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Do you put finish into cavities?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Groovecenter, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. Im nitro-cellulose laquering a bass body from warmoth. Should I cover up the pick up cavities and neck pocket, or should they recieve some lacquer?

    Also, is it ok to use Naptha to clean the wood after I applied an alcohol based anniline die (rubbed by hand) to the wood?

    Should the neck recieve a sand and sealer coat (its regular maple) and does it need to be sanded every couple of coats of lacquer? (Im only applying about 3-6 coats of nitro)

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Okay, here's my $0.02,

    Yes, it helps if you get some finish inside the cavities when doing a nitro or poly type finish, in that you will be wet sanding the final coats with up to 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper, as well as the final buffing with swirl remover, etc.

    Also, if you're staining the wood, make sure you stain inside the pickup cavities, especially if it is a darker stain. Otherwise the walls of the pickup cavities will look like, well, kinda like people who were those little thingies over their eyes when they use a tanning bed...

    Having a small coat of finish inside the pickup and control cavities (and the control pot holes) will prevent water from getting into the wood there when you're wet sanding and causing swelling which could cause the finish to crack in the future.

    For the same reason, some folks don't drill out the screw holes for pickups, pickguards, strap buttons, etc, until the finish has all been buffed out.

  3. Thanks for the response Kahuna.

    For the same reasons, should I spray lacquer into the neck pocket?

    Also, should I spray the entire neck? (not including the fretboard, but including the end of the neck where it will be bolted on to the body)

    Also, is it safe to use naptha on the already dyed body?
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    On the last bass that I built I used sheilding paint (black) to do the control cavity and the pup routes. It turned out nicely.
  5. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    I've always finished every wood surface, visible or not. I figure the protection on the wood is worth the extra effort. :bassist:
  6. I'm going to revive this thread because one of the OP original questions is mine and wasn't really addressed.

    Do you apply sand and sealer to a raw maple neck before lacquer?

    My research has shown that people do it both ways. Reranch 101 doesn't advocate using S&S just using lacquer as the sealer, where it seems stewmac suggests using a sealer.

    My plan is to seal the neck with three coats of Minwax nitro lacquer, tint the neck using Stewmac color tone tints in an alcohol base using an Preval sparyer and then finishing out with more Minwax.

    Any input would be appreciated.
  7. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    Your finishing schedule looks good to me. It is your decision on using S&S, but it is not required on necks.

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