Refinishing a neck...

Jared Purdy

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Greetings, It's interesting how things come about from being a member of this forum!! The other day, a fellow member posted a comment about a AVRI 52' Hot Rod that he has that he said had developed a stickiness on the back of the neck. As soon as I read the post, I immediately starting thinking about the same guitar that I use to have, that I have always regretted selling.

That thread prompted me to see if there were any around, on Reverb, at local stores, Kijiji, etc. I was able to find several on Reverb (the topic of a thread I started on the Bad Dog Cafe), and then low and behold, one pops up on Kijiji, in Canada, though a few hours from where I live. The seller mentioned in the ad that the neck on his (coincidentally, also a 2011) had developed the same issue, and the previous owner (he is the second owner) used a high speed buffer to "polish" off what was described as this stickiness. I asked him to send me some more photos, and yep, it's pretty clear from the shots (as you can see) that something has been removed.

I spoke to the seller yesterday and he said that the finish is not entirely gone, as the wood is still sealed. However, the amber colour on the back of the neck is completely gone (as can be seen in the photo). The neck is apparently super smooth now. As an aside, I never experienced the same problem with my 2011 specimen in the roughly two years I had it. I seriously contemplating buying this guitar as otherwise it is in mint condition, with no dings or scratches, the original case, all of the case candy, including the ashtray cover and the second 6 bridge tail piece (which I don't recall having been included in mine).

My question is, how difficult and expensive would it be to have the tone restored, in nitro? Cheers.
 

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pipthepilot

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Hello, I couldn't really advise how much it would cost to have restored but have you considered doing it yourself?

I've refinished a lot of guitars and Nitro lacquer is really easy to apply, even with a rattle can.

Restoring an old neck, (sanding back the old finish, refretting it, spraying the lacquer and applying the decals) was the starting point for me to eventually move to building my own guitars. Which is incredibly rewarding.
 

netgear69

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Maybe this could help personally i would leave it as is or ask the seller to reduce the price to cover the cost of the repair

 

Jared Purdy

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Hello, I couldn't really advise how much it would cost to have restored but have you considered doing it yourself?

I've refinished a lot of guitars and Nitro lacquer is really easy to apply, even with a rattle can.

Restoring an old neck, (sanding back the old finish, refretting it, spraying the lacquer and applying the decals) was the starting point for me to eventually move to building my own guitars. Which is incredibly rewarding.
I wasn't aware nitro came in a spray can! I could attempt that, though I'd do a few test runs on some scraps of wood.

What about the tint? How would I go about getting that. Any particular product?

There's nothing wrong with the rest of the neck. It has been played so little there's no fret wear and no wear on the finish of the fret board either. It's just the back of the neck that was purposely "polished".
 

Boreas

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He's already offering it at a good price. Thanks for the vid link. Watching it now.
As long as the fretboard and headstock is fine, I wouldn't spray anything other than the back. Paying a pro to refinish the neck could cost more than a used or new neck.

Why do you want to repair it? Appearance only? Personally, I like the way it looks, although I might try to blend some of the contrasting edges with a scratchy pad. If it is indeed still sealed, the neck should play and feel fine for a long time. Even if it isn't sealed, maple tends to be pretty slow to suck up filth and oils.

Another option others will certainly suggest is something like a rubbed-on oil finish just for the exposed wood - something like TruOil or tung oil - to simply protect it. It will darken some, but would likely not match.
 

Jared Purdy

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As long as the fretboard and headstock is fine, I wouldn't spray anything other than the back. Paying a pro to refinish the neck could cost more than a used or new neck.

Why do you want to repair it? Appearance only? Personally, I like the way it looks, although I might try to blend some of the contrasting edges with a scratchy pad. If it is indeed still sealed, the neck should play and feel fine for a long time. Even if it isn't sealed, maple tends to be pretty slow to suck up filth and oils.

