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 Post subject: Stinky G*bson ES-175D
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 6:48 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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As some of you know I've been collecting a bit, guitars, building amps, etc and putting together a studio to help me enjoy my retirement. The plan is to have my studio filled with killer guitars all tricked out with after market hardware, Frailin and ThroBak pups and set-up to play and sound great. I also am currently building my 4th point-to-point hand wired tube amp and this one is a Princeton Reverb clone.

Picked up a 1976 G*bson ES-175D from Elderly that was listed (for a few hours before I snagged it) as in excellent plus condition. I never looked at the thing and bought it sight unseen and it was exactly as described. Elderly is highly recommended by me and their descriptions on their site are very accurate. This was my second purchase from them in a month and both guitars, the other is a Les Paul were exactly as described.

It does smell a bit though like an old guitar and I know that smell well since I work on old guitars every day.

I'm aware of some of the crap that results from a Google search on "removing odor from a guitar" and I have not found anything helpful and safe... yet.

Ozone can be a disaster and if not minimally done and completely controlled you can damage the wood and glue joints with it so that's out for me especially on a vintage instrument.

I tried dryer sheets in the F holes for three days and now it smells like an old, stinky guitar with a hint of dryer sheet mixed in.... [headinwall] idunno [xx(] :D

So what are ya going to do as Tony Soprano might say (RIP).

Looking for suggestions and not for something that you read about on Google too but for a technique that works and you have direct experience with doing yourself or being a part of the process. Would very much appreciate any ideas, please.

I can live with the odor but I don't want to. I hang my guitars and my home is their case religiously kept at a calibrated hygrometer(s) 45% year around. So it will likely air out some in 10 - 15 years.... but I would like to play Stormy Monday on it and do Dickie's solos note for note without a clothes pin on my nose if at all possible.

Please help. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 8:50 am 
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Nice looking jazz box, Hesh. I was going to suggest that nothing cleans like sunlight, but I have no idea how to do that for your Gibson...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 9:04 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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When I was working as an environmental engineer, we used activated carbon (AKA activated charcoal) for all kinds of cleanup. It adsorbs organic chemicals from air or water. The trick would be getting the AC where it's needed and keeping it from creating a black, dusty mess inside the guitar. The AC would probably need to be inside the guitar for at least a week to be effective (the longer the better). I looked on Amazon and they have AC in fabric bags for removing odors from shoes, and other stinky places. Here is a link to something that might fit the bill:

Activated Charcoal Bags

Another low-cost option would be to ventilate the inside of the guitar by setting up a fan blowing into the f-hole. Let it run for a few days.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 12:22 pm 
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Chris Pile wrote:
Nice looking jazz box, Hesh. I was going to suggest that nothing cleans like sunlight, but I have no idea how to do that for your Gibson...


Thanks Chris sunlight is what I'm going to do with the case when I get around to it and you're right sunlight is great for this.

When I was a kid my friend Tim bought a 175 because he was a Yes fan and I've wanted one ever since.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 12:29 pm 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
When I was working as an environmental engineer, we used activated carbon (AKA activated charcoal) for all kinds of cleanup. It adsorbs organic chemicals from air or water. The trick would be getting the AC where it's needed and keeping it from creating a black, dusty mess inside the guitar. The AC would probably need to be inside the guitar for at least a week to be effective (the longer the better). I looked on Amazon and they have AC in fabric bags for removing odors from shoes, and other stinky places. Here is a link to something that might fit the bill:

Activated Charcoal Bags

Another low-cost option would be to ventilate the inside of the guitar by setting up a fan blowing into the f-hole. Let it run for a few days.


Great idea and I just ordered the bags on the link, thanks Barry this sounds very reasonable and I'm going to give it a try. Do you see any reason why I just can't leave a few bags in the box for more than a week and play it anyway? If it works well I can throw the bags in the case too and leave them for a decade since I don't gig these days.

The fan blowing in one F hole and out the other I thought of too but I have some concerns that it will then transfer the smell to the room and the rest of my condo. Maybe not though once it's gets diluted enough perhaps by the charcoal.

Thanks again Barry very much appreciated!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 1:06 pm 
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Computer fans. One blowing in one of the F hole and the other pulling air out, along with the charcoal.

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These users thanked the author joe white for the post: Hesh (Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:36 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:08 pm 
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You can leave the carbon in the guitar for as long as you want, but at some point you should take them out and throw them away. They will become ineffective after a few weeks due to adsorption reaching capacity and the carbon will be exhausted.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Hesh (Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:37 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:37 am 
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joe white wrote:
Computer fans. One blowing in one of the F hole and the other pulling air out, along with the charcoal.


