Nitro damage

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Goldfingerz, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I am hoping someone can assist me. I have a 2011 Gibson SG Standard ebony which I love, it's beautiful to play, nice neck and setup well. I bought it 2nd hand from a guy in QLD. I live in regional NSW and I have owned it for around 1 year. It has damage within the Nitro gloss finish. The finish looks rough but it is not, it feels very smooth to touch. I found out in the past it has been wiped down with Methylated Spirits, then polished with a furniture oil, then polished with Mr. Sheen and this is the result. I am using Music Nomad The Guitar One which I used to polish it twice but these blemishes still remain. Is the top layer of the Nito damaged, do I need a cutting compound? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks Gum nitro 1 small.jpg Gum nitro 2 small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Geez, I am sorry to hear/see that. Hopefully your purchase price reflected the condition. In any regard, there are some plus sides...

    It looks cloudy, but doesn’t appear in the wood to me. This means it is only in the finish. You may find a product or shop that can clear it up. Worst case scenario some finishing work and a respray of nitro. Not cheap or easy, but odoable for sure

    Secondly, this is only finish and does not affect tone or playability. Stevie wonder will think it’s a flawless Gibson. All kidding aside, your guitar will play and record perfect, perhaps better than new off the shelf Gibson.

    this is probably not an uncommon situation for people to have used an in appropriate polish on their nice guitar. Fingers crossed someone chimes in with a quick fix to a stupid mistake
     
  3. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's a quick fix. It looks like the finish has been chemically altered and it cured that way. It's not like it's a smear that can be wiped off.

    In the other hand, you have a unique guitar now! If it ever comes down to selling it, add the words "road worn" and pick up an extra $200
     
  4. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Thanks pancake81, over the years I have owned a few guitars, including 4 x SG's and this is the first time I have ever seen this in a finish. I need to think about it. Yes I did get it at the right price, cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  5. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Thanks rotorhead,
    the finish still feels very smooth, there is nil abrasiveness, no surface smudging at all, it doesn't feel soft or gummy so you may be correct with your observation that the finish has been chemically altered and cured that way. Queensland gets very hot and humid in Summer, I wonder if the guitar was left for a time in a hot car, cheers
     
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  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    It may be worth trying some car polishing compound like T-cut - that's a UK brand, not sure the Australian equivalent. But if it really is only on the surface there's a good chance that will get rid of it. I've used it to remove minor scuff marks from guitars, so it is perfectly safe on nitro.
     
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  7. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Is it the same on the back? If the finish has been chemically damaged you can try wet sanding and see if you can sand it out. I would start with 800 grit and if is taking a long time go with 600 grit. What you do not want to do is sand through the clear coat and into the colour. I would try a small patch on the back. Do 600, 800, 1000, ... up to about 2000. That should tell you if it's gonna work. Good luck.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  8. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    wipe it down with naphtha. make sure it's clean and dry.

    if you need it to be smooth and shiny listen to Silvertone. wet sandpaper in the high grits will totally do the job.

    you can sand it with naphtha as the liquid agent or soapy water. I like the soapy water, but that's just me.

    600 grit is fine, but it's still aggressive enough to get through a finish. so be careful with 600. any of the other grits should be safe.

    It's not a job where you need to apply much pressure at all. Be gentle, keep it sudsy and you'll be back in shine town in no time.
     
  9. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Sanding needs to be plan B. Plan A is the polishing compound. If you sand you will still need the compound to finish. Don't make more work for yourself than you need.
     
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  10. No Talent

    No Talent New Member

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    I don't know the extent of the reaction/damage but I would be inclined to pick up some Virtuoso cleaner and polish. It has done wonders on vintage and worn/faded guitars both personal and second hand experience.

    Start with the least invasive option and work your way up if necessary or desired.
     
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  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That petroleum cocktail of furniture oil, Mr. Sheen, Spirits, etc that was applied previously needs to be removed because it is greasy and will never harden in order to buff out to a clear shine. Naphtha is a good starting point to remove that mess without damaging the nitro finish.

    Then use the Virtuoso Cleaner & Polisher. The Cleaner smells like automotive polishing compound, but it is not as abrasive.

    I use Virtuoso Cleaner & Polisher accompanied with elbow grease every so often when I need to polish out an area that has a stubborn cloudiness to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  12. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the advice guys. The back of the body is fine, it is nice and clear but the neck is also damaged and it feels a little rough to touch, I suspect the damage on the neck may not be the same issue that is on the front. I have added photos. I will go get some Naphtha sold as Shellite here in Australia and try a small section at the base of the neck first, see what happens. I am loathed to start sanding even 800 - 2000 or use cutting compound, I will end up having to do the whole guitar which I am trying to avoid. It could be the damage on the front is on the surface after all, it's just so fine I can't feel it, I'm hoping the Naphtha will work. Update soon, thanks Ray Gum Nitro 3 small.jpg Gum Nitro 4 small.jpg
     
  13. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    3M perfect-it III, then Meguires Swirl remover. If that don't do it, well, it's wet sanding for you...
     
  14. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    I rubbed the SG body using Naphtha, no change, the Naphtha made no difference at all. I had a closer look at the neck joint and neck. It looks like a thumb print just under the strap lock button across the corner and the back of the neck is also a mess. I think this guitar has been cooked in the sun, perhaps in a car.
    Another anomaly is the guitar barely fits in the Gibson factory hard case, I have to force the body in. Perhaps the hard case has shrunk in the heat. I think the Nitro damage is cause by excessive heat by leaving it in the hot sun or in a very hot closed up car in the middle of Summer. More thinking to be done, photos attached, thanks Gum nitro 5 small.jpg Gum Nitro 6 small.jpg
     
  15. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    My SG don't fit in my LP case. Could be something like that.
     
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I didn't expect the naphtha to do anything. It's really only a cleaner/degreaser.
     
  17. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Yes you could have a good point there, thanks
     
  18. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    BTW, the 3M/swirl remover thing doesn't call for the whole body to be done.
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Maybe time for a buffing wheel.
    Have to be careful not to burn through the finish.

    For the back of the neck.
    Green ScotchBrite Pad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  20. Goldfingerz

    Goldfingerz New Member

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    Ok Thanks Von Trapp, I will look into the 3M, I am still thinking what the next step could be, I have some wet and dry fine paper, I might try a small section at the base of the back of the neck. The back of the body is ok and so is the headstock. It's the front of the body and the back of the neck that is worst affected.

    Last week I spent $42.95 at the local music store on a large bottle of Music Nomad The Guitar One (cleaner, polisher combined - made in USA), that's all they had. I used it on the guitar twice with it to no better result. I'm sure Virtuoso is a good product but I don't want to repeat myself.
     

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