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Dougefresh91

My SG has Developed an Issue.

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When I first got my SG I put a bunch of fingernail marks up and down the back of the neck with my thumb. Not sure how this happened as I don't usually rest my thumb on the back of the neck, but it happened. Since then I've made sure to keep my thumbnail super short, as I still can't figure out what I did to cause this. Anyway, I've been meaning to try the iron and damp rag trick to pop them out.

 

So, for the past couple weeks I've been noticing that the neck has been 'sticking' more than usual. Today I decided it's time to get rid of those nail marks, as I was assuming that was the cause of the roughness. I put the guitar under a good light and discovered that it's not the nail marks that are the issue. There's a pretty bad rough spot from the second fret all the way down to the 13th. My hands get clammy when playing, so it's harder to feel just how rough the neck really is. But when I checked it out today with dry hands I was pretty disappointed, to say the very least. The rough spot is mostly invisible, but there are areas where the finish has worn off. It runs from the second fret down to the 13th, and it really affects the playability.

 

My first thought was to blame the guitar stand. But, upon closer inspection the guitar stand would have only caused a rough spot(or a defect) around the seventh fret (unless there's some chemical in the foam that has spread through the wood or finish. Sounds ridiculous, but who knows).

 

Plus, I always rest the guitar against my strap, so it's not even making contact with the guitar stand.

2012-04-15%2013.00.21.jpg

 

I called Gibson right away and they have directed me to an authorized repair shop. They also informed me that finish is not covered in the warranty. [cursing]

 

2012-04-15%2013.00.43.jpg

 

The arrows point to where the finish is worn off. Not much to see here.

2012-04-15%2013.00.56-2.jpg

 

I'm not happy, obviously. I purposely chose this guitar for the speedy finish it has, but it's a shame the wood is so soft/exposed with it. This now feels like a sandpit on the side of a racetrack when my hand passes by *screeching tires*. I've babied the heck out of this guitar(I wash my hands before picking it up for pete's sakes!), so if I am to blame for this I'm stumped as to what I did. I'm going to the service shop in a minute to see what they have to say. They don't do finish work, so if it's going to get repaired by Gibson I have to ship it to freakin' Tennessee. Ugh!

 

One more pic, for no reason at all. [crying] What do you guys think? Is it an easy repair? Costly?

2012-04-15%2013.02.52.jpg

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Wow, that's a bit of a puzzler Doug. Obviously there's no way your going to sand that area 'cos you'd lose the finish, and I don't really know how hot you'd need the iron to be without the risk of scorching the neck.

 

If they're not too deep is it possible to use a coloured wax to fill them in with, or dye some grain filler to the same effect. :-k

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Dougefresh,

 

I hope you find a pro that will do the work for you for a reasonable price.

That aside, a couple of thoughts:

 

I would not use the steaming method on that neck. That is for unfinished wood only. Your guitar still has finish on it. The moisture will not permeate the surface so it would not work anyway. And yes, you could scorch the finish.

 

So let's start with a couple of basics.

What did the service shop have to say? Also, do you use a capo. Any chance the marks could have been caused by that?

If not:

Do you think that the "scratches" (they don't look like scratches in the pics) may have been there from the beginning?

Is it possible they were just covered by the nitro finish? Is it possible that you have simply worn that much of the nitro off?

 

If the above is the case I may have a few suggestions. I will wait to read your response.

 

Between spring cleanup, doctor visits and beginning of camping season I will not be around much. I will however, make it a point to come back and see what you have to say.

 

Hoping others are more help,

 

Willy

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I had a Gibby Explorer a few years ago and the neck looked fine however playing it was tough.It constantly had the stickiest back of the neck I have ever felt even to this day,kind of felt like somebody had spilled maple syrup on it every time I played.I had written about it in another forum and I was told to put a bit of bbby powder on the back of the neck I(not the frets)then wipe it off right away.Enough powder stays that your neck is very slippery and you cant see the baby powder.

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DADDEO: There's really no scratches to fill, unless they're super small. It's odd, but it's kind of just a big rough spot. No gouges, or holes visible.

 

pfox14: Definitely. A ding or a dent I could understand, but this thing feels like I was resting it against concrete.

