I knew Fender uses a thick finish, but...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by scottlr, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    May 14, 2006
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    WOW! I managed to chip a good sized chunk off of my MIM Special Edition 69 RI Tele. OK, I have always thought it'd look really cool when it started to get dings. But the finish is like 1/16 inch thick! It is like an M&M with a candy shell. I really don't give a rat's ass about poly vs nitro and all of that. This is one of my least expensive guitars, yet it has becomes a favorite. As soon as I saw how thick the finish was, I wished I could have it stripped and refinished in a thinner finish. I really don't care poly or nitro. I just don't see any need for a 1/16 inch shell on a guitar. THere is no way that any further dings will make this one a nice looking relic. It would have taken me at least 50-60 years of hard playing on stage to get close to wearing through this!

    I wouldn't at all be upset about a nasty ding, if the damn finish weren't so thick! I dinged a USA 57 RI Strat in CAR that was only maybe 1/32 at the most. At least that finish needs layers to get it to look like that. The Tele is Arctic White. WHY so many coats to get it 1/16"?

    OK, this is just a rant. I doubt I'll put any money into this guitar. It was not an expensive one, and it plays and sounds fine.

    Part of me wants to take the body off and sand it down by at least half. If it didn't have a matching headstock, I'd just strip it down to the mahogany. It does look cool in the large ding.

    Anyone know why they put such a thick finish on these? They do make a natural mahogany version. Obviously it can't have this thick of a finish.

    I guess any value on the "Limited Edition" is now moot. I'll probably just keep it as is, and not worry about dinging it at ALL. If I had the money, though, I'd get it redone in a thinner finish so it'd at least have a shot at being a real relic.
  2. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Even if it appears thin, it's a thick clear sealer beneath it even on a highway strat. Even when it looks like it's to the wood, it's to speed up production I guess. I wouldn't worry about it, if it sounds good it is good.

    You should see the Japan ones. Makes the MIM look like thin skins.
  3. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    There really is no such thing as a "thin skin" finish, regardless of the manufacturer. That's a marketing term. If you've ever put a finish on a guitar, you know there are several layers of material between the wood itself and the final coat of lacquer.
  4. _jmp

    _jmp Member

    Feb 19, 2008
  5. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

    Jan 3, 2004
    Teryy McInturff's finishes are approx. the thickness of a piece of fax paper! Now THAT is thin.
  6. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    50-60 years to wear through poly? More like 150-160 years. It's practically impossible to wear through just by playing.
  7. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Often dinging poly it ends up taking a chunk of the finish off. If it was nitro you would only get a dent.
  8. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

    May 23, 2005
    This really seems to complicate the poly vs. nitro debates. A lot of people say that they prefer nitro, but I wonder if it is just that they prefer thinner finishes. When I was younger, I removed poly finishes from several inexpensive guitars (an MIM Fender, an MIK Ibanez and a Squier) and either left it natural or did an oil finish. In all cases, stripping the poly dramatically affected the sound, but not always for the better. Having a thick poly finish on the guitar seemed to even out the frequency response. When I removed the poly, I'd often get a louder unplugged tone, more sub bass frequencies and more spiky upper mids. The result was only pleasing in guitars that sounded particularly dead before I removed the poly.
  9. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    My Mexican J-bass got dropped on a sidewalk in 1999, and a big chunk of the finish came off. It is indeed the M+M shell, 1/16" thick at the very least, probably more. It's got a thick black undercoat, silver base, red tint, and a huge mass of clearcoat.

    Hey, the bass sounds great and looks great. It's just funny to me that it's more or less encased in plastic.
  10. mhz88

    mhz88 Member

    May 18, 2010
    My gibson 60s tribute feels like it has a pretty thin finish , now I'm wondering how many layers is that... Same o my lp faded
  11. rushcentrale

    rushcentrale Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    that's interesting and makes a lot of sense. thanks for the info
  12. just_one_more

    just_one_more Member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Grass Valley ,CA
    I have a mom pj bas that has a huge chunk removed and the finish is really thick. Thicker then your average naval orange rind.

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