Smoothing a Sticky Neck

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by SpringTank, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    I guess i shpuld have mentioned i have always done this before installing the neck on the body.

    So, no, i never got steel wool anywheee near a guitar
     
  2. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    I actually remove all the finish on my necks. Just on the back. I love a greyed relic look. When its naked I'll even slightly shave areas if needed.then I apply the Teabag /sat overnight in ordinary white vinegar solution. Age to taste. Then the fun starts. Sand get it feeling smooth. Add a few light coats of Aged nitro from a can. Sand. Spray. Sand..... spray. I'll do this for about a week to it looks and feels incredible.

    I'll sell guitars and people rave about the necks.

    I just got a 73' tele that's been refinished. I cant wait to hit the back of that neck!
     
  3. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    I'll post before after pics if you want.
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    All of my Fender necks that are poly (not nitro) whether glossy or matte feel great and never sticky. My Gibsons with nitro on the necks almost always feel kind of gummy stick and I don't like that at all.

    If I treat the Gibson nitro necks to 2000 grit, will they not feel sticky again? Just one treatment get the job done with lasting results?
     
  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    i just use some sandpaper ending with 1200, and then spray from a can of satin lacquer.
     
  6. SpringTank

    SpringTank TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

    I went ahead and hit the neck with the synthetic steel wool (scotch brite) pad last night. The results were pretty good. It smoothed the neck noticeably though it could use another going over. The plus is that it left absolutely no scratches or marks.

    The fretboard has some green on it where the lacquer sits on the fret wire. I'm going to clean all that off today and probably do a light pass over the fretboard with the scotch brite then do the back of the neck again.
     
  7. SpringTank

    SpringTank TDPRI Member

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    So it's been a few days since I hit the neck with the 000 equivalent Scotch Brite and although I can see the line where I taped it off and saw that some lacquer came off it still gets tacky after playing it for a bit. I may need to use something more drastic..

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    Scotch-Brite comes in various grits, down to where all they really do is polish.
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Same question that I asked above, which got no response.

    My hunch is that whether nitro is glossy or sanded to a matte finish, it's still NITRO and, it seems, nitro tends to just gets tacky/sticky easily!

    Personally, I much prefer poly on necks, as it never gets sticky when I play them (all of my Fender necks - about 18 of them are finished in poly). My Gibsons with nitro finish necks are almost always sticky feeling to some degree, except immediately after wiping with a guitar cleaner/polish. Then, they feel good for a short while before beginning to get tacky/sticky again.

    It would seem that the best way to ditch the stickiness of nitro finish on a neck is to sand it back to bare wood and either leave it bare, or seal or finish it with poly, or something other than nitro.

    From my experience, I'm not a fan of nitro finish on guitar necks. But poly is great.
     
  10. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Just go easy and remember you are just trying to rough up the finish ever so slightly, which will counter intuitively make it feel slicker. Just dull the gloss down a tad.
    Also, if it is a new guitar, be patient, the lacquer might need some time.
    I use scotch brite pads for this and they work great. You don't need to do much. You might need to hit it a few times when it shines up again, but it should hold after a couple or three times. Go easy and conservative.
     
  11. SpringTank

    SpringTank TDPRI Member

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    I've had the opposite experience. I own and have owned many Gibson guitars and not a single one of them has or had a sticky neck. My guess is their nitro formula is different than Fender's.

    This is a 9 year old Tele. I'm wondering if I need to use a more aggressive grit or move on to sand paper.
     
  12. Dunedin2019

    Dunedin2019 TDPRI Member

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    Scrub away lacquer with a green Scotch-Brite pad.
    Wipe off dust.
    Rub in Birchwood Casey Gunstock wax.
    Allow to dry.
    Wipe and buff.
    Repeat waxing every few months.
    Gives a silky smooth feel... really makes a difference and looks 'factory'.
    If it's good enough for EB Musicman ;-)
     
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  13. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    All my Fender necks have poly - some gloss, some matte. None of them ever feel tacky/sticky.

    My Nitro necks are Gibson. I don't have any Fender nitro necks.
     
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  14. SpringTank

    SpringTank TDPRI Member

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    What would be the result if I did that but didn't apply the gun stock wax? That may be difficult to find in my part of the country.

    Also, will not green not be too harsh and leave scratches?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  15. SpringTank

    SpringTank TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure Fender must be using their own formula. I've owned two of these Teles before and the body and neck are always a bit tacky after use.

    That said, I didn't experience the same tackiness on my 2013 PV 52'.
     
  16. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    Arpeggios will also wear it to a perfect, custom finish.
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    One factor to consider is player's perspiration. Personally, my hands have never perspired when I play. But I have a bass player buddy who perspires like crazy - to the point that he ruins a new set of Rotosounds in less than a 1/2 hour of playing (poor guy!).

    I've never experienced tackiness or stickiness with any Fender Tele or Strat poly finished neck (and I've got more of these than one might seem reasonable.) This includes glossy finish and matte finish. So, that's got me wondering - perhaps that's because my hands stay clean and dry all the while? Just a thought.
     
  18. Dunedin2019

    Dunedin2019 TDPRI Member

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    I used to use worn-in Scotch-Brite pads for this reason, but it's quicker with new ones.
    Green pads can leave scratches at the margins of the sanded area (neck/head join). Only really shows on darker colours; maple necks are fine.
    Can be fixed by sanding (best with wet MicroMesh grades).
    The wax also hides any scratches.

    Without gunstock wax I'd use any carnauba wax guitar or beeswax furniture polish.

    The Birchwood Casey gunstock wax is perfect though, as used and recommended by Musicman.
     
  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There's a reason techs all use 0000 steel wool.

    Well, two reasons.

    It is just the right grit to o the job without leaving marks or permanent gouges.

    And it is perfectly safe. Tape the pickups if you are worried.

    If ya'll are getting metal shards everywhere, yer scrubbing too hard.
     
  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe before you start anything non-reversable, like sanding, try one of these:

    beeswax.jpg coconut.jpg
    Clean the neck with dish soap, then wax it or oil it., Works for me.
     
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