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I want to give my maple neck that vintage 'golden brown' look. What do I need?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by darkside 88, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Dye, oils, tint, what?
  2. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    10,666 chain smokers at the gig for two weeks consecutive.
  3. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Time...and what the above poster said hehe.
  4. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    wet sand the gloss off it carefully and slowly apply coffee to it to sort of give it that stained look?

    I read that people do this for their pickups and pickguards and stuff like that.

    I believe that they do this by letting it sit in the coffee though...

    Look up "relic" techniques or stuff with that on google and you'll get pics
  5. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Some guys have used brown shoe polish and that will work, though not permanent.

    I can do it with gelled wood stain, but it takes a bit of experience. Lightly steel wool the neck first, apply gelled stain lightly, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess till you get the colour you want.

    Give it a day to dry, then wipe on a couple thin coats of varnish to protect it.

    Some cautions-if you have nicks or dings in the finish the stain will collect in them and show up as darker marks.

    If the finish is worn through to bare wood the stain will soak in there and accent the wear.

    You can remove the stain if you don't like it with mineral spirits (Varsol or other paint thinner) but you have to do it before it dries solid.

    The gelled stain is a time honoured trick of wood refinishers and finishers to even out the colour on furniture that has many variations between sapwood and heartwood. It works but takes a bit of practice.
  6. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    Bought a pack of cigarettes and held each lit cigarette a couple inches beneath the neck (with the bass facing downwards). With the smoke enveloping the fingerboard, it will gradually darken the wood.
  7. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I want to take it from the young, sprightly looking, virginesque tone here:


    To the well weathered, time tested, Made in 1951 look here:

  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Oh, I see. I thought you meant the back of the neck, not the fingerboard,

    I suppose my method would work on a fingerboard too, but way too much work trying to get it up to a smooth gloss and cleaning varnish off the frets.

    It's a pretty bass. Play it a lot. Leave it out where strong light can get at the fingerboard. It'll age gracefully.
  9. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    Refer to my method above. It works and IIRC takes an hour or two. You will see noticeable changes and it's easy.
  10. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Do you want to actually be playing bass on this hastily accumulated layer of tobacco resin though?
  11. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    I'd get some woodburst stain, use 0000 steel wool on the neck, apply the stain to your liking, then tung oil it. The woodburst comes in a tung oil base; you can then put some minwax tung oil on it.

    This is fairly easy and you have more control of the color.



  12. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Feb 23, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Wow. Nice find. Thanks a lot.

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