Watch. Lots of companies still make nitrocellulose without acrylic resins. The word ‘plasticiser’ sets alarm bells ringing for nitrocellulose die-hards. Such susceptibility to temperatures makes it a rather poor choice for always traveling guitarists. I'm pretty sure the JO-27 has a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Neck and body yoke can be out of alignment; As long as you’re not looking to use this with a Tele, the Fender Deluxe Hanging Guitar Stand is one of the best options for nitro finish guitars. Our Brands; Packaging Option. Though it was used to electrifying effect in the second half of the 1960s by Jimi Hendrix and Dave Davies and later became iconic, the Flying V’s take off was somewhat delayed. Buy It Now +$10.70 shipping. Who knows what the deciding factor was? Why? Inside this issue: Hendrix's iconic Flying V and SG moments, what to expect from the pedal world this year, and why one guitarist is shredding on a mountaintop 3,000 metres above ground. Nitrocellulose lacquer also takes pigments and dyes very well, and it can be sanded and polished to a mirror finish. Sherwin-Williams Opex and the Mohawk lacquers are all nitro. You can get a very good finish with other compounds and other processes, but we want a great finish every time. Secondly, the balance of ingredients used in modern nitrocellulose lacquer has changed substantially from what it was back in the day. GB155302731 The majority of guitars that have nitro finish are also hand-crafted and of higher quality. 4.6 out of 5 stars 47. This is equally important for guitarists looking for the warm, vintage sound of Gibson, or the crystal, electric sound of Schecter. poverly wrote:for a year or two, santa cruz french-polished (with shellac) the tops of a few guitars.on tony rice's latest tony pro, he wanted a finish that didn't look so shiny (tony wondered about just "buffing" cured nitrocellulose lacquer with 0000 … Net Wt. It also enables you to perform drop-fill repairs to chips and polish out superficial scratches. The reason being that it is pretty nasty stuff, with health and environmental issues. Another UK supplier that sells a wide range of coloured and clear lacquer. The coating process, however, is rather time-consuming. Both brands keep using nitro finish for some modern electric guitars, which can be found in Fender’s and Gibson’s Custom shops. However, it doesn’t mean that finish integrity and protective qualities diminish. This is a love or hate relationship, you see. Having used the Bonehard lacquer, we can report it yellows up nicely and will check easily, but spray thin coats if you want to avoid runs. Even back in the 50s and 60s, lacquer had placticisers, and it became an issue only for those who prefer their finishes to age in the vintage style, or for would-be relic’ers who couldn’t get their lacquer to crack. Maybe because of the kick-ass marketing (highly doubt that), or the metal coating finish wasn’t that great, or the guitarists have caught on the great sound it helps create. It is also essential to wear a breathing mask that can block out vapour as well as airborne particles. Not necessarily. “Many people think that the old nitro aged over time and, yes, that is true, but it was already very dark right from the can. The vintage stuff looks like tea, modern stuff looks more like canola oil. I put a scratch-crack through the lacquer finish of my Johnson JO-27 with a bridge pin puller. Especially compared to new finish options. With time it gets even thinner; it loses color, becoming yellow and greenish. Plasticisers make nitrocellulose more durable and less prone to checking and chipping, so it’s hardly surprising that their use became widespread. This eliminated the need for grain filling and meant the expensive nitro could be sprayed thinner without sinking into the grain – so Fullerplast saved Fender time and money. $41.42 $ 41. I’d say it completely worth the trouble, don’t you say? Though the final result is simply excellent and besides, it may take years until the finish starts losing color. Generally, if it passes the visual test, it is the old stuff and will crack very easily. After dying the bodies yellow, they were dipped in Fullerplast, which dried rapidly to form a flat coating for nitrocellulose to be sprayed on top. From Our Brands. 