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Ryder1234
06-26-2009, 08:24 PM
I have an old neck that I'm hoping to use on one of my project guitars. I had previously refinished it by putting lacquer over it, before I learned about proper guitar care. It's sanded now, but it also shouldn't be rough like it is. My question is: what would be the best thing to finish it with? Is it ok to put lacquer on it?

brothadave79
06-26-2009, 08:33 PM
I have an old neck that I'm hoping to use on one of my project guitars. I had previously refinished it by putting varnish over it, before I learned about proper guitar care. It's sanded now, but it also shouldn't be rough like it is. My question is: what would be the best thing to finish it with? Is it ok to put varnish on it?

I never built a guitar, but I wouldn't use varnish. Varnish is rather thick - good for guitar bodies but not for necks. I would use a spray-on lacquer instead. If you REALLY want to go the varnish route, a wiping varnish may be better. I would avoid it altogether though.

Ryder1234
06-26-2009, 08:47 PM
Sorry - I actually meant to say lacquer, but kinda zoned out while typing. Don't know why I said varnish but either way I meant to say lacquer. Thanks though, still answered what I originally meant to ask :) I'll edit.

Hypno Toad
06-26-2009, 09:19 PM
If you want it to be shiny and reflective, go for a spray on laquer. I find a nice "Watco" spray lacquer to work well.

But, if you want the neck to be incredibly smooth to the touch, with a more phong-y sort of look to it, then I would apply a few coats of danish oil, then do 2-3 wet-sandings with danish oil, and it will be as smooth as a baby's bottom.

But since the neck was already finished, I think you coulda just used some polish or wax instead of taking off the previous finish.


Also, is this the entire neck, or just the fretboard? If it's only the fretboard, don't use lacquer, and stick to the danish oil, you get a lot more control when applying oil.

Ryder1234
06-26-2009, 09:29 PM
It's just the fret board. If I want to do the back and such that isn't a problem to me.

The reason I took the finish off is because When the guitar was new, I decided to refinish it, and i had to put something on the fretboard since it wasnt in good condition.

My problem is there's frets on it. can i still do the oil/wet sanding with them on? or should i take them off and get new frets, if so how would i remove them?. what prep should i do for the oil?

Hypno Toad
06-26-2009, 09:54 PM
The only thing you need to do before oiling is a light sanding. Try not to wear down the fretboard, for obvious reasons..

Make sure you use danish oil, and not some other kind.

Ryder1234
06-26-2009, 10:20 PM
Alright, I'm set then, how much would the oil cost? where can I buy it?

I put a bit of black paint in the rout for the truss rod, looks kinda classy now :p

EDIT: this wouldn't work would it? not danish oil but just in case it might work cause i have some:
http://www.howardproducts.com/feednwax.htm

Hypno Toad
06-27-2009, 02:36 AM
I'll give you some more detailed instructions:

- Buy danish oil, and silicon carbide sandpaper (grit of 320 or higher) it's pretty standard at placed like Rona and Home Depot.

- You get a disposable cloth, and a bunch of paper towels.

- Once the neck is ready (being fret-less would make it easier, but don't take them off unless you already did) take the danish oil, and apply a small ammount to the cloth. Wipe the oiled cloth along the fretboard until it has penetrated the entire top surface of the fretboard.

- After applying the oil, wipe off any excess oil with the paper towels. Let dry for 10-15 minutes before you apply any more (it wont be rock hard dry, but it will be dry enough for more coats).

- If the surface of the fretboard is rough after the first coat, do a very light sanding to smooth it out a bit.

- Apply more oil in the same method as before.

-After 2 coats of oil, get the silicon carbide sandpaper, and cut out 1/4 of a sheet. Apply some oil to the silicon carbide sandpaper, and begin "wet sanding" the fretboard. Don't do it so hard that you wear down the wood. Wipe off excess oil and residue crap, and let dry for 10 -15 minutes.

- Apply anywhere from 2 -4 wet sanding coats, and the fretboard should be incredibly smooth and should have a nice phong-shine to it. Let it dry for at least a day or two before playing it.


Got all that? :p


If the neck still has frets on it, I would recommend leaving out the wet sanding part, as it will be sort of a waste of time.

_Lost_
06-27-2009, 09:53 AM
fuckin A! you put lacquer on the fret board?

I'm betting after all that sanding you may want to re-fret it. otherwise it might not be very playable if they've gotten worn down. how old is the neck?

lol. haven't we had past conversations about proper fret board care? lolol. :p

Ryder1234
06-27-2009, 11:09 AM
I got all that Hypno. I'm looking at the frets and thinking I'll probably have to re fret it. So I guess that's what I'll do.

And yes Karin, we have had this talk before :p. And yes, my RG still has dead skin/sweat buildup on the fretboard :p

How would I take the frets off? I've heard that you heat it up and then pry them out with some sort of pliers, wire cutters etc.?

Olive
06-27-2009, 11:24 AM
It's just the fret board. If I want to do the back and such that isn't a problem to me.

The reason I took the finish off is because When the guitar was new, I decided to refinish it, and i had to put something on the fretboard since it wasnt in good condition.

My problem is there's frets on it. can i still do the oil/wet sanding with them on? or should i take them off and get new frets, if so how would i remove them?. what prep should i do for the oil?

Hockey is gay.

Ryder1234
06-27-2009, 11:27 AM
Lol nah .

Ryder1234
06-27-2009, 11:36 AM
Hypno, it'd be this stuff right?
http://rona.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/rona/showproduct.jsp?link=/img/product/full/80455288.jpg&closingWidth=480&width=500&lang=/img/en_US&langId=-1&height=500

and the sand paper is black with the blue back?

How would I take the frets off? I've heard that you heat it up and then pry them out with some sort of pliers, wire cutters etc.?

