G&B explains…. Packed with a tuner, a chord and scale database, plus drum grooves to jam along to. Besides, as the finish is relatively thin, it highlights the natural wood textures. Back in the 50-60s, nitrocellulose lacquer was the most popular choice of finish for the guitar 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. Fiddes & Son LTD BoneHard £13.04 per can You can get a very good finish with other compounds and other processes, but we want a great finish every time. Well, not as much as paracetamol, but still, its creator DuPont chemical company could not even imagine what a gold mine they dug up. Everything you ever wanted to know about nitro guitar finishes. 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. Despite the album’s troubled gestation, it soars higher than anything else in the band’s catalogue. Lots of companies still make nitrocellulose without acrylic resins. While Gibson used nitro almost exclusively for all American-made guitars at the time. Henry Ford once remarked that customers could order a Model T in any colour they wanted, so long as it was black. 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. 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. 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. I put a scratch-crack through the lacquer finish of my Johnson JO-27 with a bridge pin puller. When subsequent coats are applied, the thinners melt the surface of the previous coat, allowing the fresh coat to bond with it. Furniture and musical instrument manufacturers also switched to nitrocellulose lacquer, and mostly it was referred to simply as ‘lacquer’. 4.7 out of 5 ... Tinted Aerosol Guitar Lacquer, Red Mahogany. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. It at least makes it harder to maintain during travel. If you think they look beautiful, I agree. Nitrocellulose Lacquer (‘Nitro’) This is a finish made from plant-based cellulose combined with a nitro-solvent. 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. The February 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! In the last century, more efficient and better-quality finishes were developed. 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. Oh right, electric guitars! The London five-piece on getting bored with their own songs and “doing weird shit along the way” to create their kinetic new record, Drunk Tank Pink. 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. $41.42 $ 41. It’s the company’s third major acquisition of the week. Yes, nitro may be harder to apply, but this is one of the things that makes it high-class. DuPont made nitrocellulose lacquer called Duco and acrylic lacquer called Lucite. * Nitrocellulose lacquer (commonly called “nitro” or simply just “lacquer”) finishes are great, don’t get me wrong. Although the vast majority of vintage guitars had nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, many didn’t. However, it doesn’t mean that finish integrity and protective qualities diminish. 42. Around 1963, Fender began using a clear polyester sealer called Fullerplast. Each layer can only be applied after the previous one has completely dried out. Nitro finish is maybe harder to maintain throughout the years. ... Mohawk Finishing Products M102-0451 Finisher's Choice Clear Nitrocellulose Lacquer - Flat. The November 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! The majority of guitars that have nitro finish are also hand-crafted and of higher quality. By joining the body at the 12th fret, that gives the guitar a louder sound with more bass. Is nitro the best possible polish for electric guitars ever? Here we have a brand new Collings D-1T dreadnaught guitar. However, with a rather soft and airy texture, the finish evaporates over time, making the coating thinner and less resistant. According to George Gruhn, the Occupational Safety And Health Administration in the US “forced makers of finishes to change their formulas over the years. ColorTone Modern Clear Gloss Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer, 1-Quart Can. Nitro finish also feels absolutely perfect and smooth to the touch. From Our Brands. Finishing your guitar body in a colour rather than clear finish can dramatically change the personality of the guitar. 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. 4.6 out of 5 stars 13. 4.2 out of 5 stars 6. 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. At length. 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’. Ultimate Guide on How to Set Up an Electric Guitar. 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 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. Secondly, the balance of ingredients used in modern nitrocellulose lacquer has changed substantially from what it was back in the day. Fixing a tiny guitar presents unique challenges. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. While a polishing product will make any guitar finish look great, polishing compounds are especially useful for guitars with thick nitro finishes. Morrells $9.23 per can 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. However nitro was not easy to produce nor work with. 