MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

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MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (DriftSpace) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:41 am

I had let a friend borrow my 2005 MIJ Fender JM66 (block inlays, neck binding, and matching headstock) so we could have a little more tonal variety on a recording. He started to use it more and more, and eventually knocked it into his furnace during a rehearsal; it landed headstock first and took a two-corn-kernel-sized chunk out of the candy apple red finish right on the edge beneath the "synchronized floating tremolo" part of the logo decal.

The damage was chalked-up to a battle scar until I noticed chips of paint in the case several months later; upon closer investigation it appears that the impact somehow weakened the bond between the poly and the wood, and the stuff was just flaking off. I figured I should try and get the ding repaired to stop further flaking.

After a month :shock: at a local "renowned" guitar shop (Colfax Guitar Shop) the deed is done ... and man, it's not pretty. The color match is fairly convincing (dude said he had two attempts) but the edge/wood-to-paint transition is quite a bit darker than the rest of the guitar. I realize CAR is probably one of the hardest finishes to color-match, so I didn't really raise a stink; it looks better than it did.

I'll post some photos tomorrow, but the question I had was this:

Does it matter that they fixed the ding (on a poly finish) with nitro? I told the guy it was poly, but he said they work with nitro because it was "better," and that it wasn't a big deal. Was I bamboozled? Will there be adverse affects over time?

Most things I've read say "don't bother touching-up poly dings," but these guys did it anyway.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:48 am

By "poly" I assume you mean "polyester", as all of my own MIJ and CIJ Fender offsets are finished with it.

Most repairmen are not good at finishing, and shy away from it. It requires a different sort of mind-set and discipline than their daily fare. They do it kicking and screaming. The results are about what you'd expect.

It's possible to spray a headstock with nitrocellulose in Candy Apple Red and have it match the body color perfectly, even if the body is finished in polyester. Type of paint has little to do with this. I hope they took the trouble to respray the entire headstock, and not try to touch up an area and blend it. This is a recipe for excuses, cuz it doesn't work, no matter how well your relationship with The Almighty might be going that day. Of course, spraying the whole headstock also means he would have to re-decal it , which can be more trouble than they are willing to undergo, as Fender is careful about how they give out replacement decals. I wonder why?

Is nitro "better?" Well, it's "better" for them, as it can be sprayed easily and air-dries rapidly, then buffs out well. Most people can't tell the difference by eye, so he doesn't get credit for the extra trouble that a polyester topcoat entails. Hence the blessing of nitrocellulose.

If it looks bad to you, and you feel like you didn't get your money's worth, then guess what--you didn't and the luthier's glib line temporarily put your own critical faculties on hold. Sounds to me like things are not entirely copacetic and you should seek assistance elsewhere or have them re-do it--properly.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (DriftSpace) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:31 pm

He quoted me $70 for the job; if he had done the whole head I'm sure it would have been a lot more, and then there's the issue of replacing the trademarked logo and all...

The more I see it the less it bothers me, but it's pretty clear that the only really issue is that the ratio of color to clear-coat is not the same as the surrounding area; there's obviously a lot more clear-coat over the chipped area. However, from straight-on it's pretty damn close, and especially hard to spot in this photo:

Image

From an angle it's easier to see...

Image
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:50 pm

IMO, better to have left it chipped. That is amateurish...
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (weemac) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:53 pm

jingle_jangle wrote: They do it kicking and screaming. The results are about what you'd expect.


Yep! it will look like it has been kicked and screamed at...... I don't do refinishing stuff....

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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:58 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:IMO, better to have left it chipped. That is amateurish...


Yep, could have done it yourself with nail polish. No point IMO. Live with it, or sell the guitar and replace it with another if you can't.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (DriftSpace) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:30 pm

I could have definitely lived with the chip without remorse ... until the paint started coming off in the case on its own; I figured something had to be done to stop it from further degradation. The chip was literally getting bigger as time passed, so ignoring it was not an option; I didn't know how much more was going to come off.

Nail polish was considered, as was just filling-in with something clear to keep it from degrading further -- thus not attempting to cover the damage, and just seal the wound -- but this was certainly not done primarily for cosmetic reasons, so I guess it doesn't really bother me. I do agree that it looks amateurish, but the guy who kicked it over is paying for it. I don't think I'll be going back to the Colfax Guitar Shop. (They charge $90 for a basic set-up!)

My intention is to sell the guitar, as I don't really need a whole bunch of Japanese jazzmasters. It's in pretty good shape overall.

Anyway,I'm glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who thought this was kind of a hack job. It was kind of hard for me to decide because my expectations were pretty low going into the process, and I've literally never seen a chip repair before ... which may actually mean this is the first bad chip repair I've seen.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (johnallg) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:15 pm

Paul, what about filling/leveling with clear nail polish and sanding smooth with 2000 grit?
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:22 pm

That will level it but you'll still be able to see the chip. For this type of fix to work, you need an excellent match of color, reflectance (due to the candy being a multi-stage finish), surface level, and gloss. The second one of these is the bugaboo.

If this was a black finish, it could be touched up with black paint and a brush, and leveled as you describe, because black is black. This also works with high-key solids like bright yellows, reds, greens and blues provided you can get a good color match--there are no reflective pigments to deal with. The second you introduce a metallic, pearl, or mica into the equation, though, everything changes.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (cassius987) » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:36 pm

I can't comment on their refins--never had them do one--but they are great guys who do great setups and care about their customers (or at least have cared about me). Just sayin'.
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Re: MIJ Candy-Apple Red Chip Repair

Postby (walker) » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:39 pm

Hindsight becomes more clear post-facto, and I'll bet that if you knew that this was the best result that $70 was going to get, (or whatever the final price tag was) you might have just gone the nail polish route yourself. Tough area, though. Right on the edge of that small black lettering. If you were to keep the chip and just wanted to keep it from spreading, I suppose you could have hit it with some superglue and buffed that down a little.
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