So i've an 18 yr old guitar now.. i've cleaned it with naptha, even steel wool, but it still feels abit sticky.. i don't want to go too hard on it lest i wipe out the whole finish!

anything else i could try?

i mean, it looks AND smells all vintagey now but it doens't have to feel that way!

It's a 92 taylor which i think would've had a satin neck as well, of course now with all the play it's gloss...

any other suggestions?

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Could the solvent have caused a chemical breakdown of the finish?
Did you try Dr. Duck's ax wax. It costs 7.25 through LMI. The advertising says that it can be used to even spruce up delicate vintage finishes. I use it on my guitar and strings. I like it.
I've had luck with the 91% isopropyl alcohol available in some drug and grocery stores but this would probably eat up a shellac finish (rare on post WWII instruments) - at least it doesn't seem to affect my 1960 Strat nor my 1979 Martin. It's cheap - less than $1 - but test a a tiny inconspicuous spot with a ball of clean cotton first to make sure that it doesn't affect the finish. If it's safe that same cotton ball will give you a good indication if anything funky is being cleaned off. As best I know Taylor has never used a nitrocellulose finish - like Martin and Gibson until recently - much less shellac. I believe that Taylor uses some sort of polyurethane finish or polyester - some of the least chemically affected substances (and the least acoustically transparent according to some).

I've had troubles like this from guitars 'maintained' with bees wax and then given an unhealthy dose of sweat,grime and cigarette smoke, with a nitro finished Gibson 335 being an absolute horror story - I have never been successful in economically cleaning and restoring these sorts of problems - Naptha appears to work best. Not saying this is what you have got , but it's definitely on the list. A 92 Taylor should not have this problem with a standard finish.
yeah i use that method with my other tayors with no problems either...

Having a repair shop I do run into this often. If the Naptha did not work, I then try a light wet sand with 600 then 1200 and hand buff with a Maquiers buffing compund on a cotton cloth. But if the lacquer is getting soft and these tricks posted on your thread do not work, well... An over spay or refin with fresh lacquer may be the only remedy. Since it is not a vintage guitar I feel this is ok and have done it several times when needed.
With the real sticky ones, I use a micro-fiber cloth with soapy water. This way the dirt is lifted from the surface. Then I use a polish (stewmac in my case). I get great results even on these horrible old nitro finish.
oh soapy water.. din think of using that... didn't think hydrating the neck so much was good... hmmm maybe i'll try a lil wet sanding as well.. would i risk going too much into the neck?
You won't "hydrate the neck so much" : you don't want your neck to take a bath, just being cleaned with a dampened soapy micro-fiber. And this is way less aggressive than wet sanding or steel wool.
A light wet sand with 600 then 1200 if being careful should not risk cutting through the finish. This will not hydrate the neck the wood is still sealed by the finish. Soap in the water is only necessary if you are doing a lot of sanding since it helps to clear the paper from filling up. In your case I would not use any. If you want to keep the satin finish feel you could see how it is after just the 600. Wipe it dry and give it a few days of playing to see if the sticky feel has been removed. I know Taylor does take in repairs so if the problem continues see what it would cost to have them refinish it if you do not have a local luthier who can do it. At that point you might want to consider a satin in Poly it is not effected by acidic sweat, oils, smoke etc. and is much more durable. When done properly and thin it sounds just as good as Nitro. Good luck!
I didn't tell Hann to use soap for sanding. Just for cleaning with a micro-fiber rag. ;) Because I'm not sure it needs any sanding. Most of the time I can get rid of this sticky feel without sanding. Even on much older nitro finishes.
I agree with your advice with the poly finish. Go for it Hann!
I've been using Virtuoso Premium Cleaner of late and this stuff takes off every kind of dirt imaginable without hurting the finish. It's kind of expensive but I've had great results.


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