Sticky nitro neck

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by stefanhotrod, May 20, 2019.

  1. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    The Musikraft neck on my Esquire is nitro finished. I‘ve sanded the back of the neck down to a satin surface. It feels great when you touch it, but when you‘re playin theres a slightly sticky feeling I really dislike.
    Any ideas to get rid of this? Or is it a better idea to burnish the nitro until it gets a glass-like shine (that sometimes works better from what I‘ve heard, see Heritage guitars)?

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    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  2. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends on the finish and how much you sand it. I use 240 grit on poly necks, which some people think is vandalism, but it feels great and you don't have to keep doing it.

    Nitro - I'm not sure. I would have thought it would feel ok without too much sanding. When you start to sweat, anything can get sticky.

    The only other thing I've done is sand back to the wood on a couple of necks and let my oily sweat do its thing. That is possibly the most comfortable finish of all imo.
     
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  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    IME, better to polish it to a very high gloss, and just never clean your dead skin and grime off of it. The skin cells will build up in the right places, and sort of bond with the lacquer and dull it over time. Custom fit neck grip.

    That said, I have never encountered a problematically sticky nitro neck. But perhaps I'm just used to it.

    Is it finished in Deft lacquer, by any chance? I have never had an easy time getting that stuff to fully dry. I restored several pieces of my family's (now mine) 60+ year old wood furniture a few years back, with Deft gloss clear, and I just put some [faint] denim lines in the cocktail table the other day by sitting on it when we had company over and all the chairs were taken. I also have a Tele body I did with Deft over 7 years ago, and that thing still picks up fabric impressions from the gig bag, and scratches very easily.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! What is Deft lacquer?
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Deft is a brand.
     
  6. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Lol, okay. Definitely not, I‘m located in europe. It‘s lacquered with a high quality german lacquer.
     
  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a bit of sanding and spray SATIN lacquer, not nitro. We cannot have these products here due to flammability,so we make use of our brands. So if others are mentioning a good brand name, go with that.
    A light spray, lighter the better, you can always work layer by layer.
     
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a store in Sydney that ships several kinds of nitro aerosol cans, clear and tinted gloss included. I think they are called Sydney Guitar Works and you can find their listings on ebay. They also have Fender, Gibson colors like fiesta red, Pelham Blue, Goldtop gold, 60's amber for necks etc.
     
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  9. Cheap guitar guy

    Cheap guitar guy Tele-Meister

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    My opinion on this which I have done and worked for me is...tape off the top and bottom of the neck, this makes the final result look professional. Carefully sand the neck with 400 grit paper. You can feel high spots in the finish, the paper grabs, gently sand the entire neck until smooth with no high spots. You do not want to remove all of the finish because this will cause neck instability. After your done with that do it again with 600 grit and then again with 1200 grit. If you take your time and do it right when you peel the tape you will see the difference very clearly. And you will feel the difference. And contrary to some clean your hands before you play and wipe down the neck when you are done.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    I know this will sound dumb, but just keep a little cornstarch in a container so you can shake a little on your palm and rub it on the back of your neck. You can use talc if you want but cornstarch is cheap, it's yellow and doesn't show up like talc. Will not hurt the finish.
     
  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't know if this applies to nitro, but when I finished my mahogany neck with TruOil a couple years ago, I would apply three or four coats, and then gently "steel wool" it before starting the next series of coats. (18-20 total) After the final application of TruOil, there was a slight "drag" that I didn't like. I did a very light steel wool rubbing, and it's now perfect. I anticipated having to re-do the treatment at some point, but after almost twenty-eight months, almost constantly played, it's still perfect. Steel wool (IMHO) does a much "finer" job than sandpaper.
    Please report back with YOUR results!
     
  12. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    How old is it? I find that nitro can be sticky when it's new, but it settles in after a while.
     
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  13. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with @garrett and wonder whether it still needs a little time to cure. In the mean-time, you can simply keep polishing the neck with simple guitar polish, like Gibson-brand polish. It will remove any gunk build-up that the lacquer has grabbed from your hands and will make it slick again--at least for a while.
     
  14. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    Sticky nitro necks are a common problem and it will resolve itself in time. Not sure where you got your "high quality German" nitro from, but all nitrocellulose lacquer can exhibit this problem, including factory finishes. I had it occur pretty badly on one of my four Gibson electrics which are all nitro. All mine needed was a light sanding with 0000 steel wool or a really really fine grit (really not much more than rubbing compound would have removed), and then leaving enough time for the remaining finish to harden.

    The cause, and solutions, are the stuff of myth and legend discussed ad naueseum in the forums (particularly the Les Paul forums). Some people insist that their own skin chemistry is more caustic than other peoples.

    My theory is that the lacquer still has to harden over time because it's an 'evaporative' finish, meaning that it hardens when the solvents evaporate (rather than hardening because of a chemical reaction with oxygen). Buffing can actually re-soften the finish by heating it up. Either your sanding caused enough heat to soften the finish, or you removed a hard/cured outer surface revealing something underneath that had not yet had a chance to harden.
     
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  15. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    The neck was lacquered by a guitarbuilder one year ago so I’m sure the nitro has cured.
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not necessarily. Depends on many factors. The lacquer configuration, the environment during spraying, and during subsequent curing, and what the guitar has been doing for the past year. As to the formulation, every manufacturer's recipe is slightly different. Deft lacquer isn't garbage, as you imply. It's just known for slow curing. 'High quality German lacquer' really doesn't tell us anything about the cure properties.

    If the guitar has spent most of the last year sitting in a case, chances are good it's still curing. Nitro continues off-gassing (curing) for years, getting thinner and harder as time passes. One year old nitro is still relatively 'young'.

    My Gibson 335 had a sticky neck when I first bought it, new, some years ago. It had been built 10 months earlier, and had been sitting in a case since that time. For the first month, every time I played it (every day), the 'new nitro' smell was so strong that it burned my eyes. And as soon as the neck would warm up from playing, it'd get sticky. After a few months of daily playing, and time spent outside the case, it hardened up, and hasn't been a problem since.

    While I was waiting for the neck to cure, I applied a bit of silicone-free carnauba paste wax once a week. Burnished it with a soft cloth, and it was baby-butt smooth. Feels great, but it requires frequent applications.
     
  17. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    It gets better . I noticed most on hot humid nights or nights where the stage lighting was closer to the stage before LED lighting was the thing. It did indeed take probably 50-60 gigs for my Tele - but it did improve. I seem to remember when changing strings really working the neck with the cleaning cloth quite a bit too - but it still was sticky for some time. Once it's done it's done (in my case anyway) and quite a good feel. My take is to just play the bijaber's out of it and break it in your way!
     
  18. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I apply a coat of wax to mine every week or so and it makes the lacquer feel nice and slick until it begins to wear away. I have also lightly sanded the lacquer away on the back of the neck and applied a couple of coats of Minwax Tung oil finish. It makes the back of the neck feel great for quite awhile and you can always add another coat down the road if needed.
     
  19. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  20. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    i've had a couple of sticky nitro Fender necks. I used very non aggressive sandpaper and finished off with Scotchbrite.

    I've used steel wool also but make sure you tape your pickups. Steel wool works great too but I prefer the above.

    Take your time checking constantly for satisfaction. Beautiful looking back of that neck btw can we see the whole thing?
     
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