#1
Any one else have this issue with Nitrocellulose finished necks? They smudge like a mother******!
And not only smudge but after like 20 minutes of playing I can feel particles start to "roll" off the neck. It looks like dust but I can rib it right off the neck. The f**k is that!?



That's my 08 Gibson Explorer. I have to wax and polish it religiously. I don't have this issue with my Strat. Anyone know of any product that can alleviate this? It's annoying as hell.

-Tony
#2
You say you are waxing it often. What kind of cloth and wax are you using? It sort of strikes me as lint that is getting stuck in the wax upon application, then balling up as you play.
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#3
I have two guitars with nitro necks. Never had that problem with mine. One is a Fender and the other is a PRS.

Edit: I occasionally play my wife's Gibson LP. No problem with that one, either.
#5
I don't mind nitros and have never had that issue either, seems kind of odd? I prefer satin necks anyways though.
#6
Is it specifically for Nitro finishes? Cuz if it's meant for satin or poly you might have a problem.
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#7
It says it's good for Nitro on their site.
I hope this is just the polish/wax rolling off and not the actual finish itself. But nitro is softer and more wear-prone than urethane or acrylic finishes. IDK

-Tony
#10
I often have a problem with nitro necks feeling sticky after some serious playing. Makes it harder to slide up and down the neck. Happens mostly on older instruments. You may notice that some people sand the back of their necks for just such a reason. But I have never seen it ball up like yours.
#11
Quote by LeviMan_2001
Stop waxing it and let it wear.
This.

Let the finish cure by itself and wear it in. If you want a finish that stays shiny, clean and glossy indefinitely, then don't get a nitro finished guitar.
#12
the only nitro neck I have is on one of my builds, but it doesn't have that problem at all.. I'd second everyone's posts and just say let it be for now and see if not waxing it helps
#13
KK, no more polish and I'll see how it goes.
But the smudge-y-ness is annoying.

Quote by inkandlead
I often have a problem with nitro necks feeling sticky after some serious playing. Makes it harder to slide up and down the neck. Happens mostly on older instruments. You may notice that some people sand the back of their necks for just such a reason. But I have never seen it ball up like yours.


I've heard of that mod too, but it's not recommended for nitro finishes.

-Tony
#14
If you're having trouble, just a use a microfibre cloth and a bit of elbow grease
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#15
-No more wax, waxing a neck is just silly to begin with
-Wash your hands

Nah but for real, you bought a black guitar and are anal about smudges? And smudges on the neck? That's gonna happen no matter what you do to prevent it haha, that's where you hand comes into contact with the guitar. Just play it, don't worry about smudges bud . Since when was an Explorer supposed to be a clean shiny guitar anyways?

I'm betting the little rolled up bits on the is the wax itself. Wax isn't a hard substance at all and doesn't take much to move around like that.
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#16
As an user of Gibson guitars, LP here, I don't wax the neck at all. I just go through it with a microfibre cloth after an hour of playing and then when I stop playing for the day. I use a cleaner every two weeks to make all the smaller smudges go away.
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#17
The reason I like that polish is because it makes the neck smoother and playing becomes easier. I never have to polish/wax the neck on my Fender. The urethane neck finish on my Strat fells harder to the touch and isn't as "grippy". The Nitro finish on my Xplorer feels much softer.

I just don't get the appeal of Nitro. It's pretty old school, it ambers with age, and it's softer and wears faster. It's popular among DIY-ers because it's the easiest and most forgiving to apply and finish. Some say that it gives the wood grain more visual depth too.

So again I ask, does anyone know of a non-wax polish or cleaner that gives the neck a smooth feel without leaving a residue? It's not like it's unplayable, I'm just nit picking. :P

-Tony
#18
People like nitro because when they're guitar ages it looks like one of those "classic" "relics" we've been trained to see as what old guitars look like. Poly ends up just looking a little odd because the finish will be in great shape but the hardware will be rusted, plastic yellowed, etc. If you want to make your neck faster, tape off the part that you rub when playing and lightly scuff it up with a scotch brite pad or 1000 (or higher) grit sandpaper. Steel wool works too.
#19
I guess I'm more moderen orientated towards my gear. If hardware starts to rust I'll clean or replace it. I've heard you shouldn't do that mod to nitro necks but I may give it a try anyway.

-Tony
#22
Stop waxing it. If the neck isn't fast enough for you or still feels "sticky," take some 0000 steel wool to the back of your neck.

It'll dull the finish a little, but it will feel ridiculously smooth.
#24
You contradict yourself quite a bit haha

You bought a Gibson (about as oldschool as you can get) that proudly stays with nitro and chose a model that was introduced in 1958. There's nothing wrong with nitro, it's just the tried-and-true classic that's been a mainstay for instruments for the last 120 years or so. It gets the job done though, there's plenty of nitro guitars that have survived time when their finish intact. And thousands of highly reputable nitpicking guitarists prefer it over modern plastic finishes.

Sure modern finishes are better than something perfected a century ago. They hold up way better, don't react with everyday items, and don't fade/chip/discolor. Why drive a gasoline-powered vehicle when you can buy an electric? Or do yourself (and your wallet) a favor with mileage and get a diesel? Old habits die hard
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#25
Just because a person doesn't like nitro doesn't mean they shouldn't buy a Les Paul dude.

