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Thread: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

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    Default Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    After a long jam with a guitarist friend, I was upset to find a milky-looking, dime-sized spot on my 1914 A1, on the bass side of the soundhole. I soon traced it to the bourbon we were sipping and my clumsiness with a glass.

    I am happy to report that a gentle rub with Howard's Restor-A-Finish Neutral (http://www.howardproducts.com/product/restor-a-finish) did a great job without causing any damage.

    I already had used Restor-A-Finish on some antiques my wife bought, so I saw what it could do. But this was the first time I tried it on an instrument.

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbella View Post
    After a long jam with a guitarist friend, I was upset to find a milky-looking, dime-sized spot on my 1914 A1, on the bass side of the soundhole. I soon traced it to the bourbon we were sipping and my clumsiness with a glass.

    I am happy to report that a gentle rub with Howard's Restor-A-Finish Neutral (http://www.howardproducts.com/product/restor-a-finish) did a great job without causing any damage.

    I already had used Restor-A-Finish on some antiques my wife bought, so I saw what it could do. But this was the first time I tried it on an instrument.
    I would not recommend such products on valuable things. You don't know what's in it and as they say "it penetrates deep into finishes and wood" etc... You may end with one ugly (impossible to remove) splotch soaked deep into top of your valuable instrument if you manage to apply it over a scratch that goes to bare wood.
    Your A1 has most likely spirit varnish (or french polish) and the alcohol did damage the very surface and caused the whitish spot, the oil fills the surface damage and makes it disappear (to the eye but it is still there and it may eventually reappear if cleaned thoroughly), though correct procedure would be filling it with original material i.e. french polish lightly so the finish surface is really restored.
    Adrian

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    OTOH, a couple of drops of bourbon inside the instrument would make for a wonderful aroma every time you opened the case.
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Put the bourbon inside the player for best result.
    I agree, the "restore a finish" kind of product could be detrimental in the long run, next time wait another day or two.
    I remember being told about using a little bit of (cold) cigar ash and a drop of olive oil on a cotton ball and small circular motion and gently rubbing to remove such dilemmas.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    My old Kalamazoo bears a couple of well-earned Scotch splotches sustained during the heat of battle . . . no harm no foul, "let it be," as the great man said . . .
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    According to the MSDS, Restor-a-Finish contains heavy paraffinic petroleum distillates, light petroleum distillates, isopropyl alcohol, acetone, butenene (aka methyl ethyl ketone), xylene, and asphaltum. In other words, a real witch's brew of solvents. There's something in there to melt just about every kind of finish. Methyl ethyl ketone melts lacquer. Alcohol melts varnish.

    I too have used this product on furniture. It did a great job of hiding water rings which is its stated purpose. It apparently works by softening the top layers of the finish just enough for it to be re-distributed by the wiping action of the extra fine steel wool they tell you to use. Thus, the water rings and other damage gets a light coating of the original finish.

    I don't think it's a great idea to use this product on an instrument. Too much potentential for damage. If you used it without any apparent damage you were lucky beyond belief. But please be aware that inmthe course of your repair you did surely soften and melt the original finish to some extent.
    Don

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    nonsense to the nay-sayers ... restor-a-finish is just fine for this specific application, no worries.
    Mandolins are truly *magic*!

  11. #8

    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    nonsense to the nay-sayers ... restor-a-finish is just fine for this specific application, no worries.
    Why would you not just use a bit of shellac, which is readily available, just as easy to apply, probably costs less and is probably the same material as the original finish so it will not cause other problems?

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    Why would you not just use a bit of shellac, which is readily available, just as easy to apply, probably costs less and is probably the same material as the original finish so it will not cause other problems?
    that could work, as well. as always, the proof is in the pudding when you mess with reasonably unknown finishes, and you will be taking some measure of educated guess/gamble. this is particularly true with finishes that really aren't a "finish", such as nitrocellulose and some of the oil families, as they never fully cure and lend themselves towards self destruction - particularly the nitro family.
    Mandolins are truly *magic*!

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." to be clear about the proper quote. But, no one ever gets it right. Sorry, off to my corner!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    I should have said that I first tried my regular maintenance elixirs -- Lizard Spit, Dr. Duck's Ax Wax and Gibson Pump Polish. But they didn't work. That's why I tried the Restor-A-Finish.

    Maybe I was lucky. Or maybe not. I will report back if the mark resurfaces.

