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When did Custom Shop return to nitro?

Cliff Gress

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Aug 26, 2004
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And did all of their product line get nitro, specifically the Firebird 1?
 

fakejake

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Sep 3, 2010
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It was my impression that not only the Custom Shop but all of Gibson have always used nitro on all of their guitars, although probably with different formulas over the years.
:hmm
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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It was my impression that not only the Custom Shop but all of Gibson have always used nitro on all of their guitars, although probably with different formulas over the years.
:hmm

They've always used it. I think over time though some of the nitro formulas changed to a thicker, easier to apply & work with variation.
 

MacFangus

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Oct 10, 2016
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My '16 M2M R7 has a thicker finish than my '18 Wildwood Spec R7.
 
Last edited:

NotJeffBeck

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Mar 31, 2019
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The nitro they use now is different. I don't know in detail because the Custom Shop never answered my inquiry. But looking around at vendors of finish products for the woodworking and furniture industry, I have seen that the standard these days is a catalyzed lacquer - one with some kind of accelerator or hardener added so it sets up and hardens very quickly. It might be nitrocellulose, but not old school traditional nitrocellulose.
That would explain why guitars never smell like nail polish anymore like they used to. It seems like Gibson adds some kind of vanilla / Play-Doh fragrance to the lacquer; I'm guessing because it has almost no smell at all without all those hazardous solvents of the 50s and 60s. And that's the other thing, between OSHA and environmental laws, they probably can't use lacquer that is 90% acetone, amyl acetate and whatever else used to be in lacquer.
 

Cliff Gress

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Aug 26, 2004
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My post was misleading. I understand my 2010 R7 nitro finish has lots of plasticizers. I was asking when did Gibson stop using so much of that in their nitro.
 

esq jr

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Jul 28, 2016
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I remember last year there was some unverified speculation that Gibson changed the nitro in 2019 -im wondering if there may be some truth to this as I have a 2019 goldtop that has some pretty significant weather checking
 

wolowski007

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Aug 24, 2017
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I remember last year there was some unverified speculation that Gibson changed the nitro in 2019 -im wondering if there may be some truth to this as I have a 2019 goldtop that has some pretty significant weather checking

I wonder if they use a slighly different formula for finishing gold-tops. It seems like they are more prone to weather checking than bursts. I have been trying to get my burst to get checking, but it hasn’t happened at all. But I have seen several people on the forum mention their gold-tops started checking unintentionally.
 

esq jr

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Jul 28, 2016
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I wonder if they use a slighly different formula for finishing gold-tops. It seems like they are more prone to weather checking than bursts. I have been trying to get my burst to get checking, but it hasn’t happened at all. But I have seen several people on the forum mention their gold-tops started checking unintentionally.

I dont know - maybe it could have something to do with the differences due to the presence of the goldpaint? What got me thinking that maybe the formula had changed was that Ive got a 2013 R7 (gloss) thats been frequently left in the car in pretty extreme weather but has zero checking yet the 2019 goldtop (VOS) that has the checking has been kept in its case mostly at home. I doubt if the VOS vs gloss would be responsible for the difference as it would seem like the gloss model would have been more likely to weather check?
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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I dont know - maybe it could have something to do with the differences due to the presence of the goldpaint? What got me thinking that maybe the formula had changed was that Ive got a 2013 R7 (gloss) thats been frequently left in the car in pretty extreme weather but has zero checking yet the 2019 goldtop (VOS) that has the checking has been kept in its case mostly at home. I doubt if the VOS vs gloss would be responsible for the difference as it would seem like the gloss model would have been more likely to weather check?

Could be that the 2019 has a thinner finish ? Maybe ?
 

MacFangus

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Oct 10, 2016
Messages
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My 2018 R7 still smells like a birthday cake. :spabout

Back in the 70's I was working at a local music store. Whenever a new Gibson arrived, we would all crowd around the case to cop that fresh nitro headrush! :)
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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My 2018 R7 still smells like a birthday cake. :spabout

Back in the 70's I was working at a local music store. Whenever a new Gibson arrived, we would all crowd around the case to cop that fresh nitro headrush! :)

I love the sweet smell of Nitro and find it so intoxicating in the best way !
 
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