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 Post subject: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:00 pm
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Location: Honolulu
The finish on my 1999 660/12 has turned soft and gummy.

Since I bought it new I've used Gibson Historic Guitar polish because Ric doesn't seem to have their own brand, and I would have to assume that it didn't agree with the conversion varnish for some reason.

I've tried rubbing it out with 3M Finesse-It II and various and auto waxes, but to no avail.

The Ric techs say it can get gummy from chlorine, but the guitar has never been anywhere near chlorine...

I really don't want to re-fin this guitar, so I would hope there's a way to rub it out.

Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:05 am 
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
It's unlikely that any amount of rubbing is going to improve the finish and likely will only aggravate it further. It's obviously become plasticized from exposure to chlorine in one various form or another. If not from exposure to cleaners or proximity to a swimming pool, then it might be from being stored in a PVC bag (poly vinyl CHLORIDE) or covered in similar sheeting. Sulphur is another contaminant that can cause this, although usually it's accompanied by yellowing. That can come from adding extra foam inside the case or during shipping (noting that the guitar case foam is a special type).

This is not unique to our conversion varnish and will affect polyester and polyurethanes to varying degrees depending on specific type. I also doubt that the Gibson polish had any part of this as their finish would be similarly affected by a chlorine component. As you note, we don't offer our own brand of polish since the best polish is easily and inexpensively available (Turtle Wax- read the owners manual under service tab above) and we feel not need charge you more for something that doesn't work as well.

Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable chemistry and finish experts can suggest something to cause the finish to re-harden: I'd be very interested to know if any such thing exists.

I also heard from customer service that you were insistent that our finish is water-based: it is not, not even water-borne. It is a petro-solvent based system finish although the primary ingredient is now acetone.


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 359
Location: So. Calif.
I just spoke with a friend of mine's dad on the phone who is a retired master finisher about your problem. If the surface has SLIGHTLY softened, he offered this advice . . .

He suggested that you CONTINUOUSLY rinse the finish with DISTILLED WATER by spray applying a moderate spray with a spritzer bottle, patting it dry with a dusting puff with CORN STARCH, then lightly buffing the residue off with a cloth diaper. This is a SAFE attempt to extract any surface contaminants that may be keeping the finish soft. This should be repeated several times to allow the contaminants to dissipate . . .

If after sitting a few days and the finish is seeming to lose it's "Tacky" feel, repeat a few more times. Then apply water and corn starch, and BUFF the corn starch off the finish as before. Put ICE CUBES in the diaper to attempt to harden the finish to enhance the finish buffing process . . .

This attempt may worth a your time with perfectly safe ingredients to avoid a re-finish . . .


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Honolulu
Quote:
It's unlikely that any amount of rubbing is going to improve the finish and likely will only aggravate it further. It's obviously become plasticized from exposure to chlorine in one various form or another. If not from exposure to cleaners or proximity to a swimming pool, then it might be from being stored in a PVC bag (poly vinyl CHLORIDE) or covered in similar sheeting. Sulphur is another contaminant that can cause this, although usually it's accompanied by yellowing. That can come from adding extra foam inside the case or during shipping (noting that the guitar case foam is a special type).

This is not unique to our conversion varnish and will affect polyester and polyurethanes to varying degrees depending on specific type. I also doubt that the Gibson polish had any part of this as their finish would be similarly affected by a chlorine component. As you note, we don't offer our own brand of polish since the best polish is easily and inexpensively available (Turtle Wax- read the owners manual under service tab above) and we feel not need charge you more for something that doesn't work as well.

Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable chemistry and finish experts can suggest something to cause the finish to re-harden: I'd be very interested to know if any such thing exists.

I also heard from customer service that you were insistent that our finish is water-based: it is not, not even water-borne. It is a petro-solvent based system finish although the primary ingredient is now acetone.


Thanks John... I'm really impressed - it's very rare to have a CEO respond to an question as quickly as you did. I appreciate your explanation.

Unfortunately, it remains a mystery to me as to how the guitar got this way. I bought it new and it's rarely been outside the case. Played every few months and polished once in a while with the Gibson Historic polish. In fact, the polish is the only thing that has ever come into contact with the finish. No extra foam in the case, PVC, etc... Oh well, I'll keep experimenting.

