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Checking on a year old nitro body

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by newuser1, Jan 12, 2019 at 2:19 PM.

  1. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    350
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    I've ordered an offset tele kit from MJT Guitars finished with nitro, and now a year later the guitar has lots of checking (see pictures below). I've never had a nitro guitar so I was wondering if this is normal for such a short time?


    IMG_5178.JPG IMG_5173.JPG IMG_5169.JPG
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Not normal. Yeah, those are very linear too. Was it ever stored out in the cold for some time?Most vintage checking is 2" long or less but all over. Weird. Wonder if the wood is shrinking... wasnt aged well.... or maybe still had too high moisture content?
    When you think about it, how do manufacturer's keep up with keeping aged wood in stock? My opinion is it's all artificially aged, which... really isn't! and a compromise at best. This is highly evident in some time periods for asian built guitars... for instance, there's several years of Takemine's that the solid wood tops crack on. A lot of them. I discovered this searching for an acoustic years ago. and many of the Ebay listings from (I think) the early-late 90's were cracked or starting to and were cheap.
     
  3. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    516
    Aug 12, 2008
    Buffalo
    That can happen with a sudden temp change regardless of the age of the finish and is the nature of that finish. Use care if your guitar has been in the cold for a while and let is sit in the case unopened for as long as possible.
     
  4. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    350
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    The guitar was always stored in at a room temperature 20-21 C, however it was never stored in a case, only sitting on a stand. I'm in Toronto (rather cold and dry right now) so maybe the drastic changes in humidity levels are affecting the finish?
     
    DrASATele likes this.
  5. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu

    What wood is the body?
     
  6. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    350
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    Alder body.
     
    2blue2 likes this.
  7. Ron M

    Ron M TDPRI Member

    82
    Aug 31, 2018
    New york
    Exact same issues with mine, also done by MJT. Although mine I had attributed to the cold. I was pretty late getting an oil fill for my furnace this year. Also an alder body. And also not quite a year old.
     
  8. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    USA
    Isn't one of their main 'things' making relic nitro bodies? Maybe their process is such that is allows it to age more quickly somehow?
     
  9. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Oct 11, 2017
    São Paulo - Brazil
    Congratulations, you guitar is becoming a real relic...
     
    Milspec likes this.
  10. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    350
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    Yes, it is, however I ordered the "Closet Clean Wear" finish, without any nicks/scratches/blemishes, and yet the body came with a huge dent in it, which the luthier that assembled the guitar repaired. They never mentioned any artificial rapid aging of the finish, nor did I request one.

    Also MJT never fitted the Musikraft neck to the body - the neck pocket was 2mm narrower than the neck heel, so the luthier had to re-route the pocket. I complained to them about this issue, and their advice was....use some soap to lubricate and force the neck into the pocket, just ridiculous.

    The guitar kit I ordered was lefty and they sent right volume and tone pots, luckily my luthier had some lefty pots so I exchanged them with him.

    If you are thinking of getting one of MJT products or services, think twice - it's just a terrible company to deal with.
     
  11. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    USA
    My only MJT purchase was a shell pink tele body. Arrived with an ink stain set into the paint on the back. After calling them and listening to him mildly imply that I did it, he agreed to take it back and fix it. Didn't offer to send a shipping label, so I had to request that from them as well.

    They sent it back 'fixed,' which means no more ink stain--but also no more shell pink. It's now a very pepto color. Was it purposefully done? No idea.

    Not a good first purchase, which is why it will be the last.
     
  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It can be. It depends, as noted further, on several conditions

    Humidity (low) can crack new (or old) lacquer finishes easily within 6-12 months. Guitars should be kept in cases or rooms where the humidity is 40% minimum. Vintage collectors and owners of higher end instruments and many others) use case humidifiers AND either room or whole-house humidifiers.

    I'm in an area where the humidity only rarely drops below 40% for a few days at a time, and I run a portable whole-house humidifier a bit larger than a Deluxe Reverb and a portable room humidifier in one fairly remote back room.

    Air conditioners and gas furnaces are the two "finish killers", but even electric heat is bad for humidity. Low humidity can also seriously damage acoustic instruments. Much of my acoustic instrument repair and restoration work is brought in from about 60 miles away - California's Antelope Valley, a desert area. A units run constantly during the summer, when it hits 90F+ virtually every day (many over 100F).

    During the winter the temp and outside humidity drops to the teens, and inside where a furnace is blasting away the humidity is often below 5%. If an instrument of any kind was manufactured/finished in 40% +/-5% humidity, anything below 10% is a shock. Lacquer breathes as do screw holes and any bare spots, sucking thee moisture out of the wood - and shrinking it.

    It doesn't take much shrinkage (we're talking about thousandths of an inch) to cause lacquer to crack. OTOH, high humidity doesn't make it "swell up" as wood only absorbs a limited amount of airborne moisture before it hits a point of equilibrium and won't take more.

    There's nothing defective with the finish. But where you live, if you have many instruments and they're spread around the house I'd look into either a whole-house humidifier that's integrated with an existing forced-air heating system. Expensive, but if you have high end gear it's worth it.

    If you have instruments only in a couple of rooms close together a portable whole-house is more effective and easier to keep filled; if everything is is one room get a room humidifier with programmable settings - not one you have to turn on and off and/or only shows the current humidity.

    Small electronic humidity gages are cheap on Amazon, and most players I know that have only a few guitars but move them from room to room put one in EVERY room.

    And use case humidifiers with ALL acoustic and acoustic/electric instruments and any lacquer-finished solid-bodies (but the latter ONLY if stored in low-humidity rooms and during low humidity conditions).

    Humidity at 40% is a heck of a lot healthier for humans and pets as well! Low humidity increases - even causes - some respiratory issues.
     
  13. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    350
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    Thanks guys,

    I'm going to buy a hard case today with some in-case humidifiers to try to salvage the finish. Any inexpensive hard cases you can recommend for lefty offset tele? Also what type of in-case humidifier works best in your experience?
     
  14. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Ah, Silver face has you covered. As Someone who has Asthma, I can honestly say he's given you the run down to a T. Humidity/Dryness can be a *****.
     
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