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Unfinished neck anyone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by castlev, Mar 1, 2016.


  1. castlev

    castlev

    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    I got my Les Paul bass in a trade in an awesome deal, I think the PO couldn't jive with it. The neck didn't feel smooth and had bow to it. I brought it home, and the truss nut seemed stripped so I replaced that and the bow is gone. Also it seems like someone applied new lacquer to the back of the neck.

    I sanded the back of the neck down to the wood so it feels nice and smooth like my old Ibanez Universe guitar which came stock without neck finish. Btw, I checked real closely for crack repairs, and couldn't find any.

    The bass feels so much better now, I'm reluctant to apply any type of oil, i guess maybe lemon oil to keep the wood hydrated but I'm not looking for anything to necessarily seal the grain. The Ibanez Universe guitar never had a problem with tuning stability and the neck was like 3x as thin.

    Here's my question, what non-sealing oil would you recommend to keep the neck hydrated? Anyone else here play basses with unfinished necks?

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    Scottkarch likes this.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I helped another member with removing the finish and applying oil earlier today, here's what I do. I use Tung oil and wax. I do not recommend using no finish but it is your neck.

    Removing A Neck Finish
     
  3. DLemos

    DLemos

    Sep 7, 2015
    Tung Oil is popularly used on Fretless finger boards.
     
    spaz21387 and interp like this.
  4. stonewall

    stonewall

    Jun 14, 2010
    ontario,Canada
    My new Dimension has a hand oiled neck too...it is sooooo nice you will love it friend .
     
  5. castlev

    castlev

    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    Is it Tung Oil?
     
  6. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Whatever you do, do something to help protect it...looks like a really nice bass!
     
  7. stonewall

    stonewall

    Jun 14, 2010
    ontario,Canada
    Im not sure they do it right at the Fender Factory.It just says its hand oiled.It is real nice silky smooth.Oh btw that is a very nice looking bass you have there.I would love to hear it .
     
  8. Teacher

    Teacher

    May 3, 2012
    There is really no such thing as keeping wood "hydrated." That is a myth I and other cabinetmakers suspect was invented by manufacturers. What finishes CAN do is protect your wood. A very light, nonsealing oil will offer very little protection, but it can improve appearance. Just keep in mind that a true nonsealing (really: noncuring) oil will always remain oily and, thus, will cause dirt and dust to stick to some degree.
     
  9. castlev

    castlev

    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    Really? I heard if i let my ebony fretboard dry out it will eventually crack...
    As for protecting the wood, do you mean dings and dents or weather/climate?
     
  10. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    The wood will alternate breathing in humidity and swelling, and drying out and having gaping pores.
    It's small, but over a lifetime it can add up. Depends on the particular cut of wood and your climate as well.
    Not talking about dings.
     
  11. DLemos

    DLemos

    Sep 7, 2015
    I recently acquired a Fretless, should I be applying tung oil to the Pau Ferro fingerboard?
     
  12. Teacher

    Teacher

    May 3, 2012
    All organic materials will eventually deteriorate. But no, oiling ebony will not make it last longer. Cracking has more to do with environment, how it's treated, the characteristics of the individual piece of wood, and the like. Now, what oiling a piece of ebony CAN do is maintain certain surface characteristics.

    Other finishes tend to protect wood from moisture, UV exposure, stains, etc. No finish is perfect, though.
     
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Carvin uses Tung but Ernie Ball uses Birchwood and Casey gunstock tru-oil and wax. I don't know what Fender uses, sorry.
     
  14. castlev

    castlev

    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    I'm not challenging you, I'm just trying to learn. Some rosewood boards I have that I leave untouched for a while will soak up fretboard oil 3 applications in. I have other fretboards that I oil with every string change, and the first application won't soak anything up, it just lubricates the surface, and i wipe the excess. Is it due to manufacturing differences? All of them are kept in my apartment in the same environment.
     
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I wouldn't recommend it, that's more for finishing than preservation. If anything maybe lemon or linseed oil.
     
    d-dave likes this.
  16. jaybones

    jaybones Banned

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    none
    I've seen and played really old guitars and basses that had the finish on the neck worn off (all were nitro), and the wood was pretty smooth from having the decades of playing it took to wear off the finish naturally. I suspect some of the natural oils from the skin had been absorbed somewhat by the wood as the nitro wore away.

    And I've knocked back the poly with Scotchbrite pad, but not necessarily to bare wood, and didn't use anything on the back of the neck.
     
  17. I had two basses back in the day that I refinished with tung oil on the neck, and they felt and played amazing. Ever since then, my strong preference is to play oil finished necks, like EBMM has.
     
  18. DLemos

    DLemos

    Sep 7, 2015
    Thank you, Diabolus!

     
  19. Tung oil will be fine. I always remove the finish from all my instruments and put tung oil on it. It's been like this for years without any problems, nothing, nada. My EBMM StingRay plays like a dream and I'm about to do the same on my very recently acquired Fender Jazz bass.

    Do it once a month you'll be fine.

    Oh, and nice bass btw.
     
    castlev likes this.
  20. castlev

    castlev

    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    I think I'll go this route, thanks!
     

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