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Help, I over-sanded my neck.

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by spencer, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. spencer

    spencer TDPRI Member

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    I think I screwed up.

    I decided I wanted to de-gloss the finish on a guitar neck, get a kind of satin finish. I grabbed a fresh Scotch Brite-style pad and went to work on the neck, just to see how it would go. What's the worst that could happen, right?

    It looked OK while I was doing it however, when I wiped away the excess material, it seems like I partially sanded the finish down to the bare wood near the "cowboy chords" area.

    I was surprised, I thought I couldn't do this much damage with a kitchen pad, but there you go. I can only guess the finish was already much thinner in that spot.

    So, where to from here?

    Should I buy some proper 1500 grit sandpaper and keep going on the rest of the neck to try and get things looking even?

    Or is there a way to do a "spot repair" myself on those bits which were over-sanded (note, as should now have been obvious, I am not an expert in this area)?

    Help and advice appreciated.

    IMG_8390.JPG IMG_2742.JPG
     
  2. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Do you know what the neck was originally finished with ? One possibility would be to apply a VERY thin coat of tru_oil in the bare area. A second option might be the same but with a wipe on poly, again, use a very light coat........
     
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  3. spencer

    spencer TDPRI Member

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    It definitely would originally have been nitro but I can't rule out that it was refinished/oversprayed with poly at some point.

    For an old neck, it was super glossy before, which is how I ended up in this situation...
     
  4. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    If it is nitro you can wipe it down with acetone and refinish. it will be pretty tough to just finish that part and have it blend in.
     
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  5. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    If it is nitro it will melt into itself so just wipe down with naptha before applying more. Acetone will mess the remaining lacquer around it up. If you want to remove it all acetone is your ticket.

    Just so you know, spot applying nitro will often give witness lines where old and new meet if you try for much of a gloss.

    Eric
     
  6. spencer

    spencer TDPRI Member

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    Just to check, would this be aerosol nitro?

    Am I right in thinking I could tape off/cover the areas which are untouched (which is most of the neck), spray some lightly-tinted nitro on the affected area and gently sand it back to get an approximately even finish?

    How long will I have to leave it to dry before sanding?
     
  7. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    Nitro pray cans from reputable like Behelms or mohawk would work. Not a fan of stews.

    You can tape off as stated but you will likely have some slight variation compared to area around.

    As far as drying. Put on 3 pass light coats. If you go heavy prepare to wait significantly. Do an hour a part on light ones and you will be good. The last 1-2 you can put on heavy. Shoot the same thing on a small spare scrap & donate fingernail test to see when ready. I would check it after a couple days. If with a little pressure your nail doesn't leave a mark it is ready.

    Eric
     
  8. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    you'll never make that look better than it does now with a finish repair job -
    you could take the finish off the playing surface on the back of the neck right up to where the bevels begin under 15th fret like they do in some relic jobs.
    make sure you go through the grits up to around 1200 or even 1500 - then 3 or 4 coats of danish oil or wiping varnish
    nice slick feel too

    just another approach
     
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  9. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    It's a shame if it's a vintage or expensive neck but IMO I would leave it now. I have a Mexican 69 Thinline neck that I slightly reshaped into a barely noticeable V. The rest of the guitar is long gone but I still have/love that neck. At the time it was a test & I've never done anything to it other than the initial sanding.

    No oil, no sealer, no stain, no lacquer, no "protection" of any kind. Just bare wood. Been like 15-ish years with no issues.
     
  10. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    I agree.

    I did the same with the neck of my SG Special Faded with superfine sandpaper. In my case, it was intentional. A guitar stand had burned a hole in the nitro. I thought, fine, let's relic it. I never liked the feel anyway. Came out great and I love the feel of it now.

    I never bothered oiling or varnishing it, though. I figured the best oil would be sweat. It was meant to relic it after all. :D
     
  11. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd be tempted to leave it as long as it feels OK when you play. It'll be v difficult to match or blend in and your natural skin oils will give the wood some protection.
     
  12. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'm sorry, I think I missed te part about why you've decided to not finish the neck "ware" blending the rub out into offending undesirable low area, a fade so there will be no readily apparent lines. could you finish rubbing the neck out and light wipe on neutral colored oil used on necks.
    I prefer almost naked neck finished, smooth and slick, but the I like maple necks and maple fingerboards neck.jpg neck.jpg .
     
  13. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    It doesn't look like you've hurt anything :).

