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

When was nitro to poly?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by 383roller, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. 383roller

    383roller TDPRI Member

    24
    Jan 14, 2012
    US
    Anyone have a definitive time for finish change?
     

  2. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE

  3. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    In the 60's and 70's Olympic White was acrylic (Lucite).
     

  4. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Poly-acrylic whatever....same thing in my book since they don't let the wood..."breathe"....:D:D
     

  5. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    Not remotely the same. Acryl is a lacquer, just like nitro. You will have to re-write your book. :lol:
     

  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco

  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Acrylic is PLASTIC . Does it let the wood "breathe" :D like nitro does?

    (Is nitro plastic too?)
     

  8. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway
    I thought the wood was killed before they used it for guitar bodies ... They use live wood that breathes ... ? :confused:;)

    Nitrocellulose lacquers:

    Slow-drying solvent-based lacquers that contain nitrocellulose, a resin obtained from the nitration of cotton and other cellulostic materials, were developed in the early 1920s, and extensively used in the automobile industry for 30 years. Prior to their introduction, mass-produced automotive finishes were limited in colour, with Japan Black being the fastest drying and thus most popular. General Motors Oakland automobile brand automobile was the first (1923) to introduce one of the new fast drying nitrocelluous lacquers, a bright blue, produced by DuPont under their Duco tradename.

    These lacquers are also used on wooden products, furniture primarily, and on musical instruments and other objects. Nitrocellulose lacquers are also used to make firework fuses waterproof. The nitrocellulose and other resins and plasticizers are dissolved in the solvent, and each coat of lacquer dissolves some of the previous coat. These lacquers were a huge improvement over earlier automobile and furniture finishes, both in ease of application and in colour retention. The preferred method of applying quick-drying lacquers is by spraying, and the development of nitrocellulose lacquers led to the first extensive use of spray guns. Nitrocellulose lacquers produce a hard yet flexible, durable finish that can be polished to a high sheen. Drawbacks of these lacquers include the hazardous nature of the solvent, which is flammable and toxic, and the hazards of nitrocellulose in the manufacturing process. Lacquer grade of soluble nitrocellulose is closely related to the more highly nitrated form which is used to make explosives. They become relatively non-toxic after approximately a month since at this point, the lacquer has evaporated most of the solvents used in its production.

    Acrylic lacquers:

    Lacquers using acrylic resin, a synthetic polymer, were developed in the 1950s. Acrylic resin is colourless, transparent thermoplastic, obtained by the polymerization of derivatives of acrylic acid. Acrylic is also used in enamel paints, which have the advantage of not needing to be buffed to obtain a shine. Enamels, however, are slow drying. The advantage of acrylic lacquer is its exceptionally fast drying time. The use of lacquers in automobile finishes was discontinued when tougher, more durable, weather- and chemical-resistant two-component polyurethane coatings were developed. The system usually consists of a primer, colour coat and clear topcoat, commonly known as clear coat finishes.
     

  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    I once did an oil stain, rattle can black for the burst rim, and then oil-based poly over the top with a brush and the poly melted the black paint. A mess! One of the spray painting videos I watched later recommended using Acrylic base color with a poly clear top coat so that the two finishes played nice together.

    Any time I look for acrylic I can never find a clear spec paint for it other than kids craft paints. Here is an example white paint from HD:

    "Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss" .. one of many colors
    "Self-Priming Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel is 100% acrylic" .. So is it enamel or acrylic? Is it slow drying like enamel or fast drying like acrylic? Will the poly melt it?
    "100% acrylic finish for easy cleaning" ... must be acrylic! They repeated this twice now 200% must count for something?
    "Exceptional latex formula provides a mildew resistant finish" ... now wait a minute! They made it from Latex?

    And so it goes. I have not ventured into color painting again. I had someone ask me this week about a white Tele so I may try again soon.

    I've been using the water-based Varathane gloss floor finish and like it so will keep it but I need to find a base color paint easy to find locally that will coexist with the Varathane. I know Reranch and Stew-Mac are out there but what might be in the typical big-box retail or local hardware stores?
     

  10. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Now you have killed the "breathing wood" myth that thousands of guitarist's believe and hundreds of guitar makers make money from.

    Shame on you...:D
     

  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    My assumption was that the '67 to '68 neck finish change was pretty definitive, with the '67 having nitro and the '68 having a plasticky poly finish, though the headstock kept the older finish for some years.
     

  12. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    There was no "definitive timeline".

    As has been said, Fender was using acrylics and nitrocellulose (often both on the same instrument - a colour coat of acrylic and a clear coat of nitro) from way back. In fact from 1963 onwards Fender was sealing all their guitar bodies with Fullerplast, which was polyester, before applying colour coats so who knows how that poor wood breathed!

    Polyester colour coats were introduced in 1968 when Fender was sold to CBS but nitro soldiered on and some Teles - like '72 Customs and Deluxes - were finished in both poly (natural, blonde and black) and nitro (sunburst and walnut) well into the mid 70's. Polyurethane replaced polyester in late 1981.
     

  13. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Helsinki, Finland
    The headstock was sprayed nitro because the decal (now under the finish) reacted with poly. I'm not sure but the nitro on headstock lasted to the 80's.
     

  14. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Helsinki, Finland
    I'm quite sure my '76 sunburst Custom is poly. A lot of it, thickskin.
     

  15. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Many are but I've also seen more than a few sunburst 70's Customs that were finished in nitro. Although by as late as '76 they may all have been poly.

    My black '74 Custom is most definitely thickskin poly.
     

  16. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Dec 6, 2005
    Norway

    Yeah - shame on me ... :oops:;) Hee, hee!
     

  17. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Just sold a 16 year old MIM '72 Keef model Tele Custom reissue.

    1/4" of poly/acrylic/plastic/whatever on the body.

    One of the loudest Tele's acoustically I've ever had. I guess it was a heavy breather. But - the pickups sucked so I sold it.

    Nitro/plastic ? No matter.

    Pickups then amp then speaker followed by how big the neck is.

    That's the big 4. Guitar could be made out of granite and finished in vegetable soup - no matter.
     

  18. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Helsinki, Finland
    Here we go again...
     

    Attached Files:


  19. fiestared69

    fiestared69 TDPRI Member

    91
    Jan 7, 2008
    The Ozarks
    I have seen the change more from late 68 to early 69 !
     

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