Ryder1234
06-27-2009, 07:20 PM
I picked up some danish oil (not the one in the picture though), and some sandpaper. I don't know if it's silicon carbide though, they didn't have a high enough grit of it but i found this stuff that looked exactly like it, and is waterproof. so either its just unlabeled or it some other type, but it should do. it's 600 grit. i also picked up these for taking out the old frets, as i read its the best thing and I was already able to get 3 frets out (without any heating), although it was pretty difficult. but i was actually able to, so when they're heated it'll be easy.

Hypno Toad
06-28-2009, 04:23 AM
remember, go easy on the sanding. Since it's the fretboard, you gotta be careful with it.

Also, re-fretting is a bitch, make sure to find a tutorial so you do it right. Don't talk to me about un-fretting, because I have no idea, all I do is add the frets, not take em off.

For future reference, cleaning the fretboard may have been better if you jusy want to get rid of junk on the surface, but a nice smooth oil finish is great, anyways. It's really easy on the fingers.

Hypno Toad
06-28-2009, 08:20 PM
Here, I just oiled the rosewood fretboard on my WIP-Super-Telecaster (1 applied coat, 2 coats wetsanding):

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2367/image416j.jpg (http://img4.imageshack.us/i/image416j.jpg/)

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/379/image419m.jpg (http://img10.imageshack.us/i/image419m.jpg/)


Gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Ryder1234
06-29-2009, 01:40 PM
nice. im just taking of the frets right now. i've gotten most of them of with no heating, and barely any chipping

Hypno Toad
06-29-2009, 01:59 PM
nice. im just taking of the frets right now. i've gotten most of them of with no heating, and barely any chipping

Yeah, most fret's aren't glued in. Getting out shouldn't be the hard part, though ;D

When you're hammering frets later on, use a plastic faced hammer (http://www.toolnet.co.za/images/38459.jpg), and be sure to tap in the edges of the fret wire first, and then move into the center.

Here, just look at this before hammering.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Fretting_tools:_Fret_installation/1/Fretting_Hammer/Articles.html#details

You don't need to have one of those neck rests, but it'd probably help alot. If you have a jigsaw or something at home, you may be able to make yourself a little rig or something. or you could just improvise.

I shouldn't be telling you this, but I didn't have a brass/plastic faced hammer, so I just tied a cloth around the hitting head of a regular one, made the impacts hard, but not sharp and damaging. Probably not the best thing to do, but it didn't cause any damage.

Ryder1234
06-29-2009, 02:05 PM
Cool, i book marked it.

think i'd be able to buy fret wire at long and mqcuade or something? or maybe they could order it into the store? or would i have to order it from the internet?

gonna go look at pricing

Hypno Toad
06-29-2009, 06:38 PM
It just got mine at a generic music store. The stuff is dirt cheap.

Ryder1234
06-29-2009, 06:40 PM
alright.

well i got off all the frets and im gonna go start oiling it now

edit: my mom says to wait till my dads home cause she was like "omg, it has linseed oil in it youre gonna burn the house down!" and i was like "yeah, thats why im doing it outside" and now she doesnt want it in the house

edit2: the lids on crooked and its not coming off so we might have to go get a new can tomorrow

Ryder1234
06-29-2009, 07:18 PM
It's lookin good so far. got about 10 mintues until the second coat.

it's not gonna be perfect but if people bring up the flaws i'll just tell them i made it myself haha

Hypno Toad
06-29-2009, 08:26 PM
Just figured I may as well show you the fretting job I just finished ;)

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/4586/image421b.jpg (http://img34.imageshack.us/i/image421b.jpg/)

Ryder1234
06-29-2009, 10:26 PM
nice. how do you clip the frets and such down to the edge of the fret board and get all that perfect and stuff?

does it watter what size fret wire i buy? and how many feet

Hypno Toad
06-30-2009, 12:12 AM
nice. how do you clip the frets and such down to the edge of the fret board and get all that perfect and stuff?

does it watter what size fret wire i buy? and how many feet

Buy more than you need, the more, the better.

Also, you basically just tap in the edges with your plastic faced hammer first (it's really just tapping, they stay in by themselves) Hold one edge down before tapping in another. Once you have both sides in, tap the middle areas a few times. basically, if you look from the string direction at the fret, and you don't see it's "spine" (the flat part that gets tapped in) then you did fine. basically the entire thing should hug right against the contour of the fretboard.

After hammering your frets in, you will have to file the sharp edge. Try to avoid nicking the wood while doing this.

If you want to take more of a gamble for better results, you can take a piece of emery cloth (http://www.deltaonelapidary.com/photos/39710271%5B1%5D.jpg) put it over a small block of wood, and then run it down the sides of the fretboard. It allows you to do more even filing on the ends of the frets, but it has a higher chance of scratching the finish on the rest of the neck. I did it today, and I'm happy with the results. Just make sure you do another wetsanding on the side of the fretboard afterward, to remove scratches. (^ but you will still have to do filing first)

Also, after clipping the fret wire, be careful, I gave myself some deep cuts today from the edges of the rough cut fret wire. If you are cutting them with wire cutters, there's a good chance they will be sharp.


I have a question for you, too. I notice you have one of those plastic strips at the edge of your fretboard. is that stuck there, or can it be unscrewed?

Ryder1234
06-30-2009, 01:05 PM
Like, on my RG? cause there isn't one on the one I'm refinishing.

Either way, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, it can't be removed. It's binding, and they actually rout out a bit of the edge of the neck to put it on. I was reading that it's much more difficult to re-fret them because you have to cut the frets exactly to the size they need to be to fit in between the bindings.

This is what you're talking about?

http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/images/necks/neck_with_binding4.jpg