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2007 R7 VOS Finish Problem


Watersilk
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Some time ago, I bought a secondhand 2007 R7 Goldtop. The guitar was in fabulous condition and I bought for a reasonable price, well, reasonable for a Gibson Custom Shop model.

zZz4PkU.jpg

 

The guitar was, clean, but still covered in gunk; a sticky surface to the finish. I don't like the finish at all, it doesn't even look, or feel like a vintage finish, it just looks dull and the stickiness feels awful; what were Gibson thinking? I have had the pleasure of playing a 1959 Gibson, it didn't feel sticky at all, it just had a fabulous patina.

I believe that the VOS finish is just an unpolished nitrocellulose finish, is this true? Plus, some kind of corrosive gunk coating the metallic parts.

I wanted to remove the stickiness, so I used Planet Waves D'Addario Restore Detailer. This removed a lot of the stickiness, bringing a welcome shine to the surface and removing minor surface scratches. However, the most vital area, the neck, remained sticky. I would try to play, each time just putting the guitar down and using another, mostly just leaving it in the case; consequently, I never bonded with this guitar, which is such a shame, because it sounds incredible.

The other day, I started rubbing the gunk off the neck, just using my hands, it peels off like a rubber, removing pencil marks. I did this for hours, until I couldn't get any more off, then went over the whole neck with the Detailer a couple of times. It seems to have worked.

Now the question: is there a problem with the nitrocellulose finish? Had Gibson forgotten how to finish a guitar in this medium? I'm wondering if they have used to much plasticising agent, because the finish doesn't seem to be hard. I have a PRS with a nitrocellulose finish, it feels completely different, not only hard, the finish has sunk into the grain; much more like the vintage Gibson I played.

Is there a way of treating the finish, or do you have to have the guitar completely refinished to have a proper nitrocellulose lacquered finish?

Edited by Watersilk
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1 hour ago, Watersilk said:

Some time ago, I bought a secondhand 2007 R7 Goldtop. The guitar was in fabulous condition and I bought for a reasonable price, well, reasonable for a Gibson Custom Shop model.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/zZz4PkU.jpg[/img]

The guitar was, clean, but still covered in gunk; a sticky surface to the finish. I don't like the finish at all, it doesn't even look, or feel like a vintage finish, it just looks dull and the stickiness feels awful; what were Gibson thinking? I have had the pleasure of playing a 1959 Gibson, it didn't feel sticky at all, it just had a fabulous patina.

I believe that the VOS finish is just an unpolished nitrocellulose finish, is this true? Plus, some kind of corrosive gunk coating the metallic parts.

I wanted to remove the stickiness, so I used Planet Waves D'Addario Restore Detailer. This removed a lot of the stickiness, bringing a welcome shine to the surface and removing minor surface scratches. However, the most vital area, the neck, remained sticky. I would try to play, each time just putting the guitar down and using another, mostly just leaving it in the case; consequently, I never bonded with this guitar, which is such a shame, because it sounds incredible.

The other day, I started rubbing the gunk off the neck, just using my hands, it peels off like a rubber, removing pencil marks. I did this for hours, until I couldn't get any more off, then went over the whole neck with the Detailer a couple of times. It seems to have worked.

Now the question: is there a problem with the nitrocellulose finish? Had Gibson forgotten how to finish a guitar in this medium? I'm wondering if they have used to much plasticising agent, because the finish doesn't seem to be hard. I have a PRS with a nitrocellulose finish, it feels completely different, not only hard, the finish has sunk into the grain; much more like the vintage Gibson I played.

Is there a way of treating the finish, or do you have to have the guitar completely refinished to have a proper nitrocellulose lacquered finish?

zZz4PkU.jpg

Your Welcome

Try Virtuoso they have a polish and cleaner that they made specifically for vintage instruments like those famous violins called Stratocasters. But seriously try it out its good stuff.

 

 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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4 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

zZz4PkU.jpg

Your Welcome

Try Virtuoso they have a polish and cleaner that they made specifically for vintage instruments like those famous violins called Stratocasters. But seriously try it out its good stuff.

 

 

Thank you Sgt Pepper, I will have a look at that. If there is one thing that irritates me, it's a sticky neck.

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3 hours ago, Eracer_Team said:

Clean it for real , get some naphtha and a soft cloth.

Does wonders for sticky gunky body and neck.

Fretboard conditioner with 0000 steel wool on the neck and frets.