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. The new finishes are softer, which is what prevents them from chipping and checking. This is a misunderstanding, because plasticisers are not plastic. Because nitro is more than just a finish – it enhances the sound qualities of electric guitars and gives it the signature vintage sound. Sherwin-Williams Opex and the Mohawk lacquers are all nitro. However, with aging, the axes develop this exquisite vintage coloring and warm undertones. That changed with the development of nitrocellulose lacquer in the early 1920s. GB155302731 Brand New. 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. Olympic White nitrocellulose guitar lacquer paint in a can. Compatible with Behlen solvent base stains and other Behlen aerosol lacquers. Buy It Now +$10.70 shipping. The word ‘plasticiser’ sets alarm bells ringing for nitrocellulose die-hards. Nitrocellulose lacquer also takes pigments and dyes very well, and it can be sanded and polished to a mirror finish. Plasticisers make nitrocellulose more durable and less prone to checking and chipping, so it’s hardly surprising that their use became widespread. If you ask me, the better quality of the sound is enough reason to choose nitro over polyester, acrylic, or any other finish. Manchester Guitar Tech £15 per can If you dig their majestic “mojo” and the way they wear over time, awesome. Yep, it's time to talk about this. In addition to aerosols, Rothko and Frost sells brushing lacquer for those who prefer not to spray. Nitrocellulose was adopted quickly by the car industry and remained the finish of choice through to the late-1950s. For classic Fender and Gibson colours, you’ll need to go to specialist suppliers, but all the colours are available. $14.99. Not necessarily. The reason it happens is that the lacquer texture is somewhat airy and keeps evaporating over time. “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. And if you goof up the finish, you can always relic it. From Our Brands. It is also essential to wear a breathing mask that can block out vapour as well as airborne particles. Pretty much every collectible acoustic and electric guitar made up until the mid-1960s left the factory with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. It’s sturdy and reliable, easy to travel with, and overall a really good get for the price. $25.48. Two 60s Lake Placid Blue Jazzmasters - but the left guitar has a nitro top coat, which has yellowed over time. 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. 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? Watch-Seafoam Green- Gracey's Vintage Finishes Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer Aerosol. Found in the cell walls of plants and algae, it’s the most abundant organic polymer on earth. It’s no coincidence I’ve mentioned classic and vintage electric guitars before. Our Brands; Tools & Home Improvement Product Color ... ColorTone Tinted Aerosol Guitar Lacquer 3-Tone Tobacco Sunburst Spray Set. 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 … DuPont made nitrocellulose lacquer called Duco and acrylic lacquer called Lucite. Net Wt. Fender used both, and Olympic White, alongside all the Fender metallic finishes, was actually acrylic. 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. The look, feel, and tone of nitrocellulose is hard to surpass, and it is easier than many finishes to repair or touch-up. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. 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. They don’t turn nitrocellulose into a ‘plastic finish’ because nitrocellulose is, after all, a type of plastic. 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. The guitar’s finish is as important as all the other details in ensuring that the desired sound is what comes out of the instrument. Why? These guitars are coveted. “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. 79. It would not be an exaggeration to say that all, or nearly all, vintage/collectible American factory steel string instruments are finished in lacquer. 43 sold. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now. One undeniable advantage (and disadvantage) of nitro is that the lacquer is airy. In 1862, Alexander Parkes treated cellulose with nitric acid and a solvent to create the first man-made plastic – nitrocellulose. The lacquer is already softer and thinner compared to polyester. Former Fender senior finish specialist Jonathan Kornau reports: “The old McFadden’s formula, with the exception of one maleic resin, is still available. Typically, when it comes to guitars, the type of lacquer used is either nitrocellulose or acrylic. Although nitro-finished guitars are still available, the practice of spraying nitro over acrylic and poly base coats has continued. While I'm not opposed to accumulating some mojo on this guitar, I'd also be up for some technical experimentation I'd never try on my Martin. Fender also sprayed acrylic over rejected Sunburst finishes to fulfil custom-colour orders. The December 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! 