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Thread: Neck polish??

  1. #1
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    Neck polish??

    Need some advice. I have an Eric Clapton "blackie" strat. Maple neck and fretboard. Seems like the neck really "slows" down with just a little sweat. I use MusicNomad "One" on the neck, which works well for a couple of minutes, but if my hands/fingers are sweaty the neck gets "sticky", the backside of the neck, not the fretboard itself. So it makes moving up and down the neck more work than it should. None of my other guitars do that, none of the others have a maple neck. So I'm not sure what to use that would work better. I don't really want to use finger grease. Is it the factory finish on the maple? A better cleaner? Would sanding and refinishing be the ticket? What have others done if you had the same issue with a maple neck? The guitar plays well and I like it, but I can't live with the "sticky" feel the neck gets with just the first sign of sweat on my hand. Thanks for any advice.
    Sorebones

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    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Have you tried Fender’s or Dunlop’s guitar polish kits?

    I’ve seen many people say good things about the playability after using those.

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    Re: Neck polish??

    Is it a gloss, or satin finish? I would not recommend sanding & refinishing unless you are committed to keep the instrument. Otherwise, the resale value will take a hit. Maybe try knocking the finish back w/a scotchbrite pad?

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Is it a gloss, or satin finish? I would not recommend sanding & refinishing unless you are committed to keep the instrument. Otherwise, the resale value will take a hit. Maybe try knocking the finish back w/a scotchbrite pad?
    +1

    Remember the first axiom of the Leocratic oath......first, do no harm.
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    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Is it a gloss, or satin finish? I would not recommend sanding & refinishing unless you are committed to keep the instrument. Otherwise, the resale value will take a hit. Maybe try knocking the finish back w/a scotchbrite pad?
    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    +1

    Remember the first axiom of the Leocratic oath......first, do no harm.
    Wise words.


    I'd try something merely 'cosmetic' like the kits I mentioned, first. Those won't harm or mod the finish. If you really think you need something more radical, pay attention to the quoted posts.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    also, do you wash your hands before playing?
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    also, do you wash your hands before playing?
    Maybe even a little baby powder on your hands would help.
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgtr42 View Post
    Maybe even a little baby powder on your hands would help.
    I'll give those polishes a try. Refinishing would be the absolute last thing I would do, in fact I'd look for another Strat before doing that. It is the satin finish. I do wash my hands and I have a cotton diaper that I use to wipe my hands and the neck with while I'm playing.
    Guess I'll trot on down to guitar center which I hate to buy anything from, but they have managed to run everyone else out of town. I have used Gibson's polish in the spray can which I thought was pretty good, but I switched over to MusicNomad to try their products after reading the reviews on the stuff. Stuff is good, but I won't be buying anymore of the stuff, it's just OK as far as I'm concerned. Think I'll go with the Fender polish, maybe it's what might work best on a Fender product.

    On a side note, I was not able to respond to my post here without using the "quote" function. Is that due to being a new member or am I missing the reply button??

    Thanks guys for your advice, and I will "do no harm" for sure. I was just wondering if anyone else had had the same issue and what they did to solve it.

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    One thing I've read a number of folks mention when talking about their acoustic guitars is to clean the neck first with naptha, then with a mild dishwashing detergent. It may be that your neck has acquired a layer of gunk that is just reacting to your body fluids.

    (Ronsonol lighter fluid, now owned by the Zippo lighter company, is an excellent cleaner, and may be available in your local drug store. Amazon has a 12-oz. bottle for
    $4.19. Here's one review specifically addressing guitars):


    I continue to use this on expensive guitars, including my Gibson Les Paul Standard and my American Fender Stratocaster, with nothing but great results. I would encourage everyone who uses this (or any cleaning product for that matter) on an expensive instrument to FIRST apply it to a CLEAN, soft rag (like an old t-shirt), rather than directly to the instrument itself. I have explained my opinions on this matter, but I don't qualify them as anything but opinions. Therefore, please use at your own risk.

