Why Do So Many People Want Nitrocellulose Lacquer On Elecric Guitars

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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 5093
    thegummy said:
    Something that every single painting thread omits - the painter themselves.

    The thickness of a finish not only comes down to the material being sprayed but the painter too. Once a coloured base coat goes onto a 4 piece body it’s all hidden. But a heavy handed sprayer can make all the difference between a “normal” thickness of finish and a very thick finish. 
    One of my favourite instagram things is a painter from the Fender Custom Shop. It's a joy to watch, such skill.

    Makes it look so effortless but it's clear that if I tried it it would be incredibly difficult, take days and end up only worthy of the bin.
    I couldn’t do Jays job. He’s bound to have a daily target to hit, for me that would suck the enjoyment out of the job. It’s good to watch someone else do it, it’s very fun to do and I think you could do it no problem. Once you have the gun in your hand it mainly comes down to feel. 

    And if you can spray a guitar body you could learn how to spray anything else quite easily.
    I used to be a paint sprayer, started off doing lorries and ended up doing customisations on cars. I worked in one gaff where they had me painting anything but cars, from jetskis to random pieces of furniture.

    I never actually got to do a guitar though but I imagine it's difficult because of all the curvature on edges and stuff. That said, I suppose it would come down to guitar type; something with more straight edges like a gibson explorer or V must be a bit easier.
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5700
    Practically speaking nitro makes alot of sense for a quality acoustic, as you will have to do some form of repair to the guitar and finish if it survives longer than 50 years. 
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 24987
    I don't know why some of you care about how nitro ages.
    Hardly any of you keep guitars long enough to even remember what they look like.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 4279
    Sassafras said:
    I don't know why some of you care about how nitro ages.
    Hardly any of you keep guitars long enough to even remember what they look like.
    This is the smartest thing anyone has ever posted on this forum.
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  • BillDLBillDL Frets: 680
    edited October 2021
    tony99 said:

    I used to be a paint sprayer, started off doing lorries and ended up doing customisations on cars. I worked in one gaff where they had me painting anything but cars, from jetskis to random pieces of furniture.

    I never actually got to do a guitar though but I imagine it's difficult because of all the curvature on edges and stuff. That said, I suppose it would come down to guitar type; something with more straight edges like a gibson explorer or V must be a bit easier.
    Me too.  I worked as the final step guy in a precision engineering company where my job entailed all the finishing work as well as crating, packing, and shipping off the finished goods.  I had a large spray booth that was open on one side but had a heavy duty extractor fan in the duct behind the concerina paper filters.  Some of the machines had to be lifted into the spray booth on a forklift and hung on a sling to mask off and spray, while others were small enough to have a row of them sitting on mesh cages.  I actually found it a lot easier to get a perfect finish on rounded surfaces than on ones that had corners and straight edges.  It was very easy to get too thick a finish on corners where I had to spray across each of the sides of the corners/edges and overlap slightly, whereas on a cylindrical or rounded object I was able to lay on the paint more evenly and rotate the object while spraying.  Generally I used thinned single part solvent enamel that was pretty fast drying, but I also had to use (and hated) 2-pack "epoxy" paint where mixing the right proportion of catalyst to optimise drying time against quality of finish took a bit of practice on scrap items to perfect.  I loved the smell of the thinners but hated the cleanup of the sprayer between jobs.

    The company sold out to a competitor that was based too far away for all of us to commute and none of us were prepared to relocate, so the day came when we were officially redundant and had to walk out the door for the last time.  I decided to leave in style by pulling back the paper filters on the spray booth, tipping two large boxes of foam chips into the airflow duct behind it, drawing the filters closed again, and switching on the extractor fan.  With hindsight it was an ecological outrage blasting foam chips all over the industrial estate, but most of us apart from the management thought it was hilarious to see snow in late May.