    The "kitchen" scotch-brights are usually the green ones, and brand new ones are pretty abrasive. Among the abrasive pads I consider them a "medium grit".

    If you decide to add some protective finish, a "wipe-on" might be a good choice. No masking off or worries about over-spray.
     
  14. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    My buddy Alan is an Engineer in a Mill, with hands like Rasps. All his guitar necks look like that.…..

    :)
     
  15. oopsimeltednitro

    oopsimeltednitro TDPRI Member

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    lol my guitar necks all look like that...i just have my acid hands to blame ;)
     
  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    If it was oversprayed with polyurethane it would not have sanded through so quickly.

    1. Have you read any of the basic finishing instructions on ReRanch or other websites. Or here?

    2. Dry time depends on temperature, humidity, ventilation, coating thickness and the brand used - and you have a problem, as you really need to apply sanding sealer first - then the clear coat. Otherwise you will likely have a really inconsistent gloss, and trying to simply build coats of finish lacquer doesn't work.

    3. No matter WHAT you use each material needs to be applied in VERY thin coats using 3 EXTREMELY thin passes per coat. One coat will not flow out evenly -if it does it' too thick, you have trapped solvents and it may take days, weeks or months to dry. Conventional lacquer dries ONLY by evaporation - their is no "curing"- and trapped solvents take a very long time to evaporate - if ever! Nothing will speed it up - heat will wrinkle the finish.

    4. I suggest staying with conventional lacquers like Mohawk, ReRanch and Behlens. They dry in 30-60 minutes per coat IF applied properly. Be cautious of "lacquer enamels" like Colortone (Stewmac) and Deft - they contain naphtha (or mineral spirits, or petroleum distillates - all slow evaporating paint thinner type solvents) and/or alkyd resin - oil based paint resin - and take between two days to (who knows) to dry. I say (who knows) because thickness is even more critical.

    5. As far as "when will it be dry enough to sand?" - do you mean to reduce the gloss? Or to smooth the finish?

    There should be NO reason to smooth the finish if you've applied it correctly. so practice on scrap until you have perfected your technique. You should be able to buff a few hours after application.

    As far as reducing gloss - don't sand! Apply a satin or flat lacquer - not high gloss - and only use the first and maybe second levels of hard stick buffing compound. Applying a gloss finish and then sanding it to reduce the gloss is a waste of time, materials and money!

    I tried to explain everything clearly, but you should do quite a bit of reading about lacquer application and practice over and over on scrap. To get it consistent I'd sand the rest of the finish off the back, apply sanding sealer, sand smooth - then apply at least 6-12 very thin clear coats. Lacquer's dry film thickness is a tiny fraction of something like spray paint, and those who apply only a few coats of clear usually find themselves wearing through it very quickly just through playing - and it will be VERY suceptible to damage from light bumps and scrapes.

    Don't try to learn on your guitar, and it's apparent you don't have a lot of finishing experience. Practice, practice, practice!

    Good luck!
     
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Sorry, I missed this.


    NO! It will never blend in evenly, and lacquer goes on SO thin you can't "sand it back" to the same level. You'll also have a cloudy blob where the new lacquer melted into the original material and the pigments and resins blended in a blurry line. Anyone with minimal lacquer experience would be aware of this, so again - you have quite a bit of study to do before you do *anything*....and then practice what you think will work by recreating the situation.
     
  18. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    maybe some thin shellac on the whiter spots wiped on carefully with your finger in some rag... if you're arty enough you should blend the yellowing a bit, any mistakes wipe off with metho ok....... then when you're happy with that, a light fine sand and rub some danish oil on the area, eventually starting to spread coats out onto the wider area...

    polish off each layer of d/oil as you go to build up a thin shine...

    my 2bob's worth... :)
     
  19. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    Take a clean soft rag, apply some denatured Alcohol... Before it dries...How does it look?
    If it looks pretty good/good enough, Take some rattle can lacquer, and hit it with a few coats...repeat, then hit it with some 0000 steel wool.

    If it doesn't look ok, easiest course is to use acetone to strip just the backside, go easy near the fretboard so you don't get solvent near the edge of the board..Finish stripping the edges with 220 to 400ish sandpaper.

    I recently did the exact thing on an Ebay finished neck... The front looked good, but whoever finished it went nuts with the Amber on the back.
     
  20. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of folks should like it. You did a relic job on it. Now it looks roadworn.
     
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