Weather Checking - what is going on here?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Cuzin B, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Andoris

    Andoris Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Just because one website says it is, doesn't mean it is. It was the same specs as a regular 52 of that year, just had the body made of Korina wood. Unless there is something about Korina wood pores that need poly grain filler, but I doubt it. I've played maybe 8 of these across the province since 2015 and the finish is not poly urethane-which is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  2. Cuzin B

    Cuzin B TDPRI Member

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    Fair enough. I just find it very odd that the body has not a single check yet the neck is/was a bit of a check disaster.

    Do not understand how one would be effected so much and other not at all if they have the same finish on the same guitar in the same case left in the same cold.
     
  3. Kloun

    Kloun TDPRI Member

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    There is only one logical and scientific reason to explain the checking: your guitar has magical superpowers.

    Seriously, I haven't seen checking disappear like that. It looks like a nitrocellulose type of checking. When I say that, nitro cellulose will check when changing temperatures, and I doubt poly would do that because it's basically plastic.

    The disappearing checking is weird to me. Maybe it expanded back so you can't see the checking any more. Other than that, your guess is good as mine.
     
  4. Cuzin B

    Cuzin B TDPRI Member

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    I popped the case open again today after letting the guitar sit overnight - and the checking had returned. Not as pronounced as my initial first photos - but there none the less.

    After sleeping on it - I have decided to let this one go. Can't risk this turning into something that might actually take a turn for the worse later on. And to be perfectly honest - the guitar is not speaking to me. The sound is okay but it's not making me overly excited - especially for the price paid.
     
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  5. dinomike77

    dinomike77 Tele-Meister

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    One time I dusted my nitro AV 58 around the neck pickup using canned air. The air came out cold and all these check lines appeared on the fret board near the heel. I was mortified. The next day, they were gone and have not reappeared in the last 5 years or so. I live in the southwest US.


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  6. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Canned air doesn't have any air in it. It's filled with a propellant that gets very cold as it exits the can and often drags droplets of ice-cold liquid along with it.

    A much better choice for that is ReAir (refillable can with a Schrader valve on the bottom for adding compressed air) or a large-sized blower bulb like the Giottos Rocket.
     
  7. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Holic

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    Did you buy it from someone named Jacob Marley?
     
  8. Karaokesquirrel

    Karaokesquirrel TDPRI Member

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    For what it’s worth, I bought a new Gurian in 1972 (all nitro) that had a lot of checking on body and neck; likely happened during shipping (got a small discount for the checking). I still have it. It’s fine.
     
  9. John E

    John E Tele-Afflicted

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    I will bet that any guitar you buy that has nitro finish that goes through the same shipping experience as the one you described here will react similarly. It usually seems to happen with extreme temp changes, but based on your description that easily may have happened sitting outside for 4+ hours in sub freezing temps... before you even brought it in the house. I love nitro but in my experiences it is extremely finicky stuff already and so is the wood that it covers. I expect immediate wear and unless it is transported in a heated vehicle from place to place and only hangs in a temp controlled room. I would say if you like the way it plays and sounds keep it because it will likely happen again in winter shipping (if you are buying/shipping the same model).
     
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  10. Rufustelestrats

    Rufustelestrats Tele-Holic

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    The reason they used poly on the body is not explained, but I suspect that the wood is susceptible to over drying and cracking. This combined with the ultra thin (at the time) flash nitro might lead to them being worried about returns.
     
  11. Cuzin B

    Cuzin B TDPRI Member

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    Understood. In your case - it seems you knew about the checking and got some value out of it (discount etc). And most importantly - you are good with it.

    In my case - I had no knowledge of what I was about to get and had no conversations, warnings or anything about the potential of it occurring. I guess what I am saying is that I am not interested in purchasing damage that was not part of the deal in any way.

    And there are many possible reasons for it. Maybe have occurred on the way over getting thrown in the back of a truck at -25C . The guitar originally shipped from Ontario where it has been nasty cold. That kind of deep freeze action for 3 or 4 days would be enough to damage any nitro guitar. When it was on my step - it was on -1C out. Not really damaging at all considering the box it was in.

    Or this damage could have occurred prior to me ever seeing it. As detailed - this checking shows itself at specific temps so if this axe was sitting on a toasty showroom floor for months having being traded in during warmer months - no one would be able to see the damage - until it was subjected to something less than 15C for a while. Unfortunate weirdness but that is on the seller to communicate.

    I looked in on it again this morning and frets 1-7 have all sorts of cracks showing but much less than those first pictures I posted. Case thermometer was reading 19.4 C. A tick less than room temp.

    It's too bad - it's a good looking guitar but I really can't risk this turning into something bigger (and more serious) on down the line. I do not want to keep it and then pick it up in 2022 just to find a piece of lacquer from Fret 3 lying in the case.

