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Thread: Fender neck repair

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    Fender neck repair

    Hey,
    Last week I decided I wanted to sand down the neck on my strat, however, half way through doing it I decided I wouldnít overdo it. So I stopped but a few days later I noticed a spot getting dirtier, clearly where bare wood is exposed, now that patch is discoloured. I was wondering if anyone knew how to restore the colour and seal the wood?

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    Fender neck regret

    Last week I decided I was going to sand down my neck on my strat. Half way through I stopped as to not overdo it. A few days later I noticed discolouration on a big patch on the back of the neck where the wood is obviously bare. Does anyone know how to cover up/ restore the big discoloured patch on the back of my fender neck? Thanks

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    Supporting Member TomCarlos's Avatar
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    How about Gun Stock Finish (followed by GS Wax) or Minwax Tung Oil Finish? Take a look at this video. Guitar Neck Refinishing : Ibanez RG270 Project

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    What Tom said^^^. Also, what's the source of the discoloration? Is the finish removed from everywhere on the neck, and a patch of dark who-knows-what appeared?

    Also, it's not necessary to post the same question in multiple categories. Those interested in your topic will see it well enough with just one posting. If it's miscategorized a friendly mod will move it where it belongs.

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    Supporting Member Randall's Avatar
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    This is a Guitar Amp repair forum. Perhaps the Guitar Tech forum is where you need to be.

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    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    This is a Guitar Amp repair forum. Perhaps the Guitar Tech forum is where you need to be.
    Dan posted here and there. We'll carry on in the Guitar Tech corner & let this sink into oblivion.

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Last week I decided I was going to sand down my neck on my strat. Half way through I stopped as to not overdo it. A few days later I noticed discolouration on a big patch on the back of the neck where the wood is obviously bare. Does anyone know how to cover up/ restore the big discoloured patch on the back of my fender neck? Thanks
    At the cabinet shop before we stain stuff if it has gotten water on it , it shows as dark spots when stained. You removed the sealer which allows body oils to get into the wood. To remove it it must be sanded out then sealed.
    We use fine grit to close the grain and medium grit to open the grain to accept stains.

    nosaj

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    If you were being careful not to over do it, as stated, then you probably still have lee way to sand out the discoloration. It won't be very deep. After that you can apply anything you want to protect it. Gun stock finish, tung oil, nitro lacquer or even a urethane type product, etc. My approach would be to sand the finish and discoloration off the entire back of the neck and then use something like tung oil, teak oil, etc. Most gun stock oil finishes are just some variant of these two, often with added polymers, natural or otherwise. Though gun stock guys get all gooey about natural products too. So most of those products cater to that. Tru Oil gun stock finish has a good reputation here. I haven't used it but I trust the word of members that have and the photos look great. Watco oil finish is basically tung oil and is now a Deft product since they purchased the company some years ago. I trust Deft products more than most because they perform for me on a daily basis in my profession. Watco also has a good rep here.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    If you were being careful not to over do it, as stated, then you probably still have lee way to sand out the discoloration. It won't be very deep. After that you can apply anything you want to protect it. Gun stock finish, tung oil, nitro lacquer or even a urethane type product, etc. My approach would be to sand the finish and discoloration off the entire back of the neck and then use something like tung oil, teak oil, etc. Most gun stock oil finishes are just some variant of these two, often with added polymers, natural or otherwise. Though gun stock guys get all gooey about natural products too. So most of those products cater to that. Tru Oil gun stock finish has a good reputation here. I haven't used it but I trust the word of members that have and the photos look great. Watco oil finish is basically tung oil and is now a Deft product since they purchased the company some years ago. I trust Deft products more than most because they perform for me on a daily basis in my profession. Watco also has a good rep here.
    Thanks guys,
    Sorry Iím a bit new to the forum stuff. Iím going to follow your guysí advice, Iíll sand the finish off the whole back of the neck then apply some tru oil and gun stock Wax. This will also act as an upgrade in some ways as I have considered removing the thick poly off the back of the neck for quite some time now and I have played necks in the past with oil finishes and really loved them.

    Thanks again

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I have considered removing the thick poly off the back of the neck for quite some time now and I have played necks in the past with oil finishes and really loved them.
    Going back a ways... 1976 I removed a thick lacquer finish from my Guild Polara ('64-65?) then treated the mahogany neck with tung oil, to the point of refusal. Maybe it was the tung available at the time, maybe I should have thinned it, maybe shouldn't have globbed it on so thick, who knows - it took forever to dry. I mean years. Every time I took the guitar out of its case there was orange fuzz stuck to the neck. But there came a point when it started to behave itself and wow does it feel good! Everybody loves that neck. The ol' Polara is my humbuckin' test guitar, constantly in use when auditioning amps during & after repair.

    Hope yours turns out terrific!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Going back a ways... 1976 I removed a thick lacquer finish from my Guild Polara ('64-65?) then treated the mahogany neck with tung oil, to the point of refusal. Maybe it was the tung available at the time, maybe I should have thinned it, maybe shouldn't have globbed it on so thick, who knows - it took forever to dry. I mean years. Every time I took the guitar out of its case there was orange fuzz stuck to the neck. But there came a point when it started to behave itself and wow does it feel good! Everybody loves that neck. The ol' Polara is my humbuckin' test guitar, constantly in use when auditioning amps during & after repair.

    Hope yours turns out terrific!
    I think you can get fast drying tung oils now. From what I hear the tru oil I got dries overnight so I shouldnít have a problem. And no doubt itíll feel better than the horrible, thick plastic fender put on their necks now. Donít understand why fender doesnít use an oil finish or cellulose like they used to.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Don’t understand why fender doesn’t use an oil finish or cellulose like they used to.
    It was nitro, for decades. Even when California gave 'em a hard time, Fender shipped their bodies & necks to Mexico, to be nitro sprayed (meanwhile the fumes cross the border back this way... well some of the time) incurring diesel fuel bills & pollution & cost of driving, loading & unloading besides. I'm not sure what they're up to these days, except scurrying about fast as they can, trying to avoid bankruptcy. Fender's been controlled by the vulture investment guys for quite a while now, and what they're good at is extracting as much cash as they can from the company.

    FWIW there was that period in the late 70's when Fender did have very thick finishes, including such wacky things as spatter-painted strats, CBS's last hurrah, before the insider buyout in the early 80's. Strangely enough the new management turned out "bowling-ball" strats & a couple of teles plus some other strange finishes in the mid 80's.

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    I've been using Tru-oil lately and have had really good results. A body I did ended up a mirror finish with no grain filling required. It's a little soft, though. It takes time to build up a finish. I apply a thin coat in the morning and one at night - it dries in no time but I leave three weeks before handling or applying wax to allow it to fully cure. I previously used Danish oil with the addition of terebene drier but Tru-oil gives a better finish. I use Koenig stains to colour-match sanded areas. Another favourite finish I use is melamine lacquer which I use to interface with poly finishes. It doesn't melt-in like cellulose-on-cellulose but on (say) the back of a neck it does a good job.

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    also, my neck has a slight tint to it, although it is very subtle. Would it be worth getting an amber stain or something or would the tru oil create a tinted wood appearance.

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    True oil does slightly tint, but not much. It goes a little darker than the wood does when wet. I usually have to do some staining to match an existing finish. Apply a wet finger to your neck and see what the colour change would be with just the oil.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    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.

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    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!

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    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.

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    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Just play the damn thing. No one knows from 5 ft away anyway...

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    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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