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Thread: what varnish should i use?

  1. #1

    what varnish should i use?

    i recently got the ib 5 kit, and we want to varnish the back of the neck. should lemon oil be used on the fret board?. what varnish should i use?

  2. #2
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Heavens there's lots of answers to this one.
    For the fretboard if it is rosewood or Blackwood use lemon oil
    For the rest of the maple on the neck, here's some suggestions...
    Dingotone wipe on neck finish from PBG
    TRU oil wipe on
    Spray cans, I like Cabots Cabothane clear in satin from the a Big Green Shed
    Or you can sand it back to a very fine paper and just leave it!

  3. #3
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    It all depends on what feel or look you are chasing.

    Hi gloss may not be as quick to use due to wanting to grip as things get wet from sweat which is why a lot of folks choose a smoother satin finish. Still believe the bare maple needs some coating to protect the timber which can be smoothed off with 1500 grit wet & dry sand paper or even 0000 steel wool. Beware with using steel wool as it leaves behind very fine fibres that end up in all sorts of places you don't want and you really need a very strong magnet handy to help attract this nastiness before it all ends up in your pickups.
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  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    But even gloss can be sanded down on the back of the neck for a smooth, non-grabby feel to the hand, whilst still having a nice glossy headstock.

  5. #5
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Glebe, NSW
    The attached are pictures of the neck on my FrankenWashie rebuild. The neck is maple, and has Zero finish on it at all.

    All I have done with it, is carefully sand it smooth starting at 240 grit and working through up to 1500 grit.
    At that point I switched to micro mesh pads at the next equivalent grit up from 1500 and worked through those up to about 12000. It has left the surface smooth and lustrous and absolutely wonderful to play, even with sweaty hands.

    What Simon and Waz are saying is good advice, glossed necks tend to be grabby after you’ve played a while, I tend to prefer a satin finish, it tends to allow your fret hand to glide a little better.
    Ultimately it’s up to you and what is comfortable for you to play as well as what you are confident in applying and working with to get your desired result.
    I can highly recommend the Dingo Tone neck finish, I’ve had great results with that, and a lot of guys use the Tru Oil gun stock oil with great results. Depends on what you are comfortable working and playing.

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  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    You'll get a more stable neck with a finish on it as it helps prevent the loss or gain of moisture due to humidity and temperature changes, and also stops the wood from picking up dirt and oxidising over time. You don't have to use any finish on the neck as FW says, but there are consequences for doing so. You just have to be prepared to adjust the truss rod a bit more often and live with changes in the look of the neck as it ages.

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