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How to treat wenge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by joseplluissans, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. I'm currently making a solid wenge neck (with an ash skunkstripe) and thinking of how to finish it. I'd like a silky smooth finish, so probably going to tru-oil it. But before I do it, I'd like to hear about your experiences on the matter. So: what's the best way to finish a wenge neck?

    P.S. The inlays are abalone and a MOP logo on the headstock.
  2. Hofmeyer


    Jan 2, 2014
    Personally I wouldn't finish wenge. Just sand it up to 12000 or so and roll with it. Not sure if you should leave the ash stripe unfinished though, so it may be best just to tru oil the whole thing.
  3. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Like a read-headed step-child.

    My first bass had a 1-piece wenge neck, and I left it unfinished, but sanded/polished to 12,000 grit. Feels great. Very smooth.

    For the ash, though, yeah you'll need a finish. Tru-Oil should be fine, and will also work fine on the wenge.
  4. Wenge is far too nice of a raw neck wood to be finished. Don't ruin the feel and look by trying to oil it.
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Do yourself a favor and use a darker wood than ash for the skunk stripe. When sanding/carving the wood the dust from the wenge will discolor the ash. Something like padauk or walnut would work much better IMO. Plus those woods wont require a finish like ash does
  6. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
  7. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
  8. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
  9. Well, the skunk stripe is already there, as the neck just needs finishing (sanding) and a fretjob. I chose ash as I wanted contrast (you know, reverse colouring like on Fenders, with maple/rosewood) and the body is made of it. What about just oiling the stripe?
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    In that case I would just do one light coat of something like Formby's low gloss tung oil on the whole neck.
  11. Benberg


    Jan 30, 2011
    lol thanks for that website, I was thinking of buying a wenge neck from warmoth and making a body for it, but didn't know where I could get some decent blanks
  12. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    Wengé can get dry and develop cracks if left unfinished. I think that a couple of coats of oil (Tung, Watco... whatever) are needed.