As to the water based finish comment - I wasn't trying to be insistent at all, I was just told that by a well known refinisher in regards to getting a quote to respray the guitar since its out of warranty. He was apparently misinformed.

Any chance of getting the name of the product. Is it still Fullerplast? I could contact the maker if I knew what it was... Thanks for any light you could shed on the product of the manufacturer.

Thanks again for your help. All the best...


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Honolulu
Quote:
I just spoke with a friend of mine's dad on the phone who is a retired master finisher about your problem. If the surface has SLIGHTLY softened, he offered this advice . . .

He suggested that you CONTINUOUSLY rinse the finish with DISTILLED WATER by spray applying a moderate spray with a spritzer bottle, patting it dry with a dusting puff with CORN STARCH, then lightly buffing the residue off with a cloth diaper. This is a SAFE attempt to extract any surface contaminants that may be keeping the finish soft. This should be repeated several times to allow the contaminants to dissipate . . .

If after sitting a few days and the finish is seeming to lose it's "Tacky" feel, repeat a few more times. Then apply water and corn starch, and BUFF the corn starch off the finish as before. Put ICE CUBES in the diaper to attempt to harden the finish to enhance the finish buffing process . . .

This attempt may worth a your time with perfectly safe ingredients to avoid a re-finish . . .
Thanks for your help. I'll try it... At this point I've got nothing to lose!


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:02 am 
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
This technique is a total waste of time. That's the old method of extracting moisture from nitrocellulose which causes finish to soften and turn milky. You're dealing with a completely different animal here.

By any chance, is it maily in areas you would have touched, like the back of the neck? The ingredient triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps is a CHLOROphenol. FYI: http://www.health-report.co.uk/triclosan.html

The finish we use is a proprietary formula which requires very specialized equipment to use. Furthermore, the type your guitar has is no longer available, at least here in California. However, many companies offer conversion varnish as it's the choice of coffin makers everywhere, so a Google search will give you plenty of choices.

For quality refinish work, there's several good choices, at least two of which hang around here and perhaps will make themselves known to you by e-mail.


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 359
Location: So. Calif.
Quote:
The finish on my 1999 660/12 has turned soft and gummy.

Since I bought it new I've used Gibson Historic Guitar polish because Ric doesn't seem to have their own brand, and I would have to assume that it didn't agree with the conversion varnish for some reason.

I've tried rubbing it out with 3M Finesse-It II and various and auto waxes, but to no avail.

The Ric techs say it can get gummy from chlorine, but the guitar has never been anywhere near chlorine...

I really don't want to re-fin this guitar, so I would hope there's a way to rub it out.

Any ideas?

bjm,
You stated that you tried 3M Finesse. That may be very well WHY you were achieving less results with polishing.

Finesse has chemical properties that softens the finish material to sort of re-level the surface imperfections out. The MAIN difference you'll notice with it is that you start to get results with it when the buffing/polishing generates HEAT through friction from polishing motion, unlike conventional compounds which CUT down the imperfections by an abrasive cutting action.

Having not actually seen your instrument, I offered input only as you already were well underway and an extra 2 bucks worth of materials with some elbow grease is certainly worth a try, and if it was a waste of time like JH said, well at least you gave it a shot . . .



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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:26 am 
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I agree, MPN's technique has almost no down side at this point and the ingredients are cheap and easy to obtain. Why not try it and report back the results?


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 Post subject: Re: How to fix a gummy finish...
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Aloha, OR
Go back to the Music Store where you bought this guitar and find out what they use to polish their instruments. Since most all stores do this upon arrival and periodially to make them clean and presentable for sale to the public, they may be using a polish or cleaner that is harmful to the finish. I've never had luck with any polish that contains Silicone, it builds up and becomes soft and sticky. Then when more coats of carnuba or other types of waxes are applied over this it get's even worse. My method to remove these down to the original finish is a white cotton cloth and Napha. Napha can be bought at most hardware store paint supply sections. After this, I aggree with John with the use of Turtle Wax. It's inexpensive and leaves a nice hard coat that shines nicely. I've seen guitars where people have taken Goof Off and tried to clean the finish only to discover they ruined it. It is important to make sure you are using a compatable cleaner and wax for the type of finish on you guitar.


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