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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 4244
    francer said:
    thegummy said:
    Why do people always assume that anyone with a nitro finished relic guitar is either posing or trying to pass it off as a vintage guitar?  It's an aesthetic choice the buyer makes at the time of purchase. I've never known anyone playing a relic down at the Dog & Dart claim their Strat is a genuine 1954 model.
    Cause the "it's just an aesthetic choice" thing is just something they come up with to justify it to themselves and other guitar players.

    In reality they know anyone who isn't a guitarist, so 99% of people who will ever see their guitar, will assume it's vintage and they like that.
    99% of people who aren’t guitarists looking at a guitar probably couldn’t be less interested and if you’re lucky they might just remember what colour the guitar was 5mins later.

    I prefer vintage spec’d nitro guitars for all the usual irrational reasons, and yes I like the idea that my guitar appears vintage, however I’ve no interest in trying to fool other people. If I'm honest the only person I’m really trying to kid is myself, but the pleasure I get from owning and playing them is absolutely real, sorry you don’t seem to approve of that.
    It's true about not remembering what a band's guitar looked like after the set is over but that's got nothing to do with it. They definitely would assume a guitar that looks in bad condition got their by actually being used a lot.

    I don't disapprove of anyone buying any guitar they want, I'm just pointing out that it's obvious that most relic owners are at it if they try to claim they don't want anyone to think the guitar genuinely got that way.
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  • AnacharsisAnacharsis Frets: 199
    edited October 2021
    I actively dislike how nitro ages and feels. I don't have any guitars with it, and I never will again (especially since it comes at a premium anyway). The overwhelming majority of players I have known and come across in person neither know nor care what the finish on their guitar is made of.
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  • Alex2678Alex2678 Frets: 382
    thegummy said:
    francer said:
    thegummy said:
    Why do people always assume that anyone with a nitro finished relic guitar is either posing or trying to pass it off as a vintage guitar?  It's an aesthetic choice the buyer makes at the time of purchase. I've never known anyone playing a relic down at the Dog & Dart claim their Strat is a genuine 1954 model.
    Cause the "it's just an aesthetic choice" thing is just something they come up with to justify it to themselves and other guitar players.

    In reality they know anyone who isn't a guitarist, so 99% of people who will ever see their guitar, will assume it's vintage and they like that.
    99% of people who aren’t guitarists looking at a guitar probably couldn’t be less interested and if you’re lucky they might just remember what colour the guitar was 5mins later.

    I prefer vintage spec’d nitro guitars for all the usual irrational reasons, and yes I like the idea that my guitar appears vintage, however I’ve no interest in trying to fool other people. If I'm honest the only person I’m really trying to kid is myself, but the pleasure I get from owning and playing them is absolutely real, sorry you don’t seem to approve of that.
    It's true about not remembering what a band's guitar looked like after the set is over but that's got nothing to do with it. They definitely would assume a guitar that looks in bad condition got their by actually being used a lot.

    I don't disapprove of anyone buying any guitar they want, I'm just pointing out that it's obvious that most relic owners are at it if they try to claim they don't want anyone to think the guitar genuinely got that way.
    I don’t have a relic guitar but I always saw it as a variation on ‘I want to play a sunburst strat because SRV played one’ - ‘I want to play a really beat up sunburst strat because SRV played one’. 
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 4244
    Alex2678 said:
    thegummy said:
    francer said:
    thegummy said:
    Why do people always assume that anyone with a nitro finished relic guitar is either posing or trying to pass it off as a vintage guitar?  It's an aesthetic choice the buyer makes at the time of purchase. I've never known anyone playing a relic down at the Dog & Dart claim their Strat is a genuine 1954 model.
    Cause the "it's just an aesthetic choice" thing is just something they come up with to justify it to themselves and other guitar players.

    In reality they know anyone who isn't a guitarist, so 99% of people who will ever see their guitar, will assume it's vintage and they like that.
    99% of people who aren’t guitarists looking at a guitar probably couldn’t be less interested and if you’re lucky they might just remember what colour the guitar was 5mins later.

