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  #1  
Old 05-18-2010, 09:42 AM
swolfe2 swolfe2 is offline
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Default Tacoma C3C Chief Refinish (With Pictures!)

Hey all,

First, I want to say thanks for the great forum. There's tons of info here, but after searching I can't seem to find the information for my problem.

Basically, my mom bought this guitar for me when I was in high school (10 years ago) and it hasn't been played at all for the past 5 years. I just got it back today, and I've noticed that the laquer finish is coming off at all of the concave bends on the guitar and the headstock. Note that there is absolutely no damage to the wood, its only the laquer finish.

I was just wondering if anyone out there has any information on a fix for it, I would greatly appreciated. I've included some pictures that I took of it.

Thanks!











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  #2  
Old 05-18-2010, 09:48 AM
arie arie is offline
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this is a pretty common problem with gloss finish tacomas -it's not your fault. current speculation points to humidity and possible uv curing issues at the tac plant at the time of finishing. the only fix is a refinish.

tac's are good guitars but this problem nearly drove them to ruin (before they were conscripted by fender)
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:59 AM
swolfe2 swolfe2 is offline
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thanks for the quick response!

That's what I'm a afraid of, exactly. I should have watched it closer, but I have been overseas for the past couple of years and just now got a look at it. I have contacted FMIC, because it looks like the Tacoma warranty changed in 2004 when they were bought by Fender, and I'm still waiting to hear back from them. I live in driving distance to the Nashville repair plant, but I've read about Fender giving people stock instead of fixing the guitar and that's not what I'm wanting. If nothing else, I have a fiend who works at a furniture finishing business who knows about lacquer finishing.

I'd just really hope that its something that can still be covered under warranty.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:18 AM
arie arie is offline
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you're welcome. actually, if you were so inclined you could do a refinish yourself. might make an interesting project.
good luck
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:50 AM
Dischord Dischord is offline
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It's a fairly common issue with Tacomas built prior to about 2003/'04. The good news is: If you're the original owner - with your sales receipt, and if the guitar was purchased from an authorized Tacoma dealer, FMIC is still honoring warranty repairs - including refinishing.

Hope you get good news from them. I've seen some examples of Tacomas that were refinished by FMIC, and they looked absolutely as good as new.

Mark (owner of 7 Tacomas)
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:59 PM
swolfe2 swolfe2 is offline
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Arie,

I'm scared that I would damage the instrument if I did it myself, other than putting a satin finish which I've done to an old Takimine guitar.

Dischord,

I just heard back from someone at FMIC. I do not have the receipt, but I might be able to pull bank records since it was paid for by a check about 10 years ago. He said that since the guitar was from the 2nd year that Tacoma was even building guitars, that it should be covered and be eligible for a full refinishing in Nashville (which is about an hour and a half from where I am). He said that if I could not produce the records, that they should still be able to cover it, but it will just be extra paperwork and processing time. So, off to the bank I go!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:09 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I've come late to this thread, and it appears that you've got the situation well in hand. One thing I do want to point out is that those Tacoma guitars have a polyester UV finish, which, in simple English, means that they were sprayed with a polyester material that was then cured by exposure to a specialized ultra-violet light oven.

So many of the techniques and solvents used in repairing/restoring/replacing nitro-cellulose lacquer finishes won't work with this finish.

Good luck in finding that check, and here's hoping Fender fixes it for you!


whm
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:21 PM
jazzmang jazzmang is offline
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FYI, the refinish ETA is about a year at FMIC's Nashville facility. See if they'd cover having a local, FMIC authorized luthier do it for you locally. Sometimes they're pretty reasonable and they might be able to help you out in some way.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:28 PM
swolfe2 swolfe2 is offline
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Wade,

yeah, I'm still waiting to see if it would even be covered. If not, I'm gonna have to go another route.

Jazz,

I don't know if I'd want to wait that long to see it again! haha
I think seeing if they could reimburse a local shop might be a much better solution. How do you go about finding a good quality luthier? (I live in Knoxville, TN).

Last edited by Kerbie; 11-20-2019 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Profanity
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:35 PM
swolfe2 swolfe2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
I've come late to this thread, and it appears that you've got the situation well in hand. One thing I do want to point out is that those Tacoma guitars have a polyester UV finish, which, in simple English, means that they were sprayed with a polyester material that was then cured by exposure to a specialized ultra-violet light oven.

So many of the techniques and solvents used in repairing/restoring/replacing nitro-cellulose lacquer finishes won't work with this finish.

Good luck in finding that check, and here's hoping Fender fixes it for you!


whm
Are there any options that would work if the repair is denied by Fender for some reason? I'm guessing removing the lacquer completely is about the only option at that point.

I just want to play the guitar, and have it appear to be in decent shape. At this point, if its not going to cause any damage to the wood, I'm fine with leaving it alone until I can find a luthier I can trust with it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:37 PM
philjs philjs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzmang View Post
FYI, the refinish ETA is about a year at FMIC's Nashville facility. See if they'd cover having a local, FMIC authorized luthier do it for you locally. Sometimes they're pretty reasonable and they might be able to help you out in some way.
I had a C2C warranty refinished by FMIC about a year ago and the total time gone was about 100 days...quite a bit shy of 350 or so!

