Must read incredible guitar upgrade for no $

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Blue4Now, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    So I love everything about my baja Tele except for the finish on the neck. It's thick and quite frankly feels cheep even thought the neck shape itself is a work of art. So after an hour or so of playing some custom shop tele's at Lark Street this past Sunday I realized how nice those necks felt becuase they were a soft satin, broken in feel. So I went home and got out the scotch brite pad. I first tried the regular one but it would not cut throught the poly so I moved to the heavy duty green one. Well let me tell you after 5 minutes of elbow grease, the neck is spectacular. I did from the bottom of the headstock to the heal following the contours of the heal and I now feel like a Fender Custom Shop builder becuase it turned out so perfect. A nice satin soft fealing neck which feels every bit as good as the custom shop necks I was playing. Just thought I would share.
     
  2. jota

    jota Member

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    And how about the looks? Can you show some photos?
     
  3. delco

    delco Member

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    just from the title of your thread, I like this topic already! Interesting idea and thanks for sharing.:)
     
  4. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I will post some pics but I doubt you can tell a difference from photos. The back of the neck looks like a nice worn satin nitro finish. I took very little of the finish off, just broke that gloss down. Some finish came off becuase you could see it on the scotch brite pad. Becuase these baja necks have some nice tint on them, the satin finish with the tint really looks nice. I was very carefull to to do it evenly and right up to the fretboard edges. I can not believe how nice it turned out and how much better the neck feels.
     
  5. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    I did that to a strat before. The gloss really gets sticky and hinders smooth movement, i just can't get why some folks like it that way. Anyway, i'll do it to every guitar i ever get that has a think glossy finish. Steel wool works well also, that's what i used. The scotch brite is probably better because it won't give off little steel wool 'splinters' that will be attracted to the pickups. It is a messy job but well worth it.
     
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Oiled Maple is my preferred feel, but I can't force myself to peel the painted poly finish off some guitar necks, so I find if they are clean and buffed it helps a bit.
     
  7. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I did both the back of the neck and the fretboard on my USA 57 RI with Scotchbrite, and that made it a LOT more player friendly. I actually wish I'd have taken more off the fretboard. IIRC, that neck is not poly, right? It was super sticky. Oddly, the poly finish on my 69RI Thinline Tele feels just fine all thick and glossy. Go figure.
     
  8. dunara

    dunara Member

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    600 grit wet 'n' dry has always done the job for me on my partsocasters - Baja teles are all very well, but have a good think about the effect on the guitar's resale value before you go doing something irreversable to a valuable instrument. It may be an upgrade to you, but let's just say; 80s, Les Paul Custom, Floyd Rose Tremolo and leave it at that.....:jo
     
  9. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Knocking down a bit of the gloss is completely reversible. Just a bit of elbow grease to get back the shine...a little compound and it's good (and sticky) as new.


    No worries- just don't take it to the wood if you want to get out of it what you put into it at resale.

    J
     
  10. jota

    jota Member

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    I have a '98 LP standard that has the same sticky neck problem. Specialy when I sweet. But I don't want to change it cause I'd loose some of the resale value. And I know that day is coming...
     
  11. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

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    Damn. That's just so wrong on so many levels!
     
  12. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    That's why I had no reservations about doing it to my Baja but I have not yet done it to my AV62 Tele
     
  13. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I think 1200 paper is a much better recipe. You get the satin effect you are looking for, and you remove next to no finish in fact. And it takes much less effort to bring it back up to a high gloss when you are ready to sell.

    If using scrubbies, use the ones equivalent to 000 or 0000 steel wool. They are grey and white in color. The commonplace green ones are kinda overkill, IMO.


    Bubbanov
     
  14. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    I've "gone satin" on the back of my neck for every guitar owned (except just one acoustic) for over two decades now ...I will never stick with gloss again. Except that I prefer the feel of 600 paper ...it is smooth, leaves no marks, and offers me that "soft-yet-slick" feel while still leaving the wood protected. It's definitely a feel thing as you either like it or you don't. But the nice thing (as already mentioned) is that you can polish it back up should you hate it.

    Edward
     
  15. baimun

    baimun Member

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    I've been a long time steel wool advocate... that and I prefer oil finished necks to any other.

    The most important thing is to cover the pickups so any fine "steel wool dust" doesn't make it to the front of the guitar, but you talk about a fast, smooth satin feel.... it doesn't get much better than that! :D

    My other "low bucks" upgrade I do to every guitar is the "Fender Bass String Retainer".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Every guitar I own has a pair of these replacing the normal strap buttons. They're almost IDENTICAL to what PRS uses as their strap buttons. They don't squeek or click like normal strap locks, and they're $3 a piece instead of the $15 or $20 that normal strap locks are.
     
  16. duckbunny

    duckbunny Member

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    I have had this done to all of my F-style necks. The next step is to French- polish the satined back. The feel of a satined, then french-polished neck is just unbelievable. A friend has a 250+ year-old Cello, and it feels just like that.


    -db
     
  17. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Having graduated from a gunky Norlin gloss neck and a sticky thinskin nitro gloss neck, i'm a huge +1 on the satin backed necks. My Kelly Bowery Tele has one, and it's the sweetest feel ever. Plus, the body is a varnish rub, and just feels right.

    That said, I actually don't mind an indestructable Poly once in a while. it's like stainless steel - easy to clean, you wipe it and it's smooth and ready for another session.
     

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