1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Does neck/fretboard finish affect wood shrinkage?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Jul 6, 2014.


  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I'll admit, I love the feel and the tone of maple, but I've always avoided it because it's more prone to shrinkage and fret sprout. Fret sprout is easily fixable but I never wanted the hassle.

    So yesterday I pulled the trigger on a Musicman Sabre with a flamed maple neck. It was too gorgeous to pass up even with my reservations about maple. But it got me thinking: It has a gloss finish on the neck and the fretboard. Would a gloss finish offer more protection against shrinkage vs. a thinner satin finish?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  2. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Congratulations on a beautiful bass. I for one, have never noticed an increased tendency for maple boards to have sprout than rosewood. And because of my job, I handle hundreds of guitars and basses a week.

    To your question though: Yes, I believe the gloss finish will give you more protection. In general, I think the neck will be more stable overall. On my Stingray, with the "satin finish", I rubbed in a lot of Butcher's Wax (bowling lane) into the neck. This helped the neck a lot and I think your gloss finish will be even better.
     
  3. Vintage P

    Vintage P

    Jun 30, 2014
    Since maple necks are all one piece and a rosewood fingerboard is a 1/8 inch slab on top of maple, I find that rosewood is far more prone to shrinkage.
     
  4. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    ??? Maple fingerboards are often installed exactly the same as rosewood boards.
     
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Agreed.
     
  6. I prefer maple, don't really have to worry about it, it's probably in my head but I feel like because they are sealed (generally) that they will be less of a hassle long term.
    I'm from a verry dry place too so it causes less work maintaining it if it is sealed
     
  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    no, theyll just crack through the finish.
     
  8. metron

    metron

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    I'm my experience no finish will prevent sprout or shrinkage. Gloss is less prone but it will still shrink. If you are in New Hampshire, I wouldn't be concerned. Here in CO it's pretty arid. Every bass I have had developed sprout at least a little but I'ts not a big deal. I've gotten used to it.
     
  9. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Your wood shrinkage may be corrected by freely available prescriptions for Cialis or Viagra. ;)
     
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I don't think maple boards shrink any worse than rosewood, in my experience they both get fret sprout. I think it is just worse on finished maple necks because the fret sprout cracks the finish and it looks pretty rough, not really the woods fault.
     
  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I have only had maple boards sprout, never Rosewood, or at least I never noticed them.

    When you say that finished boards look bad after they sprout does that mean I'd have to touch it up in addition to fixing the frets or does it not look noticeable once the sprout is fixed?
     
  12. gpx1200

    gpx1200

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    their is no difference in sealing between satin and gloss finishes and it is not a matter of thick or thiness the satin finish is obtained with an additive in the clear that effects the surface as it dries
    I would think a finished fretboard would shrink less if it wer completely sealed
     
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    This is not the best picture but here is my old Fender Elite. The fret sprout cracked the poly, those cracks you see are in the poly, the neck was perfectly fine. Basically you would have to re-finish the whole neck to have it look like new. You would have to dress the frets and then re-finish the entire neck to correct those poly cracks. At least that is how I would think it is done, maybe somebody with more experience can pipe up.

    neck-side-custom-.
     
  14. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Well hopefully that doesn't happen. I remember I owned a Squier CV with a gloss neck and board and a Lakland with a satin board. I owned them at the same time and the Lakland sprouted but the Squier didn't.

    Doesn't how the wood dries before construction make a difference too?
     
  15. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    It all depends on what type of sating finish it is. If I recall correctly, Music Man just rubs oil.
     
  16. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Yes, it certainly does:
    * how old is the wood?
    * is it kiln dried?
    * If yes, how long at what is the process?

    In our Hamer USA shop, we would make the neck and then let it "rest" for a couple of weeks. Then, we would add the fretboard....let it rest again. Then, we would fret it. Let it rest. Then, finish the frets (filing, levelling, dressing etc.).
     
    fourstringdrums likes this.
  17. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    The Musicman neck I'm talking about is actually a polyester gloss.
     
  18. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Yes...thanks. I was refering to the other posters comment on satin finishes. I had a Ray a couple of years ago. I believe they used "gun stock" oil on that finsih. I know your new bass has gloss. Did you receive it yet? I saw it in your other thread. It is making me want one.
     
  19. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    If the finish us just cracked there's not a lot to worry about. But often it doesn't just crack, but starts to chip. I those cases I like to stabilize the cracks and chips with cyanoacrylate, smooth and polish it up. Often the repair is invisible.
     
  20. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Not yet, it will be here tomorrow.

    This may be a bass that will teach me to not worry and just play the damn thing lol
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.