All Fender Guitars made since 1963 are Polyester coated

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GuitarsFromMars, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Fact:
    All Fender Guitars made since 1963 are Polyester coated. Lacquer is put on top of the poly to satisfy the general publics belief that Nitro Cellulose (nitro) Lacquer finished guitars "breathe", "dry" and generally have become the bottom line for creating great tome. I'm talking USA, Vintage collectable instruments that the general public has bought, traded, and sold for over 50 years. They came from the Fender factory with a hard plastic jacket underneath it. a suffocating wolf, masquerading under a cloak of Lacquer Fender later switched to 100% Poly and UltraViolet cured resin on Squire, Mexican, Japanese, some USA and all other imports till this day.

    Fact:
    The two-part catalyzed coating named "Fullerplast" (Fuller for Fuller O'Brien, the products creator, and plast for the obvious PLASTIC"), solved all of Fenders finishing problems; encasing the deep wood pores in a self-hardening plastic that wrapped the body in a rock-hard solid coffin. In some cases we have found it to be as thick as a.060 string. Yes, all of the wood moisture and characteristics are sealed in a virtual time-capsule, only to be vented from the body through screw holes and paint fractures. Share this info and be the hit of your next guitar gathering!


    Fact:
    Fender rarely mentions Fullerplast, or the way it prepares its bodies before applying Lacquer. If they mention it at all
    So, when someone tells you that a Fender "nitro-cellulose" or "nitro" finished guitar will sound better, have more warmth, or will dry out... they really don't have the full story.


    <---see the poly under the lacquer on the 60s era guitar

    <---- Here's a Tele, getting ready to be coated in Fullerplast

    Ask any seasoned guitar craftsman what happens when you will apply paint stripper to a Fender "nitro" finish. The nitro color comes off within minutes, leaving the guitar with a rock-hard plastic coating that can not be removed with any chemical means. Sandpaper barely scratches this coating, but will remove it with mechanical help. Heat Guns will remove the coating, but not by softening it. Apply heat to the Fullerplast coating and it will remain solid until about 300F, at which time it will crack, and pop off of the guitar.

    It's a fact, , its scientific, and it's the skeleton in Fenders closet, that they never want to be seen. They have kept it locked away like a bastard child, allowing players, collectors, and experts to spread the "nitro" legend as the holy-grail of tone!

    When did Fender start the plastic coating process, and why?

    Most experts agree that Fullerplast was started to be used by Fender in 1963
    There are many experts that are willing to share the facts with the guitar
    community, just as I am.

    The most time consuming part of finishing a solid guitar body, is the process of filling the wood pores, and allowing the paint to lay flay, with a gloss found on Grand Pianos, or automobiles. Fender needed a fast and easy solution in order speed up production during the guitar craze of the early 1960s. Encasing the wood in a smooth, hard, "glass" jacket would eliminate up to 20 hours in each body prep. Fender even experimented with a hot dip that resembled a candy
    apple method. The problem was that the dip mixture would need to be at a temperature that would damage the wood, or cause body moisture to create "steam pops" in the coating

    When Fender switched to Alder (from Ash) as it's primary body wood in mid 1956, many books and authorities state Fender started using the product called "Fullerplast" This is a very misunderstood product. For example, there is a picture in Tom Wheeler's American Guitars, page 54 (upper left corner), of a man with long rubber gloves dipping bodies into a tank at Fender in the late 1950's. The description incorrectly denotes the man is applying Fullerplast to the bodies. Most likely, this man is staining the Alder bodies yellow, a process used on Alder from 1956 and later before spraying the sunburst finish.. Thanks to VintageGuitarHQ for this info


    Fullerplast is a clear, sprayed chemically curing sealer, unaffected by solvents after it dries. It's invention is often given credit to Fuller O'Brien (but often though to be named after the city of Fullerton, the home of Fender) Whether either is the case, it is now manufactured and distributed by Van Dee

    Fullerplast soaks into the wood and creates a seal that prevents following coats from soaking into the wood like a sponge. This means spraying the color coats is easier and the coats can be applied thinner (saving material, money and dry time). Even though alder is a "closed pore" wood, the first few coats of lacquer will soak in like a sponge without some type of sealer coat. Fullerplast dries in 15 minutes, and is paintable in one hour. It is also applied very thin.
    Most experts agree the actual product Fullerplast actually started to be used around 1963 at Fender. Prior to that, Fender used other products as their sealer coat, but they did the same thing. The sealer allowed any color coat (be it sunburst or a custom color) to not soak into the wood. Since the sealer is essentially a clear inexpensive primer, less color would be needed (and color costs a lot more money than a cheap sealer).

