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Anyone not like nitro?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Chet Johnson, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Chet Johnson

    Chet Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    I've owned , built, and worked on hundreds of guitars over the years. I just really prefer the durability of polyurethane finishes. Nitro is great if you want a guitar to age easily, but I can't imagine finish making any tone difference on an electric guitar especially. Woods, hardware, and pickups seem much more important to me in that aspect.

    Anyone agree?
     
  2. M3Organ

    M3Organ Tele-Meister

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    You are not alone. I prefer polyurethane as long as it is not too thick. I am looking forward to trying this pre-cat lacquer the owner at my local hardwood lumber store recommended though.
     
  3. chipbutty24

    chipbutty24 Friend of Leo's

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    I used to be in the "nitro is better" camp until I got educated.
     
  4. openbar

    openbar Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Indifferent.
     
  5. arakele

    arakele Tele-Holic

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    I don't care either way, I just don't like when translucent poly finishes are overly thick.
     
  6. mike shaw

    mike shaw Tele-Holic

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    Tru-Oil!
     
  7. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I love a well done nitro finish. I just don't like the orange peal dimpled ones with the nitro sucked into the grain that Gibson does. I also like a nice thick poly finish. I don't believe that finish thickness effects tone in any way and I like the advantage of being able to buff out minor scratches that a thick finish offers.
     
  8. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

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    Raises hand.

    I used lacquer to paint cars and furniture in the 70's. Why? I could screw it up and just sand and do another coat. Runs? Who cares....sand and another coat. Downside....scratches really easy, shrinks badly, cracks on surfaces that move (like Corvettes).

    I actually went to acrylic enamel for a car with the help of a pro body guy (I'm a shade tree painter). Got a couple runs that flattened out as it hardened. Harder to put on well, but way tougher. Less brittle and doesn't scratch as easily.

    I most recently painted my Cobra kit car 11 years ago using Urathane in a color/clear. I had a run in the clear that I could measure with a ruler. Like 1/8" too high on a curved section inside the headlight area of the nose. I blocked it out and was preparing to have to reclear the car (like back in my lacquer days). To my surprise, I could not find the area that I had blocked out. It was completely blended. Easy for a hack like me to paint, screw up, fix and have come out perfect. The 2 downsides.....it's really expensive. Like 5 times what lacquer would go for. And the stuff is really, really poisonous. So good protective breathing equipment is necessary.



    On guitars, I like tru oil. My most recent guitar was done as a natural basswood body with tru oil. I was done in a couple days instead of months. Came out nice. Cost me maybe 50 cents in tru oil.....3 coats sanded in between and final wet sanded with 1000 and polished/buffed.
     
  9. Tele60x

    Tele60x Tele-Holic

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    Nitro finish is alright on the body. I personally don't like it on the neck and hate the smell.
     
  10. watermanguitars

    watermanguitars TDPRI Member

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    I used to think it mattered too. Then I started to think about it in different terms. The bodies are actually painted before the nitro or poly. My point being this; these bodies already have a layers of paint on them. How can any finish truly effect tone when the wood has been painted?
     
  11. Tele60x

    Tele60x Tele-Holic

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    I can notice a different between poly and satin on a acoustic guitar. When it comes to electrics I don't think it matters as much as the pickups do.
     
  12. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it's the thickness of the finish that matters, even on acoustics. I own a Gibson custom shop acoustic with a very thin nitro finish. I honestly wish it were poly. It would be a whole lot easier to take care of.

    P
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like the look and feel of the nitro.

    I like being able to polish it out and get a sexy look you cannot get with any other coating.

    I like the ease with which it can be spot repaired or another coat laid into the existing coat.

    I like the looks on people's faces when they see the finish.

    But I don't like it because I'm not convinced it is safe enough for us to be using without more precautions. The number of guys who have gotten sick and can't fend for themselves, can't breathe properly makes me nervous. I don't want to encourage people to make choices which might make the end years of their life a living hell.
     
  14. HOBBSTER01

    HOBBSTER01 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 especially on necks.
     
  15. Anchoret

    Anchoret Friend of Leo's

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    Yes.

    Real nitrocellulose seems to stay sticky for an awfully long time, too.
     
  16. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    I'm in the camp of the finish doesn't affect the sound of a solid body.

    With that said, for durability acrylics, enamels and ploys can't be beat but yes they are harder to repair mishaps during the finishing process so that is the ONLY reason I stay with nitro but as I get better at my finishes I'm switching away.

    I did a piece of furniture that will be used to show off plants so water will be an issue and I tried some water based Minwax spray poly. It went on so smooth and flowed out so well and light. Very little sanding and buffing was needed plus being water based no nastys like nitro. Just a little longer curing time but again little to no buffing and not any thicker than a rubbed out nitro finish.

    I'm thinking of doing my first sparkle body next spring using Buckocasters methods and I'm pretty sure I'll be using poly instead of nitro.
     
  17. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    +1

    But there's a whole lot else out there worse.

    M
     
  18. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I dont like it on necks at all unless its so old its cured and not sticky.

    Nothing worse than a flypaper sticky neck.
     
  19. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Doctor of Teleocity

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    It shouldn't be sticky at all.

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    Personally, I prefer poly. It's much more durable and rugged. A nice coat of GHS Guitar Gloss, and it's smooth and slick. Fingerprints wipe right off, and sweat doesn't eat into a poly finish like on a nitro one.

    For most people, I just think a poly finish is far more practical.
     
  20. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    I HATE it on necks...stays sticky for what seems like forever. On bodies, if it's done well, it can look ok, but I still don't care for it. I don't like having to worry about which stand I use or which strap I use, or which sunscreen or bug spray I might have on etc.
     
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