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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. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    I'm afraid so ...
     

  2. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    447
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    I guess we go back to judging guitars on playability and tone.
     

  3. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    One thing about the nitro topcoats of the 1970s...look at most blonde Telecasters and olympic white Strats of that era and how they typically yellowed quite a bit over the years despite having been quite pale when brand new.Poly will not typically yellow that way.Think of Yngwie Malmsteen's 1970s Strats that are that pale yellow color...those were actually white when brand new.
     

  4. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    And miss all the fun?:confused::D
     

  5. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I have some on a partscaster w/ a '73 body and on my '73 Mustang. I guess it does happen. I wouldn't have thought so 15 years ago.
     

  6. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    447
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    Perhaps living in Norway, you are not as polluted by the Western idea of it must be either/or, and you have embraced the Eastern thought of it can be both.
     

  7. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    In Norway we usually quote Winnie the Pooh: Yes please, both!;)
     

  8. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    447
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    Cake or pie....yes please
     

  9. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

    My early '60 Watkins Rapier 33 has a Polyester finish and it is extensively cracked.
    [​IMG]
     

  10. noah330

    noah330 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    OK - I guess the answer is nobody seems to agree.

    Anyway, I would say this guitar is def poly - the top coat anyway (aside from the headstock). It's a great guitar and I don't plan on getting rid of it. I have had it more then half my life.

    At any rate, I have seen tons of posts about how poly does not 'age' like nitro. This guitar to me looks like it has aged plenty - and it's not nitro.
     

  11. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    I think it IS nitro.

    Somewhere out of sight, like under the pickguard, apply just a tiny bit of acetone on a Q-tip. If it melts the finish, you'll know 100% for sure that the top coat is nitro.
     

  12. twangcaster1

    twangcaster1 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 28, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Exactly. A full poly guitar could be dropped in the Atlantic ocean and picked up when it landed adrift on some foreign shoreline and it would still look exactly the same as it did before!
     

  13. bun malaey

    bun malaey Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 14, 2012
    Shertz, TX
    That is just not true. A poly guitar will age. It takes alot longer, but it will age. Unless you read poly won't age on a guitar forum. Then it's absolutely true. Guitar forums are only aloud to tell facts.
     

  14. noah330

    noah330 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    I have a bunch of nitro guitars - from my 50s Gibson Standards to my 50s 6120s to Fenders, etc....

    This guitar is 100% poly - at least the top coat/neck. The front of the headstock is nitro as it has changed orange.

    Here is a back view. You can see how the color has kind of rubbed off here and there from wear.

    [​IMG]
     

  15. stevenhay

    stevenhay Tele-Meister

    181
    Oct 9, 2010
    New Castle Indiana
    Yep. My MIJ 94 or so Strat is absolutely 100 percent poly. It has started to age and crack. It's ugly as crap. It hasn't checked or anything. Just a lot of cracks running vertical instead of the more pleasing for whatever reason horizontal checking that is more predominant in nitro. The dings and dents look like bulletproof glass hits, but haven't spread any at all for whatever reason.
     

  16. ksdaddy

    ksdaddy TDPRI Member

    10
    Dec 20, 2003
    Caribou, ME
    I know this is a very old thread and I'm not looking to dispute or rehash. My '77 Tele has one of these weird 70s "Thick Skin" finishes. I've never been one to abuse a guitar, that is to say thumps and bumps are rare. I did leave this guitar out in the cab of my truck one winter night in 1990 and it was about 20 or 30 below. The finish cracked...a lot. Funny thing is, the cracks 'healed' over the years. The lines are sill there but the actual cracks have largely melted back together, leaving a crease of sorts. I had used various polishes on the Tele over the years....I figured it was poly of some sort so I might use Pledge, guitar polish, a wet rag...any number of things with no ill effect. Over the past 10 years it has become apparent that I can't use ANYTHING on this guitar anymore. Polish of any kind makes the finish sticky. Even a wet washcloth will make the finish milky looking and it will stay that was for a day or so. I can see wipe marks all over the body that I can't explain; they look like a cross between sanding scratches and a mess one might create if you wiped a delicate finish with a rag damp with acetone....if that makes any sense. I'm the only owner, it never gets lent out, my body chemistry isn't nasty, i.e. a set of strings can last me a year or two, and I don't play my guitar with after shave slathered all over me.

    I don't think I'm looking for any kind of fix here; I'm happy as a clam as to how dark and funky it looks now (see my profile pic). It WAS white when I got it new in '78. It looks like decaying latex now. I'm fine with that although I'm at a loss to explain the strange 'wipe' marks all over it.

    I guess the thorn in my side is this: I was a heavy smoker. I smoked a pack a day since the age of 12. I've quit a few times and my most recent quit took place in July of 2014. Circumstances are different now than in other quit events and I firmly believe I will stay with it this time. I can smell someone smoking outside several hundred feet away and it is horrible. My step son borrowed a laptop from us and it stunk so bad after he had it a couple days I almost told him to keep it. I am overly sensitive to the residual smell of smoke now, very much to the point of getting nauseated. It's been close to two years and I have used the Tele on a regular basis since....I don't gig at all, all my guitars are 'living room' guitars. I picked up the Tele a couple days ago and it REEKED. It hasn't been out of my sight and nothing has changed other than the old funk is starting to volatize off it for some reason. I'm not happy. As to the 'guts', hardware and neck, I can clean them no problem. I just don't know what to do about the body. I do NOT want to buff all the patina off it just to rid it of some smoke smell. The case stunk just as bad (I noticed that several months ago and almost puked on the spot). I cleaned that up a lot just going over the interior fur with a rough washcloth dampened with household cleaner, maybe some baking soda, coffee, I don't recall.

    If the Tele just needs sunshine and air, I will make it a point to take it outside often this summer. I will dismantle and wash parts as needed also but what to do about the body?

    I'm at work and don't have a good photo of the body but I happened to have a pic of the headstock and as you can see, it went berserk orange. Note around the edges it almost has a 'burnt' look...the body has done the same thing.

    [​IMG]

    And if I do put it out in the sun this summer....will it get even darker? Or will it bleach out?

    Oh, and early in this reply I stated I don't abuse guitars. I have accidentally bumped this Tele a couple times in the last year or two and the chipped areas come up snow white, like it was in '78.
     

  17. Udonitron

    Udonitron TDPRI Member

    43
    Sep 5, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Super late reply to your post here on this super old thread. :D
    Did you have any success or attempt anything?
    It will air out if you leave it outside for sure.
    You could also use an ozone generator to remove the smell as well.
     

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