Wait 24 hours before opening a new guitar?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Elkoki, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Oh I know how to do basic setups, it should be even easier with this guitar(hopefully) because it's got a truss rod adjustment wheel near the 24th fret.
     
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  2. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    The risk of finish checking is very much real if you suddenly expose a guitar that's gotten significantly cold/warm to a room temperature environment. I really don't think there's much risk of any structural damage and I'm not sure how necessary the 24 hours thing is. I do usually let them sit around a few hours before opening. I think best practice might be to open the end of the box right away, let it sit an hour or two, then unpack the case and let it sit another hour or so, depending on what it feels like to the touch, then maybe pop the latches and let that sit another 30mins or so, then open. That's only if it's come off a truck and feels super warm/cold to the touch. Cases can be pretty decent insulators, as can some packing materials, particularly styrofoam. Realistically, your biggest moment of risk is when you toss open the lid to the case and that first wave of room temperature air hits the instrument. I have read first-hand accounts of folks watching a guitar check like crazy right before their eyes when unboxed too quickly.
     
  3. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Timely thread. You guys that laugh....think again. I had just finished a complete refinish job on a Les Paul using Mohawk piano lacquer. That stuff doesn't check as easily as other nitro lacquers I've used. But on the other hand it doesn't have nearly as much plasticizer as modern Gibson lacquer. Anyway I shipped the guitar back to my client here in Canada last week. And the weather has been reasonably mild. When he received the guitar this is what he saw upon opening the case:

    IMG_2386.jpg IMG_2392.jpg

    He's sending it back and now I have to redo the whole damn job.
     
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  4. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    Gibson suggest more or less the same approach, just less time. So yeah, keep laughin’ guys...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Yikes! Looking at those pix, I've stopped laughing and I'm thinking again :)

    FWIW, none of the guitars I had purchased before I started building were finished in nitro, nor were any of them ever shipped in the winter.

    That sucks you having to re-re-finish that guitar. It looks like a beauty
     
  6. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Senior Member

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    A few hours wait cannot hurt. 24 is excessive.
     
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  7. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    Agreed, although I think the 24 is intentional overkill -- the "totally safe, zero risk" approach. If a guitar spent a long time in transit in consistently cold/hot temperatures, was sitting in a thickly padded case, packed with a lot of styrofoam or something, and inside a thick, well-taped box, then letting the whole thing sit as-is and reach room temperature all the way to the guitar itself, through the case, through the packing, through the box would ensure it's as gradual a process as possible and could take several hours. It's probably a non-issue on an already heavily checked guitar, though, as it's already got all those cracks to serve as expansion gaps in the finish.
     
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  8. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    That's exactly the kind of checking I've seen folks say they watched happen -- those lone lines streaking their way across the guitar while they watched helplessly. What's your plan on avoiding the same damn thing happening when you send it back to him after the redo? (Nice looking work, BTW)
     
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  9. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    I think a guitar would have to be insanely cold to see actual structural damage occur upon unpacking -- like frozen all the way through to the core and brought into a 75° room.
     
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  10. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting. I knew I wasn't crazy to have some concern.
     
  11. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    pinefd and northernguitarguy like this.
  12. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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  13. fatdaddypreacher

    fatdaddypreacher V.I.P. Member

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    well, you just never know what happens to something between the time it is shipped and the time it's received. I had one of my first builds out in the field getting some playing time, and while it was an extended period of time, even a short period can expose a guitar to some extreme conditions. when i got the guitar back, the case was so stuck to itself, i actually thought it was locked, but it wasn't. i finally got it opened, and when i pulled it out of the case, the back of the neck, and body had hazed over terribly bad....as in i had to sand it back with 1000 grit and rebuff. I think it got so hot the lacquer softened and the fuzz lined case affected the finish. the people that handle these things aren't nearly as particular as those that build and those that buy.
     
  14. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    Oh Freddy, that SUCKS!

    Not that I liked your post because you have to redo the finish, but more of proof for the naysayers.

    Maybe, sell that one as a custom relic job at an inflated price and build a new one. Win-Win :)
     
  15. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Waiting is old fashioned.

    I never wait.
     
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  16. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    GET OUT OF MY HEAD! really tho... good call on several points.
     
  17. Subterfuge

    Subterfuge Senior Member

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    I'm confused, I thought people spent thousands of dollars to have their guitars refinished so they could have cracks like these ? some cracks are good but some cracks are bad ? go figure ..
     
  18. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    I didn't wait long to open it up. All is good!. So is it safe to start adjusting the truss rod right away?
     
  19. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    I guess that's one of those eye of the beholder things. Clearly that job was for a mint refin with no relic, and it was a nice job too.
    So @Freddy G do you think it arrived that way or it happened when it was opened?
    Still doesn't look bad to me but if the client wants mint.
     
  20. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Senior Member

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    Freddy validates what I'd been told in the old days about cold weather giging. If you've hauled the guitar in the trailer/trunk for more than 30 minutes, it goes in the bar first. After you've loaded everything in, pop the latches but don't open the lid. Wait until everything is set up and ready for the sound check. Then open the lid and hope. But I've had guys who insist they followed this to the letter and watched the finish crack as the lid went up.
     
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