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 Post subject: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fireglo
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:56 am
Posts: 8
Hi everyone...haven't posted here in forever.

I have 25 Rick basses, and never had a problem like this. All of my basses are kept in their original cases, and some (the more valuable/rare ones) are in their original cases and original boxes.

Back in 1999 I got an amazing deal on 3 new Ricks from American Musical. I bought two fireglo's and one mapleglo. One of the fireglo basses was SOLID CURLY MAPLE including the neck. It has always been the most amazing 4003 I've ever seen.

I decided to keep it unplayed...a museum piece.

The bass has NEVER been out of the room that it is stored in. It has not been gigged. It hasn't had an entire song played on it. It has NEVER been wiped down, polished...I was keeping it absolutely as new...factory fresh. It has NEVER been left sitting on a stand, it has NEVER left the case except for a handful of times literally showing it to people...never played, and promptly packed back up in the case. The only other thing in the case is the original case candy.

I opened the case yesterday. Factory Rick SKB case, blue plush lining. First thing I noticed was that some fuzz from the case was sticking to the bottom edge of the bass...hmm, I thought that was odd. I figured all these years storing the bass standing up in the case simply caused some of the fibers to come off. Then, as I lifted the bass up, my hands and fingers actually felt STICKY. I could not believe it. The entire bass...some areas more than others...are GUMMY, soft, and STICKY. Several areas are splotchy regarding sheen/gloss. Areas that NEVER get touched are the WORST...such as the back of the headstock between the tuning keys...totally non-glossy flat splotchy finish, sticky, and soft enough that if you merely TOUCH it with your fingernail it leaves an imprint. Some parts of the bass are not as bad as others...and it has NOTHING to do with where it may or may not have been touched before.

There is no "chlorine" anywhere around this bass. As a matter of fact, stored RIGHT NEXT TO AND TOUCHING THIS BASS'S BOX/CASE are two Ricks, a 1999 figured maple V63 and a 2005 fretless fireglo 4003fl. They are in the factory cases, in their factory boxes, they have both BEEN PLAYED, and they are PERFECT with NO signs of sticky gummy finish whatsoever. I checked ALL the basses stored in the exact vicinity of this bass...absolutely NO OTHERS have this problem...I'm talking Ricks going back to 1986, all stored within 5 feet of this bass. The other mapleglo and fireglo purchased at the exact same time, with serial numbers that indicate all these basses were made within the same month, kept in their original cases and boxes, are FINE...absolutely no signs whatsoever of the gummy finish.

I would like an honest answer of what is going on...it is NOT due to handwashing, chlorine, polishing, temperature, or ANY of the usual "reasons" given for this. This bass has been kept absolutely as new, unplayed, kept in the original box for YEARS literally next to completely unaffected basses. And now, the finish seems RUINED...and it is the most beautiful 4003 curly fireglo I have ever seen.

I'm thinking it is something to do with the SKB style case. There is absolutely no other explanation that I can fathom...if this happens to any of my Bluebursts, Blueboys, or SeaGreens I'm literally going to explode. I want to know how to stop it and more importantly how to KEEP IT FROM HAPPENING. Several of these COY basses are unplayed as well. I'm fearing it's just a matter of time...I want an honest answer as to what I can do to keep this from happening...ditch the SKB cases? Hmmmm...someone please let me know.

:(


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:58 am
Posts: 1316
Location: En Zed
Is this the only one in an SKB case? When you got it, are you sure it had never been opened by someone at the store you bought it from? Probably not likely, but if someone took it out at the store and then wiped it down with something...


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 163
Like you, I can't help but thinking that the case is the culprit. It seems as though years of subtle volitile components of the plastic case have slowly been absorbed into the guitar's finish, softening it. At this time I would stand the guitar upright in a safe, out-of-the-way corner on its strap button with the neck braced with something that would only allow contact with the tuning keys, and just let it air out for a while... perhaps a couple of weeks (longer?). Once the finish is hard again (I'm assuming it will become so), polish it the best you can, perhaps having to resort to a mild abrasive compound in certain areas. There's plenty of polishing advice already here..... I hope this works out for you. (If the finish does re-harden with "drying out," then that would seem to confirm that the case is, indeed, the problem. (Leave the case open to also air out.)


