Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cassius987) » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:03 pm

jps wrote:
jdogric12 wrote:
cjj wrote:And it might help if you do a bit more here than you've done over of the RIC Corporate forum - lodge your complaint about the finish and then never respond to the questions/info people are asking/giving. We'd all like to help, but it's a bit difficult with no further information...

+1

+2, what's up with these one post folks? :?


Not everybody checks up on forums (fora?) that often, I remember when I used to be on a lot of different ones it was something like once a week that I would get around to everything. So it's probably nothing sinister.

OP, I am also of the thinking that someone used a bad cleaner or polish on this at some point that reacted with the finish. The only flawed factory finish I can think of was already brought up, a stretch of Midnight Blue guitars in the 2000s. I have heard of sticky finishes before but only associated with used basses that have had who-knows-what done to them.
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (jps) » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:27 pm

cassius987 wrote:Not everybody checks up on forums (fora?) that often...

He's asked for our help; I would think he'd check back and see if he got it. :roll:
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (Tarrbot) » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:38 pm

jps wrote:
cassius987 wrote:Not everybody checks up on forums (fora?) that often...

He's asked for our help; I would think he'd check back and see if he got it. :roll:

As is the case with things, life happens and gets in the way of other things...

Because you'd do it one way doesn't mean everyone does it that way. :mrgreen:
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cjj) » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:57 pm

Oh, to the OP, I'd love to see that curly maple FG 4003. And if you're thinking of getting rid of it, well... what can I say, I'm a sucker for figured wood...
:mrgreen:
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (pag) » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:53 am

Sorry to sound cynical but thats like keeping vintage wine for a hundred years that end up being undrinkable.
Play the bass and give it some mojo now that its got a bit of a finish issue...crank it up on a loud bass amp and enjoy the thing!
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cjj) » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:50 am

gggoattt wrote:Hi there...

As I stated in my original post, I bought three Ricks at the same time from American Musical Supply. All three were manufactured in the same month. All three were sealed, all three had been untouched since leaving the factory. All three had the SKB blue plush interior cases. All three have been stored within a few feet of each other since I received them. The other two basses are fine and show absolutely no signs (yet) of the finish softening.

The bass has never had a complete song played on it and has never been wiped down with anything.

The case doesn't have any weird smell.

However, what makes me suspect the case is that the tailpiece had fibers on it from the case, and they were STUCK on the chrome...as in possible glue residue...sticky goo. I had to use a fingernail to get it off. At first I figured this was because the bass has been stored upright with all it's weight on this portion of the bass, so the bass sits tightly against the case on the tailpiece. But...after 12 years you would think the case materials would have cured. So, I have no doubt that the weight of the bass on this point contributed to the fibers being stuck to the tailpiece, but I think the case's chemicals in the plastic caused the goo to hold the fibers onto the chrome tailpiece. However, it should be noted that the bass itself does not have any residue on it...the stickiness on the bass is actually the finish on the bass itself, for it is soft enough for the weight of your fingernail to leave an imprint in it. Something has reacted with the finish...seems like it must be the case itself.


Well, it wasn't exactly clear that all 3 were in SKB cases. Over the years, RIC has used various types of cases, and for some of the "fancier" models, they use "vintage" style plywood type cases. But, now we know they were all in SKB cases.

You say all were sealed and had not been touched since leaving the factory. I assume by this you mean the boxes were sealed with the big metal staples and not merely taped shut. If just taped, then they had been opened.

Now, all 3 were new and bought at approximately the same time. What are the manufacturing dates of the 3 basses (the 2 digits at the top of the jack plate are the year, the first 2 of the bottom digits are the week)? If they are fairly close together (same year or so) it's unlikely that the cases were much different from one to the other since they were probably made in the same lot. So, the fact that 2 are fine and one has issues tends to point to the finish on that particular bass.

It's pretty certain that all of the basses were finished with the same material. During that time, and until just the last couple of years, RIC used a 2-part catalyzing polyurethane conversion varnish. Probably from the same manufacturer. But, I suppose it's possible that the mixing was a bit wrong for one painting session so that the finish didn't cure quite perfectly. This would lead to there being a number of instruments with the same issue though since they paint them in batches.

