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Deglossing bass neck?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Michael Case, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. I have a shiny finish on my DB neck and wanted to take the gloss finish off. I was just wondering, should I put some type of finish back on? I have seen basses that seem to have unfinished necks. If this has been discussed before please let me know. And yes I have seen the de glossing thread, butI don't want to de gloss my bass.
  2. If you are going to use linseed oil, be sure you use boiled linseed oil, or it will never dry. I prefer to use a drying oil finish such as Watco Danish Oil. Regardless of what you use, don't put on so much that it forms a film on the top. I suggest you apply the first coat after you've sanded the neck down and let it dry over night. Then, use 0000 steel wool and wet it with the oil and rub down the neck over and over until it is nice and smooth. Let it soak in for about an hour and then wipe off the remaining oil with a lent free cloth.
  3. Well, I have gotten to the lin seed oil, I put a little bit on by the heel of the neck and felt it to see if it dryed. seems good.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    How do you do it if you're Catholic? Perhaps fish oil would be a decent substitute?
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Hey Chris, instead of busting Fiberstetters chops mebbe you could use your moderatorial powers to get a spell check feature on TB!
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Aw, heck. I was just playin'...I didn't mean no harm. Geez, can't an old ex-Catholic make a dumb joke around here these days? My apologies to anyone who was offended.

    Actually, we used to have a spell check here before the last upgrade, and then it disappeared. Now I have to resort to the old "dictionary next to the computer" every time I get into one of those #$%!$@#%$ "I before E" situations. I'll check with POPE PAUL and see what can be done, and then report back if I find anything.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  8. I will guess that I have been given sound advice. One more possibly dumb question, is there anything that could go wrong? And, How much should I apply?
  9. OK, I'll try one more time (and I will desk check it this time).

    You're most likely to have trouble when you are removing the old finish. If you're using sandpaper, don't use anything under 100 grit. Work slowly, changing to finer and finer sandpaper and don't fall for the temptation of using your handy dandy electric sander. The more time you spend on getting smooth even wood, the better the end product is going to be.

    As far as the oil is concerned, just keep rubbing on the oil with a cloth (lint free!!!!!) until the wood stops absorbing the oil. You will most likely see dull spots on the oiled neck as the wood absorbs the oil. Just keep rubbing on more oil to those spots and leave it a while. When you get to the point where it stops absorbing oil, wipe on a real thin layer of oil on the entire neck and leave it over night. Then follow the previous directions.
  10. Thank you! All is going well, sorry to ask so many questions, but I really want to do this right.
    I will keep you posted.
  11. How do you do it if you're Catholic? Perhaps fish oil would be a decent substitute? [/B][/QUOTE]

    If you're Catholic, wouldn't you be lent full not lent free? Spell check would probably eliminate the word "mebbe" though, that would be a gootthang!
  12. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Mike: why don't you ask a luthier for a quote on this kind of job. They'd certainly do it nice and fast, and you'd get the expected result.

    I'd be very reluctant to put any oily liquid on the bass: it can't be undone.

    Take good care of your bass, keep the receipts from the luthier: it will be very useful if you want to sell your instrument, to show that you didn't mess around and it had proper maintenance.
  13. What could be the worse thing that could happen? If it drys on the surface does that mean it will dry on the inside?
  14. Could Lex Luthier offer some advice maybe?
  15. I agree that if you don't feel qualified to do the job right, by all means take it to your luthier.

    As far as putting any "oily liquid" on your bass, I think we need to define what we are talking about here. We are not talking about oil from petroleum. We are talking about "drying oils" such as boiled linseed oil or danish oil. If you have a better quality bass, it probably has "oil varnish". Most of these oil varnishes are made with linseed or some other drying oil as their base. If your instrument has a good maple neck, it will absorb very little oil. We are talking in terms of grams here - not gallons (or Kilograms for our non-US friends). I have been using drying oils on my clients violin family instruments necks for about 40 years now, and I have yet to have anyone complain about harming or devaluing their intrument because of using drying oils on the necks. To the contrary, most people like the feel that one gets with a highly smoothed neck finished with a drying oil and would not think of going back to a varnished, shellaced (french polish) or lacquered neck with the drag that they create against your thumb. You could go with no finish at all if you wish, but then you have to clean it constantly or your skin oils and dirt will discolor the neck or worse.

    Sorry for the rant, but I thought this should be clarified.
  16. I don't mind the rant, I noticed that many of the rants are the most informative. Thank you, I will let everyone know my results.
  17. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Mookster- Listen to Bob-he is dead-on. Normally there are few jobs that I would recommend for a player to do. This is one of them, you just need to be careful with the sanding process-don't skip grits. 180-320-and higher if you're anal. Be careful of the varnish lines at the head and heel. BTW-not using a finish is really not an option-bass players seem to exude an unusually high level of corrosive excretions.
  18. Thanks, the task is coming along nicely. I have used a fine sctoch-brite pad to take the finish off, then I used 600 grit sand paper, made the wood silky smooth after that I started to apply the linseed oil, so far so good. The character of the wood on the neck is now coming through, it looks much better than the glossy orange color Strunal puts on the neck. It's going to be weird playing when my thumb doesn't stick to the neck.
  19. The end of my finger that hangs over the body has some gunk (I assume it's from my sweat playing pizz.) I was wondering if cleaning it off and using some and using the linseed oil would work to keep it looking good. I have used fingerboard oil on my BG's but wasn't sure if it was good for the DB. any advice?
  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I just use a clean soft cloth, like a piece of T-shirt.

    I wouldn't. Too thick; it'll probably goop up your board and not help your strings either.

    It's fine. Mineral oil or lemon oil is good once in a while for either ebony or rosewood. Don't over-do it. Polish with a soft cloth to a fine gloss.

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