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Refinishing an SX neck???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by stanger503, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    i have a sx jazz thats slowly becoming my main player or second in command and i kinda just wanna do away with the SX logo and maybe even take all that clear coat off too. i guess what my ? is, is there gonna be any negative side effects from taking the poly off the fretboard(its maple) and beyond that what would you guys recommend to strip it all. like i said i do want to get rid of the logo so nothing is too strong i suppose, im guessing i'll have to sand it off. thanks guys!!!! Also i wasnt sure where this would go forum wise so i figured this would be the correct spot, if it isnt sorry and hopefully someone will take and put it where it belongs :)
  2. We sanded the finish off the headstock of my SX. Took some elbow grease, but it came off and looked better :)
  3. It makes it less protected against fluctuations in humidity I believe.
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    The neck would become warped easier without the protective coat.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I was thinking of doing the same thing on my shorstscale maple/rosewood neck. I'm certain you'd have to re-apply another finish. I'm thinking some sort of satin for a nice smooth feel.
  6. Not sure what SX uses on their finishes - polyester or polyurethane. polyester is just a nightmare to remove - it laughs at chemical strippers. Careful use of a heat-gun followed by some 220 sanding would be the easiest (albeit not easy) way to do it. Then refinish with nitro is always nice, but time consuming. I would use re-ranch clear.
  7. OldBluesGuy


    Aug 14, 2008
    Enfield, CT
    I've stripped two SX necks successfully with a low VOC stripping product called Citristrip. You can check my thread here. I was able to remove the entire finish without sanding on my SX PJ and I had to sand a couple of spots on my SX tele neck, but I was impatient and didn't apply as many coats of the stripper as I did on the bass neck.

  8. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    i was hoping you would chime in... ive seen your threads and the neck came out looking good. my other question that comes up is what about these basses with necks that dont have anything on them...my old G&L tribby comes to mind, no clear coat on the fretboard or neck itself, unless it was super super thing it felt like wood to me though.
  9. It's not hard to sand the finish off of the SX necks. I've done two and it just takes a little elbow grease and a sanding block for the flat parts, paper for the rounded parts. Just start with a rougher grit like 60 to get the main stuff off, then work down in grit size. If you do it though work with the grain as much as possible.
  10. OldBluesGuy


    Aug 14, 2008
    Enfield, CT
    I've put 3 coats of clear satin poly (rub-on) on the SX bass neck and it's hard to tell by looking at it that there's any finish whatsoever - or even by feeling it.

  11. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I sanded the ugly day-glo orange off the neck of my SX last week. All in all, it took me about 7 hours to hand sand the neck: hard work, but certainly very feasible. What I did was start off with 120 grit to take off most of the finish off and got it smooth with 220.

    I then finished it with gunstock oil, found at Wal-Mart. All in all, I put 6 coats of the stuff, hand rubbing with a rag right after spraying. It really made the grain "pop out" and it feels very, very, very smooth now.

    I had to take special care to sand the decal. All the orange was gone and the decal was still there.
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    A quick way to remove finish that I have found is to use steel wool. 0000 works fine for me.

    If I want to remove all the finish, I use steel wool to remove most of the finish, and then finish the job with sandpaper, usually going from a 220 to 400 grit. But sometimes, I don't want to remove all the finish. For example, I don't like the feel of a heavily lacquered neck so I'll use steel wool to remove finish until I get a satiny feel and quit. There's just enough finish to give the neck some pretection, while giving it a smoother feel.
  13. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    No offense, but what you have described above is nearly the opposite of what my own experience has shown. Steel wool at 0000 grade is a fine material for fine sanding, not removing material quickly. In my own exp, starting at a rough grade sandpaper like 220 and then working up gets a nice smooth finish much more quickly...
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    No offense taken.

    One of the reasons why I find steel wool to be faster is that it's much easier for me to hold a wad of steel wool than a piece of sandpaper, and I have more control.

    I guess it also depends on the type of finish. Steel wool is nice for cleanup on a oil finish, or to convert a glossy neck to a satin finish, but probably won't do much to a thick poly finish.
  15. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    I citristripped a maple w/rosewood Sx neck and the vintage-puke-orange tint came off in minutes.

    Citristrip does NOT take off the clear coat, however. I used 220 grit paper only on the back of the neck and, as mentioned above, it left a light coat of clear but is now very smooth. Took about 5 minutes. Really nice feel actually.

    I used 80 and then 120 and then either 150 or 220 on the headstock using a vibratory sander. The clear coat is THICK and it took a little bit of sanding to get down to the decal and sand it off. IMO it came out nice, but to do that by hand, I'd start with nothing finer than 60grit. that clear coat is thick!

    POInts to consider- any plastic objects (binding, nut) dont take kindly to citristrip.

    dont sand across the grain on the fretboard.

    Alas I decided to go back to maple w/block inlays so the work is for naught cause she's going on the block.
  16. You can strip th orange color with citristrip, but the clear poly will still remain. If you just want the color gone, that will work fine. To get to the logo it will take sandpaper. I strip all of my necks and refinish with tru oil. In the case of maple necks, I've left the poly on the fretboard. I've never had the orange tinted ones though, so it's easy to match the color with dye if necesary. Tru oil has a very slight tint to it, so I've only had to dye one to get the back and headstock to match the fretboard. I generally use a sander to strip necks and I do the tuff spots by hand. Another problem you will have with the fretboard is the frets. If you are pulling the frets you can sand the fretboard clean, but then you have to worry about changing the radius of the fretboard. Unless you have to the tools to maintain the radius and then refret, I'd stay away from sanding the fret board.

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