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Help Please - Sticking to Nitrocellulose Neck

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Good afternoon from a rainy & windy UK.

 

I could really use some help here.

 

I've bought a really nice 2001 Les Paul Special in "natural" finish - picture below.

 

My problem is that when I play it, my hand "sticks" to the back of the neck - it is a real drag (literally) for me when I'm playing.

I have to wipe the back of the neck down after each song.

 

It's not just this guitar, but Gibsons generally - I had a Les Paul Studio in black about 15 years ago & had the same problem, then I got an SG standard a couple of years ago - same thing - I thought it may have been that as both the Studio & the SG were new/almost new guitars, the nitro finish was still not fully "set".

 

I did have to move them both on - I had thought that maybe this one - with it being 11 years old - would have got a "Harder" finish perhaps, but no joy.

 

I don't sweat particularly, and it's not just on a hot, sweaty stage that it happens - if i'm practicing or playing in my rather cold garage it's just the same.

 

Does anyone else get this - how do you deal with it? Any suggestions (otherwise I'm considering a swap for a Patrick Eggle guitar!!!!)-I'm really fed up, so I would appreciate any help.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Geoff

 

:unsure:

post-5028-087782500 1335713721_thumb.jpg

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Good afternoon from a rainy & windy UK.

 

I could really use some help here.

 

I've bought a really nice 2001 Les Paul Special in "natural" finish - picture below.

 

My problem is that when I play it, my hand "sticks" to the back of the neck - it is a real drag (literally) for me when I'm playing.

I have to wipe the back of the neck down after each song.

 

It's not just this guitar, but Gibsons generally - I had a Les Paul Studio in black about 15 years ago & had the same problem, then I got an SG standard a couple of years ago - same thing - I thought it may have been that as both the Studio & the SG were new/almost new guitars, the nitro finish was still not fully "set".

 

I did have to move them both on - I had thought that maybe this one - with it being 11 years old - would have got a "Harder" finish perhaps, but no joy.

 

I don't sweat particularly, and it's not just on a hot, sweaty stage that it happens - if i'm practicing or playing in my rather cold garage it's just the same.

 

Does anyone else get this - how do you deal with it? Any suggestions (otherwise I'm considering a swap for a Patrick Eggle guitar!!!!)-I'm really fed up, so I would appreciate any help.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Geoff

 

:unsure:

 

There are a couple of things you need to do here. The reason Gibson necks feel tacky is typically due to the curing time for the nitrocellulose finish. 1st, most knowledgeable folks would tell you to use naptha (lighter fluid) and a soft cloth to wipe it down. I've also had success with leaving the guitar out of the case and on the stand so that air can circulate and assist the curing process. Something that is usually NOT recomended, but worked GREAT for me, was using furniture polish that we got for our dining room table and just wiping the neck down before I played. This "slicked" the neck up, and bought me more time for the neck to cure naturally.

 

Good luck sir!

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you said the guitar is a 2001, I highly dought it's still curing. I have the same issue with my guitars that have a finished neck. If the neck does not have the gloss finish its seems to be less sticky. I use baby powder on my hand, it makes the neck silky smooth. It's gotten me out of some sticky situations.

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you said the guitar is a 2001, I highly dought it's still curing. I have the same issue with my guitars that have a finished neck. If the neck does not have the gloss finish its seems to be less sticky. I use baby powder on my hand, it makes the neck silky smooth. It's gotten me out of some sticky situations.

 

 

/shrug... perhaps, but I'd never powder my axe. Naptha ftw.

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Make sure that your hands are clean but dry before you play. Sometimes this can make a difference.

 

I don't wash my hands within 1/2 hour of playing, so they will have a chance to harden up. If you need to, you can clean your hands with hand sanitizer and they will harden up a little right away.

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I had this enzact same problem accept with a Gibson acoustic. A Advanced Jumbo to be specific. Anyway, the previous owner had used some kind of Dunlop wax on it and when my hand began to sweat a bit the neck turned into a glue stick. Drove me insane! I took some advise from some guys on here and wiped the neck down lightly with naphtha ( lighter fluid) and let guitar sit out of the case several days. I also rigorously wiped the neck down with a cloth and guitar polish daily. Finally......the stickiness went away and it's slick as a peeled onion.

 

Moral of the story, keep wax cleaners away from a nitro neck! I suppose it works for some guys but wax and sweat dont mix IMO. If any of this stuff has been on the guitar it could very well be your problem

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Well thanks for the various replies folks,

 

Could I ask JohnnyReb and ChanMan which polish did you use - one - like Ernie Ball polish - that has petroleum distillates in it, or one of the Antistatic Wax Free silicon polishes?

 

I'm sorry to go on about it, but it has been a real nuisance to me.

 

Thanks,

 

Geoff

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Hey dont be sorry i know how aggrivating it is. I used martin guitar polish after using the lighter fluid. It took a week or so to wear off that sticky waxy feeling. I ran out of martin polish and now im using the ernie ball guitar polish. Seems to work real well. Gives everything a nice slick feel and doesnt turn to glue when u sweat. If i see wax polish i leave it on the shelf.