It WAS worth the time away (especially if you've got something to fall back on)...the guitar was -- subjectively -- louder and crisper. In my case, I didn't want to keep it but was able to sell it for what it was worth rather than as a piece of really bad looking firewood (but, to paraphrase Charlie Heston, you'll have to pry my C1C from my cold dead hands...)

Phil
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:46 PM
Chazmo Chazmo is offline
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Yeah, time at Nashville varies, but jazzman is pretty close to this so I'd trust his word in it being around a year.

If Fender is willing to stand by the refinish, you might indeed look into having this stripped and sprayed by someone locally. It's a big job, though, and I don't know how much of it Fender would cover.

That said, NAH... If you don't mind playing it, there is little/no risk to the instrument. Go for it.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2010, 08:54 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swolfe2 View Post
Are there any options that would work if the repair is denied by Fender for some reason? I'm guessing removing the lacquer completely is about the only option at that point.
Well, the problem with fixing or replacing poly UV finishes is twofold: first, the equipment needed to UV cure the polyester costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, last time anybody quoted me a price. So unless that's been reduced radically in price, no local guitar repair shop is going to have the exact same process available to them as the factory, simply because there'd be no way to ameliorate the costs by doing ten or twelve poly UV re-fins a year.

That's not insurmountable, though, because if you wanted a polyester finish there are ways to catalyze the finish without the UV oven.

The second problem with UV polyester finishes in this sort of situation, as I understand it, is that the polyester is about as close to chemically inert as you can get. So the normal solvents used to remove nitro-cellulose finishes won't work on this finish.

A good friend of mine worked at Tacoma Guitars for the startup and for several years after, and what he told me then was that if their poly UV finish ever needed to be removed, buffing it off with a buffing wheel was about the only way to do it.

So the situation is this: if your warranty claim gets rejected by Fender, then you'd be looking at quite a sizable bill from any local repair tech, first for physically removing the existing finish, then for applying whatever you choose to have applied in its place. The costs will run into many hundreds of dollars, perhaps more. That work will almost certainly cost as much, and possibly more, than the market value of Tacoma guitars these days.

So at that point you'll have to ask yourself exactly how important is to you to have this work done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swolfe2 View Post
I just want to play the guitar, and have it appear to be in decent shape. At this point, if its not going to cause any damage to the wood, I'm fine with leaving it alone until I can find a luthier I can trust with it.
Well, I think you should just play it and ignore the finish problems, frankly, though if Fender does come through for you you should take them up on their offer and get it refinished.

Even if you do decide it's worth eight or nine hundred dollars to have a local repair tech strip it and refinish it, it's likely going to be in the shop for at least a few months.

So, in brief, my recommendation is: if Fender okays the warranty work, get the work done, and maybe get a beater off Craigslist to play while the Tacoma's getting refinished.

If Fender turns you down, ignore the finish entirely and just play the guitar.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2019, 06:54 AM
Stringwizard Stringwizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swolfe2 View Post
Hey all,

First, I want to say thanks for the great forum. There's tons of info here, but after searching I can't seem to find the information for my problem.

Basically, my mom bought this guitar for me when I was in high school (10 years ago) and it hasn't been played at all for the past 5 years. I just got it back today, and I've noticed that the laquer finish is coming off at all of the concave bends on the guitar and the headstock. Note that there is absolutely no damage to the wood, its only the laquer finish.

I was just wondering if anyone out there has any information on a fix for it, I would greatly appreciated. I've included some pictures that I took of it.

Thanks!














So a few comments on this... Tacoma actually didn’t use lacquer on their instruments with gloss finishes they used a poly which is part of the reason why it’s peeling off in potato chips size chunks. There was a combination of two problems when applying the finish… One they waited too long in between Spring coats which made each coa tacoma actually didn’t use lacquer on their instruments with glass finishes they used a poly which is part of the reason why it’s peeling off in potato chip size chunks. There was a combination of two problems when applying the finish… One they waited too long in between spraying coats which made It less likely for each new coat to bond to the previously sprayed layer... as a result you had multiple poly layers just stacking on top of each other but never really bonding to the surface well . Second issue was that they sprayed the guitars from too for a distance which caused most of the solvent to evaporate into the air and further prevented the new layer from cross-linking into the old. To fix these guitars you are going to have to sand it down to bare wood as well as get the grain filler that they used out... and on many of their guitars Tacoma dyed their grain filler to enhance the appearance a little bit. Before you go sanding all the way through that thin top, you might try getting a 2 part solvent-based grain filler and reducer... with any luck after sanding it down to the Bare wood you will be able to wet the reducer on a rag and rub what’s left of the discoloration out. It’s important to rub in the direction of the wood grain and only rub one way. I recently refinished a Tacoma for someone in my shop... see pics below.

Ok... I typed this on my phone and it won’t let me upload pics through phone. I’ll try to upload from computer shortly.

Last edited by Stringwizard; 11-20-2019 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Typo
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2019, 11:36 AM
hat hat is offline
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My 2 cents - if Fender will honor the warranty then let them do it! If you need to, buy a beater to play until you get the Tacoma back. Since you'll be going to Nashvegas anyway, it'll be easy for find a temp. replacement.
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