Sanding down the neck.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by dlew919, Aug 1, 2020 at 5:20 AM.

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is it worth it. I mean getting some steel wool and sanding down the back. I don’t mind the finish on my teles (a 2012 Nashville and a 3016 squier cabronita w/ bigsby)

    both bought new

    I’ve read a few threads here.
    But I’m just curious. And if it is worth it might try it.
     
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  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. Scotch brite or domestic scouring pads. Go gently. Most of my guitars done.

    I also use 0000 wire wool which is the smoothest but you need to take a lot or precautions to avoid contamination (wrap up the guitar or detach neck and do it outside those bits are nasty).

    the pads are the easiest and least risky way to do it.
     
  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Totally good move.

    I use 240 grit sandpaper, which some people think is vandalism, but it means you don't have to keep doing it.

    I usually just sand off the poly shine, leaving a beautiful satin poly finish that's fast and never sticky.

    But on a couple of necks I have taken the poly off altogether, sanding down to the bare wood.

    You then need to spend a couple of icky days rubbing the natural oils from your hands, hair, forehead, whatever, into the bare wood, to create a nice natural oily finish. Then, over time, the oils in your hands will keep the finish topped up.

    Told you it was icky.
     
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  4. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    I use 0000 steel wool on necks that feel at all sticky, even all maple necks. I take the necks off the body or put tape over the pickups.
     
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  5. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Its worth it. Id start slow and see if you like it. Get a grey synthetic scotchbrite pad, its just slightly more abrasive than 0000 steel wool without the senseless mess. This will allow you remove the gloss ( usual culprit for stickiness)
    But still leave the finish.
     
  6. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I use 0000 steel wool for about 30 seconds in a circular motion. Baby smooth.
     
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  7. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This one I did just a few days ago. Nitro finish on an Eric Johnson Strat. It wasn’t sticky just a touch draggy because of the high gloss. it’s not now.

    This was with a domestic scouring pad and micro finish pad. Took about an hour. Just kept holding the pad with my left hand with a little pressure all the way up and down and round to the edges of the fretboard. It’s satin smooth now.
    0C12F60B-3D8D-4B99-ADD9-B50A08BDD4C0.jpeg
     
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  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you all. I’m going to read them all a bit closer. I must say I’m tempted now.
     
  9. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    Yes, 100%. Unless you anticipate trading or selling it.
     
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  10. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    I’ve done it to every guitar except CS or Les Pauls (and I’ve debated sanding those as well).

    I’ll start 400, 600 up to 2,000 then xxxx steel wool.
    Follow up with natural stain tung oil to protect it.

    Can’t beat it.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  11. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That’s the theory. In my experience it makes no difference at all. In the ad just say gloss has been cut back on the back of the neck so it has a super smooth feel with no drag or stickiness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 10:06 AM
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  12. JRtele

    JRtele Tele-Meister

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    I suppose. And I have seen ads that say that.
    That said, if I were negotiating such a guitar I would likely knock off some value based on the mod.
     
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  13. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Is it worth it? That's only a question you can answer.

    You say you dont mind the finish on any of your Teles, so why bother? Boredom? Nothing better to do?

    Your biggest mistake is you've "read a few threads around here". Discovering problems you didn't even know were problems is only going to lead to problems.

    My advice would be not to bother if the finish on your necks don't bother you. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. No reason to create an issue or problem from something that seemingly isn't an issue or a problem. Like others have said, it could devalue the guitar a little bit if/once you decide to sell. If I see a used guitar where the owner sanded down the neck I ask myself what else this person did to this guitar and sort of raises a red flag, but to those that like a sanded down neck it's possibly a good thing. Different strokes...
     
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    A satin feel can be easier to play if you have damp fingers.

    Don't use steel wool -- the chips and fibers that fall off get into your pickups and switches and pots and those will all fail earlier. People tape off the guitar but those chips are everywhere including your clothes and its a mess. Just don't do it. Scotchbrite pad or sandpaper are by far better choices.

    Don't do more sanding than is needed to make the finish satin. Don't go down to wood. You may think it's cool for a bit but when it's time to sell the guitar you won't like the price hit for a damaged guitar.

    Best method:
    -mask off the two ends of your sanding region so it looks like a pro did the work at the factory.
    -Use a high grit sandpaper like 800 to just get the finish to a satin feel. That way if you sell the guitar you can sand with 1500 to 2000 to polish and have it factory new again.

    .
     
  15. Squier by Squier

    Squier by Squier Tele-Meister

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    What a timing, was just going to ask similar question!

    I've read also how it's supposed to be done, but interested to hear actual experiences.

    Planning to replace the neck at some point. I've been leveling the frets by my self, made a new bone nut too and everything's pretty ok right now. But of course it's not perfect, and frets will continue to wear. Also, the neck/nut is very narrow (40-41 mm) and thin (thinner than normal modern C), so going to replace it in the end.

    But when looking for options and price range, the best candidate right now is gloss (poly) finished. Everything else, tint, rosewood fretboard, 9.5" radius, medium jumbo frets, double action truss rod (headstock access), 22 frets (overhang).. is spot on. They just don't have that one with satin finish, which I'm used to.

    Said neck is out of stock right now, but getting notification when they'll have some more. But kept still thinking like.. is smoothing it with steel wool / fine sand paper going to work.
     
  16. LAPlayer

    LAPlayer Tele-Meister

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    No real "supposed to". Just sand. The poly finish is so hard and relatively thick that running some 400 grit (or any fine) sandpaper over it, followed by 0000 steel wool will knock the sheen off. I've never found it to be any benefit worth the time. If you don't perceive a need, I would leave it alone.
     
  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Look here:

     
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  18. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Meister

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    I think it's definitely worth it, but then I went even further and used a scotch-brite on the front and back of the body. Doesn't take that long and the "new" matte finish left behind looks awesome.

    I'm not so sure if it would look as good on other colours.

    upload_2020-8-2_0-2-1.png upload_2020-8-2_0-2-38.png

    YMMV, however.
     
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  19. False Start

    False Start TDPRI Member

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    I could not slide my hand up and down the neck or bend strings on my new CS '51 Nocaster Journeyman Relic because of the factory finish on the quarter sawn maple neck. It had that much friction. (Please note that the finishes on custom shop guitars are not all the same. I did not have this problem on my other CS guitars.) And I didn't want to wait ten years for the finish to naturally wear off from playing. Emery paper did the trick. However, doing this removed the fake fretboard residue that is applied at the custom shop.
     
  20. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Jeeze...there should be a sticky for this.
    #400 sandpaper.
    Up and town the length of the neck.
    Light pressure.
    For about TEN SECONDS.
    The point is to knock off the shine, not remove the finish.
    This will buff back to it's original state if you want to sell or just decide you want it the old way.
    Steel wool will work, but it's ridiculous.
    You have to take the neck off and/or waste a lot of time masking the electronics from an invasion of millions of tiny steel splinters.
     
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