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:52 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Australia
Is it only the SKB case? Are any of your other cases the same style model?

Yes it probably is some type of chemical reaction from glue or plastics in that case!
However what now to do the finish on your guitar needs expert advice, maybe from Ben or JJ

You sound like you really take good care of your guitars too, I doubt very much it is something you have done, but you should try to find out what to do to save the finish, and maybe why that case caused problems. You have me thinking Guitar shroud now! But when you own 10 guitars it's expensive to cover all of them. I hope you can save it

Seems like all your 25 Ric basses are treasured, and wow that is an impressive collection. It is a worry that the finish went soft and sticky, it may have to be totally refinished, sorry. You couldn't have been more careful, it is a real shame!


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:52 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Australia
Can you remember the last time you opened that particular case, it's taken 10 years and now something in the case may have had a chem reaction ( that sounds like a time bomb!). Lucky it is a problem only confined to this case and guitar, as you do own very valuable instruments and take care of them as such. It is very good you posted as perhaps it may alert others if they have this same case! Surely yours would not be the only one! Prevention is better than cure, now you have warned us we can watch out. This is why it would be good to find out why this case reacted as it maybe a generic problem with one style of case and it lies dormant and then goes off like a delayed reaction, a time bomb ( Holy cow that's diabolical) I bet you got a hell of a shock when you opened it this time and saw that. Your post stands well as a warning to anyone with this model cases, so thanks!

I wonder if it was a chemical reaction that caused either heat or gas, not just only direct contact, not likely just a guess. CJJ suggestion was good maybe someone wiped it down in the shop,,,,,but you would think in that circumstance it would have shown up prior.

That case seems to have patients


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 6:03 am
Posts: 73
Location: lynbrook, ny
I've got the same problem on the back of the neck on my 620FG. Like you my instrument has lived almost its entire life in the case. I also have suspected the case. Another weird thing is one day the case candy had what looked like water damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:14 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 6:03 am
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Location: lynbrook, ny
I should have mentioned that a tiny amount of water on a cloth followed by a wipe-down with a soft cloth eliminates it till next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 163
davidj4 wrote:
I should have mentioned that a tiny amount of water on a cloth followed by a wipe-down with a soft cloth eliminates it till next time.


So, how long does it take for this phenomenom to recur ("till next time")?

I'd wipe it down so that you are sure there is no residual defective surface layer, and then keep it in an entirely different type of case for the time that it would take for the problem to show up again, and then check and see what codition it's in.

Perhaps this bass has a different, more unique finish/type than your other guitars.... nitro, perhaps? Does this report mirror your situation?
http://www.frets.com/fretspages/Musician/GenMaint/Vinyl/vinyl.html

So, no, I wouldn't put it back in the same case again, even to confirm a theory... Invest in a nice, more traditional/older style case, or an aluminum heavy-duty type.

Well, I stummbled across this.... http://www.tdpri.com/forum/finely-finished/268881-soft-sticky-finish-2006-rick.html The author's user name (Rebopper) does not show up here in a search, but "conversion varnish" does, earlier this year, in fact....
http://www.rickenbacker.com/forum/search.php?keywords=conversion+varnish&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
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BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): You will need to determine the exact, specific finish used on the bass before any proper analysis of the cause of the problem and its solution can be suggested.

I'm thinking that, in spite of the number of years you've owned the bass, it has always been kept in the closed case. Maybe it could use some time outside for the wood and finish to mature/age? I'd leave it out for at least six months, a year, perhaps.


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 Post subject: Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on 1999 UNPLAYED 4003 CurlyMaple Fir
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:46 am
Posts: 359
Location: Far Side Of Nowhere
The back of the neck of my "06" 350v63 was very sticky for some time, even after a polish with Turtle Wax it didn't take long to get sticky again.
I purchased it Dec "08" so it had obviously spent some time in it's silver tolex vintage case. I decided to leave it out of the case all the time (wall hanger) and it wasn't long before the finish hardened up.

As previously suggested let the air get to it.


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