Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Finishing a maple neck myself. . . help!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dr. PhunkyPants, Aug 15, 2002.


  1. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    Hello,

    I recently purchased a mightymite jazz neck. Nice neck, great frets. The website described the necks as "satin coated". This neck may be, but if it is, it's a microscopic layer, as I leave shiny thumbprints where I place my thumb. (Don't tell me to stop eating kettle chips--I love them so!) I'd like to put something more on it, but don't have a compressor apparatus for spraying or anything. Is there a product I can get at Home Despot or Lowes to put EITHER a satin or gloss coat on? I really don't care which--I'm ready for it to look a little phunky but I'd go with the one I thought I could pull off better.

    Specific name brands/products particularly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Tung oil is my favorite for necks, comes in both satin and gloss and you can vary the glossyness by the number of coats applied. I like it because I really don't like shinny glossy necks (too sticky)

    Tung oil is easy to apply, just wipe on with a clean rag and do a little steel wool between coats.


    Now the down side. If you want a maintance free guitar Tung oil is not for you. It does require more care then poly clear coats.

    And most builders will void their warranty if you don't use a poly finish.


    There is an arresol spray poly that I have heard good things about, I don't remember the name, if it comes to me I will post it but I believe its available in places like Home Depot.

    In terms of brand names I use Formby's Tung oil (low gloss) on all my necks.
     
  3. I've used clear satin poly in a can and 0000 steel wool and have had pretty good luck with Tru-oil a gun stock finishing product that gets rubbed on.
     
  4. Would you guys say that Tung Oil is is a low friction finish? Smooth kind of thing as opposed to the sticky gloss finish that Gallient knight referred to.
     
  5. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    First off, I'm not a luthier - just a regular guy with almost no experience in woodworking. My experience is 8th grade wood shop class. I bought a mightymite jazz neck for $99, so I didn't mind experimenting on a novice finishing project.

    My project about six months ago was to replace a rosewood fretboard neck on an old early 80s Jazz with a maple neck. I finished it myself with about 4 coats of clear nitrocellulose high gloss lacquer -I wanted that old Fender feel. I then installed the neck and set up the action. It was just a "pet" project for fun, since I rarely use a 4 string anymore, only 5s. This project came out very nicely.

    I think I found the last aerasol spray can of nitro cell in Hawaii. It was called Behlens Jetspray clear high gloss, so there's no "vintage color" tint. I found it in a hobbyist woodworking store. they also had a satin finish. I did the usual rub with 000 steel wool, spray, hang to dry, rub with 000 steel wool, spray, etc., etc. i found some tips at the Stewart MacDonald site and a few other Luthier type sites (sorry, forgot the names)

    After six months, I can say that the Mightymite neck seems very stable once it "settles in" with the initial truss rod ajustments. I keep my necks nearly straight for low action. I noticed a distinct difference in the tone of my bass, more of that maple neck high end. I'm not sure, but I recollect that when I researched mightymite, I found that they don't put in any reinforcing bars, so I'm impressed with how stable my neck is in the tropical Hawaiian climate.
     
  6. zeppelinbass95

    zeppelinbass95

    Dec 26, 2008
    PA
    I want to make my neck fast. what kind of oil should i use and how do i apply it? If one were to do this could you do it while still atatched to the body?
     
  7. debassr

    debassr

    Jan 23, 2008
    Boston
    See, this is what we call threadjacking. Open a new thread.
     
  8. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    You might look at this procedure. I've used it on several MM necks on project basses. I like the feel, and can be burnished down to a fast neck. Just a rub on varnish for gun stocks. http://reranch.com/reranch/viewtopic.php?t=15094
     
    tuba_samurai likes this.