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    One thing I've read a number of folks mention when talking about their acoustic guitars is to clean the neck first with naptha, then with a mild dishwashing detergent. It may be that your neck has acquired a layer of gunk that is just reacting to your body fluids.

    (Ronsonol lighter fluid, now owned by the Zippo lighter company, is an excellent cleaner, and may be available in your local drug store. Amazon has a 12-oz. bottle for
    $4.19. Here's one review specifically addressing guitars):



    I believe light Naptha is also known as "white gas" and is used in camping stoves. I haven't used it on any of my guitars, so am not making a recommendation. But I have read about it being used to remove oils from the raw wood of guitars prior to applying finish.
    "The Mornin' Sun is Rising...It's Kissin' the Day" Journey

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    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    What slows you down is the “gumming” up of all that stuff. Naptha is safe for 99% of finishes. It is used for cleaning wood before applying finishes. Clean with that and throw all those polishes away. That’s what’s gumming it up. If you sweat, use talc and rub off afterwards. Then apply Naptha again as needed.

    my fav necks are raw, but unless constructed of appropriate woods, that requires a lot of effort to upkeep, and without promise it won’t go wonky on you
    Last edited by blackonblack; 03-04-2022 at 06:08 PM.
    Mark

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    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    As an example of what I referenced: of my bolt on necks, the woods (back neck wood) are:
    canary, roasted maple, rosewood, Brazilian Ebony
    none of those require a finish
    the other is maple no finish other than BLO and maple no finish with truoil.
    Mark

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    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Sorry was on my phone,
    Back before I was building, I had a couple Fenders.
    1. a 69 Tele maple. The finish was already worn off the back of it and presented no gumming. I would just Tru Oil it annually. That guitar was stolen decades ago and I still miss it.
    2. a late 70s/early 80s strat (it was alder body). Neck gummed up all the time. Took some steel wool (Scotch Bright didn't exist then as I recall), and sanded off the finish and Tru Oiled it.

    Then still in the herd that I experienced gumming issues with, my 79 LP Std. What did I do? Yep steel wooled the back to get the clear coat off. Never had to do a thing to it since. (Yes I still have it. First good guitar I ever bought. Bought it new in 79)
    Mark

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    Re: Neck polish??

    Sounds like it's just new and you may need to play it in.

    Any wax will leave a buildup - not recommended. If you must wax, use Butcher's Bowling Alley wax.

    Also, sounds like it could be technique related. Are you using good hand position with your thumb on the neck or are you doing the death squeeze on it? The V necks like those on a Clapton might be what you're dealing with too.

    Do you have any lacquered/painted necks like a Les Paul and if so, do you experience the same phenomena? That would be a good indicator if it's technique.

    The fact that they have sold thousands of Claptons and this is the first time I've heard this complaint about them points to either you or something that's been done to this particular guitar.

    Chuck
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    Re: Neck polish??

    OK, first, I play the strat, a Les Paul, a Suhr Tele and a Yamaha 335 copy. Only the strat has the maple neck, and it's the only neck with the "sticky" issue. Maybe I need to "break in" that maple a little more, I tend to not put down the Suhr once I pick it up. I've also done the following: wash hands with soap and water and then use hand sanitizer which is mostly alcohol. Also applied carnauba wax, which claims to use a little naptha to remove the "old" wax and grime. That's working pretty well. I don't usually have a death grip going on with the neck. I had read about naptha some time back. The "gumming" sounds like what's going on. If nothing else I have a really good argument for playing more to break in the neck. The strat is about 3 or 4 years old now, but it does compete with a Suhr and the Les Paul for playing time.
    Sorebones

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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Sounds like it's just new and you may need to play it in.

    Any wax will leave a buildup - not recommended. If you must wax, use Butcher's Bowling Alley wax.