Would I rather have my Xplorer finished in urethane? Yes. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it's old school looks and tones? Why would it? My nitpicking with nitro compromises my playing, satin poly necks are easier to play physically, thats all. It's not a night and day difference, but it is there. I judge a guitar on 3 criteria, playability, tone, and looks..... In that order. If having a poly finish means I'll miss out on that vintage finish look in exchange for a slightly better playability, I'll gladly take it. Thats just me, your milage may vary.

-Tony
#26
1)If playability is your first criteria, you've failed. Because you are clearly having major difficulties with the playability of this one.
2) The video suggests not scuffing Nitro for these reasons-It's likely vintage, for some reason he thinks that means you won't be playing faster, and finally, because it is a thin finish. If you use the real fine steel wool which has been suggested you should be ok. If you go to the wood just seal it with something. People do it ALL THE TIME.

3) It's pretty clear that the wax you apply is the problem so none of this matters.
#27
Dude, chillax . I was responding to this comment:
Quote by X-plorer88
I just don't get the appeal of Nitro. It's pretty old school, it ambers with age, and it's softer and wears faster. It's popular among DIY-ers because it's the easiest and most forgiving to apply and finish. Some say that it gives the wood grain more visual depth too.

It's not like it's unplayable, I'm just nit picking.

The easiest finish to apply is an oil finish (tung, Truoil, etc) by a longshot, and gives the most 3D look and depth to the grain imaginable. A close second would be raw shellac, though it takes a lot more elbow grease. DIYers use it for the mojo and tradition . You take a test using a pencil (not pen), you finish a guitar in nitro. It's just tradition. Actually finishing a guitar in poly takes a lot less time and you can lay down heavier coats. And environmentally friendly (the spraying part at least).
Quote by X-plorer88
My nitpicking with nitro compromises my playing... I judge a guitar on 3 criteria, playability, tone, and looks in that order.

If you're having that much difficulty playing a Gibson it sounds like you chose the guitar based on your criteria in the wrong order. Also don't rule out all nitro finishes based on experience from a single guitar. I've owned a pair of 1000 series LTD's finished in urethane and both of them were "stickier" compared to my Flying V and other Gibsons I've owned. I do know what you mean though, a Fenders neck feels like glass compared to painted Gibson necks. Maybe you prefer unpainted necks?
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Last edited by Flux'D at Jan 24, 2012,
#28
The particles you took a picture of in the first post are not nitro at all. They're skin cells. The neck is sticking to your hands and pulling grime and dead skin cells off.

It's doing that because it's new nitro that you keep waxing and polishing, which keeps it grippy and makes it much more likely to pick up dirt and dust.

So your extra care for the nitro is actually causing the problem in this case. After wearing it down a bit it ought to be quite smooth to the touch. Worn nitro, unlike the new finish on that guitar, is not sticky at all.
#29
Quote by inkandlead
1)If playability is your first criteria, you've failed. Because you are clearly having major difficulties with the playability of this one.
2) The video suggests not scuffing Nitro for these reasons-It's likely vintage, for some reason he thinks that means you won't be playing faster, and finally, because it is a thin finish. If you use the real fine steel wool which has been suggested you should be ok. If you go to the wood just seal it with something. People do it ALL THE TIME.

3) It's pretty clear that the wax you apply is the problem so none of this matters.


Major difficulties? Do you have trouble reading? What part of "minor nitpicking" wasn't clear to you?

Quote by Flux'D

If you're having that much difficulty playing a Gibson it sounds like you chose the guitar based on your criteria in the wrong order. Also don't rule out all nitro finishes based on experience from a single guitar. I've owned a pair of 1000 series LTD's finished in urethane and both of them were "stickier" compared to my Flying V and other Gibsons I've owned. I do know what you mean though, a Fenders neck feels like glass compared to painted Gibson necks. Maybe you prefer unpainted necks?


The finish of the guitar is just one part that makes up it's playability. Sure it's not the smoothest neck but I like everything else about it. Since we've come to the conclusion that it's the wax rubbing off I reject my initial statement.

-Tony
#30
Reading? No, this was all dictated to me by my assistant. I'll be sure to fire him first thing in the morning.
#32
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I'm not sure why frudua suggested not to do it on nitro. I personally don't see any issue with scuffing up a nitro finish.

I suppose because nitro finishes are soft and thin and you could very likely take all the finish off leaving a raw neck
#33
If you have a light touch you won't hit the paint. But since finely sanded nitro essentially "melts and flows" into surrounding scratches during final polishing I wouldn't be surprised if this mod didn't last very long.

Maybe I'll try it anyway and repot back.

-Tony
#35
Quote by X-plorer88
If you have a light touch you won't hit the paint. But since finely sanded nitro essentially "melts and flows" into surrounding scratches during final polishing I wouldn't be surprised if this mod didn't last very long.

Maybe I'll try it anyway and repot back.

-Tony


Don't sand it, just use steel wool...

Sanding is for leveling. Steel wool is for finishing. Your neck's finish is already level, you just want to alter the finish on it.

You'll have a tougher time getting a consistent smoothness with sand paper. Steel wool will conform perfectly to the shape of your neck, producing a very uniform finish.
Last edited by earthwormjim at Jan 25, 2012,