• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and now have to move to a new host. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! Let us know how things are going! Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin
  • We're having some "break in" period issues with our new email system provider - the Achilles Heel of our conversion to a new hosting site. Please give us some time to resolve this. Thanks and apologies.

R6 Jaeger Make Over

fakejake

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,294
So I've talked things over with Florian, I really wanted to get his thoughts on it all and benefit of his experience. His suggestions sounded really good to me and so we have a plan.

He said the checking has gone really well and in terms of opening up the finish he feels the job is done. So we're going to leave it there so not to over do it.

His suggestion was to now add a couple of areas where the clear coat chipped off the gold with a bit of green oxidisation going on but not overdo it.

Then a little edgewear on the heel and back of the body and a bit on the body binding.

Sounds pretty good to me, tastefull and not over done. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Do you know how he is going to the the green oxidation? He did it on my Goldtop and I didn't like the result. That was a few years ago, so maybe his techinque changed..
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Yep, definitely you can always add it but you can't take it away that's for sure.

Funny thing is, sods law I guess but if I have a pristine finished guitar guaranteed I'll end up putting a ding on the back of the neck or smack bang on the front and It will really bug me. But I don't seem to do it to reliced guitars and if I did it wouldn't bother me at all.

That Stratocaster sounds pretty cool and a very nice example to approximate. Good choice.

As to the checking, I've definitely seen pictures of old guitars that don't seem to have any so I guess some of it has to come down to care of the guitar, where its stored and perhaps usage. I definitely think if it's been polished to within an inch of its life or even excessively wiped down that would almost certainly thin the lacquer and make it more susceptible to checking.

But I think for the most part it's where the guitar lives. The checking is down to thermal shock so take a guitar out of a warm house into the freezing cold or vise versa would do it.

Some places in the States get extremely cold and I just don't think we really get it quite as cold here in the UK. I mean we may have a cold snap for a week or two but nothing like the temperatures it can get down to in some parts of the US.
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Hey fakejake, hows things?

That's interesting although I am sad to hear your not happy with the result. Did you say anything about it?

I didn't actually ask how he was going to achieve the green oxidisation. The only thing I have to go by is the 54 he re-finished that I saw in the Work Shop.

Not sure if his approach has changed but that 54 looked incredible to me and was a big part of what convinced me to have the aging done. If Florian didn't tell me I'd never have guessed it was re-finished.

The pictures I've seen on his Site looked pretty damn fine as well so I can only go by that I guess. I like it.
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Damn it! We're into another page. That means I have to keep flipping back every time I need another fix looking at Wilko's old Gold Top....
 

fakejake

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,294
His reaction was ok. He offered me to redo the refinish ang aging, which would have meant a lot of extra work and waiting time, so I decided against it.
However, over time, I became more and more unhappy with the overall result. In person, the top carve, the gold colour and amber clearcoat, and the checking just didn't look the way I wanted to..
After a lot of consideration, I'm having it currently recarved and refinished by someone else, who's work looks more convincing to me (at least from the pictures).
It should be finished in a couple of weeks, I'll post the results once I have it back.

That being said, I'm glad you are happy with the way yours turns out, from the pictures it does look great!
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Well that sounds fair.

I really hope it works out for you too and you get it just the way you want it. ?
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
So this is a bit of the edge wear that Florian has been working on. I asked about the green oxidisation and he tells me it's done with Bronze Oxide.

He will keep it to small area's and not over do it. He says this is the trick to achieving an honest, authentic and subtle aged appearance.

Love it.....



 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Sounds like a good plan! You can always add more wear but not take it away, and as you said before with a thin nitro finish it will pick up its own wear over time. I have a reliced strat that I had someone very well respected do, and I slightly regret some of the more extreme parts of that (it was approximating Joe B's Bonnie) I've gigged it for the last 6 months and it has picked up some 'authentic' dings and wear.

Ironically of the 5 Les Pauls and one ES-335 I've owned, including a 1972 and 2x 1989s none of them have any sign of checking whatsoever! Are guitars less likely to do that in the UK?
It depends on the era and also how often you get that guitar cold. Somewhere in the 70's Gibson started to add plasticizers to its finish. They usually don't check much. I have seen checking, but it is usually a line here or there. I have seen some 70's and 80's guitars with more checking, but I never looked into if they had the original finish so I don't want to say they can check more. Maybe someone with a 70's or 80's checked guitar could chime in. I do remember my uncle having a 1960 Les Paul that I don't think had any checking in the late 70's. He left it outside in his car for a period of a couple days at that time in some extreme cold and just from that it checked majorly. I am curious what a late 70's or 80's Gibson guitar would do if it was left out in extremely cold weather, but don't think I would have the guts to try it. I think Gibson must have done some more changes to their lacquer in the 90's. At least for their Historic guitars. The reason I say this is because I have seen a late 90's Pelham Blue Historic SG with major vertical and horizontal natural checking. It was also left outside in some extreme cold. I have also seen other 90's Historic's with natural checking online as well. Not as much as the 50's examples we have been looking at. I also wonder what would happen to them if they were left out in -40 weather for a few days.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Forgot I wanted to add a note about your checking pictures. As time goes by and grime, dirt, oils, etc. get wiped into the checking cracks they begin to blend more into the finish. In other words the reflection you get from the clean check diminishes. Much the same as you would see on an old guitar with checking. Florian may well do a procedure to help this along its way.
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Thanks Subliminal, glad you jumped in there with some really good info. Makes alot of sense, great stuff.