    I prefer vintage spec’d nitro guitars for all the usual irrational reasons, and yes I like the idea that my guitar appears vintage, however I’ve no interest in trying to fool other people. If I'm honest the only person I’m really trying to kid is myself, but the pleasure I get from owning and playing them is absolutely real, sorry you don’t seem to approve of that.
    It's true about not remembering what a band's guitar looked like after the set is over but that's got nothing to do with it. They definitely would assume 
    I don’t have a relic guitar but I always saw it as a variation on ‘I want to play a sunburst strat because SRV played one’ - ‘I want to play a really beat up sunburst strat because SRV played one’. 
    I'm not saying the sole reason anyone goes to the relic section is so they can trick people in to thinking they've got an old guitar. I'm sure that whether it resembles a famous player's instrument or not, they do like the way it looks.

    I'm just saying that most secretly like that people assume the damage is real and certainly won't be quick to point out to anyone "it's not as old as it looks btw, it's been made to look like that artificially".
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  • GuyRGuyR Frets: 1105
    I think it is a shame to infer a negative motivation in other people's choices when it can only be guess or generalisation.
    In the same way it would be a shame if I were to assume that people bitching about other people's legitimate choices on the Internet was only a reflection of their dissatisfaction with their own sad life.
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  • GoldenEraGuitarsGoldenEraGuitars Frets: 7300
    tFB Trader
    Actually, in my experience, people who buy aged nitro finished guitars (well, certainly my customers) don’t have the money to buy their dream vintage guitar. A buoyant vintage market means prices will keep going up and out of reach of most guitar players. 

    I’m not sure why the owner of an aged guitar would be terribly bothered by what a stranger thinks about the actual age of their guitar? It’s amusing to see people get annoyed about a guitar finish trying to mimic an old finish type when the entire industry is built on blatant copying. 

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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 4244
    Actually, in my experience, people who buy aged nitro finished guitars (well, certainly my customers) don’t have the money to buy their dream vintage guitar. A buoyant vintage market means prices will keep going up and out of reach of most guitar players. 

    I’m not sure why the owner of an aged guitar would be terribly bothered by what a stranger thinks about the actual age of their guitar? It’s amusing to see people get annoyed about a guitar finish trying to mimic an old finish type when the entire industry is built on blatant copying. 
    It's like asking why anyone would care what strangers think of their shoes or if they've brushed the hair - it's just normal human behaviour to consider what other people think of you. It's not something unique to relic guitar owners, practically all guitarists will have thought about how their guitar looks to the audience just like we've all thought about how our clothes look to people we walk by in the street.

    I'm not annoyed about it in the slightest by the way, the more guitars the better IMO and I even like a lot of relics. I was just answering someone asking why people assume that people with relics are posing as having an older guitar.
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 3779

    I like Nitro, I have 3 nitro guitars.  2 I have sprayed myself.  It's actually reasonably hard when cured. I think some manufacturers seem to gloop it on and it ends up being worse than the alternative and takes ages to cure.  But when you spray it yourself it’s really hard to be anything except really thin as it has almost no build properties.  Miniscule sanding scratches show in the finish which demonstrate it’s lack of depth.

    I have one non-nitro guitar, that is oil finished and much as I like nitro it’s definitely the best feeling ‘finish’.
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  • LastMantraLastMantra Frets: 2091
    thegummy said:
    Actually, in my experience, people who buy aged nitro finished guitars (well, certainly my customers) don’t have the money to buy their dream vintage guitar. A buoyant vintage market means prices will keep going up and out of reach of most guitar players. 

    I’m not sure why the owner of an aged guitar would be terribly bothered by what a stranger thinks about the actual age of their guitar? It’s amusing to see people get annoyed about a guitar finish trying to mimic an old finish type when the entire industry is built on blatant copying. 
    It's like asking why anyone would care what strangers think of their shoes or if they've brushed the hair - it's just normal human behaviour to consider what other people think of you. It's not something unique to relic guitar owners, practically all guitarists will have thought about how their guitar looks to the audience just like we've all thought about how our clothes look to people we walk by in the street.