4.6 out of 5 stars 13. Rothko and Frost £11.95 to £16.75 per can Fender used this coating on their guitars frequently during the ‘50s and ‘60s, but it was actually first designed in 1921 by DuPont as a spray-on paint for cars and motorcycles. When subsequent coats are applied, the thinners melt the surface of the previous coat, allowing the fresh coat to bond with it. Posted in: Finishes Tagged: guitar finish , guitar restoration , nitrocellulose lacquer , relic guitar , vintage finish The reason was that ‘Japan Black’ lacquer was one of the few widely available metal coatings available at the time, and its fast-drying characteristics were indispensible on Ford’s assembly line. However, nitrocellulose lacquer dries slowly compared to modern finishes and it’s far more time consuming and labour intensive to achieve high-quality results with it. Let’s take a more in-depth look, shall we? Spraying guitars is an absorbing hobby, and with practice and patience you can achieve results that will rival the pros. Its enduring popularity as an instrument finish is based on its beautiful depth and lustre, its ability to protect wood without inhibiting resonance and a supposed ability to ‘breathe’. However, with a rather soft and airy texture, the finish evaporates over time, making the coating thinner and less resistant. Many players love the way nitrocellulose-finished guitars age over decades, and the best way to maintain the look is regular cleaning and polishing. Guitar.com Live — THE WORLD'S LEADING VIRTUAL GUITAR SHOW —, Reverend’s first S-type has vintage looks and modern electrics, Neil Young sells half of his song copyrights to Hipgnosis for an estimated $150 million. This Cardiff-based company sells a huge rage of stains, base coats and finishes. Though if that’s not enough, nitro has the excellent color quality and striking gloss. These days, we have to make do with whatever nitrocellulose lacquer we can get, and very few of us own professional spraying equipment. © 2021 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. ColorTone Modern Clear Gloss Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer, 1-Quart Can. Part of the mystique surrounding nitrocellulose lacquer is that this was the finish used by Gibson, and many other classic makers, in the heyday of the electric guitar… The resulting liquid can be sprayed and the extremely volatile solvent thinner evaporates almost immediately, to leave behind a layer of nitrocellulose solids. The nitro lacquer itself was created much later in the 50s, by combining nitrocellulose (which acts as a binding agent) and a solvent (a wide variety of chemical compounds). Guitar.com is the world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar. Some had finishes that were part nitro and part acrylic, nitro and polyester or even a combination of all three. Each layer can only be applied after the previous one has completely dried out. The resulting paint is then sprayed onto cars, furniture, saxophones, and… did I forget something? It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. Mostly, Fender sprayed nitrocellulose clear coats over the acrylic coats, and because the clear coats yellowed and checked over the years, many people have assumed wrongly that these finishes were pure nitrocellulose. Old lacquer was seen as having certain undesirable traits. It’s no coincidence I’ve mentioned classic and vintage electric guitars before. These ones are created and considered to be of the highest quality and craftsmanship. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. Even more confusing is Gibson’s use of the word ‘poly’ to describe its metallic finishes, when they were acrylic like the rest of Gibson’s custom colours. A DuPont employee called Edmund Flaherty invented nitrocellulose lacquer in 1921. When a global pandemic threatened to jeopardise this Canadian trio’s third album, guitarist Luke Bentham stepped up to complete a masterclass in power-punk in just 32 hours. When cured, they would be the same.” Sadly, US-manufactured lacquer isn’t available in Europe, because it’s too volatile to ship internationally. ... Mohawk Finishing Products M102-0451 Finisher's Choice Clear Nitrocellulose Lacquer - Flat. The first test I do when shopping for vintage nitro is have them open the lid. Nitro finish is maybe harder to maintain throughout the years. Changing the tubes or speaker in your amp or the pickups in the guitar does LOADS more to the tone of a guitar than the finish ever could. Last 30 days ... ColorTone Modern Clear Gloss Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer, 1-Quart Can. To start with, nitrocellulose is the first man-made plastic invented in the 19th century, by mixing organic cellulose with nitric acid. * Nitrocellulose lacquer (commonly called “nitro” or simply just “lacquer”) finishes are great, don’t get me wrong. In our final part of our look at the stylings of the legendary Three Kings, we tackle the searing style of Freddie King. For Fender, mid 20th century was the Golden Age, and for