    Another misconception about Fullerplast is it's color. The sealers Fender used including Fullerplast were clear, not yellow. The yellow seen in the unpainted portions of a 1956 and later Alder body is actually a stain or dye applied under the sealer coat. This was used to simplify the sunbursting process. The Alder bodies are dipped in a vat of yellow stain/dye. Next the Alder body is sealed with a very thin coat of clear sealer (i.e. "Fullerplast"). After drying, the sunburst procedure is continued by spraying the translucent red (starting in 1958) and dark blackish-brown on the edges of the body, which completes the sunburst look. Finally a clear coat is sprayed over the entire body to seal the colors. By dipping the alder bodies in a yellow stain first, instead of spraying yellow lacquer, there is one less step of lacquer to mix, spray, and dry. *

    By fall 1964, Fender changed the yellow making it more whitish and opaque to better hide flaws in the wood. This allowed Fender to use cheaper Alder with more cosmetic flaws. The more whitish yellow was then sprayed over the sealer coat, as were the red and brown of the Sunburst. That is why the red and yellow now looks much different on late 1964 and later Fenders. This new whitish-yellow bleeds through the translucent red making it more orangish. Note that even though Fender was now spraying the yellow after the Fullerplast, they still continued to stain or dye the bodies yellow before the sealer coat.

    Current use of Polyester and UV coatings on Fender Guitars.
    Probably cause for another article is the case of Ultra Violet cured paints and sealers now used by most production guitar manufacturers. UV allows a very thick and durable coating to be applied directly over bare wood without any need for pore filling. UV cures the paint to its hardest state within minutes, not allowing the finish to soak into the wood.

    If you have ever chipped an Ibanez guitar, you know what I mean.
    Essentially, beneath every vintage Fender is an Ibanez coating in-waiting for you.

    WIN A BET,
    BUT GET A PUNCH
    The next time someone brags about how good their "lacquer" Fender guitar sounds, because it breathes, try this.

    Take a cotton swab dipped nail polish remover, and take a wipe at an inconspicuous area on the guitar. Either
    1) The finish will remain un-touched, or
    2) You will wipe away the color coat, and see the rock-hard, insoluble Fullerplast.


    If all the finish comes off and you get to bare wood, the Fender guitar has been stripped and refinished.

    Either way, you get to say you know something, before you hit the floor.

    :stir
     
  2. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    This is widely known.
     
  3. FlackBase

    FlackBase Felonious Monkey Gold Supporting Member

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    In other breaking news, "Man walks on moon!"

    ;)
     
  4. jaevee14

    jaevee14 Member

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    This made me think of Dumb and Dumber. :)
     
  5. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    jeepers,ya'll are SO well read...
     
  6. damo7v

    damo7v Member

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    Your dog wants steak.
     
  7. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Since 1963? I don't think that's true. But you did type in all blue, so you're probably more in the know.
     
  8. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    As far as I can tell, there's no evidence of finish 'popping off' in this pic. Thus, the temperature of burning lighter fluid is less than 300 degrees F.

    I love science.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    damn- nice education! I didn't know this and I've been playing Strats for 25 years. Thanks for the info.
     
  10. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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  11. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    It's mostly that I've been around for a long time since those guitars were new as well as refinishing some of them when no one new yet that it mattered.
    I'm sure many don't know this, I was thinking from the older guys memory.
     
  12. Supasso

    Supasso Member

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    I'm sure if they already used polyester that far back, but I don't think that, back in the day, general public had a clue the type of finish had anything to do with tone. Fender simply used whatever finish available for the car industry.
     
  13. Amplite

    Amplite Member

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    So the "Thin Skin" nitro finish is not really that thin????

    HOLY $#!+ BATMAN!!
     
  14. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Not really, wasn't a big deal then.
    Time and experience made it matter later on.
     
  15. Supasso

    Supasso Member

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    Yeah, but he implies that in 1963 Fender switch to polyester, but still put the nitro on top to fool the general public. That's obviously not true.
     
  16. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    There were some things I saw that I wasn't 100% on their accuracy.
    Regardless of what Fender did it wasn't to fool the public.
     
  17. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    I've never heard or read that finish affects tone. I've seen posts where people ask if it does but rarely if ever somebody claims that it does. I think its a myth that there's a myth about nitro and tone...so there's a double myth that cancels out to zero and you're left with finish and its affect on wear which is real but still somewhat debatable.
     
  18. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    The poly/nitro finish thing has/had little to do with tone and everything to do with the EPA.
     
  19. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    A thin finish is the most important whatever it may be but as I am concerned I'll take Nitro please.
     
  20. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    I agree...back in the '60's we weren't quite as anal about guitars as we are these days ;). The words "nitro" and "fullerplast" would have resulted in blank stares from all the guitar players I knew back in the day. Usually the local Fender dealers stock determined which guitar we bought...."I'll take the black one with the three pickups because black is cool and three pickups have to be better than two", and only cowboys played Telecasters. Then we threw them in our freezing/boiling car trunks until the following weekends gigs and just played the heck out of them...all of which probably made them have killer tone for the vintage market to follow ;).
     

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