Getting a feel like the Ernie Ball necks

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by buddastrat, Feb 4, 2008.


  1. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I just tru-oiled my USA neck. I used my fingers on the first coat and rubbed it in. Let dry for a few hours and steel wooled lightly. I put a 2nd coat on with a paper towel, maybe a little thick, but I wiped it off excess after a few minutes. Next day, I notice a lot of imperfections where some parts look shiny and some look like there's no oil, uneven. I haven't steel wooled yet.

    It seems a little glossy compared to the Ernie Balls. I was thinking of trying the stock sheen conditioner from Birchwood Casey. Anyone try that? E.B. supposedly just uses one coat of the oil and then the B.C. wax. I didn't think two coats of oil would be too much. I'm wondering if I put too many coats on or the oil takes longer to cure. I don't want a real glossy neck so i don't want too many coats. Anyone use the stock sheen conditioner?
     
  2. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    I know many people like Tru-Oil, and that's cool. I have used it and find that the finish builds up quickly and looks too glossy for my taste. I much prefer other oils for both gunstocks and guitars. Consider tung, boiled linseed, or teak oil. You can buff the finish to be satiny, but it will not be glossy. It really depends on your personal preference. By the way, the really high end shotguns you see with an oil finish are usually not finished with Tru-Oil.
     
  3. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Well I figure the gloss can be buffed down. I don't know anything about the gun stuff, but Ernie Balls and old Charvels always had the best feelin' necks so I figure I'd use the same.

    I didn't have good luck with tung oil. It never seemed to cure well when I used it. Always had a little tack to it.
     
  4. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    I've been wanting to refinish my necks to get taht slick feel too. Some people have said Tru Oil, but I'm wondering what you guys think. Should you just go with gunstock oil?
     
  5. GBStratman

    GBStratman Member

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    Pure tung oil, like pure linseed oil, will never truly harden (technically polymerize). You can build up a finish with them, but in woodworking, most people will mix them with something that does polymerize. I can't tell from the Tru-Oil MSDS what else is in it. It just says "modified oil" <33%, which could mean anything. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a polymerizing oil. FYI, most of Tru-Oil is mineral spirits.

    Although I've never finished a guitar neck, a great recipe that gives you a smooth, satiny finish on furniture was devised by the woodworker Peter Korn. His recipe is 1 part tung oil, 1 part waterlox, 1 part mineral spirits.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I buffed it out with steel wool. I like the tru oil because it dries fast. It's totally dry from last night. The steel wool took off the shine and if feels real satin smooth now. Too smooth, it feels like glass.

    Still doesn't feel like the Ernie Balls. Anyone have a suggestion on what I could do? Where I think I screwed up is putting too much on. I read where someone watched them apply it at the factory and all they do is put some on and immediately wipe it off and then do the same for wax. That's it, one fast thin coat of each! I screwed up and put too much coating on it and it started to give it a deep, gloss which is what I did not want.

    I still want it to feel a little less satin like right now. Should I just rough it up with some 220 grit?
     
  7. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    EBMM leaves the oil on only very briefly, then removes excess with paper towels, then buffs. Then repeats procedure with the wax. I replenish my MM necks this same way once a year or so, works great. By briefly I mean only 30 seconds or so.
     
  8. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Use some 0000 steel wool evenly on the whole neck. Maybe even start with 000 before going to 0000. Then if you apply it again, don't let the oil dry on it next time. It sounds as though you left it on too long and it built up in certain areas.
     
  9. southpawmax

    southpawmax Member

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    The Ernie Ball FAQ has a little thing on the finish on their necks if I recall correctly.
     

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