Now, the case lining sticking to the tailpiece is strange. That's a piece of chrome plated zinc and doesn't have any sort of clear coat on it (some were done in black, with a powder coating, but now we know yours was chrome - more info). Is there any sort of corrosion on the chrome? It's hard to imagine what would cause the case lining to stick to chrome.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do about this. It's possible that you could clean/polish the sticky part off, but if the finish is actually deteriorating, it may have to be refinished. Perhaps some of the other members who are more familiar with the actual finish process, such as jingle_jangle, can give you more information...
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (incubus2432) » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:55 am

I'm all for using my gear whether it is rare or not and just taking as best care of it as possible HOWEVER I don't think the original poster should be criticized for collecting several basses and never playing them. That isn't the issue.

As far as the finish problem.....my guess would be some out gassing from the junk SKB case (I am a fan of most SKB products but these cases are, IMO, substandard). They crack and the feet fall off if you look at them wrong so I wouldn't be surprised if they proactively harm as well. :shock:

If it were me I'd stop worrying about what caused the problem (as the first priority) and get it somewhere to be fixed ASAP. Check all of the other time capsules and decide if storing them in the SKB cases is worth the risk.

Likely it's some fluke of contaminated or improperly mixed/applied finish, case out gassing and just a bit of bad luck......it'll be almost impossible to find out for sure now.
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cassius987) » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:55 pm

gggoattt wrote:Nobody used a "bad cleaner or polish on this at some point that reacted with the finish." That simply did NOT occur. I received the bass sealed and kept it that way as a NOS time capsule. It has been untouched.


Then my next guess is the case chemicals as you have suggested. I remember a couple of years ago SKB pull an anti-fungal from their cases and a few of us, myself included, had green fungus (or something) growing on our Rics that had to be buffed off. Fortunately a very easy fix but an example of how a small change by the case manufacturer caused a problem.

If the problem is really bad, you probably require a refinish, but the good news is that there are a lot of capable people out there who can do one for you. I have had a local luthier refinish a fingerboard for me with stellar results. This forum has lots of people who can help too, like Paul W.
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (ROCKETBRO2) » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:52 pm

Isn't the fact that it was good 4 years ago, a sign that it is a more recent problem?
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (kiramdear) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:22 am

But...it DOES give an idea to a possible Aquaglo or Aqua-to-violet-glo refinish by Paul W. Hmmm...


Now you're getting somewhere. :wink: 8)
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (kiramdear) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:40 am

Oh yes ... :D
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cheyenne) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:53 am

"They stopped the case option, so all of my blueboys and bluebursts are in the SKB style case."

You can still get the vingtage silver cases from a dealer. Try Mike Parks or Chris Clayton.
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:34 am

PICS.
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (cjj) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am

I buy the vintage cases for all of mine (afterwards) - just 'cause I don't like the SKB cases. Perhaps it's a good thing...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: Sticky Gummy Finish on UNPLAYED 1999 Rick 4003 CurlyMaple FG

Postby (johnhall) » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:57 pm

gggoattt wrote:When examining this inflicted bass' tailpiece after I found it gummed up from the case, I noticed how much nicer the chrome is compared to the small amount of pits and bubbles on my new ones' tailpieces.


Given the rather personal comments you've made about me to people and on websites, I'm not inclined to offer the benefit of my experience on the sticky paint issue.

However, I will comment on the chrome.

All chrome was converted to the tri-valent process some years back, as compared to the hexavalent chrome ("hard chrome") that we used previously. There's no question that it's not as good cosmetically although we have the highest standards and press the platers very hard for top quality. Unfortunately, most major international markets ban product with hexavalent chrome due to environmental reasons, so we quite literally have no choice.

You'll note also that every part that can feasibly be made instead with stainless steel has been updated, which is even more environmentally sound (though more expensive). It will tarnish in time but it can be repolished to its original brightness, unlike chrome which is always degrading with age.
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