The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

Sticky guitar neck syndrome

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Hi Lindy:

Yep, staying cool and hydrated is the major concern for the next several days here. I'm not looking forward to Monday's heat, that's for sure.

Some of this stuff is hard to figure, that's for sure. Years ago someone told me--or perhaps posted--that the outgassing of the materials (glue or the furry lining--can't recall the specifics) in a line of cases interacted with certain finishes, causing them to become cloudy. So who knows? With all the possible combinations and permutations, we'd need an advanced chem degree and a well equipped lab to do the analysis--and even then there would  probably be a fair amount of guesswork involved.

Until that day comes, stay cool and drink plenty of liquids.

As Always,


Just a note that the grit sizes being talked about here are for very fine finishing, i.e., turning very fine scratches into even finer scratches, preparing for a buffing compound. They are not meant for any sort of material removal. If there are bumps, ridges, or any thickness of buildup that you want to remove you will need much courser grit. Those polishing grits will load up almost instantly if trying to remove a gummy substance, even in a very thin layer, and would take excessive work to smooth out any bumps or ridges. Generally the procedure is to work down to a smooth surface with a working grit or even steel wool, which will not load up with goo as easily, and then work up to the fine grits in steps. It only takes a few swipes per grit if you take small steps.

I can't tell what you are really working with from your descriptions, Lindy, but trying to remove built up goo with a 600 grit paper could take hours of hand sanding. Here's a chart of grits and purposes. Doesn't really address sanding goo but you might get a better idea of what will work best for you.

If the surface is already smooth and glossy, but still is sticky, I would try several applications of a guitar specific cleaner/polisher, such as I mentioned, before attempting sanding. Then regular use after that should prevent a reoccurrence.


Id also try steel wool (0000) before any sandpaper.

...and leave out the pomegranate molasses from your asian chicken wings recipe! :)

If there was ever a reason to "stick" to first position...  :P (I know, that was bad...)

Lame attempts at humor aside, I think the residue on your three guitars should be viewed as three separate cases with the possible need for three separate solutions. Guessing from a distance, I think it's possible there are differences in the way the accumulated residue reacted (or didn't) with the finishes on the Tak, Martin and Phillips. At this point I'd simply wait to talk to the folks at The Trading Musician. Who knows? Maybe there really is the equivalent of a magic wand you can wave to easily solve the problem(s).

--And Stay Cool!


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