    I'm not annoyed about it in the slightest by the way, the more guitars the better IMO and I even like a lot of relics. I was just answering someone asking why people assume that people with relics are posing as having an older guitar.

    I tell anyone that's interested that my rw strat is made to look old, straight away. I wouldn't want anyone thinking what you think.

    I just like the look and feel. 
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 4244

    I tell anyone that's interested that my rw strat is made to look old, straight away. I wouldn't want anyone thinking what you think.

    I just like the look and feel. 
    If you volunteer information then I completely believe you're one of the exceptions.

    I can totally understand it, if I had a relic I would be keen to tell people it wasn't real. In fact one of the things that really weighs against me getting a relic is because I specifically hate the idea that I'd be indirectly being dishonest.
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  • the_other_edthe_other_ed Frets: 21
    edited October 2021
    Peer pressure is why. Those guys that hang at the guitar shops also hang at the recreational vehicle shops, or the yacht clubs, and the power tools section of the hardware. Don't get too involved with them, or next you know you're building a 1:1 Shelby Cobra from a kit and painting it Indigo Blue and looking for an aviator's jacket and Maverick-style sunglasses to sport while you drive it for the photos you've arranged at the local airfield. No offense.

    I actually like both. The way Nitro polishes up is a drug unto itself. That moment after all of the sanding, when the cotton cloth and polish comes out, and you dig into the fresh nitro until it shines. Thats the best part for me. I haven't done many guitars myself, but that moment quickly became the one I look forward to most when actually spraying nitro. And personally, I love the way it scuffs and nicks, and chips, and glazes. Sometimes I wonder how marks even appear. But, thats the record of an instrument before me. And the way it feels, when playing, is particular. A softer, warmer, more natural feel - not tone - but feel. A naked feeling.

    And poly. Hey. The kinda' gloss thats always 'new car fresh'. The wet look. Bo Derek walking on the beach. Or a car show shine. This sounds crazy, but - mixing heavily relic parts; i.e hardware, plastics, etc.., and matching them to a super-gloss poly body, esp. black is a cool look. The Fender Classic Series Strat replacement bodies are all vintage spec'd, but shot with poly, and they make for great builds. For me, poly feels much more 'cured', shall I say. Brittle, like peanut brittle is, yet very hard. I think poly gives a brighter sound. Not as much bounce to a note, more of a sharpness. Feels heavier, too.

    I think, really, its like the differing crusts of bread. And about what kind of toast you're craving... Anything more than that and we've talked ourselves into lunch. And who wants to talk about lunch during breakfast?
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  • BloodEagleBloodEagle Frets: 5302
    ... Anything more than that and we've talked ourselves into lunch. And who wants to talk about lunch during breakfast?
    It depends what you’re having for breakfast - I’m having Shreddies so I’m happy 
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  • I meant to say, but 'who wants to talk about breakfast during lunch?' - but yea, I just ended up hungry, too.

    Shreddies it is then.
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  • TINMAN82TINMAN82 Frets: 1696
    edited October 2021
    thegummy said:

    I tell anyone that's interested that my rw strat is made to look old, straight away. I wouldn't want anyone thinking what you think.

    I just like the look and feel. 
    If you volunteer information then I completely believe you're one of the exceptions.

    I can totally understand it, if I had a relic I would be keen to tell people it wasn't real. In fact one of the things that really weighs against me getting a relic is because I specifically hate the idea that I'd be indirectly being dishonest.
    You’re overthinking this. In fact you’d probably find a high proportion of those buying relics rarely or never play in front of other people. Many of us simply like the aesthetic of relic guitars on their own terms, which is perfectly fine.

    Obviously relic vs nitro per se are two different topics. In some cases nitro is the only option, including 2 of the worlds largest guitar brands (Gibson and Martin)!
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  • BillDLBillDL Frets: 680
    5 pages so far and counting.  I knew this question would generate some differing opinions, but I underestimated how much discussion would ensue.  Where's my popcorn? :)
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