    B
     
  12. Cuzin B

    Cuzin B TDPRI Member

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    To be honest - I am not crazy about how it sounds. Or the weight or the ill fitted pick guard. I expected more out of the guitar considering it's "limited edition" vibe and high quality materials etc. Right now - it's just another Tele with finish damage that I need to return.

    There will be others - but unless I find one down the street that I can drive home myself in my heated truck - I won't be chasing anymore nitro guitars in winter. :)

    B
     
  13. John E

    John E Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear ya, that makes sense. That's why I got the Paisley RW... comes complete with finish checking already included... lol. I don't need to worry about my dog running across it on the couch, it'll just add to the character.
     
  14. Cuzin B

    Cuzin B TDPRI Member

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    Nice! Yeah - if this was some uber desirable Tele that spoke to me (like my beloved 1971 maple board that I foolishly traded in back in the 80's) and was beat to crap because it's 48 years old - I would care about the checking.

    I was really hoping than a more modern guitar would have a tougher skin made with 2015 materials - but man - those checks from frets 1-7 and the head stock are just an eyesore. It is not "cool" checking by any means.

    B
     
  15. Karaokesquirrel

    Karaokesquirrel TDPRI Member

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    I used to be a fan of nitro but not so much now. I understand Fender changed to Polyurethane for most MIM and MIA models because of the environmental hazard with nitro-cellulose lacquer. I have late model American / Corona Ca Fenders and I love the finishes, more comfortable neck finish than nitro and never had any wear or checking issues. Both bodies have beautiful colors and are nicely resonant.
     
  16. john_t

    john_t Tele-Meister

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    I just watched a YT video of a guy create the nitro checking by using a heat gun and then following with the upside down air spray can. The extreme heat followed by the freezing cold created the checking immediately. He said that if the checking disappears, just repeat the process until its permanent.

    So this is definitely related to extreme temperature changes, it has nothing to do with string tension, truss rod, etc. The fact that the checking reappeared is not a good sign and the OP is wise to return the guitar.
     
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  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good points, all.

    I've worked a bit with these lacquers, and this type of lacquer does have a lot of self healing properties. At the molecular level, stuff is migrating around and were this not true, it would not be anywhere near as easy to do those very clever lacquer spot repairs (good as new) that we could only dream about when working with a catalyzed (poly) finish.

    So many things we fool with, whether steel, or glass, are rich with small faults and defects running through them. But the substance only fails when it fails, and fault lines can just lie there dormant and amount in the end to nothing. I think we imagine things we buy to be much more "perfect" than they are in fact. At least lacquer is "alive" and cracks can resolve for the most part.

    So the guitar goes back because Korina is over rated, the guitar isn't light enough and isn't lighting the O.P.'s fire. But if he orders a replacement in ash or whatever, also with lacquer, unless Spring comes all at once ahead of time, the same thing could happen again and it just is not IMO a big deal.

    +

    I think if modern lacquer finishes could not resolve to some degree, Fender and others would simply have to throw in the towel and not sell any of their lacquer products in Canada, Alaska or the Plains or Midwest of the USA. These products would IMO have to be killed off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  18. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'd have a hard time rationalizing a return and refund, given the likelyhood that it occurred during shipping in this insane weather. It probably went from a semi-heated facility to the unheated back of a truck. I don't think I'd hand it back to the seller with damage that it likely didn't have originally.

    Perhaps an insurance claim? I honestly don't know what to advise.
     
  19. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    One year ago I had a 50's style solid body Blackguard Nachocaster shipped from Valencia, Spain, to Calgary Alberta.

    The trip took all of three days; faster than most regular Canada Post deliveries across the city. The shipping process began in Valencia Spain at 13:54 (local time) on January 8th, when it became available for UPS to do their thing. Onto Germany, Louisville KY, Sioux Falls SD, then Calgary Alberta, where it was delivered by a van at 11:30 (local time) on the 11th of January. According to records temperature that day in Calgary ranged from -23 to -28 Celsius ( appx. -10 to -13 F). The temperature was at -28 when I actually received my package, whereupon I slowly unwrapped the exterior wrappings of the 'mummified' package, which eventually exposed the tweed hard shell case. The package overall felt colder than ..... well take a guess.

    There was no evidence of any shipping or other damage, so the 'very cold' case was left unopened overnight in a normally heated room before any further investigation.

    On slowly opening the following morning this guitar was exactly as I had hoped. No different to the eighty or so photos I had previously received, and no evidence of any additional cold weather trauma.

    The Nachocaster is a museum quality replica of the original Fender Blackguards of the early fifties, and made to similar specifications. The finish on the guitar does have aging signs of course, but nothing like the ones that Cuzin B's guitar shows. It is a wonderful guitar. 'Nuff said - .....

    My point here is that this shouldn't really have happened to Cuzin's guitar, IMO.

    Unless this guitar has tone and definition to dream about, back she should go to the freezing East. Too bad.

    Good luck ........ And do pack it well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  20. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry, double post.

    I know not why......
     
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