How to properly sand down the neck of a guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by caspersvapors, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    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?
     
  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    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.
     
  3. archey

    archey Member

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    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.
     
  4. LoopyBullet

    LoopyBullet Supporting Member

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    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!
     
  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    +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.
     
  6. geodr

    geodr Member

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    Maybe buy a cheapie and practice first
     
  7. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    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....
     
  8. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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  9. archey

    archey Member

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    Whoops. I'm slow on the intake. I thought you were saying you wanted to actually reshape the neck.
     
  10. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    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
     
  11. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    do you have to do any treatment to the wood when using this kind of approach?
     
  12. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    If you're just removing the gloss but the finish is still there, then usually no. Go down to bare wood and it's a different story.
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    No because you're not supposed to go so aggressively as to cut down to the wood. Just knock off the surface layer of finish.
     
  14. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    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.
     
  15. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    Cool, scotch brite it is!
     
  16. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    We talkin about these heavy duty ones?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  18. ggwwbb

    ggwwbb Member

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    I used 800 grit on the back of all of mine, but Scotch-Brite will work well too.
     
  19. shovelhead82

    shovelhead82 Member

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    Be sure to use a very light grit Scotch Brite. I have used 3m polishing compound with good results.
     

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