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wood color

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by greitzer, Dec 5, 2003.


  1. Here's a question my wife asked me, and I don't know the answer, so maybe someone can help. On many basses, including mine, the color of the wood on the neck is lighter than the color of the wood on the rest of the bass. Any paticular reason why? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Are you referring to something other than the instruments color is usually in the varnish and not in the wood itself (i.e. the wood is not stained)?
     
  3. I'm no luthier, so someone please jump in and correct me if I'm wrong:

    The back of the neck is usually done in a finish that is different from the rest of the bass. The body and scroll of the bass are usually finished in a varnish that, as Bob noted, contains a pigment. The back of the neck is usually finished with a drying oil. If the back of the neck were varnished, constant contact with the thumb would eventually wear it away, plus the oil finish feels better to the thumb. This drying oil does not contain pigment, and appears lighter than the rest of the bass.
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Most luthiers do add some color to the back of the neck, so it doesn't stand out white next to the varnish. Then, as you correctly state, many finish with a drying oil. Some, like myself, prefer a blend of oil and shellac, which adds a bit more durability and color.
     
  5. Thanks, all. That explains it.