Good to go.

Yes VOS is just unpolished nitro. 

But would not account for sticky

It's clean, I don't think that the guitar was played much by the last owner. He sold it because he was getting on in years and it's heavy, really heavy for a Custom Shop model.

I have a 2009 VOS R9, the nitrocellulose finish on that one is harder. That one was sticky too, but was a lot easier to remove, I used the same D'Addario Detailer, no problems with a sticky neck. I am wondering if the nitrocellulose used in 2007 had more plasticiser in it, too much, making it too soft, never hardening properly?

The fretboard is fine. I had an experienced luthier do a complete setup, not that there was much wrong, so she plays really nicely.

I will try the naphtha anyway, so many people use it on finishes, it must be good 🙂

Cheers Eracer!

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4 hours ago, rct said:

Previous owner probably used some form of silicone based cleaner/polish super duper "system" on it.  Keep getting it off and it will end up fine.

rct

Ahh. now there's a thought! Although, I don' think the previous owner did anything to the guitar, it was as if it had just left the factory, all the corrosive gunk was still on the metal, the finish hadn't been polished at all, it still smells of nitrocellulose, you know that gorgeous aroma, it's quite addictive! I think if I ever decide to be a drug addict, I will be a nitrocellulose sniffer!

The neck is now glossy, not nearly so sticky, but the finish still feels too soft, compared to my experience of other nitrocellulose finishes.

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4 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

zZz4PkU.jpg

Your Welcome

Try Virtuoso they have a polish and cleaner that they made specifically for vintage instruments like those famous violins called Stratocasters. But seriously try it out its good stuff.

 

 

Sgt. Pepper, I just saw that my image didn't show on my post, but miraculously appeared on yours! How do you post an image on this site?

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4 minutes ago, Watersilk said:

Sgt. Pepper, I just saw that my image didn't show on my post, but miraculously appeared on yours! How do you post an image on this site.

 

In the link you post do this, take out both of the parts in the parentheses like these [ ] so it’s just the letters and numbers. Then go to the end of the link at hit enter. Voila, or don’t cut and paste the parentheses part.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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2 hours ago, Watersilk said:

Thank you Sgt. Pepper! Now how would anyone know how to do that? How odd, but the important thing is that it worked!

I was told about it  by someone, cause the same think happened when I stared posting photos.

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On 2/5/2022 at 5:46 PM, Eracer_Team said:

Clean it for real , get some naphtha and a soft cloth.

Does wonders for sticky gunky body and neck.

Fretboard conditioner with 0000 steel wool on the neck and frets.

Good to go.

Yes VOS is just unpolished nitro. 

But would not account for sticky

Hello Eracer,

I've been thinking about what you have written here. I will try the naphtha, many luthiers use this, so it must be good for cleaning. The advice to use steel wool shocked me though. I know it's a very fine grade, I have heard it recommended for cheaper factory-produced models finished in polyurethane, but steel wool on a handmade nitrocellulose finished guitar!

Before I got hold of some 0000 grade steel wool, I thought I would pursue a gentler approach. I rubbed the 'stickiness' off with my hands, it took some hours, spread over a few days, then I used some more detailer, then checked for stickiness, rubbed this off, now only in 'some' isolated places, then back with the detailer. All the time, the neck finish became thiner, not a bad thing for tone. It now feels much better, not perfect, not as slippery as I would like it, but much better.

The Detailer removes some of the surface, for that reason, it is ideal for removing shallow scratches. Now, as you stated, the VOS finish is really just an unpolished finish. I now have a theory, I think that all VOS guitars will have been sticky when new, or rather until 'someone' has removed the top surface and done what Gibson 'should' have done at the factory as the last process of finishing the instruments; why do I think this?

I have another VOS model, yes, I am blessed with two sticky, sorry, two VOS Gibsons. My other VOS model is a 2009 Les Paul Standard, 1959 Reissue.


T0PTCoP.jpg

So here she is! I bought this one from new. After buying this guitar, I used the detailer to remove the sticky dull surface and produce a shine. The finish on this guitar is harder and thiner than the R7. However, it is still a bit sticky. I rubbed the last of the stickiness off with my hands, then used the detailer again.

I think the stickiness is just due to the unfinished nitrocellulose that needs to be buffed as it should have been in the factory before being sold.

Has anyone else experienced VOS stickiness? Once removed, does it ever return, or is it gone forever? 

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