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Thread: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

  1. #1
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    Default Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Hey guys,

    I have an ola englund washburn V guitar that has a satin back neck on it and ever since after a month I got it like a year 1/2 ago, the back of the neck is semi-sticky like in between gloss and satin finish because of my hand moving up and down it a lot. My hand polished the satin finish to like a semi-gloss one so my hand sticks to it now more than I want it to with a satin/matte finish guitar. Is there a way to fix this? I've already tried 0000 steel wool but that didn't work very well. If it brought back the satin a little bit, then playing it for one session it would go back to the semi-gloss again.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Sandpaper. Try 800 or 600 and only enough to get it comfy. You don't want to go through finish.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Forget the steel wool (it's evil, anyway) and the sandpaper. Get some Scotchbrite (light gray or maroon is fine). Simply scuff up and down the neck a few times with the stuff until the shiny goes away. VIOLA!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    This is correct. Fine scotchbrite: Magic!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    Forget the steel wool (it's evil, anyway) and the sandpaper. Get some Scotchbrite (light gray or maroon is fine). Simply scuff up and down the neck a few times with the stuff until the shiny goes away. VIOLA!
    So what's better/different in scotchbrite than in sandpaper?

    I've never used it so I'm genuinely interested.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    I've found that 400 grit gives a much nicer satin feel that the higher grit ones . . . but it depends on how thick the finish is I suppose.
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    So what's better/different in scotchbrite than in sandpaper? I've never used it so I'm genuinely interested.
    It doesn't leave gouges or heavy marks that will fill up with dirt from your hand. Also, won't remove the finish from the guitar (unless it's already very thin). Proper finishes protect the wood from moisture, and protect it from direct harm.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    It doesn't leave gouges or heavy marks that will fill up with dirt from your hand. Also, won't remove the finish from the guitar (unless it's already very thin). Proper finishes protect the wood from moisture, and protect it from direct harm.
    Neither does smooth sandpaper...
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    Super Toneologist Hsb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Sand paper is gonna be harder than the finish on the neck, so it will start taking off finish, not just the residue left behind from your hands. The Scotchbrite pads arent harder than your guitar finish, so it wont take off the finish nearly as easily.
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Hsb View Post
    Sand paper is gonna be harder than the finish on the neck, so it will start taking off finish, not just the residue left behind from your hands. The Scotchbrite pads arent harder than your guitar finish, so it wont take off the finish nearly as easily.
    If they're not harder than the finish, then how are they going to rough up the finish? Surely they're harder than the finish if they're effective.
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    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Ever seen sandpaper load up? That will scratch the hell out of whatever you are sanding. We are not trying to rough up the neck, as much as polish it a bit.

    What we are doing with Scotchbrite is polishing off the finish just enough to reduce the surface tension induced by the moisture in our hands. If you do it long enough, you probably can completely remove the finish from the neck...… But I don't think anyone is dumb to sit there that long.

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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Tried Scotchbrite on the back of my Squier VM Jazz V, didn't work. Tried 600 (or 800) grit sandpaper, 3-4 pass, worked like a charm.

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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    His guitar neck doesn't have crap on it from his hand. It's a satin finish that's gotten polished from playing.

    Every satin finished instrument I've ever owned has done this. What I always end up doing is stripping the finish down to bare wood, then applying several coats of tung oil. After that, I use whatever the finest steel wool is to knock off the little bit of gloss, and it'll stay crazy smooth for a very long time.

    For whatever reason, I've had great luck using steel wool to get a gloss poly finish nice and smooth until it polishes back up, but the satin ones just get stickier. If it's a neck thru, getting a nice clean line between the finished body and stripped neck is a little tricky, but it's worth the effort. $20 says if you try it on this guitar, you'll wind up doing the same thing to the rest of them.

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    The different grades of scotch brite have grits just like sandpaper. I'm a 220s man, but 320s and up will take off very little finish at a time.
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    Ever seen sandpaper load up? That will scratch the hell out of whatever you are sanding. We are not trying to rough up the neck, as much as polish it a bit.

    What we are doing with Scotchbrite is polishing off the finish just enough to reduce the surface tension induced by the moisture in our hands. If you do it long enough, you probably can completely remove the finish from the neck...… But I don't think anyone is dumb to sit there that long.
    Yep, I've loaded up sandpaper many times.

    But I thought the problem was that the neck was polished, and we were trying to rough it up again. My Epiphone Dot has a thick poly finish on the neck. It's ultra smooth, which ended up being really sticky. Years ago I ran over it lightly (you don't want to sand through the finish, just rough it up evenly) with some 400 grit sandpaper to fix the problem. The neck took on a nice satin-y finish and wasn't sticky any more. It has been great ever since. I've tried using both steel wool and scotch bright on other necks . . . I found that they polished back to being really smooth in much less time.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    The goal is to bring the sticky polished finish to a rougher but still smooth grit. Either sand paper or scotch brite will work. Anything from 320 - 1000s depending on your preference.
    Keemsta meha
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    The goal is to bring the sticky polished finish to a rougher but still smooth grit. Either sand paper or scotch brite will work. Anything from 320 - 1000s depending on your preference.
    Probably worth noting that depending on where you buy your sandpaper the grits numbers refer to different things. I used CAMI 400 grit, which is about where a P600 or P800 grit would be.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Probably worth noting that depending on where you buy your sandpaper the grits numbers refer to different things. I used CAMI 400 grit, which is about where a P600 or P800 grit would be.
    I did not know that. Most of the time, I buy multi-packs of 3M from work, but I also go buy single sheets from Rural King or the local hardware store. I'll have to make sure to pay attention to the grit nomenclature.

  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    I'm sure both work just the same. Just depends who's doing the sanding what the result will be.

    I use sandpaper because it's cheap and I always have a stock of it at hand.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
    Iron Maiden - Wasted Years

  20. #20
    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back of stain guitar neck sticky after playing a lot

    800 grit (and higher) sandpaper is what’s used when rubbing out a lacquer finish.

    You want to wet sand. Soak the paper in some soapy water over night. The water stops the paper from clogging.

    And don’t press very hard!

    I go all the way up to 2000 grit when polishing a finish.

    Also consider some kind of polish or wax on the neck.


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