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Thread: Sticky neck problem

  1. #1
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    Sticky neck problem

    Hey folks,

    I have an issue with one of my kit builds.... I used water based acrylic lacquer for the guitar and it was finished around a month ago. However, the back of the neck feels sticky when playing. It feels fine when I just touch it, but after a few minutes of playing I can really feel my hand sticking to it. The finish itself is most probably hard, as I am not able to leave any marks by touching or playing. So it's just the *impression* the neck is sticky, I guess?

    It's glossy lacquer and I added some carnauba wax to it initially.

    So in a try to remove the stickiness, I have wiped the neck down with a solvent and polished the wax off with a soft cloth. But no change.

    So far, I'm not sure what to do now.

    - Try a different water based acrylic lacquer on top to see if this one is better/gets harder?

    - Try a layer of tru oil on top? Would that even work?

    - Try a layer of oil based wipe on poly on top? Same question, would it even work?

    - Try more wax?

    - Is it the surface itself? Should I scuff it up to a matte finish? (But I don't have this problem on another neck which is high gloss, but tru oiled?)

    - Should I just wait some more in case it needs more time to cure?

    I now know in retrospective that the acrylic lacquer was not a good idea. Just not the best stuff to work with. However, the guitar itself plays and sounds great, besides this tiny flaw. I'd love to play it longer, but after around 20 minutes, I just can't take it anymore and grab another one... which is sad.
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatCluelessGerman View Post
    - Is it the surface itself? Should I scuff it up to a matte finish? (But I don't have this problem on another neck which is high gloss, but tru oiled?)
    I'd try this and see how it feels. I keep an 800 grit sanding pad (Stotchbrite 7448 grey pad) so that any time my Frankenbass's high gloss neck gets shiney i can give it a few wipes.

    You might give that a try. When you wipe it if you see anything other than a very fine white powder (e.g. little balls of finish stuck to the pad/sandpaper) then you may have a curing problem.

  3. #3
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    Thanks! I used a scotch brite (or the closest German equivalent I could find) and sanded it a bit until the gloss was gone. It felt a bit better. Then, I added some Carnauba wax again, so let's see tomorrow.

    The lacquer is definitely cured, just very fine white powder on the pad, no rolls, no gunk. Maybe the lacquer itself is too soft and therefore feels squishy/sticky?
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  4. #4
    I had the same issue with my DMS-1.
    Neck just didn't cure and remained sticky despite being left for weeks to dry.
    In my case I just sanded back and used a different finish...SCA clear instead of the 'Septone'.

    As you already have Tru-Oil. I would be sanding the neck back and using that.

    cheers, Mark.

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