The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

Sticky guitar neck syndrome

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Thanks for all of your suggestions, my original request was to warn me about mistakes to avoid and y'all responded in that vein. Results, all with a cloth rag:

Mild household cleaner, very little effect.
Vinegar, very little effect.
Diluted denatured alcohol, good effect on one guitar, not much on the other two.

Conclusion: the problem is with the finishes on those two guitars. I'll gently use something abrasive, probably fine-grit paper.


Hi Lindy:

Thanks for the update. It's interesting denatured alcohol worked on one, but not the others. I've only used it when working with shellac. Browsed a few threads and saw that not all denatured alcohol is the same as it's ethanol with additives that make it undrinkable. So it's those unknown additives that would be of concern to me.

From the limited amount I read, it appears Goo Gone is safe as long as it's not left on too long on nitrocellulose lacquer (Martin). But the detail guy in me says that without knowing the finish on each instrument, it's a crap shoot whether or not a solvent would react with the finish under the sticky stuff that you want to remove.

You might call around to ask what the local music stores carry--Maybe they have the Stew-Mac product. And since The Trading Musician probably gets used instruments that need a cleaning, you might give them a shout. It's worth a try.

The local auto parts stores probably carry the fine grit paper you're looking for.

Just one caution.  If you go into any big box hardware\lumber\home store, you'll see 150 grit sandpaper labeled as "Fine".  That's not what you want.  Find a store has 400 and 600 grit and get some of each.  Start with the 600, and if that doesn't work, try lightly using the 400.  I wouldn't go any coarser than that.

Good point, dj. In his initial post, Lindy wrote that he was going to use 1500 to 2000 paper, so I just used "fine" in reference to that. 3m Wetordry comes in a pack of assorted grits, but I didn't see it in stock at the big box stores in this area.

The autoparts stores appear to have their house brand in stock in 1500 and 2000--and up, but not 3M products.

Thanks, guys.

Agreed, very strange that the neck on my Takamine is now OK, but I just tried both my Martin D-1 and Ronzanator this morning and they're both still sticky. Also, I agreed with your concerns about the denatured alcohol, Stuart, which is why I cut it slightly with water and immediately wiped it clean.

It's a 20-minute walk from my place to the Trading Musician, so I'll give them a visit once the heat wave is over. 110 degrees predicted for Monday here in Seattle! Yikes!


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