Can you confirm this is a nitro finish on this 68 Tele?

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Can you confirm this is a nitro finish on this 68 Tele?

Postby steveokla on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:03 pm

I let go of my '68 Tele a while back to fund the purchase of a '56 Strat. I missed it immediately and have been questing for another. I believe I've found one. The '68 and '69 both have nice chunky necks, which is why I like them; however, I dislike poly on a board, and, so far as I know, all the '69's had poly boards.

Now, I haven't played that many '68's. Mine, and the few others I've played, have had poly bodies but nitro boards. I've done some searching around and made inquiries at various sites. My impression is that ll the '68's have nitro boards. The only way I've really been able to tell in the past was from the player's wear on the fret board--easy to spot. The one on my plate, however, has been played so little there's no board wear. Can anyone out there tell if this is a nitro finish, as I expect it is? Thanks,

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Re: Can you confirm this is a nitro finish on this 68 Tele?

Postby TM1 on Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:46 pm

Keep in mind that any Fender body that has "Fullerplast" as a sealer has Poly. The Fullerplast is short for Fuller Plastics. That yellow sealer coat is polyurathane, not Nitro. This was told to me by Clay Irwin who runs the Customer Service Dept. at Fender Custom.
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Re: Can you confirm this is a nitro finish on this 68 Tele?

Postby housekustoms on Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:02 pm

Not sure if you can remove the neck on the 68 you mention but here is how I've always told the difference.

Dip a soft rag's corner into lacquer thinner and then apply/rub a very small hidden area (like from under the neck joint or inside a body cavity) with the wetted rag. If the surface begins to dissolve, the finish is lacquer. If the surface remains unchanged, the finish is polyurethane. If for any reason this isn't conclusive, try the same with acetone. It will be slower to act than lacquer thinner will be but on a poly finish it should bead up. On lacquer, although slower than lacquer thinner, it will begin to dissolve the finish.
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Re: Can you confirm this is a nitro finish on this 68 Tele?

Postby Dean Jr. on Mon May 09, 2016 8:30 pm

The easiest way to tell the difference is that if you have a poly finished neck the front of the headstock will be darker/yellower than the rest of the neck. This is because that front of the headstock was finished in Nitro so that the decal would stick, and that nitro yellows differently with age than does the poly. IF the headstock and the fingerboard are the same color, then you have a nitro finished neck.
Your picture does not give me the right point of view to see this aspect. Personally, a ply finished board is no different than a nitro board for my purposes. My fingers never get to the board anyway. I do prefer the way the nitro ages, though.
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