Author Topic: New from Fender  (Read 4006 times)

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8275
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2016, 09:27:48 AM »
Back in '51, it's pretty clear that Leo was very cost-conscious. He used car paint for his finishes, and I agree that it's highly unlikely he was tapping on bodies to compare the acoustic effects of various finishes.

Fender has always been a production-line, "git'em out the door" company. Leo was pretty visionary in terms of some things like scale length, body configuration and pickup designs, but I doubt his inner "tone monitor" extended to the acoustics of finishes.  He is likely to have been much more interested in smooth, attractive finishes, hence the Fullerplast to eliminate wood pores and grain lines. http://www.caraguitars.com/fullerplast.htm
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Rob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 996
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2016, 10:56:48 AM »
Compared to 1951 the wood was better.  Slower mostly first cut growth for species like Ask.
Even construction grade 2x4's were discarded if they had knots.  Now they go on the sales floor.

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17191
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2016, 11:18:45 AM »
I didn't realise it was as early as 1955.  I'm guessing the sanding sealer coat is 'Fullerplast'? That just reinforces my opinion; Leo Fender was using all of this stuff to save costs and produce a product quickly. I do find it amusing that Fender's PR department have claimed that Nitro lets the wood 'breathe' because it comes from plants, or some bollocks like that. Even calling these modern nitro finished 'lacquer' to differentiate them in the catalogue seems fairly deceitful.

At the bottom of all of this I don't see Leo Fender spraying a half dozen different finishes commercially available circa 1951 onto body blanks and then tapping them to see which one resonated more. Had modern poly finishes been available to him he would have probably used those. I think poly gets a bad rap because it is used on cheaper instruments and because some Japanese manufacturers did use legitimately thick, brittle poly finishes in the '70s, at a time when people seem to be trying hard to discredit import instruments.

Maybe, lastly, there is a bit of a gratification element at play as well. Nitro ages way quicker than poly, so it shows clearly that you have been woodshedding on your instrument.

Yes, it was Fullerplast, which was an epoxy-based sprayed sealcoat. Its formula apparently changed over the years, as most other finishing products have. By the early 70s they had switched to something else.

I don't think it's deceitful to call modern nitro finishes lacquer. They still fit the definition. Sure, it would be better if they made it clear that it's not the same nitro that used to be used, but that would be bad marketing. Can't allow that!  :)

Leo cut costs wherever he could while still putting out a quality product. I remember reading a post on some forum from a guy who had worked for him at G&L in the 80s. When he first started, Leo chewed him out for dumping the glue squeezeout from the press that glued the two or three body pieces together. He expected you to use a trowel, scoop up as much of the excess as possible, and save it for the next body glue-up.


dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4067
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2016, 12:24:20 PM »
Yes, it was Fullerplast, which was an epoxy-based sprayed sealcoat. Its formula apparently changed over the years, as most other finishing products have. By the early 70s they had switched to something else.

I don't think it's deceitful to call modern nitro finishes lacquer. They still fit the definition. Sure, it would be better if they made it clear that it's not the same nitro that used to be used, but that would be bad marketing. Can't allow that!  :)

Leo cut costs wherever he could while still putting out a quality product. I remember reading a post on some forum from a guy who had worked for him at G&L in the 80s. When he first started, Leo chewed him out for dumping the glue squeezeout from the press that glued the two or three body pieces together. He expected you to use a trowel, scoop up as much of the excess as possible, and save it for the next body glue-up.

Two years ago I shot whatever you want to call today's nitro over the headstock lacquer on my EBO that I had shot in '73 over whatever Gisbo used on it in 1960, all with no prep beyond a light scuff sanding and wipe down.  That's close enough for me. :)

When you're paying for materials whether or not they go in the product you're aware how things add up.  I remember looking at the hundreds of one inch cutoffs around my $12,000 Holzher edgebander in the 90s and thinking, "Each one of those cost me a penny, how can I get that damn thing to make a closer cut."


Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2016, 01:48:01 PM »
I don't think it's deceitful to call modern nitro finishes lacquer. They still fit the definition. Sure, it would be better if they made it clear that it's not the same nitro that used to be used, but that would be bad marketing. Can't allow that!  :)

I probably didn't make myself that clear there.  ;D

By definition Fender instruments are all lacquered, unless they made one or two oil finishes over the years. To single out those with a thin nitro coat over the poly prep stages as 'lacquer' instruments is perhaps deceitful. I suppose my issue is that Fender is propagating the notion that nitro = lacquer, and then make weird and wonderful claims about what that entails.

More overtly deceitful is the following:



"Gurus of vintage tone have consistently chosen lacquer finished instruments over the years".

"Lacquer lets the wood breathe and vibrate more freely".

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8275
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2016, 02:45:44 PM »
BTW, the website that I cited earlier says that Fullerplast wasn't used until about 1963.  I'm not clear on what Fender used for a sealing coat under the finish before that time.

The one full refin I did used acrylic lacquer, and it seems to me that should be the close equivalent of just about any modern lacquer finish.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4067
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2016, 03:10:14 PM »
BTW, the website that I cited earlier says that Fullerplast wasn't used until about 1963.  I'm not clear on what Fender used for a sealing coat under the finish before that time.

The one full refin I did used acrylic lacquer, and it seems to me that should be the close equivalent of just about any modern lacquer finish.

Modern acrylic lacquers and nitros ARE NOT compatible...unless you like crackle finishes.  I shoot both and use acrylic clear over acrylic color and nitro over nitro after experiencing it two out of two attempts.

I think formulations back in the day were compatible.  Hence the nitro clear yellow aging on top of original pelham blue poly which in auto formulation was a GM acrylic lacquer.

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17191
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2016, 04:39:59 PM »
BTW, the website that I cited earlier says that Fullerplast wasn't used until about 1963.  I'm not clear on what Fender used for a sealing coat under the finish before that time.

The one full refin I did used acrylic lacquer, and it seems to me that should be the close equivalent of just about any modern lacquer finish.

I didn't catch that you linked to that article earlier. He's full of shit as a Christmas goose. Most of the things he said are flat-out false, and none of the accurate things he said were ever a secret. Fender started using Fullerplast in 1956, and it's not a pore filler or any kind of undercoat. It's a very thin sealer coat. On sunbursts, it was used over yellow stain that was applied to the bare wood. "a self-hardening plastic that wrapped the body in a rock-hard solid coffin"? He's an ignorant, self-serving tool trying to use a con to drum up business.

That article is at least 8 years old. It keeps coming up on various forums year after year.

Two years ago I shot whatever you want to call today's nitro over the headstock lacquer on my EBO that I had shot in '73 over whatever Gisbo used on it in 1960, all with no prep beyond a light scuff sanding and wipe down.  That's close enough for me. :)

When you're paying for materials whether or not they go in the product you're aware how things add up.  I remember looking at the hundreds of one inch cutoffs around my $12,000 Holzher edgebander in the 90s and thinking, "Each one of those cost me a penny, how can I get that damn thing to make a closer cut."


I'm not saying that what's used today isn't as good as what was used in 1960 (or whenever). It's likely better, but it isn't the exact same product.

I probably didn't make myself that clear there.  ;D

By definition Fender instruments are all lacquered, unless they made one or two oil finishes over the years. To single out those with a thin nitro coat over the poly prep stages as 'lacquer' instruments is perhaps deceitful. I suppose my issue is that Fender is propagating the notion that nitro = lacquer, and then make weird and wonderful claims about what that entails.

More overtly deceitful is the following:



"Gurus of vintage tone have consistently chosen lacquer finished instruments over the years".

"Lacquer lets the wood breathe and vibrate more freely".

Wait... are you implying that dead wood doesn't breathe?  :o  ;D  When it comes to creative marketing, Fender doesn't miss a beat.

They're implying that only lacquer "breathes" which is nonsense. All wood finishes exchange moisture with the surrounding atmosphere. Some are more porous than others, but if you put identical pieces of wood in a room, each with a different finish, sooner or later they will all reach equilibrium moisture content.


Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17191
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2016, 04:43:57 PM »
I remember posting this here once before. Fender once claimed that flatwound strings need to be changed more often. Never mind why.


dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4067
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2016, 05:25:26 PM »
"I'm not saying that what's used today isn't as good as what was used in 1960 (or whenever). It's likely better, but it isn't the exact same product."

Dave, I didn't mean to imply that the old stuff was better, just that today's acts very similar to whatever was the chemistry then.  Sorry if that was the case.

I'm positive the Mohawk Piano Lacquer clear I'm using now which is compatible with any nitro color I put it over (including Reranch) is much more durable and faster building than say, Behlen's instrument lacquer.  But it definitely doesn't play nice with Rustoleum or Krylon colors which are fine under TCP Global automotive acrylic lacquer clear.  Which is even more durable and faster building than the piano lacquer.

...I'm confused, I can imagine how anyone else reading this feels.

amptech

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2016, 11:01:36 PM »

...I'm confused, I can imagine how anyone else reading this feels.

That's because guitar finish brings out feelings, and when we feel instead of think we become irrational :)

In the practical world, I'd agree that todays laquer works with/acts like that from the old days. I have only done about 10 finishes now with 'modern' nitro, and half of them was old gibsons where I did not remove the old laquer, so my foundation and experience might be questionable. One of the instruments had opaque car paint over the original finish and I was able to remove it and shoot modern nitro over old nitro. The only problem I ever had was a black modern nitro reacting with the black headstock paint on a '65 EB0.

I like old stuff allright, no problem admitting it - but it really does not bother me that modern nitro is not what it used to be as long as it looks good and is compatible with the old.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2016, 01:24:47 AM »
I remember posting this here once before. Fender once claimed that flatwound strings need to be changed more often. Never mind why.

Because a cartoon German scientist says so!

I'm guessing that guitar flats are like bass flats in that, shy of structural failure, they don't really have an upper limit to the length of time you can use them. Fender being sales-driven, they have to come up with a kooky way of making sure they keep selling flats.  :rolleyes:

I read yesterday that Gibson's lacquer is acrylic, mixed with ~7% nitro, that they have to pay to use. Any truth to this?

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17191
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2016, 01:15:09 PM »

Dave, I didn't mean to imply that the old stuff was better, just that today's acts very similar to whatever was the chemistry then.  Sorry if that was the case.

I didn't think you were saying the older stuff was better. I assumed you were just saying what you use now is compatible.

...I'm confused, I can imagine how anyone else reading this feels.

You're definitely the expert here on modern lacquers. You're the one using them.

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17191
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2016, 01:34:59 PM »
Because a cartoon German scientist says so!

I'm guessing that guitar flats are like bass flats in that, shy of structural failure, they don't really have an upper limit to the length of time you can use them. Fender being sales-driven, they have to come up with a kooky way of making sure they keep selling flats.  :rolleyes:

Guitar flats are the same as bass flats, they don't lose many highs b/c they never had many to begin with.  :)  But I doubt this was about selling more flats, it was probably from some marketing person that didn't know anything about strings.

You never know what some people will come up with. Awhile back at a guitar forum I saw a thread where someone asked about flats and one guy responded that they would tear up your frets quickly if you had a vintage guitar and would chew through the frets on a modern guitar almost right away.  :o

I read yesterday that Gibson's lacquer is acrylic, mixed with ~7% nitro, that they have to pay to use. Any truth to this?

I hadn't heard that. Why would they have to pay extra to use that?

It's possible, though. On their website, the Gibson USA models just say the finish is lacquer, while the Gibson Custom models all specify nitro for both the sealer and top coats.

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8275
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: New from Fender
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2016, 02:22:45 PM »
Thanks for the correction on the Fullerplast page, Dave - I had no idea that was so erroneous.

All I can attest to is that in my case, using an acrylic lacquer primer from an auto parts store and Stew-Mac acrylic lacquer for color and top coats produced a very nice finish that buffed well.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)