Another option others will certainly suggest is something like a rubbed-on oil finish just for the exposed wood - something like TruOil or tung oil - to simply protect it. It will darken some, but would likely not match.
Yes, the fretboard and headstock are good. Nothing to do there. If I attempted to refinish it, it's only to bring the colour back.

The video that another respondent posted has a product that is used just for this purpose. I'm not sure if a sealant (like nitro) would have to be applied over it?? There's a top notch guitar shop close to where I live and two noted luthiers work there. They'd likely be able to tell me what to do. I agree that perhaps blending the line where the original tone is with the newly exposed tone might also work.
 

Jared Purdy

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Maybe this could help personally i would leave it as is or ask the seller to reduce the price to cover the cost of the repair


I just looked up that Colortone liquid dye. On Amazon it's $117CDN for one of those small bottles!!! Stew Mac has them for $35US (plus shipping). The question is: What colour to get? Straw, or "vintage amber"?
 

pipthepilot

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I wasn't aware nitro came in a spray can! I could attempt that, though I'd do a few test runs on some scraps of wood.

What about the tint? How would I go about getting that. Any particular product?

There's nothing wrong with the rest of the neck. It has been played so little there's no fret wear and no wear on the finish of the fret board either. It's just the back of the neck that was purposely "polished".
Its a bit difficult to recommend a product for you as I'm UK based, but I always use Vintage Amber lacquer for maple necks.
 

schmee

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Do you know what finish is on the neck now? I assume the neck on those is nitro? or is it just the body? You always run the risk of nitro not setting up and feeling sticky. It's pretty common. If the neck isn't nitro now you could have interaction issues also. If your main goal is to get it darker, most tinted nitro colors are usually terrible and yellow. You may have to try some stains.

Why not just play it?
For refinish, The easiest plan may be to brush on Minwax Wipe On Poly on the back of the neck. You just need a good soft 1" brush and carfully brush it on thin but enough for it to flow. I have finished a few necks with it and it works great.

Here's a neck done with Reranch amber nitro, VERY yellow: I think there may be some sellers with better color out there now days, but Stew Mac and Reranch are not!
N7KQVWX.jpg
Heres one done with brushed Minwax Poly: 013.JPG
 
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netgear69

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I just looked up that Colortone liquid dye. On Amazon it's $117CDN for one of those small bottles!!! Stew Mac has them for $35US (plus shipping). The question is: What colour to get? Straw, or "vintage amber"?
Not used the straw dye before but looking at that video he got a really good match to that Fender neck
 

Jared Purdy

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Do you know what finish is on the neck now? I assume the neck on those is nitro? or is it just the body? You always run the risk of nitro not setting up and feeling sticky. It's pretty common. If the neck isn't nitro now you could have interaction issues also. If your main goal is to get it darker, most tinted nitro colors are usually terrible and yellow. You may have to try some stains.

Why not just play it?
For refinish, The easiest plan may be to brush on Minwax Wipe On Poly on the back of the neck. You just need a good soft 1" brush and carfully brush it on thin but enough for it to flow. I have finished a few necks with it and it works great.

Here's a neck done with Reranch amber nitro, VERY yellow: I think there may be some sellers with better color out there now days, but Stew Mac and Reranch are not!
View attachment 1054394
Heres one done with brushed Minwax Poly: View attachment 1054399
The finish on the neck and the body on the AVRI 52 Hot Rod is nitro. I was wondering if I could use something like Colortone (straw or vintage amber), rub it on the remaining "polished finish" and then apply a light coat of spray on nitro, as some others have said???
 

schmee

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The finish on the neck and the body on the AVRI 52 Hot Rod is nitro. I was wondering if I could use something like Colortone (straw or vintage amber), rub it on the remaining "polished finish" and then apply a light coat of spray on nitro, as some others have said???
You probably could, and because the neck has some finish on it, it may not be as difficult as bare wood... on bare wood once you put stain on you are committed to it, at least to some extent!
With a finish already on there, you can wipe on and try different colors...
 