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If you put something like polish or fast fret on the neck, that's probably the source of the gunk. My advice is to keep the neck and your hands clean. If you put stuff on the neck, don't be surprised if there ends up being gunk on there.

 

Using fast fret is like a vicious circle. It makes your hands soft and so they get sticky and you put on more fast fret. If you can keep your hands hard and dry, it's better.

 

[smile]

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If you put something like polish or fast fret on the neck, that's probably the source of the gunk. My advice is to keep the neck and your hands clean. If you put stuff on the neck, don't be surprised if there ends up being gunk on there.

 

Using fast fret is like a vicious circle. It makes your hands soft and so they get sticky and you put on more fast fret. If you can keep your hands hard and dry, it's better.

 

[smile]

 

Hello to all,

I am running into the same problem with a new Traditional. I use Gibson Guitar Polish and I believe the finish hadn't dried when I used it, twice. Now I wipe it down with a clean cloth. Waiting for it to dry, I hope! I am a bit timid to use naptha on my new LP! Good info, so thanks from a silent observer!

Glenn

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I have seen nitro finishes retain a thin layer of almost "hazy" material that can make them feels sticky. My 2011 ES 335 has a tendancy to do this. Does the neck finish appear glossy, or does it have a slightly matt or hazed appearance? The best cure I've found to get rid of a sticky haze is to clean it with a very low abrasive automotive polishing fluid such as Maguires #9 swirl remover. If Maguires is not available in the UK, pretty much anything designated "swirl remover" will have the same very gentle abrasive. Otherwise, I've known some people to get relief by wet sanding the back of the neck with very very fine automotive carbide paper (1000 or 1500 grit). This removes the gloss, but leave no visible sanding marks. Nitro is soft enough that, if you play a neck that has been sanded like this, it will eventually go glossy again, but it does provide relief for some people.

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Hi Martinh,

 

Yes, I've heard of this - someone in the UK suggested very very fine wire wool to take the gloss off the back of the neck.

 

Plus I was talking to a guy who has a little guitar shop in Blackpool - he showed me someone's solution to this - they had completely removed the finish from the back of the neck very neatly, and played it like that - a bit extreme!

 

But at least it shows I'm not on my own.

 

Geoff

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Hi Martinh,

 

Yes, I've heard of this - someone in the UK suggested very very fine wire wool to take the gloss off the back of the neck.

 

Plus I was talking to a guy who has a little guitar shop in Blackpool - he showed me someone's solution to this - they had completely removed the finish from the back of the neck very neatly, and played it like that - a bit extreme!

 

But at least it shows I'm not on my own.

 

Geoff

 

That will work, I know a couple of guys who prefer an un-finished neck, although I'd suggest wiping a quick coat of vinyl sealer on the back of a sanded neck if it's an open grain wood like mahogany, Otherwise the pores fill up with nasty "hand gunk" and the oil can soften the wood.

 

PS: How's things music wise in the UK these days? I left in '82, and am rather out of touch with what's going on.

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funny I read this, I had the same on my ES175. But after a week it was gone, a tiny layer seemed to come off. Now it is not feeling as a mirror but nice and smooth as hard polished wood.

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IMX Gibsons do tend to have a thicker application of inherently soft Nitro on their necks than some other brands

 

I find it 'charming' rather than a problem

 

Fenders seem to have a thinner seal coat with less propensity to 'stick'

 

Rickenbackers have a thinnish hard high gloss varnish coat...again with a different feel

 

A bare wood or 'oiled' finish can be comfortable for many players...

 

V

 

:-({|=

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My problem is that when I play it, my hand "sticks" to the back of the neck - it is a real drag (literally) for me when I'm playing.

 

 

Not that this helps but this is one of the biggest reasons I own a Standard Faded.

When I first ran my hands down the neck of my 2005 LP Std Faded I knew I had found the one for me!

 

Good luck. If everything fails you can always sand it!

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Well thanks for the various replies folks,

 

Could I ask JohnnyReb and ChanMan which polish did you use - one - like Ernie Ball polish - that has petroleum distillates in it, or one of the Antistatic Wax Free silicon polishes?

 

I'm sorry to go on about it, but it has been a real nuisance to me.

 

Thanks,

 

Geoff

 

 

Try this:

 

AIGG-RK1-4fee20aa84d493b2836901226c9ce20f.jpg

 

 

I used Ashley Furniture polish at first, but the Gibson creme polish works great and should be easier to come by!

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Well thanks to all for their replies - I must confess that at the moment my mate Jerry is trying the Les Paul out & I have his Patrick Eggle to try.

 

Depending what we decide I may have the guitar back off him next week - if so I'll wipe the neck down with lighter fuel (naptha) & will let it stand for a few days before giving it a polish and I'll post on here with the results...

