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Username: neyman

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post

Last weekend I played an outdoor gig with my Orion 5 string. During the second set, the humidity jumped and the neck suddenly became sticky (the neck has always had a tendency to do this, indoor or outdoor).

Any suggestions on how to solve this problem? I saw in this months featured custom that 3000 grit sandpaper might do the trick.
Username: mica

Post Number: 1729
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 7:33 pm:   Edit Post

Sticky necks are interesting. For some people, only a glossy neck will prevent sticking, and on others, they need a satin neck. Still others go for bare wood on the back of the neck. I'm convinced that there is not one solution and that different people have differing stickiness.

If your 1997 Orion has the standard finish for the time, it's a very thin polyurethane. You could lightly sand the neck - use long strokes to "scratch" the finish to a satin feel. You're creating little tracks with the sandpaper.

You'll have to be careful - you could easily get right down to the wood the finish is so thin.

If you don't want to risk the sanding, keep your neck very clean. Wipe it down after playing and regularly use a good guitar polish.
Intermediate Member
Username: mdrdvp

Post Number: 118
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 7:58 am:   Edit Post

I'm having the same problem with one of my basses. The Alembics are glossy and good, no sticky feeling, but I'm having an old Lado bass which I don't use anymore because of that problem. That one has a glossy finish as well but becomes sticky and uncomfortable to play. I was thinking about refinishing that bass but it looks so old and has a lot of scratches and everything. I want to keep it the way it is but I'm searching for a non-sticky neck solution as well.

Intermediate Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 199
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post

Ah yes, yet another variation of the age-old "my butt tends to stick to the barstool when I sweat a lot" syndrome (which I'm speaking of hypothetically, since it has *never* happened to me personally). Is there some sort of hardener which can be used on the finish? I know that would make it more prone to checking, but it would keep it from softening up with the body heat and humidity..

Intermediate Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 138
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 4:15 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, there are harder lacquers. Gibson's Custom Shop was refinishing my new CS Les Paul Elegant because the soft lacquer they use to make it easy to buff out scratches and orange peel (so finishing is less critical, ie., cheaper, less experienced painters required, less re-sprays required, etc.) and so that it doesn't age check as quickly or as severe, would gum up after 15mins of playing time. The neck would turn cloudy white (and so did the area on the top that my right hand rested on) as to be completely unplayable...just like Elmer's glue on the neck, LOL! It just so happens that they mounted the bridge and stopbar tailpiece off-center on that guitar, so they're making me a new guitar gratis under the warrantee. They are going to use "harder" lacquer on this one so I don't have the same problem again. I'll have to live with a guitar that will be harder to polish surface scratches out of and will age check quicker. My guitar instructor/repairman/luthier said that if I kept the old guitar as it was, that eventually the finish would entrain dirt and would cloud over permanently (or I'd polish the lacquer right of the thing, LOL!). I was forced to send it back for finish repairs unless I just wanted to keep the thing in the case or mount it on the wall and just stare at it, LOL!

I spec'd a satin finish on the neck of my new Custom Orion 4-string bass that Mica's currently making me with which I hope to avoid the stickiness problem I've had with the Gibson.

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