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Can I fade a nitrocellulose finish with a UV light?

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
Last year I gave my guitar some tanning treatments outdoors to help fade it but now I'm putting hugely expensive vintage PU's in the guitar and don't think I like the idea of frying the PU's in the sun.

Can I fade the guitar by buying a UV light?
 

Kingbeegtrs

Senior Member
Messages
1,926
Lawrence McFadden, Behlen, Deft, Minwax, and most others have anti-yellowing agents. They all have plasticizers in them to help prevent checking too.
 

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
Lawrence McFadden, Behlen, Deft, Minwax, and most others have anti-yellowing agents. They all have plasticizers in them to help prevent checking too.
Translation?

The sun treatments definitely work. Will a UV light of some sort also work?

Could the UV light screw up the PU's?
 

daddyo

Guest
Messages
11,797
How would sunlight or UV scew up a pickup? Unless they were potted and the sun melted the wax.
 

Bussman

Member
Messages
2,755
But back to the topic:

A google search of UV light finishes reveals this linky:

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00184.asp

...
I subscribe to this mag and I remember this article, it says UV will yellow and darken maple but says nothing about the fading of dyes which I assume is what Soldano16 is trying to achieve.

Sunlight or UV lights won't harm your pickups. Depending on the colour you're after, a refinish might get you there much faster than "guitar tanning" sessions.
 

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
How would sunlight or UV scew up a pickup?

Heat. I'm not saying I know for sure. But unless 6 guys who manufacture PU's sign affidavits saying the heat buildup from the sun won't affect my PAF's, I'm not taking chances.
 

soldano16

Member
Messages
2,347
Depending on the colour you're after, a refinish might get you there much faster than "guitar tanning" sessions.
Without much time at all last summer - 10-15 hours total in 20-30 minute sessions I went pic 1 to pic 2. Sometimes just in two 30 minute sessions, I could see slight change. I LOVE this top and the color will only get better and better.



to this

 

hogy

Member
Messages
13,452
I have seen Les Pauls their owners put in a sunny spot indoors (like by a window) that got so hot the top split at the center seam. I've also seen finishes blister from similar treatment.
 

Foxtrot

Senior Member
Messages
1,025
Heat. I'm not saying I know for sure. But unless 6 guys who manufacture PU's sign affidavits saying the heat buildup from the sun won't affect my PAF's, I'm not taking chances.
If your magnets are AlNiCo, then pretty much everything you do will help to demagnetize them. Vibration, heat changes, putting them next to electro-magnetic subway tracks, etc.

They're gonna age, & there's NOTHING you can do to stop it. It's not a big deal anyway.
 

tybone

Member
Messages
1,076
Heat. I'm not saying I know for sure. But unless 6 guys who manufacture PU's sign affidavits saying the heat buildup from the sun won't affect my PAF's, I'm not taking chances.
I'm saying. You don't know for sure. At a distance of 93 million miles or so there is little chance of the sun melting metal, solder or even plastic without help. Think about it while I start a new thread in the pub.

Larry
 

Bussman

Member
Messages
2,755
Without much time at all last summer - 10-15 hours total in 20-30 minute sessions I went pic 1 to pic 2. Sometimes just in two 30 minute sessions, I could see slight change. I LOVE this top and the color will only get better and better.



to this

The 2 pics look like they were taken under different light condition, so it's hard to judge. The second pic does look more appealing. Personally, I dislike cherry sunburst. I like the ones where the red has faded to a slight amber. I assume that would take years to achieve with exposure. OTOH I don't really care about cosmetics and pedigree as long as the guitar sounds good.

I did qualify my statement with "depending" and "might" since I don't know what final colour you're after. Your guitar seems to be as much an investment as it is a playing instrument, therefore I thought the money spent on UV lights might be better used towards a quality refinish since there are so many shops doing terrific "aging" jobs these days. YMMV and if you are getting the results you're after then it's all that matters.

Are the PAFs in yet?
 

\DARKMETL/

Member
Messages
66
^^^^^^^^^
Would like to see 2 exact positioned photos to compare to. I have been throwing my Edwards Page in the sun off and on for awhile. Not real sure if it's made a difference honestly.
 

tdarian

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,050
So how does this work? Does the UV fade colors and simultaneously cause the Nitro clear coat to turn amber or yellow?

What would happen to a clear nitro maple neck if left in the sun? Will it amber up, and if so, how much exposure makes a noticeable change?

Just curious...thanks! Don't have any real plans to bake any guitars at the moment.
 




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