 

Willly: After a long drive to the service shop, through a massive street fair, I arrived to find they were closed. I was not pleased, as they answered the phone and gave me directions, but kind of forgot to mention that. So, chances are I won't get back there until Saturday. : /

 

As for the capo, I've never used one. The marks could possibly have been there when I got it, but they could not be felt. They aren't even really scratches so much as... well, I guess missing finish. It's not really a cosmetic thing so much as a playability issue, as the appearance of the marks doesn't bother me. The neck was smooth as silk(I'm 100% certain of this) when I got the guitar and the areas pointed out in the picture are part of the large rough spot, they don't actually make up the whole rough area. In other words, the rough area is for the most part invisible. It's odd. Could I have really worn the finish off this guitar in only four months? If the finish was worn off wouldn't the whole rough spot look like the 'scratches'? i.e. discolored. It just doesn't seem right. I thought maybe I got something sticky on there, but wiping it with a damp rag did nothing. I considered scraping at it with a credit card, but I'm afraid to really mess with it, as I don't want them to blame me for anything. Is there any solvent that would be safe to try?

 

 

buliwyf: I've actually been doing that the last few weeks, before I realized that there's an issue with the finish, or whatever. My G-400 is smooth, but sticky as can be. That's actually why I opted for the natural finish.

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I used to have a gibby LP studio. It too suffered from sticky neck syndrome. I played it and played it until I started to wear right through the lacquer on the back of the neck, so I took the plunge and sanded it down to the wood and oiled it, (can't remember what with though). felt much faster and smoother after that.

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Doug,

 

Read your post. The service shop trip sucked. Still, I would want their opinion.

From what you describe, my opinion is that Gibson should redo the neck and pay the shipping. I hope that happens.

 

This is one of those situations when, without examining the neck, all I can do is guess. The best I can do after that is offer up some thoughts for your consideration.

 

First, I would be wary of any solvents. If I were to try anything it would be a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water.

I would mix a shot of each in a glass. Use it to moisten a rag. I would then test it on a very small spot. I would also have a damp rag and then a dry rag handy to go over the spot immediately after.

 

After that I would consider micro-mesh pads. They are much finer than any sandpaper running from 1,500 to 12,000 grit. They are available here:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sanding_Tools_and_Supplies/Micro-Mesh_Soft_Touch_Finishing_Pads.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=1790

In this case I would start with 4000 grit and work up to the 12,000. I often use them on nitro without problem.

They can be used dry but, I also use them wet with a drop of soap. No pressure, let the pad do the work. I then wipe the surface with a damp rag followed by a dry rag.

 

After that you would be looking at an extended but doable project. It would be adding many fine mist coats of nitro to the neck.

Tweed just did a project in which he used a dryer box as a spray booth.

 

You would have to put a garbage bag around the body and tape it off around the base of the neck with masking tape.

You would also have to cover the fretboard and face of the headstock with masking tape.

In the absence of spray equipment I would use this (3882):

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquers/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquer.html

I would also want to have some of this around just in case:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/Blush_Eraser.html

 

After several mist coats and ample drying time I would buff the neck out with the micro-mesh pads.

 

Remember, this is all conjecture. At best, these are thoughts I am putting up for your consideration.

 

Willy

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Doug,

 

Read your post. The service shop trip sucked. Still, I would want their opinion.

From what you describe, my opinion is that Gibson should redo the neck and pay the shipping. I hope that happens.

 

This is one of those situations when, without examining the neck, all I can do is guess. The best I can do after that is offer up some thoughts for your consideration.

 

First, I would be wary of any solvents. If I were to try anything it would be a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water.

I would mix a shot of each in a glass. Use it to moisten a rag. I would then test it on a very small spot. I would also have a damp rag and then a dry rag handy to go over the spot immediately after.

 

After that I would consider micro-mesh pads. They are much finer than any sandpaper running from 1,500 to 12,000 grit. They are available here:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sanding_Tools_and_Supplies/Micro-Mesh_Soft_Touch_Finishing_Pads.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=1790

In this case I would start with 4000 grit and work up to the 12,000. I often use them on nitro without problem.

They can be used dry but, I also use them wet with a drop of soap. No pressure, let the pad do the work. I then wipe the surface with a damp rag followed by a dry rag.

