Maple P-Bass Neck Replacement w/o Lacquer

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by patbass2692, Dec 24, 2021.

  1. patbass2692


    Jul 11, 2020
    Not a hugely important question here. Just something that's been on my mind for a while.

    I have a Mexican P-Bass with a Pau Ferro fingerboard. I've been thinking of switching to a Maple fingerboard simply because I prefer the look, but I don't like the feel of the lacquer finish that comes standard on Fender's maple. So, I thought I'd reach out to see if anyone shared my preference for "unfinished" maple fingerboards and had found a solution.

    Is it possible (and reasonably easy) to just strip the lacquer off a Fender replacement neck? Can you get a maple P-Bass neck without a lacquer finish from Mighty Mite or Warmoth? If you can and you have done so before, can you share your experience with me?

    Thank you in advance for your time and responses.
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    A bare maple neck will turn grey with dirt in a very short time. Looks horrible.

    Sure you can strip a neck.

    If it’s nitro, any quality paint stripper will take it right off, but I don’t know why you’d want to take nitro off. Nitro is thin and feels wonderful if you keep it clean.

    If it’s poly, heat is your best weapon. After it’s stripped, refinish it with nitro. Or buy a nitro finished neck.
    patbass2692 likes this.
  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Replacing a fingerboard is a really, really, difficult chore, especially if the fingerboard was glued on with something other than the traditional hide glue that you can heat and carefully separate. If it was glued with aliphatic glue (Titebond and similar), or epoxy, forget it.

    You want the finish on a maple neck. It will turn black over time from gunk, fungus, etc. and deteriorate. Look at any old picture of Clapton's "Blackie" Strat for an example. Unless you are into that look.
    patbass2692 likes this.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    You should note what Warmoth has to say about unfinished maple:

    "For a valid warranty, Maple, Mahogany, Walnut, Korina, and Koa necks must be covered in a hard finish, sufficiently thick to completely cover the entire surface of the wood. Oil finishes do not validate our warranty requirements."

    There is a reason for this. Without a good hard finish, the wood is much more likely to react to humidity changes and warp.
  5. patbass2692


    Jul 11, 2020
    Heard. Somehow it never occurred to me that Maple was so sensitive to aging/tarnishing. I still have a lot to learn about the use of different woods on instruments.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Tarnishing isn’t the Correct term. It gets filthy when handled. Maple is very pale wood, it gets dirty from your hands and body oils. Black-grey dirty staining that is difficult to clean. When my luthier refinished my ‘62 Jazz, he had to bleach the back of the neck to clean the filth deposited where the finish had worn away before shooting the nitro. D2969164-1296-4E41-BB6D-BF867239D713.jpeg
    Willicious likes this.
  7. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Apply few layer of tung oil .
    Doufuss and 96tbird like this.