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Should I Use Some Type of Wood Sealer on an Unfinished Maple Neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jebis, Dec 5, 2000.

  1. Jebis

    Jebis Guest

    Nov 28, 2000
    Long Beach, CA
    I applied some lemon oil all over the neck of my bass, but I am still somewhat worried about filth building up since oil is a dirt magnet. Is there some type of practical sealer that I can use on the back of the neck without having to re-finish it with laquer? I need some opinions and experiences please. Thanks.
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I've used wipe on polyurethane by minwax(matte finish) on an unfinished neck that I got from Warmoth and got very good results with it and it's easy to apply.

  3. Jebis

    Jebis Guest

    Nov 28, 2000
    Long Beach, CA
    Will the lemon oil affect the polyurethane?
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I'm not sure and it depends on how much oil was in the "lemon oil", after a couple of weeks though I think it would still work.

  5. Use Tung oil as a finish and maintain the finish with lemon oil. You can put 3 or 4 coats of tung oil on, one coat every 24 hours and lightly steel wool between coats.
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You need to indicate what tung oil you're referring to, i.e. what brand, there's polymerized and non polymerized, there's tung oil finishes that have a small amount of tung oil and other stuff in them. I've finished a couple of bass bodies and necks using polymerized tung oil and the wipe on poly. I prefer the wipe on poly is cheap and works really good, easy to apply and dries fast. Usually two coats of wipe on poly are all that's required.

  7. can't you just leave it as is? i have a maple neck on a stingray and i have never put anything on it
  8. Borderline


    Oct 30, 2000
    I may be VERY VERY wrong, but I was under the impression that an unfinished neck would be more susceptable to warping and the like... I could be quite wrong of course, and if I am, I'd like to be corrected for my own knowledge.
  9. The finish that I use is "Formby's hand rubbed tung oil finish" which is a combination of tung and other oils. I use it on the back of the necks of my db's and bg's after the varnish is removed, and on the bodys of my Carvin LB 75's when they were modified with a slighty larger cutaway. In the future I might expieriment with the Poly tung oils but the 8 oz bottle has lasted for years.
  10. Nate Dawg

    Nate Dawg

    Apr 8, 2000
    Denver, CO
    I used to work in a paint store, and I've used Benjamin Moore's "Stays Clear" polyurethane on a bass I refinished with excellent results. Unlike other polyurethanes, Stays Clear does not have any yellow tint whatsoever. It is also strong enough to use on hardwood floors, which is why I chose it for my bass.

    If you choose to go the polyurethane route, DO NOT use steel wool if the polyurethane is water based (latex). The steel wool can leave small deposits which could produce rust marks with water based coatings. Use an oil based product. Oil based coatings are usually more durable, but harder to clean up.

    Good Luck
  11. Jebis,
    You need to make sure you remove any and all of that lemon oil before you put any type of clear coat on the neck.
    Otherwise you may have the clear coming off very easily.
    How do you clean it?
    1. Soap and warm water (Do not soak the wood excessively)
    2. Naptha
    3. Naptha again, and make sure the wood is dry and clean before you apply any of the coatings mentioned in the thred.
    RSBBass likes this.
  12. maybe i am confused but do you even need to anything?
    i have a old stingray and a very old peavy both with maple necks and have never done any thing to them except string changing and playing
  13. Gruff, if the finish on your necks was some kind of clear film (poly, nitro lacquer, etc.) then the answer is no. If they are bare wood, you might want to consider some of the above advice. Maple can get really dirty over time and it is next to impossible to reverse the staining.

  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Gruff, more than likely those basses have a matte hard finish, or a wax finish.

    I know that neither of these companies sell basses with unfinished necks.
  15. hey thanks for the info.
    my stingray has a "maple" neck with a "unfinished" neck. but i think these might just be power words the fretboard gets dirty but the stuff seems to come off, at least most of it
    the neck it self has discolored some what from sweat but not much, my friend has a ibenaze guitar that has a maple neck and now its grey from sweat and dirt but it hasn't impared playability
    thanks again
  16. Gruffpuppy,
    Your Stingray does have a coating on it to protect the neck.
    The downside is that it comes off in time, It is a mixture of oil and wax. The more you play the Bass, your perspiration will wear away the coating and expose the bare wood.
    That's the BAD news, The GOOD news is it can be re-appled very easily.
    Sports Authority has the same product Music Man uses on the production line. Look for Birchwood/Casey Tru-Oil and Gun Stock Wax.
    If there are dark stains or dirt on the neck you need to clean it completely. Then apply these two products as per the instructions.
    The more you play the bass the more you will need to re-apply the oil to keep the wood from being exposed.
    Hope this helps.
  17. TH63


    Jan 30, 2016
    Phnom Pen, Cambodia
    Hi, I sanded off the glossy finish and love that silky smooth feel on the unfinished maple neck. Now I keep hearing I need to seal it, so the maple doesn't absorb humidity and warp. Is there anything out there besides tung oil that will do? This a maple neck, NOT fret board.
  18. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    No, humidity will seep through any finish you apply. The reason maple should be sealed hasn't anything to do with the stability or deterioration of the wood. The reason maple necks are normally finished is the preserve the appearance of the wood, maple being a light colored wood will discolor and 'gray' rather easily. Putting a finish on there, keeps it looking good and helps prevent grime from working into the fibers of the neck and discoloring it.
    Badwater likes this.
  19. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I disagree with this. Maple is quite reactive to moisture - more so than many other hardwoods. Anything you can do to inhibit moisture exchange will help to keep the wood stable - the more impervious the finish, the more effective it will be in maintaining the stability of the neck. Gloss poly finishes are on the positive end of the "impervious" scale - oil and waxes at the other end. For many players, the feel is on the same scale, but reversed.
    Badwater likes this.
  20. TH63


    Jan 30, 2016
    Phnom Pen, Cambodia
    Thanks for the replies. However my question is still unanswered. Does anyone know a good alternative to tung oil for an unfinished maple neck? Again, neck, NOT fret board. Thanks in advance.

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