all die-hard Fender fans, nitro is equal to the word “classic.” Fender has experimented with a bunch with paint finishes, including acrylic paint, though nitro was the dominant choice. Naturel, vintage naturel and a broad spectrum of sunburst finishes on request Specialty: reproduction of the first American archtop guitars of the twenties and thirties The last thing worth noting is the difficulty of applying the nitro lacquer. DuPont made nitrocellulose lacquer called Duco and acrylic lacquer called Lucite. We have achieved some great results with Steve’s lacquer because it sprays evenly,is run-resistant and cracks only when you want it to. For a great number of years lacquer was the go-to finish for many products including guitars. Here we have a brand new Collings D-1T dreadnaught guitar. The new finishes are softer, which is what prevents them from chipping and checking. Not necessarily. If you subscribe to the idea that a thin nitrocellulose finish is the best option for resonance and allowing the wood to ‘breathe’, it’s worth finding out if that lacquer finish is what it purports to be before paying a premium price for it. These guitars are coveted. GB155302731 Use when applying a new finish or on spot repairs when rubbing will be necessary. Compatible with Behlen solvent base stains and other Behlen aerosol lacquers. It’s as simple as that. Fortunately, there are several companies in the UK that supply lacquer in aerosols, and most of the classic colours are available – along with clear and tinted varieties. With 2021 likely to be another strange year for many of us, we caught up with the great and the good of the effects world. It’s understandable that paint makers and guitar manufacturers wanted their finishes to look good for as long as possible. Besides, as the finish is relatively thin, it highlights the natural wood textures. If you dig their majestic “mojo” and the way they wear over time, awesome. In addition, the chemicals in the lacquer are hazardous to health and the environment, and – since it’s highly flammable – it’s dangerous to store nitrocellulose lacquer in large quantities. So, nitro’s main advantage is pretty clear – a great sound. Yep, it's time to talk about this. Finishing your guitar body in a colour rather than clear finish can dramatically change the personality of the guitar. Two 60s Lake Placid Blue Jazzmasters - but the left guitar has a nitro top coat, which has yellowed over time. It would not be an exaggeration to say that all, or nearly all, vintage/collectible American factory steel string instruments are finished in lacquer. Nitrocellulose lacquers have been around for almost a century; originally used for acoustic instruments, saxophones and even cars. Aerosols are made to order. 13 oz. What we do know that it became one of the staples for guitarists and guitar brands for good reasons. The days when you could find nitro lacquer in car-accessories shops are long gone, but you can still get clear lacquer from furniture-finish suppliers. Fender used both, and Olympic White, alongside all the Fender metallic finishes, was actually acrylic. If you want to paint your guitar a perfect finish and you have a painting equipment (gun and compressor) the best choice is the nitrocellulose guitar lacquer in a can, you have a higher performance for a lower price and with a painting equipment the final result will be professional with less effort. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! According to George Gruhn, the Occupational Safety And Health Administration in the US “forced makers of finishes to change their formulas over the years. It tended to yellow up with exposure to UV light; colour pigments often faded; temperature fluctuations caused cracking (checking) and sometimes, the lacquer would start flaking off the body. It’s no coincidence I’ve mentioned classic and vintage electric guitars before. Many fans of vintage electric guitars, such as Fender’s Telecaster and Stratocaster, or Gibson’s Les Paul, expect to see the nitro finish to get the full experience of playing the axe. However, with aging, the axes develop this exquisite vintage coloring and warm undertones. Solvent-based nitrocellulose lacquer has been the dominant finish used by U.S. musical instrument factories for steel string guitars, archtop guitars, banjos and mandolins since the 1920’s. The whole procedure takes several days, as the finish needs to be sprayed onto the guitar several times. Is nitro the best possible polish for electric guitars ever? Former Fender senior finish specialist Jonathan Kornau reports: “The old McFadden’s formula, with the exception of one maleic resin, is still