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Can Nitrocellulose be Used on Guitars?

23, Oct. 2020

As a Nitrocellulose Solution Manufacturer, share with you. Two primary sides split this debate; those that favour traditional nitrocellulose lacquers, as well as those that are content with modern polyester as well as polyurethane finishes. Traditionalists find the former even more appealing, as nitrocellulose was utilized almost solely on vintage tools from the golden age of guitar manufacturing. Yet there are many guitar players that favor poly surfaces, as they are more resistant to put on and also have a glossier look.

Nitrocellulose Solution

Nitrocellulose Solution

In this piece, we're mosting likely to shed some light on these 2 kinds of guitar finish. Discussing their benefits as well as negative aspects, along with the effect that they carry the audio of a guitar; we really hope that by the end of this article you'll have a better understanding of their differences.

Nitro Guitar Finish

Nitrocellulose lacquers have actually been around for practically a century; originally made use of for acoustic instruments, saxophones and also even cars and trucks. This finish, later on, became a preferred selection for Fender and also Gibson in the '50s as well as '60s, who used it nearly solely for their electrical guitars. Fender also trying out acrylic during this duration, yet nitrocellulose was usually favored for completing guitars as it could develop a nicer gloss.

Concerning its content, nitrocellulose lacquer is mostly solvent-based and consisted of plant-based substances like cotton, combined nitric as well as sulfuric acids. The nitrocellulose component acts as a binding agent, which is then mixed with solvent to make it possible for a conventional spray surface. The solvent used is acetone; a highly-flammable substance that ultimately forms the glossy lacquer.

A nitrocellulose guitar coating is applied numerous times over several days, with each coat essentially melting the previous one. This procedure eliminates the demand for sand in between layers. After full application, the solvent chemicals are left to completely dissolve; leaving a dry resin-like appearance. This is after that hand-buffed and sanded until a shiny finish is achieved.

Pros & Cons of Nitro Guitar Finishes

Nitrocellulose is considered to be a lot more permeable than polyester or polyurethane, with a thin, smooth as well as somewhat unsafe texture that isn't quite as solid or constrictive. Many perfectionists and luthiers for that reason think that a nitro finish allows a guitar's wood to breathe, yielding an extra open audio and greater sustain.

Although nitrocellulose lacquer may give a guitar an airier audio, its softer structure does make it prone to aesthetic damage. This implies that dings and also scratches are a lot more noticeable on guitars with nitro coatings, and a lot easier to cause. A nitrocellulose lacquer also deteriorates gradually, triggering dulling in locations where you make normal contact with your guitar; such as the reduced round where your forearm rests. Nitrocellulose likewise yellows with time, especially when exposed to excessive sunlight.

Aside from the above, small fractures can appear in a nitro finish after several years too. This takes place when a guitar is regularly revealed to varying temperature levels, as modifications in climate triggers timber to expand as well as contract. And also as we clarified, nitrocellulose lacquer is slim and somewhat porous, suggesting that the wood it's applied to is a lot more susceptible to this concern.

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