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How Do I Crack A Poly Finish?


ZiKi
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To get natural finish checking, you might have to do it by hand and using a good photo or example of a real finish with checking, take an xacto and actually draw your checks into the finish. Then you can do the dirt & grime method of bringing the scratches out. I've seen poly crack only once and that's when my buddy dropped his brand new strat on my concrete floor. Poly doesn't wnat to check. It'll hold fast till it shatters.

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I have an old Hagstrom that has finish cracks running from almost every mounting screw. It certainly shows that the guitar is 38 yrs old and is part of the natural aging process in many other guitars. The wood moves around under the solid finish coat and applies pressure on the screws making these cracks, but the guitar is still solid. If you want to literally crack the finish in some of those areas (pickguard, coverplate mounting etc.), you could try using larger diameter screws. But if you feel it might compromise the structural integrity of the guitar...never mind. :D

Edited by Southpa
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I've heard of people using heat and cold to crack poly finishes. I.E. Leave the body in the freezer overnight and then set it in the hot afternoon sun. Unfortunately, it cracked, but looked nothing like the checking of nitro. Also, once the guitar reached room temperature, the cracks were almost invisible. An exacto is probably your best bet.

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You can do it....but it is PAINSTAKING detail. It involves scoring horizontally with an exacto knife.

It can be done, but Nitro cracking looks more authentic (and it is WAY easier).

The only way you can crack Poly by freezing is to use liquid nitrogen...which is a BLAST to do, but expensive and hard to get

Yes, I've heard that the poly will melt back together or something if it cracks. But I also heard someone found a way to crack it. I'll just wait for them to come out and tell us :D

*HINT HINT*

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Get about 6 cans of compressed Air (Computer Dusters) Leave Body in sun to warm for 1/2 hour. Shake can 1 Vigirously, turn upsidedown, Aim straw at guitar, spray, watch finish crack. repeat while using a different can each time until desired effect is achieved

Side note, don't stick tongue to can when the can gets cold :D

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Scott:

You got this method to work on a poly finish????

I know you and I were talking a long time ago about trying some relicing on your poly body.

Any pics?

Get about 6 cans of compressed Air (Computer Dusters) Leave Body in sun to warm for 1/2 hour. Shake can 1 Vigirously, turn upsidedown, Aim straw at guitar, spray, watch finish crack. repeat while using a different can each time until desired effect is achieved

Side note, don't stick tongue to can when the can gets cold :D

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Also...a quick way to tell "authenic" relics

The cracks in the finish typically go horizontally on a real vintage guitar

Relics are most often vertical cracks in the finish

I know it sounds silly, but do the research....you will see!

I dont have any photos handy, but you can also "Control the cracking to some degree by scoring this poly with a razor knife and when you freeze it it will tend to follow the score lines

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