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 Post subject: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:56 am 
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Hi all, I was hoping someone could enlighten me or share some knowledge on the process of building a US guitar body at Fender, especially where it concerns the wood filler process. On my 2011 US Fender Jazzmaster body I can clearly see the wood grain, but what I can also clearly see is the places on the wood where the wood has split during the curing/settling process before it was Shaped and Painted. The filler process is done really well as at a glance you would think it was just part of the wood grain.

Question 1: Are the cracks/splits normal on Fender ALDER Guitar Bodies?
Question 2: What does Fender use to fill these cracks/splits in the wood?
Question 3: Is the wood stronger or weaker where the filler material is?
Question 4: Do these cracks create natural acoustic chambers in the wood?
Question 5: Is this a second grade guitar because of these filled cracks?

Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Maybe what your are seeing is darker grain coloration. Fender QC isn't top notch but I wouldn't think they'd use a split body. I also believe the wood is dryed before it gets to Fender but I could be wrong on that one.

Question 4: Do these cracks create natural acoustic chambers in the wood?
No.

Question 5: Is this a second grade guitar because of these filled cracks?
Whatever you are seeing is likely Fender SOP so I'd say, no.


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:23 pm 
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I suppose it passed at Fender so it must be American Standard worthy. And the wood is definately dried before it is used at the factory, and wood often splits when being dried. I will see if I can get decent photos to illistrate my questions, maybe that will help clear things up.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:06 am 
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I wouldn't put too much stock in "American Quality" at Fender. My US telecaster is an amazing instrument but the build quality on my Chinese Classic Vibe telecaster was better.


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:34 am 
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The build quality of my US Jazzmaster is near flawless, and I am not questioning the quality of US/MIM/MIJ, it is the quality of Alder that was used in the build that is deemed acceptable that I am enquiring about. The fact that most solid painted bodies would never show these sort of things means that this could be totaly normal as it can never be noticed, unless you have a wood grain exposed guitar. But like I stated earlier, it is BARELY NOTICEABLE, I had to really look hard to work it out. So maybe I am just being rediculously anal about it. I will try and get some pictures posted tonight to show.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:13 am 
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Here is what I am talking about with the wood. The camera flash realy makes it stand out clearly through the translucient paint.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:29 pm 
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AK...I don't think those are splits in the wood, but they are imperfections in the wood, that has soaked up more of the base coat. I have seen those marks on guitars (not just Fenders) going back 30+ years. My '82 Vintage Reissue Strat has similar marks, and my old 62 Vintage Strat had some of those too! Find it hard to believe that Fender (And Other Makers) would use wood that had split for a guitar body.

One thing I have notice though is that those marks tend to show up on guitars with Nitro Cellulose finishs, whether they are buffed out to shiney or the more recent trend towards satin.

By the way nice looking finish on that guitar.

HTH

T2

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Yeh, thanks for the re-assurance T2Stratman. I do think it is just a part of the wood curing process before Fender shapes the wood that these small fissures occur, as the wood settles. And if, as you say, it is on guitars going back 30+ years then I do believe it is a normal occurrance and nothing to be concerned about.

Thanks, I do love this finish too.

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:03 pm 
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T2Stratman wrote:
I don't think those are splits in the wood, but they are imperfections in the wood


I have been a hobbyist woodworker for over 25 years and I would agree with that statement... when wood splits (checks) it splits with the grain, those marks clearly go across the grain. It could be from insect damage, or machining, but nonetheless it is an imperfection and with a translucent finish that wood body should have been rejected... IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:56 pm 
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I agree. This body should have not been assembled for sale, but I guess because it is only obviously noticeable at the back bottom of the guitar and because the satin finish hides most of it to the naked eye, It probably was well within QC parameters and passed inspection as far as "Translucent Bodies" go. This definately means that solid painted bodies are likely to have similar imperfections that will never be noticed. Oh well the guitar plays and sounds and feels great so I guess this type of cosmetic imperfection is only going to annoy me if I think too long and hard about it - or if I play the guitar the wrong way round :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Fender Guitar Body Filling Process on US made Guitars
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Just spoke with Fender and they say it is Mineral Streaks or Mineral Deposits in the wood and is not seen as a defect. They say alot of their wood has a small amount of it, sometimes you get lucky and a guitar has none. But "obviously" the transparent color guitars will show it up easier.

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