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small "lumps" of varnish on neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MethodsofDance, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. MethodsofDance


    Nov 19, 2013
    Greetings TB folks,

    I'm wondering if someone here knows what to do about a little problem. I just recently scored a Hohner fretless Jazz...nice bass, feels good, sounds good and all that. It was second hand but mostly in great shape, minus the expected board wear which isn't much of an issue (you buy a second hand fretless, you get board wear. We all know this). I've noticed something weird on the neck here:


    You see it (just to the left of the center, below the stripe)? Looks like dried wood glue, or varnish or something. A small lump. There's another one on the other side of that stripe. Now this isn't *really* a big deal, it doesn't impede my ability to play the instrument, but it does feel noticeable. What's that all about? Are bass necks usually varnished? If not, what the hell is it doing there? Is there any way I can get rid of it myself without taking a chunk out of the neck along with it? Like I say, not a massive deal, if it can't be got rid of then that's how it'll have to be I guess, but if I could I would like to remove it.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to offer!
  2. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    A bit of sandpaper used carefully will fix that right up.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I do that on all my fretless basses. It's a marker placed there by the previous owner so he or she could hit a certain position by feeling with their thumb instead of looking at the neck.

    Mine are dots of white glue on the E side of the neck, at the 5th and 7th frets. Occasionally at the 3rd as well, depending on the bass.

    I find them very helpful if I'm reading music or singing or giving visual cues to other players.

    If it's white glue, a damp cloth should loosen it up enough that you can scrape it off with your fingernail without hurting the finish.
  4. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    No, bass necks are not varnished. Varnish is mostly used for restoring very old instruments and "old school" finishes on acoustic guitars, violins, etc. Yours looks like a poly finish in which case some sanding will be necessary to smooth out the problem spots. I would wet sand starting out with 220 and going up to 1500, then buff & polish to match the rest of the neck.
  5. MethodsofDance


    Nov 19, 2013
    Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought that it might be some kind of marker left by the guy who owned it before, infact I think that'll be quite helpful while I'm getting used to the neck, this is my first unlined!
  6. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    if it's not a marker maybe the prior owner filled a small flaw with super glue and it's just over-filled. a light wet sand and buff should take care of that too.