Great idea Joe and I have one that has a variable speed control that I use to blow solder smoke in my face so I don't have to use birth control :)

Hope you are doing great too!!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:38 am 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
You can leave the carbon in the guitar for as long as you want, but at some point you should take them out and throw them away. They will become ineffective after a few weeks due to adsorption reaching capacity and the carbon will be exhausted.


Got it and will do. What I like the most about this approach is there is little if any risk here like there can be with other ideas. Thanks again Barry.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:45 am 
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You are most welcome. Let me know how it works out.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Hesh (Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:13 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2022 11:14 am 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
You are most welcome. Let me know how it works out.


Will do and thanks Barry.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2022 2:47 am 
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OK the charcoal bags arrived and they at too big and full to go through an F-hole. So I'll be looking for smaller bags or a way to rebag the contents of these into something smaller that breaths.

No worries the big bags will be great for the case since they contain more charcoal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2022 5:46 am 
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How bout some of those “fill-your-own” tea bags?

Image



These users thanked the author joshnothing for the post (total 2): Hesh (Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:48 am) • Chris Pile (Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:17 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:28 am 
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An old sock might work.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 2): Chris Ide (Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:45 pm) • Hesh (Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:49 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:52 pm 
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Wowza Hesh. That’s a serious guitar. I know we are the guitar BUILDING not BUYING forum, but how about you share a little guitar porn with us?


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Hesh (Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:50 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:48 am 
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joshnothing wrote:
How bout some of those “fill-your-own” tea bags?

Image


Good idea and I am thinking that I will need a lot of them, maybe 25 in each F-hole. Thanks Josh.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:49 am 
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Barry Daniels wrote:
An old sock might work.


And that's something I have too, thanks Barry another great idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:01 am 
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rlrhett wrote:
Wowza Hesh. That’s a serious guitar. I know we are the guitar BUILDING not BUYING forum, but how about you share a little guitar porn with us?


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Thanks Randy and I know I've been walking gingerly around my GAS here since we are a building forum but in the last several years I've acquired the following for this studio that I am assembling:

2021 Fender Tele Professional II that I tricked out with Lindy's pups
2021 Suhr Strat with an uppity roasted Birdseye neck that I have to tweak the set-up every month....
2020 Collings L-35 this is my idea of a near perfect guitar and my personal favorite
2015 G*bson 335 have not tricked this one out yet but it's slated for ThroBaks
2019 G*bson Les Paul Classic just put ThroBak 101 plus in it and it rocks AND weighs only 7.4 lbs!!!
2018 G*bson Les Paul Classic w/ThroBaks 101 plus
2021 Collings 290 which is a Collings Les Paul Special with light relicing.
and now this 1976 Gibson ES-175 D

Legend: Gibson means to me Kalamazoo Gibson. Conversely G*bson or g*bson means to me the crap they made after they moved out of Michigan :) No opinion here, not a one... ;)

All of these are bursted

Here's one more porn shot :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:58 am 
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Found on Amazon some fish take filters with activated charcoal and of a size that just fits through the F holes.

So we will be changing these out maybe every week for a while and looking for the smell to diminish, hopefully.

I did the dryer sheet thing and now it smells like that same offensive odor and dryer sheet... :)

Was thinking about a large fish tank air filter too with the hose to get air in it. Let's see if these filters help first though.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2022 6:04 am 
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Well ole Stinky here no longer stinks. I've had the fan off for 1/2 a day and I can't smell the old, musty, offensive smell anymore when I play it or in the small room where it lives.

All I did was make a 3 minute funnel out of printer paper to direct my blow-solder-fumes-out-of-my face new fan :) into one F hole. I changed f holes every day for two weeks and it no longer stinks. The fan was just above 50% the entire time so low noise and not a lot of air movement. The small room did stink like the guitar the first week and no longer stinks.

But I was thinking about it and since it has F hole the amount of air exchange in say a day naturally while hanging is pretty minimal. So the idea was blowing air through the box might simulate a year's worth of hanging and airing out in only a few weeks.

Likewise I won't be surprised if the smell comes back to some degree and will keep my fan/tripod jig as is in case it does.

Anyway it worked and I'm thrilled and once again glad I added this 1976 ES-175D to the collection here. It does a mean Stormy Monday too.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2022 8:32 am 
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All kinds of clever. Look at you!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:08 am 
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StewMac has one of those for $495. On sale now if you hurry!


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Hesh (Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:42 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:45 am 
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rlrhett wrote:
StewMac has one of those for $495. On sale now if you hurry!


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laughing6-hehe And shipping is free to StewMax members :)

While I'm here the fix seems to have worked, no fan on it for a couple of days and I can smell the offending odor only if I put my nose by the F holes (no joke please...) but I no longer smell it playing the guitar. Sometimes in Lutherie less is more... :)

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