Les Paul neck: uncomfortable and stick. How to fix it?

Hi. A friend of mine has a Telecaster Vintage with a lacquered maple neck. I've tried it and it's wonderful: the left hand flows quickly. Anyway my friend has a Gibson Les Paul Studio (1991) with a totally different neck. He told me that this neck becomes uncomfortable and sticky right away.

Is there a way to fix it? Any product?

Thank you for your time/help!

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Hi Stefano,

Clean it with Naptha(lighter fluid/Shellite) or a soft cotton terry cloth or microfibre cloth and some mild soap detergent (depending on the nature of the grime if any) and then give it a scrub with 0000 steel wool.  If it's still sticky then its the nitro gone soft or become contaminated.  Alternatively it could be the crap orange-peel finishes that happen these days becoming grimy and the same fix is useful.    Happens with Tele necks as well and particularly with poorly applied nitro finishes.


Just rub with 0000 steel wool that has been wetted with naphtha or mineral spirits- the job goes twice as fast.

Could be a soft finish, or could be that some previous owner has over-waxed the neck.

Use small squares of clean lint-free cloth, like old t-shirts, and naptha. Work an area a few inches around with the cloth and naptha, and then toss the square of cloth and use another on the next spot. It will take a lot of time, but you won't remove any finish and will get most of the wax (or whatever it is) out, and harden the finish back up.

Behlen sells a de-waxer, but I think the naptha works just about as well.


This might be extreme but works. Sand the finish off the back of the neck and rub med. super glue on the back of the neck with wax paper, let dry and sand smooth with 320 sandpaper. Then add another coat of med. super glue, let dry and sand lightly with 320 sandpaper. Then rub down with 4-0000 steel wool. To make it even more slick spray lightly with finger ease and wipe off. In the summer when it's hot and humid my necks are as slick as a dick. I do this to all my necks and love it. Every once in awhile I'll rub the back of neck with 4-0000 steel wool and finger ease for maintenance.

Just a thought,


Michael I do my necks the same way and have never had anyone complian about a sticky neck.Bill.............

Man! That does sound extreme. You do this with newer finishes and not vintage,I hope?

Yeah... Michael... I think it's an extreme solution... I'll try with 0000steel wool hoping that could fix it...


What Michael & Bill explained is a very common procedure.  Some folks prefer this type of feel, especially working players who have the neck in their sweaty hands several hours each day. It should not be confused with a bare wood/oil finish on the back of the neck. I'm totally opposed to those for practical reasons.

The process was popularized by Rene Martinez (SRV's guitar tech) to deal with Stevie's needs & preferences. Fender uses the exact same CA finish on the SRV Custom Shop Strats.

"You do this with newer finishes and not vintage,I hope?".  That's an interesting question.  It all depends on the customer's wishes. In the instant case, a 1991 LP Studio is not considered a collectible or particularly desirable guitar in a strict sense of value. It's an excellent candidate for this procedure.

Performing the process on true valuable vintage instruments depends entirely on the overall condition of the instrument and the wishes of the instrument's owner.  Personally, I'd most likely cringe at doing it to a pristine '62 Strat or 335 neck.  However, if the guitar is in player grade condition and the original finish is gone or 'a mess' it's a very practical and cost effective solution. If the instrument's owner simply wants it converted to a CA finish, well, it's their choice to devalue THEIR instrument by $8500. At that point, it simply becomes a relatively easy & GREAT paying job.

As a working player myself, I've used this process on a couple of my guitars' necks over the years.  Like the guys said: it works great.


We're talking about a 91 Studio. Which will never be considered vintage in our life time in my opinion. I don't mean this in a bad way. There's a zillion of them out there.

+1 Michael. (-:


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