Baja glossy necks..

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by PlayTheBlues, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. PlayTheBlues

    PlayTheBlues NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi all,

    First post here, but i’ve been reading for ages, v useful forum!

    I’m keen to get a tele, and - after trying it - love the sound, neck profile and general feel of the 50s baja. The only thing I don’t like is the gloss finish on the neck! Would this be enough to put you off, or would you just buy it and then sand the neck a little? I’ve read all the threads on how to do this, but still can’t ascertain if i’m crazy buying a guitar in the knowledge that i’ll need to do this. Opinions welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    A light sanding of the back of the neck is no big deal (if you don't care about resale value) and it can make a huge difference.

    I'd say go for it, but do it gradually and take your time. It's easy to get carried away.
     
  3. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sand it all off so that it is smooth and satiny. Do not be afraid.
     
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  4. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Scotch Brite is also a good choice for making that finish more satiny - I've read that here, but never tried it, so $0.02 as we Americans say.

    The Baja is unique in specs; it is the only Tele that uses that soft-V neck (although the Paisley has a slightly deeper soft-V). If you like the feel of the neck, then I would suggest getting it, keeping it a while, then deciding what you want to do. I don't notice the gloss, but that's me.

    I have seen a lot of threads where people do a very light sand / scotch-brite to put a bit of a satin finish on the gloss. You may not need to remove all the poly to make it better.

    Do some searches here and see what others have done.

    Oh - and welcome aboard!
     
  5. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK - scotch-brite may be an American thing? What is the equivalent in western Europe?
     
  6. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    Here in Albion, a sponge scourer.

    I swear by it for all my necks, including my 50s Baja.
     
  7. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    240 grit sandpaper, just to take the shine off. Feels fantastic. And it won't affect resale once you've work it in. In fact, people will love the way it feels.
     
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  8. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Would be sort of ironic if Scotch-brite pads were not available in Edinburgh!

    They come in 9 levels of abrasiveness.

    White (7445), like steel wool 0000
    Gold (7745), like steel wool 000
    Gray (7448), like steel wool 00
    Darker Gray (64660), also like steel wool 00
    Maroon (7447), like steel wool 1
    Red (64659), also like steel wool 1
    Maroon (8447), like steel wool 2
    Gray (7446), like steel wool 3
    Tan (7440), like steel wool 4

    Yes, you could just use steel wool, BUT, the little metal flakes that come off it with use will be attracted to your magnetic pickups. That is the big advantage of the pads. I think I used a gray (7448) or (64660) pad for this purpose on my Cabronita and it worked great.

    https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/119555O/scotch-britetm-hand-finishing-systems-brochure-pdf.pdf
     
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  9. JMac52

    JMac52 TDPRI Member

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    Hmmm... I don't find the neck on my Baja to be any more or less glossy than any of my other guitars. And I've never felt the urge to sand any of them. Maybe I'm missing something...
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Use a finer sandpaper grit ... 800 is a better target. It will make it feel like satin and it will allow you to use polish to bring the shine back if you decide to sell someday. If you use harsh solutions like 'going down to wood' you'll immediately cut the used value in half. People sell guitars all the time that they said they'd never sell so it can be an issue.

    Use masking tape to mark off the regions you don't want made satin. Looks nice with a 'V' on the headstock end of the neck, maybe a nice angled line near the heel, and protect the body. If you do it that way the next buyer may even like the artistic satin neck approach you took and value the guitar more.

    No steel wool as the little shrapnel gets inside your pickups and will short them out. In spite of people saying "I've never had a problem!" they probably sold a guitar to someone like that that later did.

    .
     
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  11. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    I know it's not really what the OP asked, but I have to at least suggest leaving the neck alone. Nitro necks can indeed get sticky when they are glossy and/or new, but those MIM poly coated necks are like hardened smooth glass. I've never once thought it felt sticky.
     
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  12. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

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    Some people prefer the finished necks, some sand off the finish. I fall into that category only because hands stick and making playing more difficult, also I get sweaty hands when I play. Full on clammy hands so I'm able to move up and down the neck and not get stopped by finish. All up to you.
     
