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How to properly sand down the neck of a guitar

caspersvapors

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,496
while preserving the integrity of the neck?

Anybody know the secret?

I am interested in doing this on my Baja Tele. Im not looking to re-shape the neck, just want to get rid of the finish to reduce the stickiness. Ive been reading all kinds of conflicting things. Some people think that in the long run, sanding down the neck will eventually lead to problems with the neck warping. Some guys use sand paper, some guys use steel wool.:bonk

Can any of you guys who build guitars or have been sanding down necks for years confirm how to do this the right way?
 
Messages
2,431
I'd use a non-aggressive Scotch Brite pad. It doesn't have to be down to the bare wood. Just enough to make the neck more playable.
 

archey

Member
Messages
6,473
When I shape a neck I use a rasp and an orbital sander. If you used steel wool you would sand the rest of your life and not make a dent in it! I really wouldn't recommend doing this unless (A) you have woodworking experience. And (B) you wouldn't be upset if you jack it up.
 

LoopyBullet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,115
while preserving the integrity of the neck?

Anybody know the secret?

I am interested in doing this on my Baja Tele. Im not looking to re-shape the neck, just want to get rid of the finish to reduce the stickiness. Ive been reading all kinds of conflicting things. Some people think that in the long run, sanding down the neck will eventually lead to problems with the neck warping. Some guys use sand paper, some guys use steel wool.:bonk

Can any of you guys who build guitars or have been sanding down necks for years confirm how to do this the right way?

Problem with the Baja is that, I think, it's polyester. Not even polyurethane, but polyester which is like...thick plastic.

You might want to leave it as is. Nitro is difficult enough to get right and give a smooth transition rather than a lacquer "cliff" on the edges of the sanding. It's your guitar though!
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,314
I'd use a non-aggressive Scotch Brite pad. It doesn't have to be down to the bare wood. Just enough to make the neck more playable.


+1.

If you aren't wanting to refinish or reshape the neck and are just wanting to knock off the gloss, a Scotch Brite pad is all you need.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,484
I've used 0000 steel wool.. VERY lightly... if you just want to break the gloss. Beware steel wool will get all over your pickups....
 

archey

Member
Messages
6,473
Whoops. I'm slow on the intake. I thought you were saying you wanted to actually reshape the neck.
 

caspersvapors

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,496
Problem with the Baja is that, I think, it's polyester. Not even polyurethane, but polyester which is like...thick plastic.

You might want to leave it as is. Nitro is difficult enough to get right and give a smooth transition rather than a lacquer "cliff" on the edges of the sanding. It's your guitar though!

according to this the neck finish is urethane and the body is polyester

http://www.fender.com/guitars/telecaster/classic-player-baja-telecaster/product-014150.html
 

GA20T

Member
Messages
4,794
Yeah, just knock the shine off of it and you'll not only keep your color, but it can be buffed back to a shine if you need/want when it's time to sell.

800 or 1000 grit automotive wet/dry paper will work too , and you can address any sharp fret ends at the same time. Sometimes cutting the shine can create a "staticky" feel or even a squeakiness, but I always hit it with either carnuba wax (Mother's polish), or tru-oil actually works nicely to bring a more natural lustre back without the stickiness, probably my favourite method.
 

caspersvapors

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,496
We talkin about these heavy duty ones?

130010662.jpg
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,310
The greenie would work. I prefer to use fine sandpaper and keep going in long even strokes until the dust isn't white anymore. Then a light seal with lemon oil or Tung oil.
 

ggwwbb

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,876
I used 800 grit on the back of all of mine, but Scotch-Brite will work well too.
 




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