    Also, sounds like it could be technique related. Are you using good hand position with your thumb on the neck or are you doing the death squeeze on it? The V necks like those on a Clapton might be what you're dealing with too.

    Do you have any lacquered/painted necks like a Les Paul and if so, do you experience the same phenomena? That would be a good indicator if it's technique.

    The fact that they have sold thousands of Claptons and this is the first time I've heard this complaint about them points to either you or something that's been done to this particular guitar.

    Chuck
    Quote Originally Posted by Sorebones View Post
    OK, first, I play the strat, a Les Paul, a Suhr Tele and a Yamaha 335 copy. Only the strat has the maple neck, and it's the only neck with the "sticky" issue. Maybe I need to "break in" that maple a little more, I tend to not put down the Suhr once I pick it up. I've also done the following: wash hands with soap and water and then use hand sanitizer which is mostly alcohol. Also applied carnauba wax, which claims to use a little naptha to remove the "old" wax and grime. That's working pretty well. I don't usually have a death grip going on with the neck. I had read about naptha some time back. The "gumming" sounds like what's going on. If nothing else I have a really good argument for playing more to break in the neck. The strat is about 3 or 4 years old now, but it does compete with a Suhr and the Les Paul for playing time.
    Sorebones
    I agree with Offshore Angler? I had the same issue with my 2013 American Vintage 58 Tele (though I noticed it on the fretboard as well), an experienced friend suggested the nitrocellulose finish could still be curing (mine is gloss). Whether that was actually the case, I noticed that over time the problem went away, so the ‘breaking in’ concept seems valid to me. That said, mine only took a couple of years so your issue may be different.

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    Re: Neck polish??

    Update: Youtube, a host of fixes there for sticky necks. So what I did was use a ScotchBrite pad, the green one, and lightly cleaned the neck. 100% improvement. So now I'll use either Gibson's or Taylors cleaner/polish. Every other session I'll go over the neck with the ScotchBrite to remove any "junk" build up. No more carnuba wax, it wasn't the answer. Should I ever want to speed up the neck I'm thinking of taking the finish down and using the TruOil. I tried to find some Naptha while in California, was told it was not sold in the state any longer. I also found some synthetic 0000 steel wool substitue, no metal to stick to the pick ups. Works for now.
    Sorebones

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    Re: Neck polish??

    There you go! Scotchbrite is the way to go. I can't believe that California does not allow the sale of naphtha, but then again, I do. Try looking for Zippo or Ronson lighter fluid. It is naphtha

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    Forum Member AudioHTIT's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by blackonblack View Post
    As an example of what I referenced: of my bolt on necks, the woods (back neck wood) are:
    canary, roasted maple, rosewood, Brazilian Ebony
    none of those require a finish
    the other is maple no finish other than BLO and maple no finish with truoil.
    Just got my first (unfinished) solid rosewood neck, though I haven’t played it much yet, to me it feels a bit ‘rough’. I imagine over time it will develop a patina (like a rosewood fretboard), but I’m wondering if there’s some sort of conditioning that would smooth it out a bit, and speed up the process. Any thoughts? Another use for Scotchbrite?

  20. #20
    Forum Member AudioHTIT's Avatar
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    Re: Neck polish??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorebones View Post
    … I also found some synthetic 0000 steel wool substitue, no metal to stick to the pick ups. Works for now.
    Sorebones
    Quote Originally Posted by AudioHTIT View Post
    Just got my first (unfinished) solid rosewood neck, though I haven’t played it much yet, to me it feels a bit ‘rough’. I imagine over time it will develop a patina (like a rosewood fretboard), but I’m wondering if there’s some sort of conditioning that would smooth it out a bit, and speed up the process. Any thoughts? Another use for Scotchbrite?
    I hadn’t heard of the 0000 synthetic steel wool, I picked some up and it did a nice job helping to ‘break in’ my new unfinished rosewood neck (and no fear of pickup attraction). Thanks for the tip.

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