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polyurethane vs urethane finish

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  • polyurethane vs urethane finish

    What are the differences between polyurethane and urethane finishes? I know that polyurethane comes on cheaper guitars and is more of like a plastic looking shell whereas urethans actually looks like paint on a guitar.

    That's all I know or at least I think I know. I need some more education on this subject.
    "Man who stand on toilet seat is high on pot"

    The Squier Army
    The "Official" Stratocaster Club


    2010 Gisbon Les Paul Studio
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  • #2
    Same thing. Urethane is shorthand for polyurethane in guitar world, though technically urethane is ethyl carbamate..which you may find trace elements of in food and beverages...yum :P

    Though there are infinite recipes mixes of polyurethane. And many cheaper builds now get polyester finishes.

    But polyurethane is not just for cheap guitars. Polyurethane has be the de facto standard on Fenders since planned obsolesce took nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers out of the main stream car finishing market in 1967. PRS used poly for everything until they introduced their nitro line a couple of years ago. G&L all poly. Several boutique makers still use poly. Polyurethane allows a higher gloss, better color retention and a more durable finish over nitrocellulose lacquer.

    Poly can be sprayed thin like nitro and being a plastic, it is porous and does "breathe." But guitar companies take advantage of the ability to quick, heavy spray guitars and buff them out.

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    • #3
      Dead wood doesn't need to breathe. Poly comes on all kinds of guitars. Even very expensive ones. I like it because it protects the wood very well. And it's not quite as toxic as nitrocellulose.

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      • #4
        most Fender Custom Shop Signature guitars have a poly neck and nitro body
        _________________________________________________

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        • #5
          So then what's the difference between the poly finish on an MIM Strat versus the one on an MIA Strat? Is just the thickness and amount they spray on it?
          "Man who stand on toilet seat is high on pot"

          The Squier Army
          The "Official" Stratocaster Club


          2010 Gisbon Les Paul Studio
          2001 Fender Fat Strat
          1997 Squire Strat Project

          Blackstar HT1RH w/ 1x12 Eminence Cab

          Boss ME-50
          Whammy IV -> Vox 847 Wah ->TS9 -> Phase 90 -> DigiDelay -> Boss GE7 EQ

          Good Transactions: PunkKitty, MetalGuitar08, conky

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          • #6
            So then what's the difference between the poly finish on an MIM Strat versus the one on an MIA Strat? Is just the thickness and amount they spray on it?


            Depending on model, there isn't any difference besides who sprays it and where. The polyurethane is the same and the finish quality may be too.

            I think some lower end Mexican models use polyester, I would confirm this but Fender's new website is being so slow it's useless.

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            • #7
              one's a polymer and one's a monomer
              RIP Layne Staley 1967-2002

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