Tele Deluxe Finishes

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by losador, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. losador

    losador TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2020
    Location:
    UK
    I was wondering if anyone had info on the history of the finishes on original run Tele Deluxes from 72-81? I thought I has read somewhere that they were all poly, but I think I have seen a few examples of nitro ones. Anyone got any info on this? Cheers.
     
  2. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,706
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Italy and Switzerland
    If my info is correct, when Deluxes started production (Dec 1972?) Fender/CBS had largely completed its transition to poly (1968). Hard to imagine that they'd do factory nitro finishes on a one-off basis, as the emphasis was very much on streamlined, standardized production (hence the dwindling number of finishes available over the 70s). This does not exclude that there may be nitro refins around, of course.
     
  3. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Location:
    San Antonio
    My understanding is the only standard nitro on vintage tele deluxes was on the headstock for the decal. Im pretty sure that’s true for the early runs.

    I’ve discovered things about the later runs that I had no clue. So maybe some of those had more nitro.
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    5,898
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I can’t verify it but I’ve heard that some of the colors were nitro

    I don’t remember exactly which one/s but for some reason I’m thinking mocha/walnut may be
     
  5. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    388
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Orange County California
    I think it's one of those "unsolved mysteries". This article discusses it a bit:

    https://guitar.com/review/1970-stratocaster/

    The article states:
    "According to all the sources, a 1970 Stratocaster should have a poly finish, but the true picture is somewhat more complex. Fender had been using a non-cellulose basecoat called Fullerplast since the early 1960s and some custom colours were actually acrylic rather than nitrocellulose. To complicate matters further, it’s reported that some finishes had nitro colours topped with clear poly topcoats, while others had poly basecoats topped with clear nitro. So what exactly is blondie wearing?

    The answer is that we’re not entirely sure. Everything on this guitar glows under a blacklight exactly as you would expect vintage nitrocellulose to."

    according to an old thread here, someone said that they did use nitro in the 1970's

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/did-fender-shoot-nitro-in-the-70s.79146/

    GuitarHQ says that lacquer was used for the sunbursts.

    http://www.guitarhq.com/fenderc.html

    "Also it should be noted that 1968 and later Fenders are not entirely AUC (Aliphatic Urethane Coating). What Fender did was seal the body (as always), and then spray the sunburst colors with lacquer. Now instead of using lacquer as the clear coat over the sunburst, they just sprayed two coats of AUC. Also the face of the peghead stayed entirely lacquer, even though the rest of the neck was spray with AUC. This happened because the peghead "Fender" decal reacted with AUC. The problem occured because in 1968 Fender now clearcoated *over* the peghead decal for the first time."

    As for my opinion, not that it matters anyways because I was never connected to fender or around in the factory, but they 100% did use nitrocellulose for the headstocks due to the reaction poly had with the decals. My 1974 Strat has nitro for sure, with the back being poly. The front has aged/yellowed, while the back has remained the same color.

    I wouldn't put it past Fender to use nitro, at least on some of the custom colors. Like if its a big production run and they're painting many guitars in a standard color, poly would make sense. If it's a special order for a custom color that there weren't too many orders for, maybe they did use nitro. Nitro has one advantage over poly (especially if you are using a poly base coat like fullerplast): it's easy to strip. Get some acetone and you can get rid of that goofy color you used and repaint. Who knows? My opinion is just me babbling about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    maloburro and losador like this.
  6. losador

    losador TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2020
    Location:
    UK
    That’s great info, thanks a lot!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.