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  #1  
Old 10-21-2020, 08:51 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Default Final Neck Prep for Smooth Finish?

I bought a bolt-on neck for an electric that I understand has been sanded with 200 grit paper. I want to apply a Tru Oil finish to achieve as satin smooth a finish as possible.

I'm a woodworking illiterate, but I understand that a smooth finish will require additional work with progressively finer grits of paper. I'm looking for some guidance on the steps knowledgeable folk would apply here, such as what grits and how to know when it's time for the next-finer grit, and the like.

Thanks for any info.

Last edited by ChrisN; 10-21-2020 at 02:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2020, 03:36 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Tru-oil. like any other varnish-type finish needs the wood to have a course enough surface texture to both soak in and have something to "grab" to adhere to the surface. If you sand too fine then the surface actually will self-seal and prevent the Tru-oil from soaking in an locking to the surface.

With Tru-oil you could go a bit finer and then apply your finish. Many coats are needed if you want a film build up with Tru-oil. THEN you use all those progressive grades of finer abrasive to form your final surface.

I gave up using Tru-oil a long time ago. It's easy, but way too time-consuming if you are going for a finish build. You could use a couple of coats to seal your neck, but if you're going to speed neck it you'll end up taking off most of what you put on.

You can see what I've recently done to in my latest build if you want to consider a different type of finish for your neck.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=578582
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2020, 03:42 PM
cliff_the_stiff cliff_the_stiff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
I bought a bolt-on neck for an electric that I understand has been sanded with 200 grit paper. I want to apply a Tru Oil finish to achieve as satin smooth a finish as possible.

I'm a woodworking illiterate, but I understand that a smooth finish will require additional work with progressively finer grits of paper. I'm looking for some guidance on the steps knowledgeable folk would apply here, such as what grits and how to know when it's time for the next-finer grit, and the like.

Thanks for any info.
I recommend getting a Micromesh finish pack from StewMac. Cat#3706.
Go progressively from the 1500 through 12000.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:59 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Tru-oil. like any other varnish-type finish needs the wood to have a course enough surface texture to both soak in and have something to "grab" to adhere to the surface. If you sand too fine then the surface actually will self-seal and prevent the Tru-oil from soaking in an locking to the surface.

With Tru-oil you could go a bit finer and then apply your finish. Many coats are needed if you want a film build up with Tru-oil. THEN you use all those progressive grades of finer abrasive to form your final surface.

I gave up using Tru-oil a long time ago. It's easy, but way too time-consuming if you are going for a finish build. You could use a couple of coats to seal your neck, but if you're going to speed neck it you'll end up taking off most of what you put on.

You can see what I've recently done to in my latest build if you want to consider a different type of finish for your neck.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=578582
I envy your skill set! Thanks for your help, and for the story behind that beautiful guitar. I like the same things for the same reasons, but my skill set limits me to plunking down dollars for a used Taylor GC (which I do like).

What you say about Tru Oil needing a rougher surface makes sense and may be the reason my bare wood neck maker stopped at 200 grit. I've read lots of folks get a good result with 2-3 coats of Tru Oil, then smooth it out with some fine sandpaper, which I is what I understand you mean by just sealing the neck. You then refer to another path to a "speed neck," by which I understand you to mean "a neck on which you can play really fast." From your other post, I think you are referencing this product - https://www.onetreestudio.com.au/pages/osmo but please let me know if you mean another.

My goals for the neck are (1) it feels smooth to play with easy hand movements, and (2) it's sealed so it doesn't soak up skin oil and get ruined. My skill set is limited to "spray it from a can," or "rub it on with a cloth, buff excess and/or fine sand as needed." I am not a speed player kind of guy, by any means, but I do love the satin-smooth neck on my G&L. I notice it every time, just like I notice the "been too long since it was polished" sticky nitro neck on a Gibson. More G&L, less Gibson, please.

For my goals, do you recommend the Osmo product over the Tru Oil?
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2020, 06:06 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by cliff_the_stiff View Post
I recommend getting a Micromesh finish pack from StewMac. Cat#3706.
Go progressively from the 1500 through 12000.
Thanks for that guidance and reference number. Very helpful.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2020, 05:55 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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I have never seen 200 grit sandpaper for sale anywhere.

