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

Why am I obsessed with nitro? Is it a huge difference?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by GaryOsborne, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Feb 4, 2009
    Phx, AZ
    Mike is right, it's FAR worse. You really don't want to breathe it or even get it on your skin.
    As for applying them, poly is in some ways easier, it builds fast and after 3 coats you're done and can level and buff in a couple days. Nitro OTOH takes at least 3 days and 12 coats (spray 3-4 coats, level the next day, etc.) then wait 2-3 weeks to level and buff.
    Of course if you mess up the nitro just sand it back and re-spray, drop fill, etc. It burns in and all is well. Poly will leave witness lines and can be a PITA unless everything goes exactly right.

    My favorite guitar is finished in Tru-Oil. 2-3 gigs a weekend over the last 4 years and it's dinged and some what 'sunk' but feels and looks great.
     

  2. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Oct 26, 2007
    Louisville, Ky
    I just got rid of my last (and i mean last) nitro guitar. I must have some kind of skin reaction to it because no matter what I do if I play a nitro guitar for more than 10 or 15 minutes my hands feel like they've been dipped in glue. I'm playing poly guitars with satin finish necks and I'm happy.
     

  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Entirely possible... each of us is a chemical factory.. producing our own unique by-products... some just aren't compatible with nitro.

    I did a White Strat several years back... the guys chemistry turned it dirty grey...

    rk
     

  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    this is while applying right? Which is worse for the end user? Let's say comparing to nitro lacquers these days these days.
     

  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's

    Wait, is this UNIVERSALLY true of nitro application on guitars these days? If so, how do they "breathe" (I'm not sure I understand what that means anyway)? I get that some might like how nitro feels (assuming they can actually tell the difference) but the other argument I read all the time in favor of nitro is this idea that it lets the wood breathe (again, no idea what that means, maybe dry out over time?).
     

  6. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    It means NOTHING!
     

  7. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    The wood is dead... it does not "breathe".
    The only thing wood can do is absorb moisture and dry out again and expand and contract as it is heated and cools off again.
     

  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I'm sure we all know it's dead and not literally breathing. But I take the phrase to mean something? Absorbing and releasing moisture? Vibrating? Or just misconception?
     

  9. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN

    Thanks Ron. Great stuff!
     

  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    the manufacturers aren't dummies.... they routinely "tune into" the prevalent topic of discussion, and incorporate that into their promotion...

    Simple fact is, any manufacturer of any "pop" item will do the same..

    For me, the problem is, when the pop culture assumes specific qualities from a specific feature, and those qualities are diametrically opposed to basic science... But the manufacturers incorporate inferences suggesting those advantages anyway... it's here where Caveat Emptor is most aptly applied..

    I was in big league advertising... I can tell ya... when the copy is written, it is done so so that in the colloquial understanding, one meaning is conveyed, but.. in a legal proceeding, the same copy can be parsed to reveal a completely different meaning.. one that choses the door on the possibility for litigating over fraudulent advertising...

    It's OK to mislead, but it's still illegal to commit fraud .. only problem is most of us have no idea how to tell the difference.. and are far too gullible...

    and ,, Breathing wood just pisses me off that any group of potential clients buy into that bunk... Breathe... that means In and out... so... in all seriousness, which part of the cycle produces better sound.... or... does gthe guitar have to hold it's breath during the song... and if ya play in the gadda da vida, long version, does the guitar suffocate?

    the notion of Breathing wood is just stupid... almost as much as that "Resonance" thing making the rounds now... :rolleyes:

    rk
     

  11. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Misconception and marketing hype (see Ron's post above)
     

  12. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Feb 4, 2009
    Phx, AZ
    this is while applying right? Which is worse for the end user? Let's say comparing to nitro lacquers these days these days

    Yes, during application. Neither nitro or poly has much effect on you once they are cured, the occasional reaction (as seen above) notwithstanding.
     

  13. therealfindo

    therealfindo Tele-Holic

    741
    Jun 26, 2012
    Germany
    Well, having decided to try a water-based finish on my build, I'm going to start telling everyone it helps the guitar drink.
     

  14. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Tele-Afflicted

    The look matters to me, but not very highly. Any finish compound can be made to look good, or bad. The actual compound used ranks down around the bottom of my list. The feel matters a lot more, the neck being close to first place. If the neck is poly, polishing the neck with a fresh thin coat of wipe-on poly, rubbed on with a microfiber pad, makes for a nice slick finish. And no matter what kind of finish, polishing it with carnauba based cleaner/wax does the job for me, making both look and feel better.
     

  15. esetter

    esetter Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 1, 2011
    MI
    I don't care what the guitar is finished with. As long as it looks good, plays good, and stays in tune, I'm good to go! Way too much fuss is made about this poly vs nitro! It's a whole bunch of BS about nothing. In other words it's a non-issue!
     

  16. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    421
    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    I'm still a beginner compared to some on here. I've only built about a dozen or so, most in nitro, a couple in Tru-Oil. I sprayed cars in acrylic lacquer years ago, so nitro was like an old friend. A good gun, a good mask, clean dry lines, and anyone can spray lacquer. I think that is why I use it so much. It is good for dummies like me.

    Tru Oil is a very nice feeling finish, but the witness lines drive me nuts. I don't think I'll do another body with it for that reason. Necks are way easier to do in Tru Oil than bodies.

    Nitro takes a good long time to dry enough to block sand and buff, but Tru Oil takes just as long or longer to fully polymerize.

    I only have 2 nitro necks that get sticky. One is my bone stock 1985 Gibson SG, the other is a neck I sprayed with a Deft rattlecan. I learned my lesson with Deft rattlecans. I tried to take a shortcut and it bit me.

    As for the SG, I have tried scuffing, sanding, waxing, buffing, NAPTHA, you name it. It is to a point that the red is so thin the brown mahogany is showing through and it is still sticky. The only thing that helps is a liberal dose of finger ease. One of these days that neck is going to get reshot with some Behlen's. Until then, it is mostly a case queen.

    So for me, lacquer is just a comfortable way to spray. It's not about sound, smell or feel. I can get 4 or 5 types of lacquer locally, quarts or gallons. Add in some trans tint, and I'm a happy camper.

    The guy at my auto paint supplier keeps trying to get me to switch to an automotive type clear coat. I like that it is cured and ready to buff in about 8 hours, but the level of toxicity, price, clean up, and unforgiving nature keep me from trying them.
     

  17. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    I wonder if we should differentiate between Nitro, Lacquer and Poly....I feel pretty sure they are all 3 different things......

    ????
     

  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    They are indeed, and beyond that, there are a myriad of sub-classifications under each category...

    Take just, Nitrocellulose lacquer.... there are catalyzed Nitrocellulose lacquers... that's a very short "jump" between that and full blown polyurethanes...

    There are also water-born Nitrocellulose Lacquers... with little similarity between that and the Nitros of the 50's and 60's..

    industrial coatings chemistry is infinitely complex, and the chemists are equally resourceful .. when a manufacturer of whatever product, requires specific qualities, they are quick to accommodate.

    DeWalt doesn't have to boogie into Home Depot and order a truckload of DeWalt Yella paint, off the rack. Milwaukee, isn't gonna send a truck down to Sherwin Williams to pickup a few hundred rattle cans of the Red they like, and Blue Bird won't have to visit Arnold's Auto refinishing supplies to find a few hundred barrels of School Bus Yellow either... they can all call the specialized coatings suppliers, specify the characteristics they are looking for, and sit back and wait... not very long either..

    rk
     

  19. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California

  20. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Focusing just on the looks and feel keeps the argument scientifically valid :)
     

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