old nitro vs new nitro

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Chick-N-Picker, May 17, 2015.

  1. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I was not really interested in duplicating anything Fender or any other company ever did. I was more intrigued at the idea of mixing up a lacquer finish that could be used. For no other reason than why people wind their own pickups and make their own bodies, necks and hardware.
  2. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

    Sep 20, 2008
    Ping pong balls and acetone?
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    If you order anything with it in it... like Celluloid binding or pick-guards, you will pay a hazardous materials premium to get it shipped..

    the component that makes it Nitro, Nitrated Cellulose, can explode in SOME situations... and the stuff, when it catches fire generates it's own oxygen, making it darn near impossible to extinguish.. and the fact that a major component of the Solvent it's suspended in is acetone... makes it about as explosive as Baked Beans, washed down with a couple shots of a good bourbon...

    back in the Wild West, in the late 1800's, the billiard balls were made of Celluloid plastic (at least the early attempts at plastic) well the darn balls could explode if hit too hard... not a good sound in a Tombstone Saloon in the 1870's,,,

  4. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the organization on which most current electrical and fire codes are based, STILL has a specific (and rigorous) code on "Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Film". NFPA 40. Used to be, all movies (and stills, that weren't on glass, ) were shot and printed on nitro-based film, and large vaults of them would burn like hell. Essentially all motion picture archives have gone either to digital storage, or non-nitro based film, but nitro was recognized as hazardous stuff (and still is). Apparently there still is enough of it out of there to keep the standard alive, and it's scheduled for revision in 2016.
  5. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    Good old pearloid (and tort) guitar picks are still made from celluloid, as are ping pong balls. Take a lighter to a Fender celluloid pick and it goes up pretty fast, with very little ash leftover!

    Several years back one of my neighbors worked at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Denver. It's been a concert venue for years, but originally it started off as a movie theatre. He got me into a Pink Floyd laser show (yes, it was pretty awesome) and I hung out with him afterwards as he was cleaning up. After he finished cleaning he let me poke around the theatre for a little while, and we popped into the old projection booth: they still had all the old steel drawers for celluloid film, along with some (very old) fire safety labels on them. There was also a steel firewall shutter thing that could be pulled down. I think the idea was that if there was a fire in the projection booth, the firewall would be pulled down to keep the fire from spreading to the theatre itself (I guess they optimistically assumed the projectionist wouldn't just run screaming out of the booth first!)

    All the old projection gear was long gone (IIRC they use it as a spotlight booth these days), but it was cool to see such old reminders of history like that.
  6. GraemeHayward

    GraemeHayward NEW MEMBER!

    Aug 9, 2013
    Cape Town
    I really like the tops of the old bursts - the wavy grain of the flat sawn maple; the figure running counter to the grain; the burst that brings plays on the figure AND the way the old nitro wears, cracks and gets that honey hue.
    I don't like the idea of finishing and instrument and thinking that it won't age like that. I think the cracking etc. tells a story & gives a lot of character.
    ...problem is... in my country I need to import most parts, but NC lacquers won't ship internationally. The local stuff is not what I want and smells like ammonia.
    I have managed to buy NC "prills" online - these are just the undissolved NC flakes. I have dissolved and used these and am happy that it works. The prills are cheap also cheap to ship.
    If there were any known additives in the 50's & earlier, I could try adding those - but I think it works fine as is.
  7. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 25, 2009
    N. Ireland
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