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Back of Neck Finish Ding - Repair

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if one of the resident expert Luthier or repair folk could help me.

    This is a small deal, but I'd like to attempt a repair.

    I have a high gloss Fender bass which has a 1/2" square finish ding on the back side of the neck (area of the 3rd fret, so it's in a maximum traffic area).

    What are the recommended steps to either patch it (glue or finish material).

    I want to mainly get it so I can't feel it. Looks aren't a high priority.

    Thanks a bunch!!!

  2. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    An easy way to repair this problem is to use super glue. I'd go to a hobby store and get some "plasti-zap" It's a medium viscosity Cyano-Acrylate, or super glue. Also pick up some 320, 400, 600, and maybe 800. If you want to gloss the spot after you repair it you may want to work all the way up to 1200 grit paper and then use polishing compounds.
    Anyway, use something small like a razor blade to apply the glue to the damaged spot. Apply it in small anounts and let it dry between applications - like 10-15 minutes. Then, once you have it built up past the surrounding area apply tape around the area to prevent you from sanding the original finish accidentally. Start with the lowest grit paper and sand the area as flush as you can to the surrounding tape. Be sure to back the paper with something hard and flat like a small wood sanding block. After you get the glue leveled to the tape take the tape off and start with the next higher grit to level it down to the original finish. Once you get it level here it's just a matter of working up through the grits until you get the level of gloss you want. On my instruments I leave the neck sanded to 600 grit or so. It gives a nice fast dry feel to the neck. It looks best on a satin of flat finish though, as a gloss neck requires a blend line. Good Luck!
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I second the Super-Glue idea.
    It works perfectly.
  4. Thanks so so much!!!!

    From the description, I can defnintely handle this repair. I'm relieved because I thought it might be more extensive.

    From your web link, it seems like you build guitars. I'm going to design and build a bass this year sometime. It'll be fun!

    Take care,
  5. spaz


    May 24, 2001
    Hampton, VA - USA
    Carey: Will this work on a bass that has an unfinished maple neck? My bass had an unfortunate accident involving a coffee table and a hyper dog.
  6. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Kind of...
    It depends how deep the flaw is. The worst thing about this repair on an unfinished neck is that you may be able to feel the repair. But, if you don't care how it looks, it might be worth a shot.
  7. Carey,

    I just completed the repair and I'm very pleased with the results! It also made me realize that I prefer less glossy finish on the back of the neck. It's actually super smooth feeling once sanding with 1000 grit paper. I'm going to use the 1000 grit the rest of the back of the neck.


  8. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Yeah, 1000 will leave it silky, but it will gloss up faster from playing than a lower grit. But, all ya gotta do is sand it again. I'm glad it worked out for you.