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Sanding thick finish off necks for a satin feel

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by E.J. T.N.T., Aug 21, 2012.


  1. I am a huge fan of matte neck finishes and unfinished necks(Think of those wonderful musicman necks). I really don't like glossy necks. I have two great parts basses with mighty mite necks(that's the feel I am going after) but I am on my way putting one more together, but mighty mite does not offer a neck I would like for that project.

    Since I am on a budget I find it really hard to find a suitable neck with this kind of finsh for my project that is affordable(without resorting to guys like warmoth). So one of the options I have been thinking about was purchasing a normal finished neck and sand the finish off of it(I was specifically thinking of allparts).

    I actually ran into this relicing process guide that did something similar, but in that case, after the sanding was done, a dye was applied on the back of the neck(for that stained look).

    My question would be if I would need to apply something on the neck after the sanding. I know that there is many layers of finish including the sealer and sure enough I don't want to be left with a more than normal sensitive neck.

    If you have any other suggestions on how to actually do this you are more than welcome to share it. Just keep in mind that I am on a rather limited budget and I am also rather limited on resources.
     
  2. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have a sample of one to offer up. I did my Ibanez ArtCore AGB-140(?). I tried Citristrip, but that didn't really do anything that I could tell. Start with something light like 600 grit sandpaper so you don't do too much damage until you have a feel for what grit you need, working to courser 300 grit or 150 grit if they are providing the right amount of cut for you. When you've got the finish cut as much as you want it, work back through finer grits to get a smooth feel.

    Perhaps I just got lucky. Be careful. With any luck you'll get it right the first time. If not, with care you can usually find a fix for any mistakes you make.

    KO
     
  3. The advice on the guy's guide was as following(grits):
    150-220-320-400-600-800-1000 which I find very reasonable. The question is what do I need to do once the finish is off.

    Concerning removing finish via chemical agents I have nothing but experiences. I would rather get some more elbow grease into it.
     
  4. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I think just the paper will be fine, no need for chemicals. Most of the commercial necks have something that doesn't soak in and maple is a pretty tight grain so it's hard for things to soak in to it. The finish will be superficial, but it may be polyester - pretty tough.

    I've used Birchwood Casey Tru-oil in the past. I never encountered an issue, but the seal isn't as good as a hard poly finish so the neck may be more susceptible to humidity issues.

    KO
     
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    There is no reason to completely remove the current finish if you are just looking for a satin finish. Just sand it starting with 600 grit and work your way up until you are happy with the look and feel. Maple needs a finish so if you sand it completely off you will have to refinish it with something else anyway.
     
  6. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I totally agree with Hopkins, BTW. I didn't go down to bare wood on the Ibanez either. It feels great. OTOH, if you want to get that Musicman oil and wax feel, it's good (and educational!) to go down to bare wood and oil it. I wouldn't do it for my first attempt on something I couldn't afford to replace, but it's not that dangerous.

    My earnest recommendation is to try it Hopkins' way first. If you like it that way, leave it alone. If not, you can always go further.

    KO
     
  7. MOTORHEADBANGER

    MOTORHEADBANGER Spud-boy looking for a real tomato

    Dec 23, 2008
    Sidney, Indiana
    A green or gray scotchbrite pad will take that glossy finish down to a smooth satin. I've done it on a few basses and the results are great.
     
  8. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    I did a Tru-Oil neck on my go-to Jazz Bass about 3 years ago. No problems with that neck, and this bass gets used/abused. I call it my "bar bass." It's my favorite finish on any bass neck ever. Very gig-friendly. Neck is still super stable, and it wasn't even a high-end neck (came off a Squier CV Jazz).

    --Steve
     
  9. By the way, being a european TB member I really cannot express my disappointment enough every time you guys name drop all these products that I have absolutely no clue of what their equivalents are called on this side of the atlantic.
    It would be a lot better if you just described what they actually are or what they do.

    To hell with this, I am starting a rant thread about that!!!
     
  10. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    Tru-Oil is a commercially-prepared gunstock finish. It comes in little bottles and is very inexpensive here. Not being much of a gun person, I felt really out of place when I went to the outdoors-type store to buy it. Here's a link that describes what's in it and how to make your own:

    http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=12156

    I, for one, am very happy to know that there is an Oud forum.

    --Steve
     
  11. The last time I used linseed oil was in a luthier's workshop seminar, the thing oxidized and ignited. Needless to say, the luthier guy was not happy. Even though I am leaving in a lot colder country right now, I am really not looking forward to using linseed oil any time soon. But no I am curious. How is Linseed oil called in German???
     
  12. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    http://sport.birchwoodcasey.com/Pro...roductID=b0628cbd-5cd3-48c0-8d42-5b1b8a3f180e

    Check a hunting store. Probably not as common in Germany as it is in the US. Like Stev187 I was out of my element when I walked in, but not traumatized too badly.

    KO

    {Added} I'm in Minnesota. It's still summer enough here to work outdoors, but I don't think Tru-Oil is especially susceptible to spontaneous combustion. It's easy to use.
     

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