available. Fender also sprayed acrylic over rejected Sunburst finishes to fulfil custom-colour orders. In 1862, Alexander Parkes treated cellulose with nitric acid and a solvent to create the first man-made plastic – nitrocellulose. This is another clear lacquer that’s suitable for furniture and guitars and it’s priced reasonably. Nitrocellulose is dissolved in a solvent, which may comprise naphtha, xylene, toluene, acetone, various ketones, and plasticising materials that enhance durability and flexibility. Everything you ever wanted to know about nitro guitar finishes. Pretty much every collectible acoustic and electric guitar made up until the mid-1960s left the factory with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Rothko and Frost Limited Registered office Building 13/1, Unit C, Vantage Point, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DD, Registered in England and Wales Company Registration Number 7743720 VAT no. - Spruce Top - Mahogany Back and Sides - Mahogany Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard - Bone Nut - Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish This guitar is … Packed with a tuner, a chord and scale database, plus drum grooves to jam along to. Or better yet, we should demand hand-carved, tap-tuned spruce pickguards finished in nitro. To complicate matters further, from possibly as early as 1956 DuPont started using acrylic binders in its nitrocellulose lacquer to prevent yellowing and colour fading, and to inhibit checking. “Over the years, they have ‘fixed’ the inherent problems with nitrocellulose lacquer, where it no longer yellows or cracks with age. Professional finish. The lacquer is sprayed onto the guitar body several times over a few days after the previous layer has completely dried out. It wowed the crowds at NAMM 2020 with its ‘amp in a room’ spatial audio, but is Boss’s wireless headset really a groundbreaking gadget for silent strumming? Is it entirely awful? In the first of a series looking at the chord shapes and sequences used by the Beatles, we get inside the head of John Lennon and find a solid rhythm guitarist with an ear for original chord changes. However, nitrocellulose lacquer is tougher and more scratch resistant. Despite everything else that’s been going on in the world, effects pedal builders have been seeing record sales and huge successes during the pandemic – here’s how they did it. The Gil Parris GPS is loaded with three dual-voice Fishman pickups. ‘Plasticity’ is defined as the ability to deform irreversibly without breaking. 42. It at least makes it harder to maintain during travel. Fender uses a variety of finish types on its instruments, from the original nitrocellulose lacquer finishes used so often in the company’s 1950s-’60s era (and beloved of vintage guitar enthusiasts) to more modern urethane and polyester finishes. Those layers eventually melt into each other and create a resistant and colorful finish, which is later sanded, hand buffed and polished until the glossy and shiny effect is achieved. The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! However, many guitarists are still going nuts over nitrocellulose lacquer. Spraying outdoors on dry days when there is little or no wind is ideal, but opportunities are few in the UK. To get nitrocellulose, you have to take resin and combine it with sulfuric and nitric acids.This process is called nitr… Curtis Novak is a man who knows as much about vintage finishes as he does about pickup making, and he explained some of the changes to us. They don’t turn nitrocellulose into a ‘plastic finish’ because nitrocellulose is, after all, a type of plastic. Although the vast majority of vintage guitars had nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, many didn’t. Thus, we have old Fender guitars in Duco colors like Dakota Red, Daphne Blue and Seafoam Green, and in Lucite colors like Lake Placid Blue, Olympic White and Shoreline Gold. Back in the 50-60s, nitrocellulose lacquer was the most popular choice of finish for the guitar industry giants: Fender and Gibson. Just go and play a lot of guitars with each type of finish and see what’s feels best to you. 4.7 out of 5 ... Tinted Aerosol Guitar Lacquer, Red Mahogany. $14.99. Fender used both, and Olympic White, alongside all the Fender metallic finishes, was actually acrylic. Because nitro is more than just a finish – it enhances the sound qualities of electric guitars and gives it the signature vintage sound. The human body uses cellulose as a dietary fibre, and cellulose-derived products have been used in the photography, clothing and explosives industries since the mid-19th century. Ideally, you should set up a