Gibson Guitar Board: what causes "dimples" on guitar wood/finish? - Gibson Guitar Board

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what causes "dimples" on guitar wood/finish? SG reissue heritage cherry

#1 User is offline   ironlung40 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:00 PM

Hello,

I know about finish checking and cracks, temperature and humidity, etc. But, what would cause the wood and finish to have small dimples? It looks almost as though the tip of the guitar cable has been hit into the wood as it missed the input jack, except it is not near the input jack. it is little dips about the size of a pencil tip in the wood and finish. Anyone else have these on their instruments?

Sincerely,

Ironlung

#2 User is offline   Jantha 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:06 PM

Cables flying through the air and hitting your guitar?

Seriously.. What kind of guitar are we talking about? I'm curious as to the finish.

Nevermind that.. I see it's an SG in the subject line.

#3 User is offline   animalfarm 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:16 PM

If you were asking about a Guitar that you were REFINISHING
YOUSELF, I could tell you - I've refinished several gits, and in the
beginning I made the "usual" mistakes that would cause the 'dimples".

But, one from the FACTORY? I'm at a loss, unless they committed the
same Boo-Boos a Do-it-Yourself refinisher would. Hard to imagine, though.

And, you indicate dimples are also in the Wood. Hmmmmm. NEW or USED guitar?
Can you post pics of this/these areas?

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#4 User is offline   Bender 4 Life 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:56 PM

Very thin, or no "filler" allows the nitro laquer to be sucked into the woodgrain or "pores" when it's applied thinly .
It's actually a good thing, as the guitar really will "breathe & age" as a well finished Gibson should.
20 years from now that guitar will have an outstanding sound.
My new SG has this condition too, all over.
My '88 LP has a thicker nitro finish & no dimples, same with my V.
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#5 User is offline   Riverside 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:14 PM

View PostBender 4 Life, on 10 October 2010 - 07:56 PM, said:

Very thin, or no "filler" allows the nitro laquer to be sucked into the woodgrain or "pores" when it's applied thinly .
It's actually a good thing, as the guitar really will "breathe & age" as a well finished Gibson should.
20 years from now that guitar will have an outstanding sound.
My new SG has this condition too, all over.
My '88 LP has a thicker nitro finish & no dimples, same with my V.


A number of well respected luthiers insist that the finish has little to do with the sound of an electric guitar.

Are you actually saying that you think finish flaws will make your new SG sound better in 20 years?

#6 User is offline   ironlung40 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:28 PM

to answer questions.....


this is a 2008 sg reissue 61' with original finish. It really is in excellent shape, save a few flaws on the finish...I believe these were already on it, but I'm not sure as they are hard to spot,and I only see them under certain light, but it appears that they are beginning to be more show up. I'll have to try and count them,and then keep a watch on it for more.

I'll try to put some photos up, IF, I can get these to show up in photos.

#7 User is offline   Riffster 

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 10:12 PM

My Les Paul R8 has one perfectly round small mark on the top that I do not know how it got there, I too wonder what could leave such mark, it is nowhere close the input jack.

Makes me wonder if something was dropped on the top at some point during manufacturing or later.

Doesn't matter to me, I already put other dings and there will be more.
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#8 User is offline   Versatile 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:19 AM

It depends exactly what they look like, but I have seen 'dimples' caused by contamination during original spray varnish/lacquering. Airborne silicon contamination is one possible cause.....


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#9 User is offline   zigzag 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 05:38 AM

Strap locks.
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#10 User is offline   ironlung40 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 06:32 AM

View Postzigzag, on 11 October 2010 - 05:38 AM, said:

Strap locks.


I thought this too. But, I take my strap off when I put it in the case. However, I didn't start doing this until I noticed the dimples. It could be the reason, but it seems like more have showed up since.

#11 User is offline   zigzag 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

Double post, sorry.
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#12 User is offline   zigzag 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:31 AM

View Postironlung40, on 11 October 2010 - 06:32 AM, said:

I thought this too. But, I take my strap off when I put it in the case. However, I didn't start doing this until I noticed the dimples. It could be the reason, but it seems like more have showed up since.