 

Cheers everyone,

 

Geoff

 

PS I didn't reply to Martinh - It's not brilliant for live music - here in the North West of the UK anyway - there are now so many "Live" acts who are really just Karaoke singers - they bring a P.A. system and a backing CD or MP3 player & just sing along - also there are a lot of "Guitarists" who are the same thing except they strum a little - but then the ludicrous bit is that the backing track plays the tricky lead guitar breaks.!!!!!!!

 

I hate that - especially when I've taken years to learn to play & practice the songs, do the arrangements, rehearse with others etc. - also depressing is the fact that the audience think that this is what live music is all about.!.!.!.?

 

BAH - I'm definitely turning into a grumpy old man.....

 

[unsure]

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It's getting to be bug season here in the U.S.A. and if you play out doors or just come in from outdoors and play without washing up first remember that DEET can be transfered from your arms and hands to your guitar and melt a nitro finish. This can make it feel sticky, as if the finish isn't cured. In some cases it can ruin the finish all together.

 

Just be aware.

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Well thanks to all for their replies - I must confess that at the moment my mate Jerry is trying the Les Paul out & I have his Patrick Eggle to try.

 

Depending what we decide I may have the guitar back off him next week - if so I'll wipe the neck down with lighter fuel (naptha) & will let it stand for a few days before giving it a polish and I'll post on here with the results...

 

Cheers everyone,

 

Geoff

 

PS I didn't reply to Martinh - It's not brilliant for live music - here in the North West of the UK anyway - there are now so many "Live" acts who are really just Karaoke singers - they bring a P.A. system and a backing CD or MP3 player & just sing along - also there are a lot of "Guitarists" who are the same thing except they strum a little - but then the ludicrous bit is that the backing track plays the tricky lead guitar breaks.!!!!!!!

 

I hate that - especially when I've taken years to learn to play & practice the songs, do the arrangements, rehearse with others etc. - also depressing is the fact that the audience think that this is what live music is all about.!.!.!.?

 

BAH - I'm definitely turning into a grumpy old man.....

 

[unsure]

 

I feel your pain Mr Stomp...

 

Very much the same story across the UK...singer with a PC or backing tracks

 

Always the cheapest option...people are often more interested in cheap booze/talking than listening...

 

They have become used to the digital sound, therefore less tolerant of live playing with it's analogue sound and occasional mistakes...

 

There are many 'Beatles' and other tribute acts where miming is de rigeur...wigs and suits enough to satisfy the dumbed-down audience..

 

IMO a parallel to the 'DJ' culture where 10,000's will go to a 'rave' or similar to bond/get high and listen to records... [crying]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Well - I'm keeping the Gibson & have returned the Patrick Eggle!

 

So I've brought it home & have cleaned the back of the neck with Ronson lighter fuel on a clean cotton cloth, then let it dry, polished it to make sure it's clean with a dry cloth, then I've used guitar polish on the back of the neck - and the rest of the guitar whilst I was at it, then polished again with a clean dry cloth.

 

Have hung it up on the "String Swing" wall hanger to let it all settle overnight - I'll see how it is in the morning.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

 

Stompbox

 

:mellow:

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Well - I'm keeping the Gibson & have returned the Patrick Eggle!

 

So I've brought it home & have cleaned the back of the neck with Ronson lighter fuel on a clean cotton cloth, then let it dry, polished it to make sure it's clean with a dry cloth, then I've used guitar polish on the back of the neck - and the rest of the guitar whilst I was at it, then polished again with a clean dry cloth.

 

Have hung it up on the "String Swing" wall hanger to let it all settle overnight - I'll see how it is in the morning.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

 

Stompbox

 

:mellow:

 

Howdy,

Eagerly awaiting your results. Just got my LP Traditional back from the Gibson tech and he cleaned the neck with naptha. Well I got it home and it is sticking as bad as before. It is a 2012 build, maybe it needs to air out for a couple years? I am really uncomfortable with it. It gets grimy from pickup up whatever debris is on my hands.

Good luck

Glenn

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Good evening everyone ( and Glenn in particular).

 

Well - cleaning it with lighter fuel and then polishing it with (guitar polish - the type that has petroleum distillates in it) really improved it by a huge amount ! ! !

 

So I did it yet again - wiped it down with lighter fuel using an old, cut up brushed cotton sheet - then polished it dry and then used the guitar polish....

 

It really has made a HUGE difference to it - and bear in mind I gave "got rid" of two Gibsons previously for the same problem.

 

It really does feel - like someone said on here earlier "As slick as a fresh peeled onion" - remarkable.

 

I'm very grateful for everyone's help.

 

I'm sorry to hear that you have had no joy, Glenn - maybe try it yourself? It's not difficult, and it isn't like you are going to melt the nitro off it.... perhaps the polishing of it after cleaning it with lighter fluid will finish the job?

 

You certainly shouldn't have to wait a couple of years - that would be ridiculous...

 

[thumbup]

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