POLY, NITRO, OR REVLON...HELP!

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Codswallop, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Codswallop

    Codswallop TDPRI Member

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    Greetings,
    I'd like to do some drop fills in the dings of the clearcoat of my '83 Tele Elite. But I can't find any information on what the original finish was. I even looked for the info in an '83 Fender catalog and came up with only color selections.

    Was Fender still using lacquer in '83 or had they switched to polyurethane based finishes by then? Or was it some other type of finish? If it was lacquer was it nitrocelluose? :?:

    I asked a couple of techs at 2 different Authorized Fender Dealers and they said use "clear fingernail polish"!?!?! :eek: UH...not in MY lifetime!

    Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks :D
     
  2. WickedGTR

    WickedGTR Friend of Leo's

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    It's poly. I have heard of people using superglue as well...
     
  3. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I've read more than once about people using nail polish to fix dings in a guitar. I even remember someone saying that he took his guitar to the nail salon and let the girls do the touch ups and that they always got it perfect.
     
  4. dean

    dean Friend of Leo's

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    Actually, nail polish might be fine . . .

    I guess you have to decide if you want to maintain the originality of the guitar - if so, don't do anything and live with the aging elements that the dings provide. Lots of people pay extra for this "relic-ing". But I'm not sure I'd classify an '83 as a vintage guitar (IMO), so I can see why you'd want to repair some of the flaws - I would, too. Whenever I've had the problem, I've used nail polish for the repair. It is essentially an acrylic lacquer that has many of the characteristics of nitro lacquer, but it is much more durable. It flows well and can be used to fill some of the deeper dents. It is also absolutely clear. If you need to do a color repair, you can get just about any tint that you can think of, and you don't have to buy a large amount for a tiny repair. For larger areas that need repair, I will generally sand the area and spray a lacquer.

    I have also used superglue for drop fills,and that works well. Bt with superglue, I almost always have to do some sanding and buffing. That's not the case with nail polish.

    I guess the only finish I wouldn't use nail polish on would be a vintage nitro finish - not because it woouldn't work, but because it would be an alteration of the guitar.

    Good luck with your repair.

    Dean
     
  5. bender-freak

    bender-freak Friend of Leo's

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    nail polish

    i do the nail polish thing and have had great results, depending on how "big" the oops.....it was my wife's idea 20 some years ago and i thought....NEVER...!!!!...but then, after talking to a local luthier and getting his price for a "pro" job..!!!!!..GOOD GRIEF, what insanity...!!!!!.....i thought, i'll try her idea....i still have that guitar to this day in my stable of axes....anyhoo, it's nail polish for me and i stick the money i save into something important....."another tele...more pickups.....flowers for the wife....................!
     
  6. droo

    droo Tele-Meister

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    lol that would be awesome to see.

    like "hmmm excuse me but er my guitar needs a manicure.............really"
     
  7. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

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    +1 for nail varnish!

    I had a ding in my black Stratocaster over 20 years ago. I didn't take the guitar, but had a girl in "Boots the chemist" paint my nails until I found a suitably "black" colour (I recall that some of the blacks looked brown).

    That repair is still in place and virtually unnoticeable.

    I also had a ding in the black part of my sunburst Tele. Same technique, using black nail varnish to fill the area, although in this case, I went over it with a clear coat. The results are not "as new", but no one notices, so I'm happy.
     
  8. Codswallop

    Codswallop TDPRI Member

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    Looks like nailpolish isn't such a crazy idea after all! :oops: Well, as they say, "live and learn". It sure makes the job of finding touch up paint a lot easier, and the color choices are almost endless. Now...as far as going through the check out line with your 4 bottles of Revlon in hand...I think I'll wear a disguise! :rolleyes:
     
  9. telewacked

    telewacked Tele-Holic

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    speaking of poly...

    can it be removed? I have a sunburst '92 AS I'd like to refinish, including a nitro finish and vintage bridge. I've heard it's real tough to get the poly off though, and may not be worth the effort.
    Thoughts?
     
  10. charriman

    charriman TDPRI Member

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    Re: speaking of poly...

    Depends... Here is the aftermath of me falling on the ice with my AmStd in a gigbag. It started off as a chip with some of the finish flaking off. I tried to get rid of the flakes to just touch up the spot. The finish just kept coming off in small sheets... I've peeled off most of it now. The back is completely stripped now...
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    2576 x 1932 pixels

    That's the biggest picture I've seen posted in this forum. I seem to recall seeing something about picture size ............ Oh yeah ............ here it is.

    [​IMG]

    Nail polish is essentially nitro lacquer.
     
  12. telewacked

    telewacked Tele-Holic

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    Re: speaking of poly...

    The wood looks nice.

    What kind of vintage bridge are you using?
     
  13. charriman

    charriman TDPRI Member

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    Re: speaking of poly...

    That would be a Vintique.
     
  14. charriman

    charriman TDPRI Member

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    Re: 2576 x 1932 pixels

    Sorry about that. It looked like it was smaller in preview.
     
  15. Codswallop

    Codswallop TDPRI Member

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    I went out and hit the cosmetic counters looking at different nail polish manufacturers and their ingredient lists. :oops: 1 brand that prominently displays nitrocelluose as a major component of the polish: Sally Hansen :!: . I was a little concerned to not see lacquer thinner mentioned in any as a viscosity reducer...it was mostly butyl & ethyl aceatate and various types of alcohol. I was a little worried about it hazing the clear. One thing to watch out for are the extra add-ins of some of these polishes such as "diamond powder" and "alumina"(I imagine a form of powered aluminum).

    Anyway, I gave it a go, and the results were particularly satisfying! :eek: I'm going to also wet sand and buff a drop fill to see if it has the same properties and look as the surrounding area. Those results will be forthcomming when it has a week to dry(just to be safe) ;) .
     
  16. Unadan

    Unadan Tele-Holic

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    Codswallop how did this project go for you?
     
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