1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Lacquer not checking

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by klobasa, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    511
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Europe
    Hi, any ideas why does the lacquer on my body not check? I used Boston brand nitro, they advertise that it yellows, cracks and checks. I have left the body outside in -15C for hours, took it inside and heated it in oven, back to outside for hours...multiple times. I also tried the hair dryer + compressed air method multiple times. I have been doing these rapid temperature changes now for two days...and the body has zero checking.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,291
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Location:
    U.S.
    I'm no expert, but my guess is it hasn't cured.

    How long ago did you spray it?
     
    Mr.Ike likes this.
  3. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    511
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Europe
    I was thinking that too... I sprayed it a month ago. It passes the smell test, though.

    3 coats of primer, 3 color, 5 clear.
     
    Rjelecaster likes this.
  4. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Lacquer doesn't "cure," it just dries. Still, you can wait a while and try again; you'll probably get the same result. Those are really extreme temperature changes and would normally be expected to cause checking and crackling. I guess you just did too good a job1
     
    Asmith, JuneauMike and Mouth like this.
  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,882
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    There are a lot of things called "Lacquer"... are you sure yours is really Nitrocellulose lacquer?
     
  6. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    511
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Europe
    Yes, it's nitrocellulose lacquer.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    679
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    It takes months to fully harden. Most companies spraying nitro will have them in some sort of sealed room to speed up the cure time. I know from experience using spray cans of nitro it took about 3 months to fully cure.
     
  8. BerkshireDuncan

    BerkshireDuncan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    275
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2020
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    I carelessly stored a spare Am Std body in the loft (lined out house roofspace) It checked 'nicely'.. which wasn't the plan at all..
     
  9. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    LACQUER DOESN'T CURE. It dries. Properly applied, it should be fully dry and ready for high-speed buffing within ten days; sometimes within twenty minutes.
    Improperly applied, it can take months. Most of us who are hobbyist refinishers don't do it correctly or are using poorly formulated products, so we often have to wait longer.

    I've finished instruments and assembled them within twenty-four hours, and they were fine. I refinished the seat of a Hitchcock chair late one afternoon, and have been sitting on it since breakfast the next morning. It's still fine a year later.
     
  10. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    511
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Europe
    I had no problem buffing the body, came out great. Does also not smell anymore. But why does it not check?

    I guess a good example of poorly applied nitro was my 52RI tele. It was over ten years old, still very soft and sticky. This my body has now much harder paint job than that ever had.
     
  11. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    511
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Europe
    Anyways, I decided to assemble the guitar and play it. I will try the heat/cold method again in 2-3 months.
     
  12. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The paint's probably just too thick to check, and I guarantee that the manufacturer considers susceptibility to checking to be a manufacturing flaw. Some custom finishers work wonders with X-Acto knives, but I don't know how they get such convincing results. That's coming from a professional illustrator who specializes in line work.
     
  13. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,953
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
    I've been waiting 49 years for my '72 LP to check - nothing yet :)
     
    wblynch likes this.
  14. GeminiCG

    GeminiCG Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    207
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2019
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    I am pretty sure that is because they stopped using nitro in the 60s like Fender for a more durable finish. I could be completely wrong. I will do some research on myself, but I think that is the case.
     
  15. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Gibson still uses nitro for all of its guitars.
     
    Jerry_Mountains likes this.
  16. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    2,249
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I remember a thread where a member did try to make his nitro finished guitar to check and was seeing no result... until it showed, BIG time.

    Apparently it can take a couple of days to be obvious after giving the cold/heat treatment.

    The owner had not realized it had checked because there was only hair thin lines, but within a couple of days they grew larger and he wished he had not done the process multiple times thinking it wasn’t working.
     
  17. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2,369
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    EsquireBoy, that's not the first time I've heard a story like that. It's a common practice to put some dark shoe polish on the guitar and rub it off to see if there are cracks that would otherwise be invisible. And it's not just to check whether they're there; relic finishers do it to emphasize them.
     
  18. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,635
    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Location:
    austin
    You need to let cure longer. I also found that it works better if you help it by creating nicks and dings.
    The checking will start at those points.
    I recently had good luck by doing this.
    My finish is probably 9+ months old and I used an exacto knife to make small marks on the roundover going from the top to the side. Same on the back.
    8CCCADA5-A907-4EDC-A141-F3FB61731D7F.jpeg
     
  19. mrchen

    mrchen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    33
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2020
    Location:
    Chicago
    Has anyone tried to force checking on the old Fender Highway One bodies? They advertised them as having "thin skin" nitro at the time, but many came to discover the poly sealer coat just under the lacquer. That model in particular also seems to have an enormous amount of plasticizers and matting agents in the lacquer-- all so that Fender could cut down on drying time and ship a faster product to market.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.