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de-gloss or satinize a Modulus neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Eublet, Jun 26, 2007.


  1. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Any ideas on how I can satinize a Modulus neck. I have two Modulus basses. Both were gloss finished. One, a Q6, went back to Modulus for some repair work, and I asked them to satinize the neck. The sent it back to me and it is infintely more playable to me. The VJ is still gloss.

    I've heard all about using 0000 steel whool on the back, but this doesn't seem to work. I took the VJ neck off and tried this on the heel to see the result. It didn't come out the same as the one Modulus did, and I started very slowly. Is there something else I should do?
     
  2. DaddyGreenJeans

    DaddyGreenJeans Guest

    Jun 19, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    i just did this to one of my basses along with de-fretting it. i took some 200 grit sand paper, and took the clear off. then i finished by sanding smooth with 400 grit paper. plays and sounds great. you could probably us a coarser paper that 200 to start, but i didnt want to get to many sanding marks/ take off to much material from the neck.
     
  3. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Was this a graphite neck? I don't want to take the finish off. I just want to buff out the gloss without making it look scuffed up.
     
  4. stevieandshawn

    stevieandshawn

    Jun 21, 2007
    200 grit will rip the HELL out of your neck don't use that. In fact, I wouldn't use anything coarser than 600 and maybe even 800. What you can do is get a sample pack from www.stewmac.com it will come with several sheets of sandpaper in varying degrees of coarseness. I would say start with 600 or 800 on a small part up at the headstock and see if it's too much. The other thing to be careful about is NOT using your hand or a sanding block as that will but uneven pressure. Try using a foam block or something so that there is uniform pressure on the sanding surface. You might even be able to achieve good results using just steel wool. Start with 000 and work your way up.

    Good luck,

    Chris
     
  5. DaddyGreenJeans

    DaddyGreenJeans Guest

    Jun 19, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    no it was wood, i used 200 and it didnt leave any scratch marks, just to get all the finish off. once it was down to bare wood i went over t with 400 and its smooth as anything now. i probably could have gone over it with finer paper but there are no noticeable scratch marks at all. i sould have said this was a cheapo squire neck, im sure you would be hesitant to do this to a modulus, i would be too.
     
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Daddygreenjeans, he's talking about a graphite neck, not wood. 200 is WAY overkill, even for your wooden neck! That removes a lot of material and is not necessary for satinizing a clearcoat!!

    I did this to a buddy's Modulus a few years ago and have been telling myself that I'll get around to doing it to mine and never have. There are a lot of ways to do this, and I don't know how Modulus does it, but they all work.

    Steel wool actually works fine for this, since you aren't actually trying to take the finish off, you're just trying to knock the buffing down a bit. If you start with 00 and spend a lot of time progressing towards 0000, you can come out with a really nice, smooth, satin finish. Vary the direction, at the beginning especially (parallel to neck direction, perpendicular, circular motions) and keep going with the 00 until it no longer is reflective. It shouldn't take a really long time, and you doing want to really remove any of the finish, because you are basically just scuffing the surface then smoothing it out. Progress to 000 until scratches removed, then 0000, and spend a lot of time at 0000. The super fine wool won't remove almost anything, so it's just to make the neck super, super smooth. You'll spend the majority of your time at this stage.

    You can do it with wet/dry carbon sand paper as well, with a block as mentionened. You can start with 600, but you probably don't really need to start with anything less than 800. Do this to as high a grit as you'd like. I usually go up to 1500 or 2000 on the wooden necks I've done, but that's mostly because I happen to have a ridiculous surplus of it.

    Either way you work it, it'll come out nicely.

    Just some things to remember, though- please, please use a mask when smoothing these necks out. You shouldn't be getting anywhere near to the carbon under the clearcoat, but even then it's a good idea. Make sure to mask off the fretboard as well, and wear gloves when using the steel wool (your hands will thank you).
     
  7. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I'd be hesitant to do that with almost any wood neck. Unfinished wood warps, at least the wood that a Squier would be made out of does.
     
  8. DaddyGreenJeans

    DaddyGreenJeans Guest

    Jun 19, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    well, hey i guess that what these public forums are for right? i am just saying what worked for me. is it going to ruin the neck? that has yet to be seen. as of right now i am happy with the result. if i would have known it was a graphite neck, i would no have commeted, my bad.
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Might not be worth the time or energy. The natural placement and movement of the fretting hand will bring back the gloss in a matter of weeks, usually in an erratic pattern extending from the the 1st to 9th fret (money notes).

    I speak from experience.

    Riis
     
  10. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    This is what I've heard, but I've been told it does take some time to happen. That's why I'd like to do this one myself so that I can learn from it, and then be able to keep it satinized over time.

    Thanks for everyone's comments so far.
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Of course when it become reglossed, you can always do the process again! If your hands are less oily, too, that will help.
     
  12. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm pretty sure there is no finish on the Modulus neck - it's an epoxy resin/graphite cloth composite material. The shiny stuff is actually the epoxy and part of the neck. If you want it satin I would use wet-dry paper 600 grit (used wet. Take the neck and tuners off) or finer and a backing block to sand the neck. It shouldn't take much to de-gloss it. The resin is hard enough that I don't think it will gloss up over time. Essentially the sandpaper grit makes parallel microscopic canyons that diffuse the light and reduce friction since the extreme surface is now little ridges instead of a large plain. Softer finishes will wear down and regloss over time. It's kind of a microscopic version of geology (Rockies vs Appalachians.)
     
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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