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Old Gibson Flying V Neck Finish

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I have an old black and white Gibson Flying V I have had for 20 years and bought second hand. I was told it was a 1972, but do not know how to verify this. I love the guitar and it plays like a dream... or I should say played like a dream.

Here is what happened. In 1987, I broke the headstock by talking the guitar on a plane and forgetting to relieve the string tension. They through it around because in spite of my original hard-shell case, it snapped. I had it repaired by what was supposed to be a registered Gibson dealer/repair shop in Delaware. Its been fine since then for the most part except for my current problem. The repair shop must have painted the back of the neck when they refinished the headstock. I don't know what they used or if they didn't strip it first, but it is coming off in layers and getting gummy. This is not conducive to quick motion around the neck when playing it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing this problem? If I need to refinish the neck is there a tutorial or site that can give me information on this? The neck is black with a rosewood fretboard. I love this guitar and it is like an old friend so I want to do it right. Thanks in advance for any help/advice.


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Sounds to me like your having a common problem which happens to most of the older and better finished Gibson's when people don't realize how to store them.

This wouldn't be around the area where it was hanging from a guitar holder would it?

Chances are the original tech did what he was suppose to do when he refinished the neck and shot it in nitrocellulouse lacquer.

A common complaint that happens down the road is it reacts too much with synthetic materials. Guitar hangers, guitar stands, and some guitar straps causing a reaction with the lacquer finish with bad results. The nitro finish is responsible for the common complaint of a sticky neck.

In your case it's actually pealing off in hardend chunks where the layers had a chance to bond and cure for awhile. Truth is when using nitrocellulouse lacquer it never completly dries even 30 years down the road.

Sure to the touch it feels dry but it is still curing and aging at it's own rate. Something has reacted to the finish in that area and what you probably should do is just sand it down and either re-finish it yourself, have a pro do it for you or leave it bear........

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Thanks, Brian for the info. I have recently began hanging it on the wall by a hanger since I finished my home studio and want quick access to all my guitars and basses. However, it sat in its velvet hard-shell case for the last 20 year when I wasn't playing it. The peeling is occurring in the middle of the neck, worse at around the 9th fret and spreading about 3 inches in either direction.

I have never refinished a guitar neck. Are there any good articles/tutorials for doing this out there? I would like to try doing it myself. Thanks again.

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