  13. Downsman

    Downsman Tele-Meister

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    I got my 50s Baja second hand about 4 years ago. It's been hanging on my wall for the last couple of years unplayed, and I was thinking I'd sell it as it wasn't getting used. Then I picked it up and realised the reason I wasn't playing it was the thick poly on the neck. Felt plasticky and my hands would stick on it. I loved everything else about it.

    So I made a decision to attack it with a sponge scourer. That helped, but it was still pretty thick, so I got some sandpaper and really went for it. Still didn't get down to the wood, but it's so much nicer. Rolled the fretboard a bit while I was at it. Feels amazing. I'm playing it again.

    To be honest, I felt a bit of an idiot for not doing this sooner. I got caught up in that whole "don't do anything to it in case you want to sell it later" thinking. I'd rather have a guitar I enjoy playing now, than one I can sell more easily later.
     
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  14. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

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    well, as an owner I can say this... I hate glossy necks, so so so so SOOOOOOO much, but its my favorite guitar of all time. glossy neck included. I do often think about it being satin'ized, but not sure I trust myself to do it and risk what's already a great guitar.

    so I guess that's a long winded way to say, I think you'll probably get used to it and not care much after a bit. and like everyone said, if it drives you crazy then its easy enough to fix.
     
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  15. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I would just leave it alone and play it for a few weeks and just get used to it.Over the years of owning many guitars I have gotten to the point where I can just adapt to whatever the neck feels like...C,D or V shapes,7.25 vs 9.5.vs 12 radius to small,medium or large frets.I own guitars with all these including some with bare necks(my Roadworn Fenders that have no finish on the back)and others with Nitro or Poly finished necks...I enjoy them all for what they are and have no desire to mess around with them.
     
  16. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    My last post got me thinking about sandpaper equivalency. So I found this.

    SCOTCHBRITE GRIT CHART
    3M Scotch Brite Nylon Pads:
    7445 - White pad, called Light Duty Cleansing - (1000) 1200-1500 grit
    7448 - Light Grey, called Ultra Fine Hand - (600-800) 800 grit.
    6448 - Dark Gray, called Ultra Fine - (400-600) 400-600 grit.
    7447 - Maroon pad, called General Purpose Hand - (320-400) 320 grit
    6444 - Brown pad, called Extra Duty Hand - (280-320) 240 grit
    7446 - Dark Grey pad, called Blending Pad (180-220) 150 grit
    7440 - Tan pad, called Heavy Duty Hand Pad - (120-150) 60(?)

    Green Scotch Brite is available EVERYWHERE. It's 600 grit.
    Blue Scotch-Brite is considered to be about 1000 grit.
    (The value inside the parentheses is directly from 3M.)
    3M Chart
    Less Aggressive --------> More Aggressive
    7445 7448 6448 7447 6444 7446 7440
    Finer Finish --------> Coarser Finish


    If you use something along the lines of 800 grit sandpaper you won't take off any measurable amount of the poly, it will just feel a bit more satiny. And after a while, it will go back to feeling like it did before and you'll have to do it again. So there is really no downside.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    I'm another one. I always thought I hated gloss necks... until I got a Baja. The comfort made me forget my prejudice against gloss necks completely. Of course, YMMV.
     
  18. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

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    exactly. I only think about not liking the gloss when I'm not playing it. lol. when im riffin, don't care a bit about the finish.
     
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  19. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    New finishes are almost always sticky. If you like it just get it and play the thing! It will be no time before you have a glossy neck that is also silky smooth. Even my Gibson SG had a tacky glossy finish when it was new.

    If you must take the gloss off, DO NOT use sand paper any more aggressive than 800 grit wet sand. I wouldn't even do that, I'd go very gently with 0000 steel wool just until you're happy. As you play, that will turn glossy again anyway, but in the good way.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't let the stock finish bother me, and I have "a few" of these Bajas.

    If I was going to rework it, I would do something that sounds nonsensical. Don't use sandpaper. Instead, start with the finer polishing compounds - then try the neck. Still too glossy? Go one grade less fine on the polishing compound, try again. Continue along this trend only as far as necessary and stop before you think you should. You're doing what guitar finishers do often, just in reverse order. In this way you avoid those big gross scratches you will surely get if you attack the finish even with 1,000 or 1,200 grit papers.
     
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