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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a '74 Les Paul Custom that has about 20 years of grime built up in various spots on the finish.
What is the best method for cleaning that much grime off of the finish without damaging it. Simple soap and water doesn't seem to be cutting the grime.
 

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I have a '74 Les Paul Custom that has about 20 years of grime built up in various spots on the finish.
What is the best method for cleaning that much grime off of the finish without damaging it. Simple soap and water doesn't seem to be cutting the grime.
I'd go at it with window cleaner ("Windex", "Glass Plus", no-name "glass cleaner", etc.) sprayed onto a clean cotton cloth. I've cleaned more than a few guitars that way, and it has worked well for me.

I hope that helps ...
 

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Windex and other window cleaners contains ammonia and I would not suggest using it on a nitro finish. And you definitely don't want it to get on your fretboard. As Fraser said, the strongest fluid you show use is naptha. Dan Erlwin suggests that even commercial based guitar polish can do a good job of cleaning a dirty guitar as well as just a damp cloth and some elbow grease.
 

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Dan E also suggests misting a finish with your breath, and for really stubborn grit try a bit of spit. For the stuff that won't get off, use lighter fluid as suggested above.

Now, where are those pix of the '74 Custom?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips! I think the naptha is in order for the grime I'm talking about. Anyway here's the pic.




(btw dwagar, I notice you have a blonde '74 custom in your lineup. Any pics of that around? I've always thought it would be cool to have both the black and the white ones together. Doubt I could afford one now.)
 

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always happy to post a pic :smile:



Does yours have the anniversary inlay? Mine doesn't, they came both ways. I confirmed mine is a '74 by pot codes.

Nice thing with '74s IMO, last year of mahogany neck, still has the trans tenon, possibly Honduran Mahogany.

You're right, they are becoming quite pricey.
 

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Does yours have the anniversary inlay? Mine doesn't, they came both ways. I confirmed mine is a '74 by pot codes.

Nice thing with '74s IMO, last year of mahogany neck, still has the trans tenon, possibly Honduran Mahogany.

You're right, they are becoming quite pricey.


Very nice!
No anniversary inlay on mine either. I bought mine back in '86 for $700 (my story is in the "best deal I ever made" thread). The guy I bought it from advertised it as a '74 but I also confirmed it by pot codes.
Interesting about the neck. I wasn't aware that it was the last year for mahogany. What did they start using after that? I thought they all were mahogany.
 

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no, '75 was the start of the maple necks.

IMO the mahogany neck and trans tenon make these killer sounding guitars. BTW the trans tenon is also referred to as a modified long tenon - it's still a long neck tenon, but the 'tongue' is cut back on it.

oh, and I bought mine from L&M 15 or 20 years ago, for $535. And it came with a protector 1 case, the guy at L&M was going to toss it out, at that time they were considered junk cases. Now they are collectable, considered one of the best cases Gibson ever made.
 

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I confirmed mine is a '74 by pot codes.
So how do you confirm the year by pot codes?
Mine may not be original--I know the pickups & machine heads on it when I bought it weren't original (and I repalced both pickups & machone heads again.
Based on serial numbers & various sources--as well as certain features--I have narrowed mine down to 71-73. Unfortunately it's not original.
 
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