220 or 240 is all that is needed under a film finish. 320 at most, if you are obsessive. There is nothing to be gained by going any finer. You can actually make the wood look worse by packing fine sawdust into its pores when you sand finer.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2020, 07:46 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
I envy your skill set! Thanks for your help, and for the story behind that beautiful guitar. I like the same things for the same reasons, but my skill set limits me to plunking down dollars for a used Taylor GC (which I do like).

What you say about Tru Oil needing a rougher surface makes sense and may be the reason my bare wood neck maker stopped at 200 grit. I've read lots of folks get a good result with 2-3 coats of Tru Oil, then smooth it out with some fine sandpaper, which I is what I understand you mean by just sealing the neck. You then refer to another path to a "speed neck," by which I understand you to mean "a neck on which you can play really fast." From your other post, I think you are referencing this product - https://www.onetreestudio.com.au/pages/osmo but please let me know if you mean another.

My goals for the neck are (1) it feels smooth to play with easy hand movements, and (2) it's sealed so it doesn't soak up skin oil and get ruined. My skill set is limited to "spray it from a can," or "rub it on with a cloth, buff excess and/or fine sand as needed." I am not a speed player kind of guy, by any means, but I do love the satin-smooth neck on my G&L. I notice it every time, just like I notice the "been too long since it was polished" sticky nitro neck on a Gibson. More G&L, less Gibson, please.

For my goals, do you recommend the Osmo product over the Tru Oil?
Absolutely.

You can find reference to the exact Osmo Poly-x product in the #3 post here:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/war...#post-24113178

It's available in the U.S. if you copy paste the product info a Google search.

Here's a typical result, although I purchased on Amazon:

https://www.heartwoodtools.com/osmo/...ear-satin-3054

Last edited by Rudy4; 10-22-2020 at 07:54 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2020, 09:07 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
I envy your skill set! Thanks for your help, and for the story behind that beautiful guitar. I like the same things for the same reasons, but my skill set limits me to plunking down dollars for a used Taylor GC (which I do like).

What you say about Tru Oil needing a rougher surface makes sense and may be the reason my bare wood neck maker stopped at 200 grit. I've read lots of folks get a good result with 2-3 coats of Tru Oil, then smooth it out with some fine sandpaper, which I is what I understand you mean by just sealing the neck. You then refer to another path to a "speed neck," by which I understand you to mean "a neck on which you can play really fast." From your other post, I think you are referencing this product - https://www.onetreestudio.com.au/pages/osmo but please let me know if you mean another.

My goals for the neck are (1) it feels smooth to play with easy hand movements, and (2) it's sealed so it doesn't soak up skin oil and get ruined. My skill set is limited to "spray it from a can," or "rub it on with a cloth, buff excess and/or fine sand as needed." I am not a speed player kind of guy, by any means, but I do love the satin-smooth neck on my G&L. I notice it every time, just like I notice the "been too long since it was polished" sticky nitro neck on a Gibson. More G&L, less Gibson, please.

For my goals, do you recommend the Osmo product over the Tru Oil?
Absolutely nothing wrong with playing A Taylor GC, I own a 322 myself, and it's a great guitar.

"Speed Neck" is simply a generic slang used for instruments that have neck finishes that don't get sticky, soft, or inhibit hand movement by causing the hand to grab against the finish when moving around on the neck.

Some players resort to sanding all of the finish off the neck, but I'm not an advocate of that. The problem is that many factory finishes as well as many of the small / home shop finishes react in adverse ways depending on a player's body chemistry, temperature, humidity, time of day, phase of the moon, etc. You get the idea...

The challenge for the "home shop" builder is to find an appropriate finish that satisfies the requirements of being protective and still having that "bare wood" feel.

The Osmo Poly-X satin is probably the closest I've come to an ideal neck finish.
I'm getting ready to do a topic on Talkbass to follow a walnut short scale P bass build and both body and neck will be finished with Osmo Poly-X satin.
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2020, 06:57 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
I have never seen 200 grit sandpaper for sale anywhere.

