Nitro question... a dumb one.

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Organtis, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Organtis

    Organtis New Member

    Sep 19, 2018
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    So I ordered a 2019 SG Standard. I'm 38 and I'm doing ok for myself and decided to treat myself despite of noodling for the last 8 years and utterly sucking.

    Anyways I've never had a nitro guitar. I keep my guitars in my sons room. He is only here on the weekends and besides me playing occasionally the AC doesn't go on much during the week.

    It fluctuates between 78-95 F and maybe 60-80 % humidity. I obviously don't own acoustics.

    Is this variance enough to cause finish issues?

    I've owned about 20 guitars in the last 8 years but new to the care and feeding of a Gibson. Screenshot_20180919-180729_Chrome.jpg
    Drawde likes this.
  2. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2018
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    Ummm well that seems pretty humid and also a bit warmer to be keeping it out all the time. A hard case and something to keep the humidity level in the case where it should be? ( There are a number of options these days ).

    The nitro finish allows the wood to breath and dry out or soak in water a lot easier than polyurethane etc so if it were me I would at least consider a dehumidifier in that room?

    I am sure we have a bunch of people here that live in climates like that.
  3. PhoenixFear

    PhoenixFear Active Member

    May 16, 2009
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    I’d keep it in the case. Even if you don’t think it will fluctuate from days to nights to days again, it may. I have the opposite condition where I live, it is usually hot and dry so hardly any humidity. The paint on my guitars seems to be okay but again, I keep them in cases. One of my SGs seems to be dry so I bought a couple cheap humidifiers meant to go in the soundhole of an acoustic along with the matching digital hygrometer, all from Planet Waves. Now it sits at 45% but I have to refill the sponges every 3-5 days. I wedged them into the case at different points without touching the guitar but still being close to the fretboard, with the hygrometer somewhere between. You’ll probably have the opposite effect so you won’t need the sponges but still use that hydrometer. If you feel fine with it without a case, Home Depot or Lowe’s sells the hydrometer/thermometer gauges for under 10 bucks I think, I have one in my room.
  4. Westernrider

    Westernrider Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2014
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    Mid South
    Seriously, that finish might crack. Its gonna happen like taxes, traffic tickets and death. The biggest factor to me in preventing cracking is preventive care. I use Gibson Pump Polish on my guitars religiously when I am done using them for the day. This stuff keeps the finish moisturized and happy.

    Live in the Mid South and the house is air conditioned. My guitars stay in the case when not in use. All year long, I keep a plastic dish with water in the room with the guitars.

    and yes, it happens to me - My 1990 Explorer had some cracking when I sold her in 2013 to get an SG.
  5. Susihukkanen

    Susihukkanen Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2012
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    Some nitro cracking gives only character to the SG!

    dub-setter, 58pit and Drawde like this.
  6. Drawde

    Drawde Member

    Jul 22, 2014
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    I believe you are over thinking it. Just play it and store it wherever you want. Itll be fine.
    Col Mustard and Biddlin like this.
  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2012
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    Yes, he is!
    58pit likes this.
  8. DaveInSoCal

    DaveInSoCal Active Member

    Jun 22, 2018
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    Just play it and wipe it down when you're done and keep it in the case. The heat isn't an issue as long as it's not kept in direct sunlight. Humidity is what it is. If the humidity is an issue just keep some desiccant packs in the case, or a handful of rice wrapped in cheesecloth.

    One thing I do after I play and sweat all over my guitar is wipe it down real good and then let it sit on the stand for a couple of hours if possible to dry out. The Nitro can get a little hazy from the moisture.

    Also it's a good idea to oil the fretboard a few times a year.

    As far as the nitro goes, just let it happen it just adds character.
    Col Mustard likes this.
  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    Welcome to ETSG!

    I agree with our members here who have said that you might
    be worrying overmuch. Here in the North Country where I live, the
    humidity gets very low during the winter months, when the heat is on
    all the time, everywhere. That can cause cracks in the lacquer, called
    crazing or checking. What brings the cracks out most is sudden changes
    in the heat or the humidity. High humidity like yours should not cause
    much trouble, unless it gets so moisty that the electronics corrode.

    Here is a page on the subject:

    It's in an acoustic guitar area, but lacquer is lacquer.
    Acoustics & arch tops are much more vulnerable than electrics
    because of all that exposed wood inside. Unsealed, bare wood...

    Solid body Electrics are sealed up much better, so are much less vulnerable to
    finish problems. Guitars made in China or Mexico are finished in polyurethane,
    which is nearly impervious to all this. Polyurethane is a much more practical finish
    for guitars because of how well it seals and protects. But Traditionalists would
    scream bloody murder if Gibson gave up using Lacquer. Same with Fender USA..

    I have a Chinese made Epiphone Wishire, painted white and finished in Poly...
    that guitar has had zero problems due to the extreme dryness of our winter environment.
    I also have a Mexican made Fender Tele, finished in Poly and also nearly bullet proof.
    Both guitars have excellent tone and feel, and suffer no loss of quality due to the use
    of Poly. But my Gibson and Martin guitars are more elegant, finished in lacquer.

    These require a bit more concern, but not much. I say, enjoy your guitar, and if you
    get a few tiny cracks in the finish, think of them as adding character. Your Gibson guitar
    is built to outlive you.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    Tucson AZ
    If you're new to SGs, or to Gibson guitars in general, I'll add one
    note of caution:

    Gibson guitars are vulnerable to breakage at the joint where the neck joins
    the headstock. This is due to the use of mahogany for the neck... once again: Tradition!
    Mahogany necks give awesome tone, so many fine guitar makers use this wood.
    Gibson's 17 degree back angle at the headstock is to bring the strings into firm contact
    with the nut. But the back angle exposes a weak point in the grain of the mahogany neck.

    So your sacred duty, as the owner of a shiny new Gibson, is to look out for that weak point.
    You must guard your guitar against blows in that area.

    >Never lean your guitar against a wall, on its headstock... it might fall and break.
    >Never lean your guitar against an amp, it might fall and break.
    >Never allow others to play your prized Gibson if they are drunk. *grins
    >Never lay your Gibson flat on its back, resting on the headstock...
    >Never leave your Gibson on a stand where someone might trip over it, or kick it by accident.
    It might fall and break...

    Other makes of guitars, such as Telecasters, are built like tanks and can be
    neglected in the above ways with no real worries. Everyday wear and tear can never
    break a Telecaster. Even Pete Townshend knew that.

    But your Gibson is a different breed, and needs more protection and guardianship.
    I own two Gibsons made in recent times, and both are equipped with maple necks, so they
    are not as vulnerable. You can look at the Gibson page which tells the details on your new
    Standard, and it will confirm the neck material. It's either maple or mahogany.

    Maple doesn't have the same weak grain as mahogany does... So I'm still protective of my
    newer Gibsons, but I don't worry as much. And the maple necks sound awesome too...
    Anyone who's played a Fender knows that.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018

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