cracks, but overall I like the results.

Pictures taken this morning (color is a little washed out, and those are shadows from the window blinds).





An older photo - color is closer to real life...

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Old January 18th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I want to do a checked, non relic finish on my next project, I guess what Fender calls "Closet Classic," I just find the patina very interesting. In my experience although Deft is easy and very available, it takes FOREVER to cure and stop reacting to stuff....

I'm gonna go with Reranch clear even though it's a lot more expensive because from what I've read, it will cure and become more brittle faster than Deft will. Is this the general consensus around here?

Good example here, checked, but no dings and otherwise nice and shiny. Maybe wouldn't hurt to throw all the chrome bits into the rock tumbler for an hour just to take the edge off and make 'em look like they've been around the block. Nothing major and no rust....and mine won't be a thinline ;-)


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Old January 18th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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...checked, but no dings and otherwise nice and shiny. Maybe wouldn't hurt to throw all the chrome bits into the rock tumbler for an hour just to take the edge off and make 'em look like they've been around the block. Nothing major and no rust....
That pretty much describes how I did my last project - except not too shiny.
I love the look and feel.

And no heart attack when it does get that very first ding.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is also brand dependant. Some brands will check easily, while others wont. If you try checking the finish before it is dry enough, it will crack, and then the cracks will weld themselves back up. I tried checking a guitar after a few days of drying with liquid nitrogen once. The lacquer checked like hell, and I could literally sit there and watch as the lacquer melded back. It was pretty cool to watch, but very frustrating. ...
I had a similar experience once a few years back. Using a can of air to blow sanding residue out of the spring pocket of a body finished with Deft lacquer. A huge squirt of liquid came out - crazing the entire area.

I had not intended on an aged look so began mentally kicking myself only to see the defects slolwly disappear before my eyes.

Behold the power of plasticizer.

I've never tried the freeze/thaw technique but if I ever do I will not try it on anything finished with Deft.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 07:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey Hotrod,
I just did mine without trying. I left it in my unheated shop during freezing temps here ( a real duh moment) and when I did my final rub out it looks like a Closet Classic. It should get cold enough there for it to happen that way too.
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 01:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey Hotrod,
I just did mine without trying. I left it in my unheated shop during freezing temps here ( a real duh moment) and when I did my final rub out it looks like a Closet Classic. It should get cold enough there for it to happen that way too.
Amazing what you can achieve by accident, was it a newly painted body?
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Old February 7th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Do you guys use a clear coat for this process? If so does it go on before or after the heating and freazing process? Thanks
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Old February 7th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Use nitro clearcoat prior to any checking process. It is preferrable to let the finish cure as long as possible. Here is an example of a Goldtop restoration I did by heating it under a heat lamp all day and then blasting with CO2 with the guitar inside a poly bag. This process was repeated twice and the checks will become more obvious as the finish cures further.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Lacquers vary, and different brands (and formulas made by the same company) will check differently. It does not matter if you are using something labeled "nitrocellulose" or "acrylic" as almost all lacquers are a blend anyway - and it's the *other* ingredients (plasticizers) that make the film flexible (less or smaller checking) or harder (larger patterns or more.

I always suggest testing the process *before* trying it on an instrument. You can be pleasantly surprised or it can be a disaster depending on what you want to achieve.

I've gotten the best "realistic aging" type results...as far as checking goes...with one of the most common and cheapest products - Rustoleum's clear acrylic gloss lacquer in an aerosol can. Normally I shoot with an HVLP but nowadays if I need a predictable type of checking and I'm doing a relic I use it for the final few coats.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I just built a springsteen tele, and a few hours ago figured out how to check nitro on my neck easily and safeyl
1: you need a relative thick final layer of dry nitro laquer, if its overly thin it won't check
2: heat area with hairdryer approx 1 inch away from surface until quite hot
3: spray with aerosol "freezer spray", this is used for electrical component testing and is easy to obtain in UK
Immediately you will see / hear checking
4: option to heat direct agin with hairdryer, this increases the checking
5: repeat where desired

ENJOY
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