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. Though if that’s not enough, nitro has the excellent color quality and striking gloss. Here’s a selection. 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. 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. My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. Use when applying a new finish or on spot repairs when rubbing will be necessary. A range of nitrocellulose lacquers, cellulose paints and appropriate sealers for the finishing of guitars and musical instruments. With time it gets even thinner; it loses color, becoming yellow and greenish. It also enables you to perform drop-fill repairs to chips and polish out superficial scratches. Made for nitrocellulose finished guitars; Cons. 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. 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 These days, we have to make do with whatever nitrocellulose lacquer we can get, and very few of us own professional spraying equipment. Cellulose is an organic compound comprised of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The main reason why guitarists hate nitro lacquer is that with aging axes develop yellow coloring and cracks. Finish: nitrocellulose lacquer or French polished (shellac). The lacquer is sprayed onto the guitar body several times over a few days after the previous layer has completely dried out. The other reason why the finish can get all crackly is because of rapid changes in temperatures. Fender’s first custom-color chip chart was put together in 1960 and displayed a choice of nine DuPont Duco (nitrocellulose) colors – comprising Shell Pink, Black, Daphne Blue, Sonic Blue, Fiesta Red, Dakota Red, Sherwood Green Metallic, Foam Green and Surf Green (note, no ‘Sea Foam Green’!) We provide insight and opinion about gear, artists, technique and the guitar industry for all genres and skill levels. FREE Shipping. However, nitrocellulose lacquer is tougher and more scratch resistant. Buyer’s guide Firstly, all the big guitar companies in the 50s and 60s were using lacquer from various manufacturers and the formulations were slightly different. The first test I do when shopping for vintage nitro is have them open the lid. The January 2021 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! Trans Candy Apple Red nitrocellulose guitar lacquer paint in a can. This is another clear lacquer that’s suitable for furniture and guitars and it’s priced reasonably. Or better yet, we should demand hand-carved, tap-tuned spruce pickguards finished in nitro. The guitar has evolved through the years however the finish has stayed mostly the same with the main types having been nitrocellulose Lacquer, polyurethane and polyester which are still the standard. By checking the boxes you agree to receive the following from us via e-mail. Fender gives away its Fender Tune app with Player Pack upgrade for free, Introducing… Shame: The London post-punkers who had to “fuck off the reverb” to nail their second album’s vibe, The biggest names in effects tell us what they have planned for 2021, The Industry Interview: Rickenbacker CEO John Hall, How the pedal industry has thrived in 2020, The Genius Of… Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, ​The Big Listen: The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art, The Genius Of… Heaven Or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins, Guitar Legends: Eric Clapton Pt 2 – from Layla to the Crossroads, The Alternative Guitar Christmas Playlist, How to play chords like John Lennon Part 2, How to play chords like John Lennon Part 1. Nitrocellulose lacquers have been around for almost a century; originally used for acoustic instruments, saxophones and even cars. You must bear in mind that spraying nitrocellulose lacquer exposes you to some really nasty toxins. These ones are created and considered to be of the highest quality and craftsmanship. You can always unsubscribe (so you won't receive any more e-mails) by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each e-mail. After all, if nitrocellulose is meant to be more beautiful and toneful than plastic poly finishers, wouldn’t putting a plasticiser in the nitro defeat the object? This Cardiff-based company sells a huge rage of stains, base coats and finishes. It’s as simple as that. Back in the 50-60s, nitrocellulose lacquer was the most popular choice of finish for the guitar industry giants: Fender and Gibson. I ’ ve mentioned classic and vintage electric guitars and it can be onto! T as good anymore due to lesser sound quality to maintain during travel 5... Tinted Aerosol lacquer! Ones are created and considered to be sprayed onto the guitar body in a can is simply and. ’ sets alarm bells ringing for nitrocellulose die-hards and remained the finish starts losing color, tone and! 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