booth with a proper extraction fan if you plan to do a lot of spraying. Best of all, an infinite colour palette was opened up. Thus, it is not only time-consuming but also has to be done by hand, which lengthens production time and makes the guitar more expensive. Buy It Now +$12.30 shipping. One undeniable advantage (and disadvantage) of nitro is that the lacquer is airy. After all, what fits you is all that really matters. “They don’t make ’em like they used to” is a general-purpose truism that is often applied to nitrocellulose lacquer, and two things are certain. He didn't even bother to change the color names. So placticisers are solvents that evaporate slowly over several years to prevent nitrocellulose from becoming too brittle. From Our Brands. The vintage ones were once much thicker finishes.”, Not all the changes were made to improve the lacquer’s durability. While a polishing product will make any guitar finish look great, polishing compounds are especially useful for guitars with thick nitro finishes. Behlen Top Coat Lacquer is an alcohol and water resistant, high solids nitrocellulose lacquer. Cellulose is an organic compound comprised of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The look, feel, and tone of nitrocellulose is hard to surpass, and it is easier than many finishes to repair or touch-up. Eric Clapton’s solo career since 1970 has encompassed everything from rootsy JJ Cale-alike shuffles to shiny AOR to stark acoustic blues. Cocteau Twins’ sixth album was a work of genius helmed by their influential guitarist and producer Robin Guthrie. Fender used DuPont's automotive lines of nitrocellulose lacquer, called Duco, and acrylic lacquer, called Lucite. Nitrocellulose was adopted quickly by the car industry and remained the finish of choice through to the late-1950s. Made for nitrocellulose finished guitars; Cons. The Northern Irish bluesman’s kinetic style fused blues and rock with a virtuosity that inspired scores of guitar players – here are the fundamentals of his technique. This is a misunderstanding, because plasticisers are not plastic. As it gets thinner with aging, the finish may get cracks over the surface. I have heard that some people are having trouble finding Nitrocellulose Lacquer in Canada. Rickenbacker’s head honcho on partying with The Beatles, the guitar industry’s obsession with the past and the conservative business strategy that has ensured the brand’s survival. ... -Gold Top Gold- Gracey's Vintage Finishes Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer Aerosol. That changed with the development of nitrocellulose lacquer in the early 1920s. Finish: nitrocellulose lacquer or French polished (shellac). Compared to every other finish paint, the lacquer allows the wood to breathe and provides clear sound, tone, and sustain. Thus, while protecting the guitar body, this finish creates zero obstacles to the guitar sound performance. Compared to the old stuff, they might as well call it acrylic lacquer, because that is more what it represents. This finish later became a popular choice for Fender and Gibson in the ’50s and ’60s, who used it almost exclusively for their electric guitars. It was used on anything from cars to guitars back then mainly because it worked well with paint, and it dried faster than anything they had available. We head into psychedelic territory in our second part of our John Lennon lesson, as we explore the chords and sequences used by a man spreading his creative wings. If you go to a good car paint supplier, they should be able to advise you on the most suitable mask to buy. Brand New. This is a subject I've been avoiding because you can't talk about nitrocellulose lacquer finish without talking about "relic'ing", so I'm going to cover both those topics. Nitrocellulose lacquer is synonymous with well-crafted, vintage and modern instruments. Lacquer is a pretty general term that actually describes a few different finishes. 43 sold. A Warning About Nitro Finishes and Guitar Stands Manchester Guitar Tech £15 per can As for the thickness, lacquer is forever gassing off, so over time, it gets thinner and thinner. The December 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! 79. Rothko and Frost Limited Registered office Building 13/1, Unit C, Vantage Point, Mitcheldean, GL17 0DD, Registered in England and Wales Company Registration Number 7743720 VAT no. Brand New. Often, though, the grain of the guitar's wood is too pretty to hide, which is where our nitrocellulose lacquers are ideal. In addition to aerosols, Rothko and Frost sells brushing lacquer for those who prefer not to spray.
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