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I want to remove the finish on my LP neck. How?

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
9,629
I have a '94 LP Studio that I want to get the neck down to bare wood. I tried steel wool a few times and it didn't really get through the top coat good enough. Are these poly or nitro finishes? What's a better method and once done what do I need to do to maintain the neck? I don't like how sticky it can get after playing for a few hours.
 

simonm

Member
Messages
1,073
it's prolly poly (sorry, couldn't resist) :D
I would persevere with the steel wool, take it slow and try to do it evenly up and down the neck, anything more drastic and you could get gouges or mess it up. If you're impatient, you could use 600, then 800 grit abrasive paper and back up to 1000 to smooth it out, but it can be tricky sanding evenly on a curve; for super smooth feel you could even go to 2000 or 3000 after you clear the finish. You could seal it afterwards with Tru-Oil.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,420
I have a '94 LP Studio that I want to get the neck down to bare wood. I tried steel wool a few times and it didn't really get through the top coat good enough. Are these poly or nitro finishes? What's a better method and once done what do I need to do to maintain the neck? I don't like how sticky it can get after playing for a few hours.
To answer your question, if it's a genuine Gibson it's nitro. If you really want to get the finish off, get yourself some sand paper in several grits, start sanding with 400, and move your way up to 600, 800, 1200 and finally 2000. Once you get the finish off with 400 (and you can try a little acetone to help there) you should spend about 10 min with each grit.

Disclaimer: you may regret this, but it sounds like you already started.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,836
If it's a Gibson, it's nitrocellulose lacquer. If it's any other brand, most likely poly.
I used sandpaper to take the finish off the back of my Strat neck. Started with 800 grit, I believe, and worked my way to 4000 grit.
For my Tele, I used a heat gun and chipped the thick poly off the back of the neck, then sanded it to make it really smooth. That method got the thick, plastic feeling poly off the neck much quicker than just sanding it off. I was happy with the results both times, and didn't do anything else to it. Just left it bare wood, and played it.
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,208
Keep you hands clean and clean the back of the neck often with Virtuoso Cleaner(not polish).
Sticky will be gone.
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,721
I have a '94 LP Studio that I want to get the neck down to bare wood. I tried steel wool a few times and it didn't really get through the top coat good enough. Are these poly or nitro finishes? What's a better method and once done what do I need to do to maintain the neck? I don't like how sticky it can get after playing for a few hours.
i use this on furniture


i'd be surprised if it didn't work
 

Last

Member
Messages
4,279
If you truly want to completly remove the finish you'll want to chem strip it.

Doing a complete refin photo.

 

PixMix

Member
Messages
2,327
Remove lacquer = acetone + 2 old T shirts
Fill your pickups with junk = steel wool.
For everything else there's Maste... you all know that.
 

paulbearer

Member
Messages
5,499
Scrape back and forth with a single edge razor blade. You'll see quick progress as the finish curls off. Easy work. Rub the bare wood down with Wood hardener for a sweet neck.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
if the neck remains unfinished AND unwaxed (untreated), would that be OK for thee wood (e.g. moisture)? Or do you necessarily have to seal it? I may try this on one of my guitars. I think bare wood will just feel a lot better than any finish (poly, nitro, whatever...)
 






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