Dismiss Notice

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

How much to mask???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jim Ingraham, Dec 15, 2004.


  1. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    Shillington
    When spraying a neck?? Im putting together a Saga P-bass kit. it has a rosewood board and im wondering whether the masking should wrap around and cover the edge of the rosewood or should i mask just the face of the board. Since it is already fretted im having trouble getting a good tape seal at the edge. If i wrap it around to cover the rosewood edge however it seems as if i will get ridge of laquer.
     
  2. All of the well done rosewood necks IMO have totally filled ends on the frets and then the finish covers right up to the edge of the fretboard. If there's a ridge left over, you can easily blend it in with a light pass of your favorite abrasive. Does your rosewood get harder in the side grain like I've seen sometimes? That might be nice to leave alone and just polish up to a natural sheen.

    I've only sprayed 5 necks but I've found that with a decently radiused edge on the fretboard, the overspray sort of blends itself.
     
  3. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    Shillington
    Thanks for the quick reply Hambone.... thats sort of what i figured. the problem is i cant get a good tape seal at edge because of the frets unless i tape between each fret and then run a couple of lengthwise pieces. Im worried that the laquer will run under the tape as im spraying with the back of the neck facing up. The other possibility would be to not mask the fingerboard at all until i spray the front.
     
  4. I think this might be the source of the problem for you. I spray my necks headstock up, by hanging from a tuner hole. Then, and especially with all maple necks, I can walk around it while I spray. This way only sprayed material hits the neck and drips will go lengthwise and not around it.
     
  5. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    Shillington
    Ahhh.... great idea.. ill try that. thanks
     
  6. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I use that blue, low tack painter's tape for fingerboards. I use the end of a small metal ruler to push one continuous piece of tape snuggly into the grooves on each side of the fret where it meets fingerboard. I go slow, following the edge of the neck, and I'm careful not to stretch the tape. A little clear coat gets on the ends of the frets but that and the tape edge comes off during the wet sanding and polishing.
     
  7. You got that right Bud! :bassist:

    Until fairly recently, I hadn't used the blue tape before. Well, I'm sold on it now!! I used to dread taping a whole neck because yellow masking tape would never come off clean. It also wasn't reliable around the edges and you never knew when something was going to creep under the edge. With the blue you not only can be confident, it actually leaves a very clean straight line. On Fairlane #0005, I used it between the painted back and the ivoroid binding. Man, it was a sharp as scotch tape and as easy to apply and remove as anything out there.
     
  8. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    You can see what Bud is talking about as far as taping the board as well as the entire fret (top and sides) in this pic: http://www.scottfrench.com/images/Spencoid.jpg

    As you can see I am rocking the 3m green tape... it even says lacquer on the package. I've had good luck with it but it can be tricky when you're trying to tape a bend like the heel of that guitar.
     
  9. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    That paint job is wild! Way cool. You need some thinner 1/8" or 1/4" autobody tape for doing laying out that curvy stuff.

    I bought some green tape, may have been Scotch. The mineral spirits I use to wet sand crepped under the tape and turned the adhesive into a gummy mess. It doesn't seem to affect the blue tape though, which is probably 3m.
     
  10. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Another little trick I've been doing is once I've got the fingerboard taped off I run another piece down the neck overhanging the fingerboard about 1/4". It keeps me from spraying directly on the edge and getting too much of a tape edge. This probably only works for bolt on necks' cause the overhanging tape would get in the way when finishing a neck-thru.
     
  11. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    Shillington
    Thanks for the help guys!!! i finished the neck this morning and it turned out great. As it turned out, spraying the topcoat turned out to be no big deal. I tried hanging it first but just wasnt comfortable spraying in that vertical position and ended up just laying flat and doing a side at a time.
    The bigger problem i had was getting the color on the neck. Im trying to do a vintage look here and thought id be able to just wipe a little stain on and be good to go. These necks come thru very white with an uncut headstock blank. But they put a sealer on and sand it very smooth and there was no way it was taking any wipe on stain. So i ended up mixing up some of my artist oil paint with some lacquer thinner and spraying multiple very thin coats of color on. This
    is where i had trouble with the masking and ended up having to mask the rosewood edge.
    I put a 50% sheen on the neck and while it looks great it feels a little slick on the back and think ill try a coat of satin just from the headstock down on the back.
    At any rate heres a pic of where im at so far:
    [​IMG]
    Now on to my next problem....Im having trouble getting the topcoat on the body to be mirror like glossy... im up to about 5 coats of gloss topcoat now sanding with 400 in between and it just has a little bit texture to it. Heres a closeup shot of what im getting:
    [​IMG]
    Is this a sanding between coat problem or does this texture buff out at the polishing stage??? Im not sure what to do here as ive never tried to get high gloss before. thanks agin for your help.
     
  12. If I were to get that type of finish with my spray setup, I would fix it by increasing the volume of clear in the spray stream. It's a little lean and the extra wet material will get all of the drops to weld up when they hit the surface and level out smooth.
     
  13. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
     
  14. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Hey BJ, the top is just what it looks like, sealer, green paint, some clear, a bunch of my friend's beard hair then clear over the top of that. I just sprinkled it on, sprayed a few coats over it then sanded it down to level the next day and put some tops coats over that to seal it all up. The neck wood is just flame maple and wenge. Here's the only semi-close picture I've taken: http://www.scottfrench.com/images/spencoidneck.jpg
     
  15. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    That's wicked awesome! Whoda thunk? :D And I do really love the flame in that neck. You will have to post more pics when you are done. Very cool!
     
  16. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    DNA id's stolen bass- film at 11...

    That's too cool! My friend and I were going to get a mosquito to bite me, then when it was getting full, take tweezers and pop it into some CA in a void in the topwood- kinda like being suspended in amber...using the voids as Keith Roscoe does...