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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Checking on a poly finished guitar?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by noah330, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    Virginia
    exactly. also why are we to believe anything Fender says? Oh mark said this so it must be true. that is laughable.
     

  2. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    And my '73 Custom is exactly how you have described - it retains "a plasticky look with typical chunky dings, as opposed to a nitro's smoother, faded aging". So, I respectfully submit that Mr. Kendrick didn't quite get it right on this topic. :eek:
     

  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    You make an excellent point about the variability of conditions these guitars have been exposed to, but to the best of my knowledge, all American Vintage series guitars - such as the early '52 you showed - are finished in nitro. And the checking on that one sure looks like nitro to me.
     

  4. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    453
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    Now to make things more confusing.....

    The US 52 Reissue is a poly base, nitro color, with nitro clear on top. That was direct from George Blanda of Fender to me via email. They used the poly base so the finish would not sink into the wood at all.
     

  5. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Agreed. The sealer coat is poly, with nitro color and top coats.
     

  6. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    No worries man...it's all good!
     

  7. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    The early 52 reissue has a nitro topcoat over a poly undercoat.As for no cracks on your JM,that is normal as not every nitro finished guitar will crack...a lot of that depends on how the finish was applied and what it was exposed to over the years.
     

  8. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Is this also true of the 70's Fender basses? My '75/'76 Precision does have a slightly darker headstock on the front, while the rest of the neck is lighter. I was always under the impression that the entire thing was poly, but it does have a different feel compared to my 2011 Classic 50's Precision. The '76 is not as 'plasticy' feeling.

    So the neck is straight poly except for the front of the headstock which is nitro, and the body is poly with a nitro topcoat?!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  9. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    Virginia
    even more confusing the AVRIs have poly base/nitro top on the body but have all nitro on the necks. so the finish sinks and wears from the neck but chips and does not wear on the body

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  10. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    That is correct.
     

  11. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Does anyone know the rationale/reasoning behind using the poly/nitro combination back then?
     

  12. lewis

    lewis Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Colorado
    Great info., thanks.
     

  13. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    They started using poly undercoats around 1968 and I think polyester started becoming more commonly used in various industries around that era too.When C.B.S. acquired Fender in 1965 they wanted to increase the production volume and within a few years the demand did grow for Fender products.Jimi Hendrix helped breathe new life into the Strat and as a result consumer demand increased too.Poly is apparently easier to apply than other types of finishes and suited to mass production...it saves a lot of time and money especially with the high volume number of guitars to be made everyday.Also,the earlier guitars would relic quite fast and some players and dealers would complain about the fragility of the finishes.Applying poly seemed to be a sensible solution especially with what they termed 'thick skin' finishes meant to be more durable....poly is harder and more wear resistant.It is funny how things have changed....nowadays the cool thing is thinskin nitro!!!

    What I don't understand is why they decided to keep the topcoats still in nitro throughout the 1970s....they didn't go full poly until the early 1980s.
     

  14. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    I'm sure this is 100% true.

    There seems to be some confusion as to what happened after 1968. Here's what provide.net says on the topic:

     

  15. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    453
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    So are 70's Fenders:

    Poly sealer, poly color, and nitro topcoat

    Nitro, poly, poly

    Or

    Poly, nitro, poly.

    And most importantly, where is this information coming from?
     

  16. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Well, the sealer coats would always be poly. The color coats I don't know, but as I've stated all along, 70's top coats can be poly or nitro. Prior to this thread, all the 70's Teles I've seen with nitro top coats have been sunbursts, but now - from the photo in the OP - I suspect that Fender used nitro on natural finishes too.

    Why Fender did it this way, I have no idea :eek:
     

  17. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway

    The best source on the net (probably anywhere) for this information: http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html
     

  18. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    453
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    That is a great source, but it has been proven to be wrong. And the author has never addressed the incorrect information.
     

  19. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    It may not be "wrong" or "incorrect", just probably "incomplete".;)

    Fender has always been inconsistent, so every rule has its exeption.:oops:
     

  20. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    453
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    It is both incomplete, and wrong at times. It is a great site, and has tons of useful information though.

    Frankly, I would like to see first hand information concerning the entire poly/nitro issue. Somebody that actually painted guitars during that era. Maybe that is asking too much. But I am very tired of everyone acting like they know the truth, yet the only support they have is internet rumor, quotes from someone who started working at Fender many years later, or a site that has great info, but is either "incomplete" or outright wrong.

    I love that site though, as I love the Duchossoir book. Both are wrong at time though.

    Now what was the original post about anyway.......
     

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