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Fender neck repair

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  • #16
    Tung oil, Tru oil, Danish oil, Teak oil, etc. all have an amber tint to them. They also amber more with a little age. I wouldn't worry about the color.

    Use any oil finish you like. In my experience there are none that would be bad for the job. I did a few pool cue shafts with Daly's Teak oil. I liked it because it dries faster than the tung oil products and it feels just as smooth and tack free as my tung oil guitar necks.

    Four coats. Just soak it in, let it sit for twenty minutes and wipe it dry. Repeat four times on successive days in dry weather. If it's humid wait two days between applications. Don't rush it. For extra good results apply the product again right after the first coat soaks in and areas look dry (which it will) and then wipe after twenty minutes. But do this for the first coat only. Then do a light sand with 320 grit paper before the final coat.

    Some guys like to do more coats until they get a lot of surface build and sheen, but this is not necessary for protection, takes a lot longer to dry, stays softer longer and the extra surface build negates the smooth, non stick, raw wood feel. It will eventually buff to a sheen from playing even with four coats, but it will never feel sticky on sweaty hands like a shiny finish can.

    DO NOT WAX!!! Just oil. Waxing over the top of the oil finish too soon (like, within a month) can greatly extend the full cure time. Also, wax can slightly emulsify with salty sweat and body oils making the neck look grimy and feel gummy unless you continue a regime of cleaning and waxing forever after. I have one neck that's probably twenty five years with tung oil. Never refinished, never waxed and has buffed to nice semi gloss finish. Feels smooth as silk.
    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


    • #17
      Hey guys,

      A couple days ago I completed the refinish on the neck with tru-oil, and I have to say, I wasnít particularly impressed. It felt sticky, even when I had sanded it down and buffed it. I would probably call this user error, as I am in no way experienced with these things.

      However, upon a little search around my work I found a container of quick drying tung oil. I had read somewhere that tung oil was a preferred finish that hardened better? After a few coats of that and a light sand to test, I was satisfied. It felt just as good, if not better, than my friendís oil finished partscaster. So my next steps are to be patient and let the finish completely dry, then sand it to a semi-gloss.

      Thanks again guys, Iím certainly more of a guitar player than a guitar luthier, so I am grateful for the information youíve given me. I have learnt a lot!


      • #18
        The oil finishes are not the sort of products that "dry" overnight. More like they just firm up. The actual cure time is LOOOOONG. Tung oiled necks feel a little sticky and weird for a month or so in my experience. I remember being worried about it too the first time I used it, but it worked out great in the end.

        You've actually made another error by applying the fast dry tung oil over the slower drying true oil. In order to make the tung oil "fast" there are added synthetic polymers that are more volatile than the longer oils. By putting a fast dry product over a slow dry product you've created a surface skin that will further slow the cure time of whatever true oil remains in the wood. But don't worry. Without a high surface build there can't be any sort of visible finish failure and it WILL dry completely eventually.

        DO NOT attempt to maintain the finish with polishes, lemon oil or anything else for at least three months at this point. Any oil that soaks into the wood will blend with finish that hasn't cured and create a soft, tacky emulsification that will NEVER dry.

        And don't sand the neck to achieve the low sheen. If the neck is shiny after all the oil has soaked in then you have applied too much product or have failed to wipe it off effectively after application. If you have shiny spots you'll now need to let the neck dry completely for at least a month. Then lightly sand to remove surface build. Then apply another coat of oil and wipe completely dry. If you just have a low sheen (NOT GLOSSY SHINY) then you can buff the finish with a fine scotch bright pad after about two weeks. I like the white pads because they're less likely to leave any visible color in the wood grain.

        Be patient!!! You can still play the guitar between steps once any applications are dry to the touch. The neck might not feel ideal yet, but if you're patient and do it right it'll be fine.

        Tip: If you have a maple fingerboard don't buff over the frets much. If you bare down buffing the finger board you'll remove a little metal from the frets. Not enough to mess up the fretwork, but enough to leave a little unsightly gray coloration in the pores of the fingerboard surface. I learned this the hard way so you don't have to.
        "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

        "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

        "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


        • #19
          Just play the damn thing. No one knows from 5 ft away anyway...


          • #20
            Tru-Oil needs weeks to properly cure. The oils react to oxygen rather than drying through solvent evaporation. It goes off quickly, but that's just the first stage in the process.


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