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Finish for a new maple neck.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassjockey, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Bassjockey


    Aug 31, 2008
    I just acquired a new jazz bass neck from Warmoth with no finish. I sometimes build my own basses, but have never had to put a finish on a raw neck. Did I bit off more than I can chew? Should I be able to handle this? If so, what are the proper steps in producing a nice looking finish? Would appreciate input from someone who has done this before.


  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    uh, yeah. nobody in the db section is gonna be able to help you with this one heh. i moved this to someplace a bit more appropriate.

    good luck with it :).
  3. There are many different ways to finish a bare neck- I'd suggest researching oil or other rub-on type finishes, as I'm partial to the look & feel, plus it's a pretty straightforward process, no spray involved.
  4. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Keep in mind Warmoth warranty requirements for a hard finish. :)
  5. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
  6. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    I've used the "true oil" and "Gun Stock oil". either works O.K. IMO. I've since switched to wipe on poly for the headstock and fretboard if the FB is maple. If rosewood or Pao I'll leave it alone and maybe apply lemon oil. If the fretboard is maple I use the water based dye (for ambering effect) then I steel wool on the whole thing. (gun stock oil is easily found at any gun dealer and does not require ambering) Once I get the wood feeling smooth again I'll use the wipe on poly on the headstock and fretboad. Once I've gotten about 3 coats of Poly on I'll buff and polish by hand. (it doesn't require much if you are careful with the application) Then for the back of the neck I'll use Sam Maloof's oil/poly blend. (or oil/wax blend) Usually 1 or maybe 2 coats are all that is needed.

    Most importantly, make sure you sand everything down to 1000 grit before you start. Also, you can save some time and not have to polish the frets if you take some time and mask off the frets before hand. (if using poly) if only using oil, you don't have to mask them. Just wipe off oil before it drys.

    Good luck and have fun.

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