And I agree, that checking is real fresh right now so I can only imagine after lots of playing and wiping it down even after the first 12 months things will get even better and start to blend in and look even more natural.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
I just did some checking on the internet and already found several 90's and 00's Gibson's with natural checking. Including guitars other than Historics. From a few links I also found out that Gibson changed to a low-plasticity nitrocellulose lacquer somewhere in the 90's. I put a link for one below. Really makes me wonder what would happen to a couple of my guitars if I were to leave them out in -40 weather. I think I would still be worried about them checking in a weird way. A Murphy aged guitar from those years might be smart. Already nicely prechecked and those finishes will probably stay attached to the guitar for a longer period of time.

 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Forgot to add this thread I found on another forum. A few people showing off their naturally checked Historics and even a pre- Historic. I am beginning to think many Gibson guitars, especially 90's and post, would be checked if they were left out in the cold.

 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Awesome research there....

You know the thing I'd be worried about with exposure to those extreme temperatures. Although I think the checking would definitely happen it's the glue joints especially the neck.

I mean that hide glue is like glass and I wonder if that might shatter as well in the perfect storm?
 

Revolver1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
340
Wood Is so susceptible to expansion and contraction if by heat, cold or humidity or dryness and the nitro is an equally organic material. I think they mate well and do well with gradual temperature changes. But any rapid changes would cause one to expanded or contract at a different rate. Hence checking.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Only one of my '68s was over 9 pounds. I don't remember the exact weight of this one, but it was on the light side, 8.5 lbs
Nice. Weight more than looks is the cause of my biggest wish I had back guitars. It was one of those 1973 Limited Edition 54RI Customs. Got rid of it thinking I could always get another one. It weighed less than 8lbs. Something like 7.8. It was years ago before internet was big and I stupidly thought they all probably weighed that. Found out they don't. Wish I knew where it was, but unfortunately I sold it to someone I didn't know.
 

dwagar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
4,460
I have seen some 70's and 80's guitars with more checking, but I never looked into if they had the original finish so I don't want to say they can check more. Maybe someone with a 70's or 80's checked guitar could chime in.
My old '74 Custom was really checked when I bought it in the late 80s. Living in Canada probably had something to do with it.

I don't have many pics that show the checking, here's one of the back of the headstock. It is original finish.

full
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
My old '74 Custom was really checked when I bought it in the late 80s. Living in Canada probably had something to do with it.

I don't have many pics that show the checking, here's one of the back of the headstock. It is original finish.

full
That is really nice dwagar. I was doing a bit more looking and it sounds like the big change to more plasticizers happened somewhere mid to late 70's. Not sure if early 70's lacquer was the same as 50's lacquer, but it sure looks the part. There were also difference in make up of certain solid colors as well as the clear coats. Mostly pertaining to the pigments that were used. I have a sheet somewhere from the 60's that explains it and if I find it I will post it. With all these fine examples it should be fun to see how revolvers guitar turns out.
 

metropolis

Active member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
436
Great info shared on the nitro formulation here, thanks. My assumption was the opposite - that more plasticizers got added in the 90s, not less. My 2002 Standard feels like it's got the thickest finish, especially compared to the '89s but that might just be my bias.

The strat I have is a deliberately thin finish and heavily checked, but picks up wear easily. As you say, it's thin well cured nitro that is more susceptible to it.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
Great info shared on the nitro formulation here, thanks. My assumption was the opposite - that more plasticizers got added in the 90s, not less. My 2002 Standard feels like it's got the thickest finish, especially compared to the '89s but that might just be my bias.

The strat I have is a deliberately thin finish and heavily checked, but picks up wear easily. As you say, it's thin well cured nitro that is more susceptible to it.
Regular issue guitars probably do get a different finish. Maybe at the time that 94 Classic I posted above was made all the guitars were getting painted at the same location. My 2011 Historic doesn't have a particularly thick finish. Not like what I have seen on some regular issue guitars from the same period. They definitely started to add plasticizers to the lacquer sometime in the 70's. I found a lot of information about that. I also found information that they changed formulation and decreased plasticizers in the 90's. I don't know to what degree or to what guitars that happened with. They probably messed with formulations or changed distributors in every decade. I think all the post 90's guitars posted in the link on another forum I posted above are Historic guitars. Hard experiment to prove as it would require peeling off finishes on a lot of different guitars from a lot of different years and some very accurate tools to measure the thickness. Not to mention some serious lab expenses to derive their composition.

Really tough subject in more ways that one. Nitrocellulose lacquer is basically plastic. They make some of the plastics we use out of cellulose. They just started adding other plastics to the formula over the years to make it a little softer and less easy for guitar finishes to crack and chip. You can also apply those finishes a little thicker in less coats which saves time. A finish made to the same thickness with the lacquer Florian used will peal off with a heat gun in exactly the same manner as the finish that was originally on the guitar even after several years. As more time goes by the finish with the extra plastics that stay softer better over time will have less cracks.

Many people agree a thick finish can take away from a guitars resonance. I concur, but in generality. I personally feel any thin and/or heavily checked finish no matter what it's composition is going to have little difference from one guitar to another.
 
Top