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Re-finishing Yamaha RBX neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by NickInMesa, Mar 17, 2009.


  1. The RBX 270 I rescued a couple months ago has a few dings on the back of the neck which I'd like to fill and sand, and overall I'd like to refinish the neck with Tung oil, as I love the result on my kit build (yes, I have finished it, I need to take some photos).

    I was wondering what type of finish is currently on this type of Yamaha? On any Yamaha?

    Also what type of method should I use to remove the current finish, besides aggressive sanding?

    I also have a BBG5S, and I wonder if the neck is not oil finish, as I know Yamaha at one time used to sell "guitar oil", which is just some rebranded off the shelf product (something they do for their motorcycle maintenance products as well).

    I was wondering if it would not be possible to simple apply a new coat of oil on the neck for the BB, as it has a couple blemishes as well, but not as bad as for the RBX.

    Thanks!
     
  2. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Don't put oil over an existing finish. You'll probably have to sand off the old finish to bare wood. Chemicals won't remove those tough factory finishes. Once you've removed it and sanded it back up to about 320 grit or so, you can apply several coats of tung oil. Minwax is a good brand. Carvin uses it on their oil finished basses. Follow the directions on the can.
     
  3. Thanks!

    Would you advise me to sand by hand or power?

    Staring with coarse, like 60 grit, then down to 320?

    I will use electrical tape to protect the rosewood, I don't think it will like the 60 grit.

    How long do you think this type of job will take?

    Thanks!
     
  4. skeptikal

    skeptikal

    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    How good are you at sanding?

    Factory finishes are no joke.
     
  5. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Don't use a power sander. It's too easy to slip and gouge a big chunk out. Sand by hand starting with 60 grit and work your way up to 320 once the finish is removed. Use premium sandpaper. Aluminium oxide not garnet.

    Figure a a day's work counting breaks. Those factory finishes are tough and wear out sandpaper fast, so get several sheets of the 60 grit and change pieces often. Be careful you don't take too much wood off. You can't put it back on.
     
  6. HogieWan

    HogieWan

    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I saw a thread where someone used Citristrip (sp?) to remove the finish on an SX neck. It worked great
     
  7. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I've used Citrusstrip before. It won't touch a tough catalyzed finish like what is almost certainly on the Yamaha. I don't even like to use it on paint. It's way too slow. I wasted a quart of it last summer trying to remove the paint from a small window frame. It barely softened the top layer. If I'd used a whole gallon and spent all weekend at it, I might have got down to bare wood with a lot of scraping. Give me the toxic chemicals any time. :) But even the toxic chemicals don't work on some finishes. I'd use a heat gun and scraper if it were a bass body, to get the most of it off. But not on the neck. The heat might cause the neck to warp or soften the glue holding down the fingerboard.
     
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Did this exact same thing to my Yamaha RBX200F many years ago. Sanded by hand - I don't remember the neck taking too terribly long - and coated with Formby's tung oil, maybe three coats. Big improvement, and it revealed some nice figuring in the maple too!
     

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