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What causes finish cracking

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Neophyte16, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Neophyte16

    Neophyte16 Strat-Talk Member

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    When I was about to polish my guitar I noticed some cracks on the finish front and back. I have a MIJ Fender. I use it everyday at home i dont gig. I thought it wasn't supposed to crack since it is not finished in nitro. I dont put in in a case. I always put it on a stand so i can just grab it whenever i feel like playing 20200205_040616.jpg 20200205_040715.jpg .
     
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  2. rjhalsey

    rjhalsey Strat-Talker

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    Those cracks probably caused by humidity that caused the wood to expand and contract.
     
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  3. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    It is incorrect to say only nitro crack/checks.
    You can see finishes everywhere having issue with cracks......and I'm talking beyond guitars into cars and houses, furniture.....you name it.

    All it takes is movement beyond the elastic capability of the material.
    I have a 60's Hagstrom with a very plastic/poly type finish with lots of long cracks in it.
     
  4. shupe13

    shupe13 Senior Stratmaster

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    Probably the extra weight of all that dust on the bridge .

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My Classic Player is showing signs of cracking too. Actually, cracking is not the right word, splitting would describe it better.
     
  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Temperature shifts, mostly. When the finish is intact, it's hard for humidity to effect the wood to make it change size or shape. A lot of the guitars that have really checked nitro have been through a lot of winters and summers without central heat and air.

    Of course once you get some cracking the humidity becomes more a factor.
     
  7. CeltRocka

    CeltRocka Senior Stratmaster

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    My CP60 is too! around the neck pocket ,some fairly deep cracks
     
  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Mine is on the narrowest part of the edge of the body, above and behind the forearm cutaway. Tiny little hairline marks, maybe 1/8-3/16" long.
     
  9. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    Central heating dont help in the UK , that's why im glad im a tight northerner and dont allow it on very much , if your cold put a jumper on :D . I also left an sg in my car over night once forgot about it , grabbed it the next day and we had log fires then , well imsat there having a coffee and fag and could here a strange noise opened the guitar case and you could hear it pinging a s it cracked the finish all over to my horror.
    On a more serious side , Im not sure the affects forced air heating like they have in the US and Canada may have though it must dry things out a lot then when it re absorbs any moisture in the air it will cause cracks .
     
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  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Our house is kept warm, cold is not good for arthritis. But the guitars have been dragged out of that, thrown into a van and driven hundreds of miles in the winter, taken into the warm, played then thrown back in the van and driven back again with no ill effects whatsoever.
     
  11. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Yep, that's exactly how finish cracks happen most of the time. Leave it in the car on a cold night--not only does the wood shrink from the cold, but the finish becomes less elastic in the cold. And then it starts warming back up, and expands and cracks all over the place.

    Forced air does dry out the air some, in the summer that's a good thing, in the winter it's not. But the humidity inside the guitar can't change if the guitar is sealed up with a finish. Humidity is a big factor for acoustic guitars, where a huge surface area inside the guitar is unsealed).

    Of course heat can be an issue too, if you put the guitar too close to a heat source. A heat gun will make finish crack and curl up.

    I guess if you wanted to accelerate finish checking (many relic guys do) freezing and thawing the body a few times would be a good way to get there.
     
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  12. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    Its the only guitar I ve had thats ever done it or anything similar, and the contrast was quite extreme had been snowing hard and -5 ish over night thats why I couldn't be bothered un loading , then straight into an overly warm house that log fire kicked out some heat for sure.
     
  13. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah thats exactly what the relic guys do freeze it hard take into hot sunlight if possible and repeat until your happy, you say about heat sources , that same sg poor thing got lent against a radiator on the back of its neck by my younger sister , heating came on and I came home to the guitar stuck to the radiator and a lovely line through the finish about an inch wide down to bear wood . Not happy as you can imagine.
     
  14. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    But were your guitars finished in polyester like the MIJ and MIMs? We'd expect this from nitro finished, but poly is supposed to be impervious to all but an atomic bomb or being looked at like this

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Chubbles

    Chubbles Strat-Talker

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    My vote is for expansion and contraction of the wood by humidity.
     
  16. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    Lmao, no it was a nitro 63 sg junior that had been messed about with not by me they had routed a neck pick up but not set it back enough and chiselled out most of the tenon and had a toggle switch and grover kidneys fitted , Once the lacquer went and my sis did that to it I sold it on the cheap the neck kept moving any way when you played it for long.
    Guy I sold it to did a very sympathetic resto replaced the wood and refinished it in White to hide the damage , looked great and then I regretted letting it go:(

    Edit:this is back when sg juniors were still affordable to us normal folk.
     
  17. Class A Knob

    Class A Knob Senior Stratmaster

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    I thought checking was due to age and the cumulative effect of paint finish and body wood expanding/contracting at different rates due to material differences.
     
  18. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    It is but as with most things with any kind of finish they dont like extremes of temperature either
     
  19. Neophyte16

    Neophyte16 Strat-Talk Member

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    I knew someone would notice that! :D I cleaned it already, most of it is actually surface rust. To be fair, it looks a lot better than when i first got it from the recent owner.
     
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  20. Neophyte16

    Neophyte16 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys, I guess it happened just this past couple of days when the weather was kinda weird, it was cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon. Maybe Polyester checks? since my Squier was not affected and I think it's polyurethane. I wish it happened on my Squier I was planning on repainting to get rid of the plasticky feeling body.
     
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