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Sanding poly off a neck: when do I stop ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BillyRay, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I looked at my SX this morning and enough is enough, I just can't stand that day-glo orange neck. Armed with my determination and the info I got from a few searches, I hit the department store for the necessary goodies.

    I have read to basically sand with 220 and clean with Naptha as you go along, searching for shiny spots (but I started the "rough" job by using 120).

    The amber is now gone from the neck, with some surprises (the back of the headstock has GREEN wood*, but it'll be hidden by the tuners).

    Another surpsie is that it seems that there's still a sealer of some sort or something on the neck. Water on the wood doesn't raise the grain. I'm planning on finishing with gun stock oil (the kind from a spraycan that I picked from Wal-Mart, is that okay?).

    Do I have to sand through this as well ? Some spots I seem to have sanded through (but not into the wood).
  2. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    well, if your using an oil then yes, you need bare wood for the oil to soak into
  3. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    This process will get you down to bare wood. A wipe of a rag wetted with naptha will indicate bare wood by its dull look.

    Did you get the Tru-Oil finish? For the best adhesion, you will need to get down to bare wood
  4. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Yeah, it is Tru-Oil (Birchwood-Casey).
  5. I have refinished many gunstocks with Tru Oil. It is a great finish for natural, raw wood. Some woods need to be pre-stained to bring out the grain. Tru Oil becomes high gloss with heat. Briskley burnishing with your fingers or a rag produces heat and after many coats, it will become like glass. The prepared surface needs to be perfect for a good finish, small dents, scratches, etc. will still be there after finishing, so get them out now.
  6. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I'm no expert, but you should think of stopping when you hit the truss rod.....:bag:
  7. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Okay, I admit I LOLed.
  8. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Everything is prepped. In all, it took me a bit under 7 hours to do it all. Worth it, just to be rid of that orange color. And since I like the SX necks, I'll probably do it again, but outside, everything is dusty in the basement now.

    Going to try the Tru-Oil now.
  9. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Vacuum up all the dust first. :)
  10. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    The dust has been vaccumed, both off the furniture and off the neck :)

    How many coats of Tru-Oil would you recommend ? I was able to sneak in 3 coats yesterday and it looks awesome (I'll have to do some sanding though). Maybe two more ? I'll need this bass in the weekend and the can says I have to wait 48 hours before sanding off any imperfections.

    The back of the headstock is something though, I'll take pictures when everything is done. It has huge greenish streaks and the oil only makes them pop out more :crying: No wonder they use that crappy amber dye :ninja:

    But the front and back of the neck really rock, appearance wise.
  11. I would suggest you only put on enough coats and rub them out to give you the finish you are happy with. Remember, in the future, you can always go back and add more finiish without any problems. I think, you can get the oil finish too thick and it becomes soft.
  12. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I'll probably go for a good 6-7 coats to insure a good protection against sweat and wear.

    Pics coming tonight probably.

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