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." to be clear about the proper quote. But, no one ever gets it right. Sorry, off to my corner!
    What kind of pudding will restore a bourbon stain on a mandolin? I'm thinking a good figgy pudding might be just the thing for light buffing.
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Many years ago I was playing a gig outside and left my F-4 in its case. When I opened it it had a puddle of water on the top. When it dried it was a water stain in white on the top similar to the rings a wet glass makes on furniture. I brought it to my luthier and he gently and judiciously warmed it with a heat lamp and was able to make it disappear that way. I am not sure if bourbon would clear up the same, tho.
    Jim

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    What kind of pudding will restore a bourbon stain on a mandolin? I'm thinking a good figgy pudding might be just the thing for light buffing.
    I do recommend Scottish black pudding or, even better, haggis. Only Scotch whisky would survive that.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    I would not recommend such products on valuable things. You don't know what's in it and as they say "it penetrates deep into finishes and wood" etc... You may end with one ugly (impossible to remove) splotch soaked deep into top of your valuable instrument if you manage to apply it over a scratch that goes to bare wood.
    Your A1 has most likely spirit varnish (or french polish) and the alcohol did damage the very surface and caused the whitish spot, the oil fills the surface damage and makes it disappear (to the eye but it is still there and it may eventually reappear if cleaned thoroughly), though correct procedure would be filling it with original material i.e. french polish lightly so the finish surface is really restored.

    Good call! Adrian I have a ?, what would one use on the inside and outside of a Paganoni case to clean? I have a 91 Pag case and there is something on the outside of it spilled sticker residue I'm not sure it came that way when I bought it, its slightly tacky to the touch. And there is a few discolorations on the inside?
    On another note when I was dating my future wife years ago, I had my case open and my Loar Buster F-7 conversion in it she had a Starbucks cold coffee drink and unwrapped the plastic and the top blew off and the whole drink ended up on the top and inside the mandolin-I just dried it out after pouring the drink outta the mando- my sister said to her "and he didn't throw you out!" Nah she was a keeper anyway

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Figgy pudding needs to be used with brandy. Now haggis, I'm not sure, my father liked the stuff I have never had one piped to my table.
    As for goo on the cases, you might want to contact John about the exact adhesive and material. I would presume tolex and some form of contact cement, which would be pretty durable.
    My first suggestion on a solvent for the goo might be as simple as a very tiny sample of goo gone on a cotton ball. Some have used olive oil with varying results. Goo gone may leave a slight "ghost" so, test in a safe spot.
    Sorry, can't help with interior stains, someone else will help, I would think.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Where do ya buy Goo Gone?

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Where do ya buy Goo Gone?
    I think Goo Gone is similar to Goof Off. Both are designed to remove sticky residue. Usually if I can't find one, I can find the other. They sell it at the grocery store in the cleaning aisle. If not there, any hardware store or home improvement store should have them.

    Lighter fluid is also a pretty safe way to remove residue from stickers. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I would use it on an instrument finish, but it's fine for case exteriors. It softens the sticky adhesive and can be wiped right off in a few passes.
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    I think Goo Gone is similar to Goof Off. Both are designed to remove sticky residue. Usually if I can't find one, I can find the other. They sell it at the grocery store in the cleaning aisle. If not there, any hardware store or home improvement store should have them.

    Lighter fluid is also a pretty safe way to remove residue from stickers. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I would use it on an instrument finish, but it's fine for case exteriors. It softens the sticky adhesive and can be wiped right off in a few passes.
    Thanks, but I know about the lighter fluid trick, I don't think I want to put that on the exterior of an expensive rare red interior Pag case.

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    No concern for the dribbled bourbon itself? If you are going to dribble bourbon, dribble it in a glass.
    Indulge responsibly!

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    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Goo gone and goof off are both in the naptha family, as is lighter fluid. I use straight naptha most of the time, it's cheaper.Won't harm most surfaces but will remove adhesive residue. Safe to use even on lacquered finishes.
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  27. #22

    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    lighter fluid is pure naphtha. as a cleaning agent, naphtha is one step past spit and will not harm even nitro finishes. perfect for cleaning/scrubbing dead skin and finger oils off the fretboard, cleaning strings back to new life, and SO many other stringed instrument uses. i go through a quart a month at the least, in the shop.
    Mandolins are truly *magic*!

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  29. #23
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    So, just to complete the circle -- the spot never reappeared and there was no damage at all to my mando.

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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    I have cleaned my mandolin thoroughly several times and the spot never reappeared.

  31. #25
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    Default Re: Don't dribble bourbon on your Gibson A1...

    Rick,
    just to be safe, I could come and collect any remaining bourbon, curbside pickup of course
    Play it like you mean it

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