220 or 240 is all that is needed under a film finish. 320 at most, if you are obsessive. There is nothing to be gained by going any finer. You can actually make the wood look worse by packing fine sawdust into its pores when you sand finer.
I stand corrected. It was 220 grit. What I'm getting from you and Rudy4 is that I don't need to sand any finer before applying the finish, so that's helpful. Thanks Howard.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2020, 07:31 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Here's a typical result, although I purchased on Amazon:

https://www.heartwoodtools.com/osmo/...ear-satin-3054
After looking a multiple sources, available sizes, and prices, I purchased .125L from the Heartwood site, so thanks for that tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
"Speed Neck" is simply a generic slang used for instruments that have neck finishes that don't get sticky, soft, or inhibit hand movement by causing the hand to grab against the finish when moving around on the neck.

Some players resort to sanding all of the finish off the neck, but I'm not an advocate of that. The problem is that many factory finishes as well as many of the small / home shop finishes react in adverse ways depending on a player's body chemistry, temperature, humidity, time of day, phase of the moon, etc. You get the idea...

The challenge for the "home shop" builder is to find an appropriate finish that satisfies the requirements of being protective and still having that "bare wood" feel.

The Osmo Poly-X satin is probably the closest I've come to an ideal neck finish.
I'm getting ready to do a topic on Talkbass to follow a walnut short scale P bass build and both body and neck will be finished with Osmo Poly-X satin.
From what others say, it looks like I need to allow the Osmo time to harden up (several weeks) before it's considered "done." Do I wait until it's hard to fine sand to smooth? Or do it after it's dry to the touch? Either way, I'll have to be careful to not take off too much of the finish.

Thanks again for the useful info on this topic. Not that it matters, but I'm installing a Gibson scale conversion neck onto a Squier tele body (with bolt inserts), so a fun/cheap learning project, as well as a way to dip my toe into a little finishing work.
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2020, 09:51 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
After looking a multiple sources, available sizes, and prices, I purchased .125L from the Heartwood site, so thanks for that tip.



From what others say, it looks like I need to allow the Osmo time to harden up (several weeks) before it's considered "done." Do I wait until it's hard to fine sand to smooth? Or do it after it's dry to the touch? Either way, I'll have to be careful to not take off too much of the finish.

Thanks again for the useful info on this topic. Not that it matters, but I'm installing a Gibson scale conversion neck onto a Squier tele body (with bolt inserts), so a fun/cheap learning project, as well as a way to dip my toe into a little finishing work.
No "several weeks" necessary. You don't "finish sand" after it is applied.

The process of applying these "Hard oils" is unlike most conventional finishes that you may be used to. You sand your work as normal, doing the final sanding to no more than 300 grit, working in the direction of the grain for the last passes.

Apply the Osmo as per the instructions.

It's SUPER easy, you apply a small amount with a small piece of fabric or even 0000 steel wool, just enough to wet the surface. Wait 15 minutes and rub off any amount that is remaining on the surface. Follow manufacturer's directions for a second coat, wipe off and you're done. You can follow up the next day with a light polishing of the surface with 0000 steel wool.

That's it.

You can use your instrument, but it's best to wait a day. Full cure can take a week, but that happens naturally and doesn't require any additional work to the finish.

The small can may seem expensive, but it will do several necks.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2020, 10:00 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
No "several weeks" necessary. You don't "finish sand" after it is applied.

The process of applying these "Hard oils" is unlike most conventional finishes that you may be used to. You sand your work as normal, doing the final sanding to no more than 300 grit, working in the direction of the grain for the last passes.

Apply the Osmo as per the instructions.

It's SUPER easy, you apply a small amount with a small piece of fabric or even 0000 steel wool, just enough to wet the surface. Wait 15 minutes and rub off any amount that is remaining on the surface. Follow manufacturer's directions for a second coat, wipe off and you're done. You can follow up the next day with a light polishing of the surface with 0000 steel wool.

That's it.

You can use your instrument, but it's best to wait a day. Full cure can take a week, but that happens naturally and doesn't require any additional work to the finish.

The small can may seem expensive, but it will do several necks.
Glad I checked! Thanks for that helpful info. While I'm still likely to screw up the hole drilling into the neck, I now feel pretty good about getting the finish right.
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