Jared Purdy

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You probably could, and because the neck has some finish on it, it may not be as difficult as bare wood... on bare wood once you put stain on you are committed to it, at least to some extent!
With a finish already on there, you can wipe on and try different colors...
I think I'm going to go for it. There's two different tones in the Colorone lineup: "vintage amber" and "straw". I'll order both and do a dry run on a scrap of maple.
 

ponycar

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It should be lacquer. I'd wipe it with naphtha to clean it, lightly sand. 600 grit. Wipe on, thinned with alcholol, Zinser amber shellac. Assess the color. Or. Try very thin, few drops in measured amount of alcohol mix of straw and amber dye. If it's thin it can always be sanded back. Thin clear nitro in satin over wherever you land on the coloring.
Issue is it's daunting without experience. The video included above is matching an old finish, brownish. The AVRI is a spray amber, not as brown.
If it were mine I'd do Naptha to clean then just clear coat.
Oh, no wipe on Poly or tru oil on an AVRI, imho.
 

Boreas

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I just looked up that Colortone liquid dye. On Amazon it's $117CDN for one of those small bottles!!! Stew Mac has them for $35US (plus shipping). The question is: What colour to get? Straw, or "vintage amber"?
To match exactly, you may need to mix BOTH! But the problem is, you may not be able to simply stain the neck with it because maple is reluctant to take up stain if it isn't raw. So people will usually mix the dye into their nitro to make a tinted clearcoat that they spray with a compressed air system. Using this overspray you can make it as "dark" as you want because you aren't depending on the wood to pull in the stain, but by adding more layers of tinted lacquer, it keeps getting darker with each coat.

There are other brands and types of stain you can likely get in CA at a reasonable price. Others here will know them, but I don't. You just have to experiment with them - just as a pro would. It takes time and knowledge, and they understandably charge for that. It all boils down to how particular you are about the finished product. But if you can get tinted nitro in rattle cans in CA and do it yourself, you can likely do the back of the neck with one can of Aged Clear and one can of clear (gloss or satin). You could even get by with just one can of tinted nitro with no clear overcoat, but as the neck wears, the tint will wear off - similar to what you have now.

Or do nothing other than blend the edges a little better. I would get the neck in hand and make your decision after evaluating if you even like the guitar!
 
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Jared Purdy

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To match exactly, you may need to mix BOTH! But the problem is, you may not be able to simply stain the neck with it because maple is reluctant to take up stain if it isn't raw. So people will usually mix the dye into their nitro to make a tinted clearcoat that they spray with a compressed air system. Using this overspray you can make it as "dark" as you want because you aren't depending on the wood to pull in the stain, but by adding more layers of tinted lacquer, it keeps getting darker with each coat.

There are other brands and types of stain you can likely get in CA at a reasonable price. Others here will know them, but I don't. You just have to experiment with them - just as a pro would. It takes time and knowledge, and they understandably charge for that. It all boils down to how particular you are about the finished product. But if you can get tinted nitro in rattle cans in CA and do it yourself, you can likely do the back of the neck with one can of Aged Clear and one can of clear (gloss or satin). You could even get by with just one can of tinted nitro with no clear overcoat, but as the neck wears, the tint will wear off - similar to what you have now.

Or do nothing other than blend the edges a little better. I would get the neck in hand and make your decision after evaluating if you even like the guitar!
I have decided to pass on the guitar, and not because of the neck issue. It's a simple matter that I don't really need one (I have two electrics that fit the bill), and more clutter will not please my wife. Those cases are large, and they keep piling up. I have no doubt it's a fine instrument. I'm just going to let this one pass this time. Thanks for the tips. I was actually looking forward to the challenge!
 

Boreas

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You are a better man than me! Once I see a shiny object, I rarely can avoid buying it.

Peruse the interweb for an old Squier that is in need of some loving care and buy it for a project. They usually don't come with cases. When you are done, give it away to a kid or other worthy cause. Don't expect to recover your money, and you won't be disappointed. But you will gain skills and experience, or learn this is a rabbit hole you do not want to explore.

Rock what ya got!
 




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