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Stratocaster '79: original finish or re-finished?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by leopardv, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    Hi all,

    And since this is my first post here and the year has just begun, Happy New Year to you all!!
    I recently bumped into a Stratocaster 1979 the owner claims to be all original. Looking at it I noticed some strange finish "imperfections" which seem like finish reabsorptions (or melted finish spots). The owner said it was just the normal aging of the guitar (40 years old), but I have never seen such a finish behavior on a polyester finish. But I am not a vintage expert or a luthier either.
    Is it possible that guitar has been nitro re-finished and those "imperfections" are just normal nitro finish reabsorptions?
    I link some pictures of the guitar.
    Any suggestions or comments are welcomed.
    Thank you!
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. st2012

    st2012 Strat-Talk Member

    72
    Dec 10, 2018
    TX
    Pics aren't showing for me.
     
  3. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    I inserted the URL but I cannot see them too.
    I try again:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    It seems the URLs to IMGUR don't work.... I will try later to fix this problem. Sorry about it
     
  5. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    57
    Jun 28, 2011
    ok
    I'm leaning towards original finish, but would almost have to hold it and inspect it. Chip on top looks like poly with some of the edges feathered. Arm wear on front looks almost like lacquer. At least its how a lot of people wish poly would wear !!

    The one thing I do think, seeing color difference, is that the clear is tinted, whether from being tinted or age, I can't say.

    Either way, I like it. I'm usually not a fan of 70s naturals. But I actually like this one a lot, probably because of the wear on the front. And I'm not a relic kind of guy.
     
  6. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    Thank you Miotch... I agree with you when you write "arm wear on front looks almost like lacquer. At least its how a lot of people wish poly would wear !!" :D :D :D
     
  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Yorkshire
    Looking at the wear, I'd say it's been refinished.
     
  8. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    True, it looks very well on the top, but it doesn't necessary mean that it has been refinished. It can be just because the owner took really good care of it. Moreover, I haven't posted pictures of the headstock but I can assure you that it is almost immaculate (only few tiny dents)! Not easy to keep it that way in 40 years.
    Anyway, if that's the case, do you think it has been refinished with nitro or poly?
     
  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Yorkshire
    Poly just doesn't wear nicely, if it wears at all, it tends to look dreadful.
     
    leopardv and Guy Named Sue like this.
  10. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognita
    I'm leaning towards refinish. It's easy to check if it's lacquer, put a small drop of aceton on the finish in an area that's covered usually, like underneath the pickguard or neck plate and see how the finish reacts.
     
    leopardv likes this.
  11. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    It is a test I thought of doing but then I decided not to because, as far as I am concerned, acetone works also with poly. It can remove both the kind of finish. Do you have different knowledge about?
     
  12. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognita
    Uhm.. What now?

    Acetone dissolves lacquer only, there's no chemical component in Polyurethane that can react to acetone. Not that I know of.
     
    leopardv likes this.
  13. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    I think you are right... Thanks man. I will try and keep you posted ;)
     
  14. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    If it's nitro, it's been refinished.

    I believe Fender gave up nitrocellulose lacquer back in the 60's, except for certain models and areas (S series headstocks were still lacquer finished).

    And I find that guitar to be really handsome!!!
     
    leopardv likes this.
  15. leopardv

    leopardv Strat-Talk Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2019
    Italy
    I tried acetone in a spot underneath the pickguard and the finish melted away. I think I could say it is nitro and that guitar has been definitely refinished.
     
  16. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    38
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    Judging by the color difference under the pickguard I'd say it's the original finish. Plus, my - 77 shows the exact same behavior, especually when it gets wet. Wheb it's dry it's slightly matte and the finish is hard, I can easily buff it with a rag to make it glossy. As soon as I sweat on it, it gets milky white and wax like and I can peel the finish off with my finger nail. It's original but I don't know what it is. It's not poly at least, or perhaps it is but they mixed it wrong, who knows...

    Skickat från min CLT-L29 via Tapatalk
     
  17. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    38
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    Or perhaps it's poly with something on top?

    Skickat från min CLT-L29 via Tapatalk
     
    leopardv likes this.
  18. Jesse414

    Jesse414 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    255
    Jan 1, 2019
    Wisconsin
    I say if u like it and the price is good just buy it:D
     
  19. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognita
    There you have it then, it's refinished. It still looks good though.
     
    leopardv likes this.