 

After that you would be looking at an extended but doable project. It would be adding many fine mist coats of nitro to the neck.

Tweed just did a project in which he used a dryer box as a spray booth.

 

You would have to put a garbage bag around the body and tape it off around the base of the neck with masking tape.

You would also have to cover the fretboard and face of the headstock with masking tape.

In the absence of spray equipment I would use this (3882):

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquers/ColorTone_Aerosol_Guitar_Lacquer.html

I would also want to have some of this around just in case:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/Blush_Eraser.html

 

After several mist coats and ample drying time I would buff the neck out with the micro-mesh pads.

 

Remember, this is all conjecture. At best, these are thoughts I am putting up for your consideration.

 

Willy

 

 

Thank you for the advice. I will check out the links after work. I read on a Telecaster forum this morning that Gibson does not use grain filler on their guitars, so I was thinking maybe that's what's making it feel rough, because there's certainly a darker/deeper grain in some areas. Who knows if it's true, but it could be the grain I'm feeling. Though why all of a sudden, I don't know, other than some finish is gone.

 

Being that this guitar is only 4 months old and not fully paid for, I'm scared to really mess with it. Hopefully I can get to the repair shop before the weekend as I definitely want them to look at it... before I try anything on my own, tempting as it may be.

 

If it's not warranty covered, and it's an expensive fix I'll probably try the micro-mesh pads. Beyond that, paint and I don't get along well. So, if all else fails maybe I'll sell it and get an SG Standard or something. Satin finish isn't worth squat to me if it rubs off in four months and I'm left with something stickier than the plastic dipped nitro I was trying to avoid.

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sounds like time for some love w/0000 grade steelwool !

 

This.

I never liked glossy finishes on the back of the neck.

My hands sweat and then they tend o stick to the neck.

The 0000 steel wool, with just a few passes made a world of difference.

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Marks like that, that also remove or damage finish, are almost always caused by a guitar stand. If not the stand, it is something else that you learn your guitar against. Rubber, foam rubber, some plastics, leather.....anything treated with any form of chemical is prone to damage a nitrocellulose finish.

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I drove back down to the repair shop today. The repairman said it will be covered under the warranty. Hooray! He said Gibson puts too thin a coat on these types of guitars, and sometimes it just wears off(I was so happy I didn't think to inquire further about why this had happened, or if it's common). They are going to refinish the back of the neck with a thicker coat and re-satin it(if Gibson says it's OK(?), otherwise it will be shipped out). I'm really relieved. In a month filled with bad luck I thought for sure it was going to cost me. I was actually about five minutes from the shop when I realized I put the guitar in the gig back that doesn't have the receipt and warranty in it. [cursing] Luckily I don't need to show that to them until I pick the guitar up. *phew* I'm sure the marks were not from the guitar stand as he said they were down to bare wood(and they're too spread out), but I think I will put a towel on it in the future, just to be safe.

 

Now I'll be stuck playing my Epi in the meantime. I will have to hunt down some 0000 steel wool as my G-400 definitely has sticky neck syndrome. I'm looking forward to fixing that issue, as then maybe I can do something interesting (P-90's maybe) to that guitar to make it worth picking up again. [thumbup]

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From what I can tell from the pix you posted, you had the guitar resting against that "studded" strap, draped over the guitar stand. Looks like the dings are right in that spot. Did you notice this? Best I can suggest is wet sand with some 1500-2000 grit sandpaper and then buff & polish it.

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Any Gibson I've ever owned had that tacky feel to the neck. Could be the Nitro isn't completely cured. I've heard it said before that the tacky feel in a nitro finished guitar never really goes away. I once had a SG Standard that had a really tacky neck that took quite a bit of getting used to, and the more my hand would sweat, the stickier it became. Any pets in the house might have messed with it? Don't know what could have caused the scratches, unless they were already there, and maybe you didn't notice them??

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The scratches are just bare wood according to the repairman. The finish wore off and with it the red color. The roughness I didn't ask about, but I will when I pick the guitar up. I read elsewhere it could be raised grain, which would explain why it looks fine.

 

I can't stand how sticky my g-400 is, especially when sweaty--which in S. FL is most of the time. I'm about to try the steel wool thing on it. What's the worst that can happen, right? Famous last words.

