Neck refinish

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Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:15 pm

So I've got this cheapo tele guitar and I've decided to refinish it instead of buying a new neck. And do a little reshape to the headstock 8)
The finish it has now is very thin so it barely coats the wood pores. It looks nicely natural but doesn't really feel right. I can feel the scratching wood when bending. So what I want to do is:
- rub it off with alcohol(?) from sweat and grease (if there's any - it wasn't played more than a few hours)
- lightly sand it with 300+(?) sandpaper, I don't want to completely sand it off
- get rid of dust and spray a few light coats with lacquere (sanding imperfections and drying inbetween :) )

What kind of lacquere should i go for? Nitro? I don't need it to be tinted to look like 50's neck, just need some coat. How many layers would be ok? Do I have to care about the frets or can i just spray over them and than just scratch remaining lacquere off them once it's finished (because that's what I'm thinking) or is that a bad idea?
Thanks for any input
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby thirdman333 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:19 pm

hey luc im assuming you are talking about an all maple neck. what i would do is buy a new neck IMHO why spray nitro on a "cheapo" tele its accually a long process to do it right the neck is probly finished in poly which means its like sanding plastic :( witch takes forever a zip strip with is a pain to work with. but if you insist on re finishing this neck id pull all the frets get rid off all the old finish then re fret wipe it down with acetone then re spray the whole neck with nitro witch is hard to spray if you have never used it you have to do a few necks before you get it down. spray over the frets with nitro sanding sealer. then nitro clear look it up on stew mac the process takes weeks. so if you really want to go threw all that then the internet has lots of info on schedules and the such
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:42 pm

Thanks for info! I appreciate it. yeah sory it's all maple neck. Actually the finish it has now is really very thin...at first I thought there's no finish at all :shock: I't doesn't have to be nitro, I'm just looking for opinions.
If I screwed up this neck...well I can live with that and maybe I'll buy a new one. But I'd like to at least try it... I like challenges :D I'll check what I can google on this topic
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby thirdman333 on Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:43 am

hey i hear ya. thats how i started better than a pricey vinatge neck or a custom warmoth ect. if you can live without the neck id go for it its fun to do. you just have to go really slow. good luck PM or post if you have any question ill help as much as i can :jam:
Never met a wise man if so its a woman
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:02 pm

Thanks man! :D
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:31 pm

So I had a day off today and finaly had a time for this little project. As expected, the finish was very thin so after a minute of sanding I was at bare wood. I sanded old lacqer off with 180 and 220 grade paper and finished with 400. It was a bit challenging between the frets but I think it will be just fine :)
Also reshaped the headstock to give me more tele look ...I like it much better now! I've got it completely sanded down now and I sprayed first "testing" coat to the back of the headstock with nitro...so far it looks it will be ok. Here are some pics:


Image

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To be continued...
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby thirdman333 on Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:35 am

hey great job luc.key very nice just take your time and you will be fine your doin better than i did my first re finish haha :thumbsup: nice work on the tele re shape
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby kominak on Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:04 am

It really does look great. I'm looking forward to see the finished neck. I'm planning to build a bass myself and I'm still undecided between nitro and oil/wax finish, just because I heard it's not that easy to work with nitro-lacquer. Let us know how it goes!
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:55 am

Thanks guys :) I just sprayed third layer ...
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I don't think it goes any hard with nitro...but the lacquere definitely takes longer to harden. They say it hardens in 1-2 hours on the can, but I always leave it for about 12-24 hours before I sand it and shot another layer. I'm trying to make the layers thin and shot more of them. Maybe I'm too conservative but I really want to make it nice and not rush things (as I often do :D ). I can play my strat so there's no hurry :)
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby The Pup on Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:19 am

Nice work.
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Mon May 04, 2009 11:51 am

I guess I'm done :)


Image

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...Refinished neck is more natural and woody than fender neck

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It has 6 layers, I went with matte lacquere and polishing instead of gloss lac. With 1200# paper and polishing it looked neat but sticky as hell, so I went with 600 and light polish - now it works for me :) Definitely learned a lot on this neck, I should have used some kind of wood sealer because it soaked the lacquere like a spunge. Probably could do layers thicker ...or more of them because after final sanding/polishing I've foud two weak spots...but hey It's my first neck refin! :D The hardest part was to deal with the fingerboard...sanding, spraying and polishing between the frets make you to go against the wood pores and making minor scratches. But you can see that only if you closely inspect it. All in all it's 1000% better than it was when I got it 8) :jam:

Now excuse me, I have to bolt it on the body, strum a few chords and hang it up for drying :D
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby thirdman333 on Tue May 05, 2009 8:04 am

nice job. sealer will help ALOT lol looks really good even for a first time and hey it jus gets easier from here :thumbsup:
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby LUC.key on Tue May 05, 2009 3:03 pm

Thanks :lol: I knew I should use a sealer but...my spraying hand was faster :D
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Re: Neck refinish

Postby thirdman333 on Tue May 05, 2009 6:06 pm

haha i hear you there. now you can get the feel YOU want as a aposed to hoping you find a perfect neck for you. its a good feeling every time you pick up the guitar :thumbsup:
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