How to prevent finish checking

blouie

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Hi all,

My oldest LP is an 1984. Although not perfect in appearance, it has absolutely no finish checking. What can I do to keep it that way? I've been researching a bit but it's so confusing on what products to use. I'm not sure I understand the actual reason why Nitro finish develops the finish cracks; is it that the finish dries? Is it exposure to UV? Is it just from plain curing over time? Is it from acid or sweat in the skin of the player?

I had used furniture polish/sprays for years with no apparent issues and then read that it was bad to do! I've used other more expensive guitar-specific polishes (again with no apparent issue) but then read that they don't prevent checking. Are there specific products that are best to use?

As you can see, this 84 has some yellowing (although it's not nearly as deep as it looks in this picture) but no cracking whatsoever. I would imagine it would have had to have exposure to UV to get the yellowing.

Thank you so much!

IMG_20200427_165629_01.jpg
 

strayedstrater

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Checking mostly happens when the finish and wood expand/contract at different rates.

Taking a warm guitar out into the cold, or a cold guitar into a nice warm place. Leaving your guitar on a stand next to an air vent that blows hot air in the winter and cold air in the summer.
 

Mike I

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Look at it this way, you're getting "Free Checking"!

A lot of people pay good money for that on their LP's!

Gives it character!

Nice LP BTW! :thumb:
 

jkes01

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As been stated, avoid extreme temp/climate changes. That’s it, there is no magic polish or solution you can use to prevent checking.
 

blouie

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Thank you so much! That is helpful. I'll be careful to keep it in a stable environment.
 

CB91710

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The issue with silicon polishes is a bit overblown.
The main issue is that stuff gets everywhere and it does not come off.
The problem is, if you have a guitar refinished, the painter is going to hate you, as the smallest amount on the sanded body (which can be transferred to the "clean" wood by contaminated hands that handled the painted body) will result in fish-eye.

Personally, I think the concern is overblown, as most of us will never have a guitar refinished.
 

grumphh

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I have one '71 deluxe and one '79 LPC (ebony), i.e. 49 and 41 years old

The '71 has so much checking i am afraid it will eventually shed its finish in big chunks/flakes...
...there is not one single sign of checking on the LPC.

(Also, the LPC has yellowed dramatically with all its white parts being a dark nicotine stain amber , where the white parts on the '71 are just slightly discoloured ...)

I am pretty sure (but not certain, of course) that someone must have changed the laquer formula at some point in the 70's - because i don't treat those two guitars differently.

So i would assume that your guitar will stay checking free unless you subject it to dramatic temperature changes...
 

mudface

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I have a ‘77 and a ‘78 Custom,... the ‘78 I had for over 40 years and was my primary guitar during the early to mid 1980s. During this time frame I used that guitar at many different venues and clubs up and down the west coast thru winter and summer, in vans and trunks and buses. To this day has no checking whatsoever. That’s some tuff norlin finish.

My 1978 Custom
259FC970-F302-4CDA-99FA-0F9E7FEF46F1.jpeg


My 1977 Custom.... also no checking

98BFADFE-DF9B-44CF-A7D1-80153EC98811.jpeg
 

dc007

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Some nice old customs!!!
 

paco1976

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You know you got a vintage guitar when you try to avoid checking to happen...
 

Wuuthrad

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How to avoid nitro checking? Don’t play your guitar and leave it in its case at 60% relative humidity 70 degrees F forever...
 

CB91710

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Y’all Need to get rid of that cracked up junk....cheap!

all Of the tone leaks out those cracks......Best let amateurs handle it.

I will PM with shipping deets.
I have to admit... the first time I saw serious checking up close was at Guitar Center in the late 90s.
They wanted like $10k for a 335.
I told him he was nuts wanting more than $500 for "That water damaged old POS"
 


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