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Nitrocellulose finish damage


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Hi - so recently I checked on one of my guitars been sitting in hardcase for a few months - took her out and noticed the nitrocellulose finish on an area of the neck had blistered / melted /reacted with something (see photos) and noticed where the neck was resting on the case compartment tab handle was the area damaged - same place shape etc.


Anyone any ideas?


Could this be a reaction to the tab handle material?


The case was from Flightcase Warehouse - Spider cases


NB. this is a Gibson satin finish also.



Here's the images:









Any thoughts would be much appreciated..

Edited by nibs
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Hi Nibs,


Sadly yes, I would say that the pull tab of your pocket is indeed the culprit that burned your neck. Never seen it happen like this before. Nitro is pretty sensitive to many different plastics and rubbers.

Seen lots of other damage from old guitars on bindings and pick guards when stored in cases for long periods of time.

I good luthier could refinish the spot and you'd never know, but it could be a bit pricey. Personally I'd probably just buff it smooth and keep playing it (I'd cut that tab out of the case too).

Good luck.


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Hi thanks - Flightcase Warehouse - are offering no help over this at all.


LATEST UPDATE from the Director at Flightcase Warehouse:



I have had enquires today asking the question: Are these cases and all their components safe and compatible for nitrocellulose finished Gibson guitars?

I have never been asked this question and is obviously from the forum thread that you started and sent me.

If I was to answer the question my answer would be ‘ I do not know. It is a £** guitar case and we have sold 100’s with no issues. Obviously on cheaper guitar cases you get cheaper materials. My opinion would be you make the choice.

I feel the only way forward is to refund you for the case, which I am happy to do.

I will not cover the repair of the guitar.

I will only cover the case cost."



So that's the customer service from Flightcase Warehouse...


The guitar case is clearly advertised as a Les Paul hardcase but is made from materials that directly damage the finish of a Gibson Les Paul.


I have contacted some top luthiers as suggested here by other members regarding repair costs and sent photos of damage and have contacted GIbson direct also - Flightcase Warehouse should wake up realise the problem is their hardcase that has caused the damage to my guitar and get this matter resolved.


very stressful...

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nibs: I feel for you. It's likely that this may have not been experienced before because the normal position of the little tab is parallel with the case so it would not normally come into contact with the neck. I have a bunch of Quik-Lok guitar stands and I now always use a small piece of cloth over the rubber backstop because my ES-335 now has a short band of discolouration on the back where the nitro wasn't happy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You mentioned flash coats. I have an old Silverburst LP that I buffed because of light scratches and stuck back in the case. Pulled it out a couple months later and now the back looks like it is cloudy. I am thinking of doing a wet-sand with 12-2400 then a lacquer coat to make it shine again. It is just the back and I can mask off the sides and remove the covers and plug the holes so I do not need to do all of it. What are you talking about?

Thanks for any info or ideas,


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I don't think a flash coat is going to solve your problem because you will still have to wet sand and buff after the flash coat. It sounds like you need to buff what you have wet sanded. BTW flash coat is: 4 parts thinner, 1 part lacquer w/ a splash of retarder (amounts do not have to be exact) and is for melting in build up/touch up layers.

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  • 4 years later...


I got my les paul recently and somehow managed to ding the headstock right where the book binding area is, see the photo. Was wondering if anybody knows what cost i would be looking at to get that repaired? I don’t really know where to start with this so would be looking for a luthier to do the job. 


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Yes you could take it to a repairman but it's so small I'd either learn to live with it or.....look online to see if there is a simple solution:


You'd need to read a few articles etc before you came to any conclusion.  Probably some very careful and finely-targeted sandpapering followed by a blob of something transparent and varnish-like, then drying and careful buffing.  And if you haven't done it before.......[omg]

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