Tiny Dark Spots on Hot Rod Tele ('Thin Skin' Nitro)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by RYAN1987M, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Hi All,

    I've recently noticed some dark brown/black spots on the bottom back edge of my new-to-me 2007 Hot Rod '52 Tele (finished in 'thin skin' nitro).

    To be honest, I'm not sure if they were present when I bought the guitar (a few weeks ago) or if they've appeared more recently.

    I'm not too concerned with the marks themselves, they don't bother me. But I am curious about what the cause might be. And, if it's something that I'm doing, I'd definitely like to do something differently so that the problem doesn't get worse.

    I keep the guitar in its original hardshell case and I haven't played it with a strap since owning it.

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  2. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    It might have been kept on a guitar stand that reacted to the nitro?
     
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  3. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    Based on where they are, that would be my guess as well. A lot of guitar stands don't play well with Nitro.
     
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  4. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    To fix the issue, I've bought some heavy duty cloth gaffer's tape and lined all the stands I have with it anywhere they might touch Nitro. Doesn't look as great, but I haven't ruined any guitars since.
     
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  5. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses thus far - much appreciated!

    Just out of curiosity, does nitrocellulose ever eventually 'set'? In other words, this guitar is over 12 years old...I'm curious if it's likely to have any new reactions at this point. I guess I'm curious if newer nitro-finished guitars are more likely to have issues because the finish is still more fresh vs a vintage example where the finish has been on the wood for a few decades.
     
  6. Andoris

    Andoris Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Not sure, but the Hot Rods have poly under the nitro. I don't think nitro ever fully cures.
     
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  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You might get some GHS Guitar Gloss. I have seen it remove some things that I thought could not be removed.
     
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  8. Rufustelestrats

    Rufustelestrats Tele-Holic

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    You can try
    Virtuoso Guitar Polish & Cleaner

    It is the one I use on the nitro guitars I have.
    The nitro on the hotrods is very thin, almost as thin as that on the AVRI's that followed.
     
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  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The very definition of nitro (a form of lacquer), is a product that doesn't take a set. A set requires a catalytic reaction - that's often generally referred to as "poly"..


    But I do appreciate that the Euros on this board, like to call just about any hard finish "lacquer". My parlance is primarily for North American ears.

    +

    I think something like Meguiar's Scratch X will excise those dark marks. The trick is to start with the mildest cleaners and don't go to "stronger" stuff until the mild ones have proven not to work at all.
     
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  10. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    Our European friends use the best English they can to try to communicate with the Americans. If you look up "clear wood finish" in a language dictionary, there's about 100% chance that "lacquer" will be the first choice.

    Here in Holland, almost any film-forming wood finish will be called a "lak".
     
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  11. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    What a beautiful grain and finish.

    You might be happier not inspecting your gorgeous decade old guitar with a microscope for imperfections.

    Go wild - buy a strap and play it standing up!
     
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  12. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I hear you. And I'm with you! It plays beautifully and I am playing the heck out of it!

    I figure those spots are old. And, like I said, they don't bother me (yes, I know that sounds goofy considering I took the time to create this thread, haha). I'm just new to nitro...and I'm curious about what the cause might be as I'd prefer to not add a bunch more if it's something easily avoidable or something stupid that I'm doing.

    I'm thinking I'll put this guitar on a simple Hercules stand that I have - the GS402BB. It's too pretty to be left in its case.
     
  13. RWB

    RWB TDPRI Member

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    My Hot Rod '52 Telecaster is an early production one from January 2007 and it doesn't show any dark spots like that.

    It has been my main gigging guitar since I bought it in 2010. When not being played, it spends time hanging on the wall so it is only on a stand during breaks or in a case for transportation. So yes, maybe your stand is doing something to the finish or it happened before you bought it.

    Anyway, this is a great Tele and I hope these minor issues don't cause you too much concern.
     
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you're worried about spots, check that your stand and strap are nitro safe. Despite what others said, my experience is decade-old nitro is mostly cured. But it never does cure like poly. I use leather Gibson straps when I'm concerned. I figure all their guitars are nitro and haven't had a problem yet.
     
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  15. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Mine is apparently from May 2007 - I really love it to bits! Plays splendidly! It's in great condition despite its age. I'm not going to baby it, by any means. The little marks don't bother me...and the guitar probably came to me with them...but I just thought if it is something that I can avoid, somehow, then I'd certainly prefer to avoid adding to it.
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Which is too bad, because it renders the word much less useful. I think everyone knows what a "catalyzed" finish is or they should know. What do we call the rest of them? We need terms. I like it when Lacquer means something specific and not something amorphous.
     
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  17. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree in principle. Each European language does have specific names and terms for specialty finishes, but they are not known to most people who do not work with the products. I have enough trouble with architectural painting products even after living and working here for 19 years!
     
  18. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Brasso or Silvo - fine metal polish - will also remove surface blemishes from nitro ro long as it's only surface. Old plain cotton t-shirt is ideal.
     
  19. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Looks like someone had it on a cheap foam stand. Don't worry; the damage could have been WAY worse...as in melted lacquer with the imprint of the stand (which I have seen many times). I'd see if something mild took it off, but I wouldn't obsess over it. Try mineral spirits or naptha. If it doesn't work, I'd just leave it be.
     
  20. derekwarner

    derekwarner TDPRI Member

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    If a guitar stand insert had caused a reaction with the surface finish @ 5:00 o'clock [looking on the back face], would the same reaction not also have occurred @ 7:00 o'clock stand insert?

    The vast majority of the dark spots are in timber growth ring marks, so my guess the marks are sap that has migrated out of wood that was not adequately cured or the surface sealed prior to the paint/lacquer process

    I would not worry or touch them with anything more than a wood/guitar cleaner polish

    Derek

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