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The scratches are just bare wood according to the repairman. The finish wore off and with it the red color. The roughness I didn't ask about, but I will when I pick the guitar up. I read elsewhere it could be raised grain, which would explain why it looks fine.

 

I can't stand how sticky my g-400 is, especially when sweaty--which in S. FL is most of the time. I'm about to try the steel wool thing on it. What's the worst that can happen, right? Famous last words.

good thing about Epi's is they are a polyester based finish, which is much tougher than Nitro.

making it(IMHO) easier to sand/buff.

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Guitars are no differant than pieces of furniture...the woods are the same , the finishes are the same ( well mostly ) and the concepts are the same. The lines on the neck do look like " resting marks " be it guitar stand, a block of wood when laying it down to re-string etc etc....easy fix tho, as someone mentioned just use a little 0000 steal wool or the finest of fine sandpaper and then a little polish or rubbing compound and all will be well......keep in mind oil base finishes have a 7 day cure time while waterbourne finishes have a 30 day cure........sanding sealers or grain fillers ...bahh. ( rowdy spits on floor )..iz for lazy people who don't want to do it properly.......I can't see gibson covering that unless it can be proven that it happened in the factory.

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LOL ..I just saw the stew mac site saying to " warm " up the spray can....unless you bought this in january and it sat in your car over night, ....room temp is fine save your water.

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From what I can tell from the pix you posted, you had the guitar resting against that "studded" strap, draped over the guitar stand. Looks like the dings are right in that spot. Did you notice this? Best I can suggest is wet sand with some 1500-2000 grit sandpaper and then buff & polish it.

 

 

that's what it looks like to me...

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Some poor souls are cursed with acid sweat, I've seen Gibson guitars on E-Bay with necks where the lacquer has been

stripped down to the timber, same with leather steering wheels on high mileage cars, ruined by sweaty palms.

 

Can a guitar neck be French Polished ?

 

I'll get back to you.

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Some poor souls are cursed with acid sweat, I've seen Gibson guitars on E-Bay with necks where the lacquer has been

stripped down to the timber, same with leather steering wheels on high mileage cars, ruined by sweaty palms.

 

Can a guitar neck be French Polished ?

 

I'll get back to you.

 

After a little research, I came up with this:

(Thank you Wikipedia)

The process is lengthy and very repetitive. There are also many similar variations in schedule and technique. What is described here is one such schedule. The finish is obtained through a specific combination of different rubbing motions (generally circles and figure-eights), waiting for considerable time, building up layers of polish and then spiriting off any streaks left in the surface.

 

The pad is first used to put a thinned coat of shellac on, then thicker coats with small amounts of superfine pumice, a crushed volcanic glass. The pumice acts both as a fine abrasive and to fill the pores of open-grain woods. Each coat must be fully dry before the next application, to avoid lifting out the softened finish.

 

The 'fad' is commonly lubricated with an oil that is integrated into the overall finish.[2] This helps to prevent the 'fad' from lifting previously applied layers of shellac. Typically, "softer" oils, such as mineral oil, will produce a glossier and less durable finish whereas "harder" oils, such as walnut oil and olive oil, will produce a more durable finish.

 

Additives to the shellac mixture include sandarac (sap of an African cedar) and copal, sap of a South American tree. These and other additives combined with heat and light can make the finish tougher, by cross-linking the polymers and oils in the shellac.

 

The piece is usually finished off after leveling (1500 grit oil sanding), then light buffing with carnauba paste wax. Too much heat or pressure from buffing will melt off the shellac and result in a bare spot that must be refinished

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When I first got my SG I put a bunch of fingernail marks up and down the back of the neck with my thumb.

 

So, for the past couple weeks...

 

I called Gibson right away and they have directed me to an authorized repair shop. They also informed me that finish is not covered in the warranty. [cursing]

 

Did you buy it new?

I'm assuming you did, because only original owners have the lifetime warranty.

 

How long have you had it?

Is it still covered by a return policy of the seller?

If Gibson says the finish isn't covered by the warranty, can you still return it to where you bought it?

I know this may seem like an extreme measure, but even if you liked the guitar, if you can't play it without a repair, what's the point?

And then to have to pay for the repair yourself, and wait to see if you liked the way it turned out...

I'd return it if possible.

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