Maple necks - fretboard lacquer question

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by _Presto_, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Quick one which should be easy for you guys:


    Re: the lacquer used on maple neck teles in the 50's - did this change over time? I'm assuming it did, but haven't found a clear answer. (pun intended)

    i.e. particularly on fretboards - did it get applied thicker on late 50s whiteguards vs. early blackguards?


    Thanks!
     
  2. chomps

    chomps TDPRI Member

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    I’ve read in the various Fender books that the formulas for finishes did vary in the early years. The thickness of the finish also varied, depending on who was spraying that day. I’ve also read that modern nitro is different than the nitro of the 50s. I’ve never seen a modern nitro neck wear like the 50s Fenders. There are experts here that could probably tell you a lot more.


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  3. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

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    Modern Nitro has plasticisers in it so they don't check and are not brittle when hardened. This wasn't the case back in the day. However, the quality of the clearcoat also have an influence on how the guitar appear over time. The early Broadcasters had a very cheap nitro clear coat, resulting in the checking you see on these guitars. The quality changed over time which resulted in less checking and eventually less yellowing. Thickness is another factor, but in general the coats applied were thin.
     
  4. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    OK thanks.

    Almost all the blackguards I've seen and played have had significant fretboard wear. I have a '59 Esquire though with it's lacquer intact - but it looks like a pretty thick coat. It also might be coincidence - but some of the other '59s I've seen have shown less fretboard wear also (just some, not all).

    I was just wondering if the lacquer might have been applied thicker (or it changed) in the late 50's.
     
  5. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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  6. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! That was a great read....was mainly focused on body finishes though and no so much on necks. Hopefully some of the guys form the other thread jump in with the answers though. Lots of knowledge on here!
     
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