I was slinging my strap over my shoulder when putting it on after taking the guitar out of its case, and the lock was coming around and hitting the front of the guitar causing a little dent. NC lacquers have lousy impact resistance.
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#13 User is offline   KL 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:58 AM

I see these little tiny dimples in the finish on guitars all the time, and I don't think they are an issue. They are mainly visible in really good light, so you can have a guitar for years before you notice them, unless you inspect it REALLY carefully.

I think a lot of times they are due to the nitro finish following the contour of the wood, and maybe sometimes due to airborne contamination during finishing.

It must be really hard to make a totally perfect smooth shiny finish on a guitar that is completely even every single time.

Maybe sometimes they are due to minor knocks at the factory etc too.

Most often they are not perfectly round but are like the shape of a tiny grain of rice, and I think in these cases they are certainly due to the natural grain of the wood as the finish seeps in.

I think we are talking about almost microscopic dimples here and so I do not think that they are due to a mistake in the finishing process.

#14 User is offline   PP_CS336 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:39 PM

View Postzigzag, on 11 October 2010 - 10:31 AM, said:

I was slinging my strap over my shoulder when putting it on after taking the guitar out of its case, and the lock was coming around and hitting the front of the guitar causing a little dent. NC lacquers have lousy impact resistance.


Zigzag, I think you may be correct. I had something similar happen to my Gibson CS-336. I didn't have any dimples on the back of my guitar when I was looking
at it at the music store, but after purchasing it I brought some strap locks. Now I notice on the back of my guitar where I have one of the strap locks
(where the heal of the neck and body join...common location on semi-hollow and hollow body style guitars) I have two little dents, the width of the strap lock,
on the back of my guitar from doing as you did. As you said, "NC lacquers have lousy impact resistance." I have strap locks on my Epiphone electric guitatrs
(Sheraton II and Les Paul Standard) and I don't see this happening to them, as they have the thicker "Poly" finishes.
Paul Pasquale

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#15 User is offline   Riffster 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 05:44 PM

Cool, mystery solved, the Schaller strap lock would leave a perfectly round mark.

Thanks
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#16 User is offline   sparky scott 29 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 05:47 PM

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#17 User is offline   TommyK 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:00 PM

An impact of some sort. Guitar finishes don't spontaneously implode. Pictures, pictures, pictures. We need pics to diagnose.
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#18 User is offline   craigh 

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:05 PM

View PostTommyK, on 11 October 2010 - 08:00 PM, said:

An impact of some sort. Guitar finishes don't spontaneously implode. Pictures, pictures, pictures. We need pics to diagnose.


Only drummers from Spinal Tap spontaneously explode.

The dimples come from stupid things we do when we play or hold a guitar.

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#19 User is offline   ironlung40 

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:46 AM

View PostTommyK, on 11 October 2010 - 08:00 PM, said:

An impact of some sort. Guitar finishes don't spontaneously implode. Pictures, pictures, pictures. We need pics to diagnose.



I know it's been awhile, but I cannot get these to show up in pictures well enough to post. I believe what the issue is/was, is that I was leaving my strap on the guitar while in the case, and it was dinging the guitar on the bottom. I've since stopped doing that.

#20 User is offline   lespaulj45 

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:30 AM

I have a Les Paul Std in Desert Burst with a similar "dimple" on the maple cap. It is so tiny I didnt see it when I bought the guitar new and I just live with it. I spent 2 years hunting les pauls and this one sounded so good I bought it.

probably a material handling issue at the factory caused it. Also keep in mind that Lacquer finishes set up as soon as they hit air unlike poly finishes which take some time to puddle in imperfections in the wood and fill the "dimple".My guess is that due to the rarity of some of these woods like maple and mahogany of instrument or furniture grade they use every piece they get their hands on for guitar bodies and necks. Like I said before I played my LP in the store and paid for it,thus accepting it-I live with it and if thats the only imperfection in a rock and roll guitar after serious use-I accept it!

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