Refinishing my neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by 5string5fingers, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. The neck on my p bass has alot of little scratches and tiny dents and what not on the finish,few if any actually go down to the wood and I was wondering what I can do to help smooth it back out? Should I strip it and then refinish it? I'm not a fan of heavy gloss necks,so could I do an oil finish?
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Sand it with 320 sandpaper and see if the scratches come out. Then give it a couple coats of Minwax Wipe On Poly. When the last coat is completely dry, take the gloss off with a fine synthetic abrasive pad.
  3. ok. I'll give that a try, whats the best way to apply the wipe on poly?
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    With a soft and lint free cotton cloth. Thin coats only. Stop when it looks right to you. I used something like 22 coats on a tabletop one time. It takes about 6 coats of the wipe on to equal the thickness of one brushed on coat of regular varnish.

    I've also used the Kimberly-Clark shop towels sold at Home Depot. They work very well too.

    Depending on temperature you can usually apply 3 coats in a day. If after a couple coats it starts to look uneven or lumpy, let it dry for about 4 hours and lightly sand it smooth with 400 grit paper. Then apply another coat.

    The instructions are on the can.

    I make my own wiping varnish using equal amounts of naptha and Benjamin Moore One Hour Clear Finish (a very fast drying alkyd varnish). It dries hard enough to sand in about 1 hour. But for such a small job the Minwax is cheaper. You won't use anywhere near half the can. Once the can's been opened it'll only be good for a couple months before it starts to harden in the can.

    Keep the can tightly closed unless you're actually pouring some out. I put about 1/4" in a small cleaned tuna can and apply from that.

    Clean up with paint thinner.

    In the interest of safety, don't toss used application cloths in the trash. Either spread them out to dry hard outdoors or soak in water and then dispose of them. Spontaneous combustion can cause a fire.

    You shouldn't have to sand right down to bare wood before applying the Minwax.
  5. Ok. I really appreciate the info
  6. well i went at it with the 320 earlier and it took out about half of the scratched and what not but there are some very small dents here and there that look like they're in the actual wood. How thick is the finish exactly? I didn't sand excessively with it, maybe a total of 5 minutes and I actually like the satin smoothness it has right now,but i dont know if it took the the finish off already or there is still some here to protect the wood from the elements
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hard to tell without looking closely at it. Well, you can continue sanding but you'll go to bare wood for sure. If all the scratches don't come out, anything you apply to the neck will make the dings show up more. So, it's your call. Leave it as is or take it down more and refinish.
  8. Ok. I think I'll probably leave it as is. Thanks