Hi Folks

I wanted to get some advice on varnishing and finishing the neck. Up until now Ive been using standard clear varnish but I'm wondering what others use and whats best?

Looking for that real smooth professional finish.


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I have found Tru Oil to be the easiest to use and it gives great results (previous spray varnish or Tung Oil user).
This is a really good site forma lot of info. There is also a great preamp plan there.

Danish oil is pretty good and inexpensive but I usually use tru-oil.Either way sand the neck using finest sandpaper between coats.3-4 coats should do it, probably 2-3 with tru oil.I have also used 2 coats Danish oil and finished off with tru-oil.

step one. coat first in mineral oil


 light spronge sander

step two: three coats of balsamic vinegar with a steel wool in a mason jar let jar sit for hour

take wool out then apply three coats

step 3:use a rich dark poly urethane stain..ex Jacobean.. let dry

step4: apply pure beeswax to the entire neck arub on with rag...heres the tip....it will fade the stain to have a beautifull look..step 5: make sure you rub off most of the jaco bean stain with the wax........there u have it Melodeeman way of staining a neck:)

or tung oil:)..uhuh

Tru Oil but if you are a real masochist and you have a close grained wood neck you can try the method used on pool cue shafts by folks that indulge in that ridiculous pastime.

First sand everything to a glass smooth finish, wetting and raising the grain several times.

Once the raw wood is slick you are ready to begin.

Fold a piece of ordinary notebook paper two or three times to provide a stiff backing.

Apply a small amount of naphtha lighter fluid to the paper and allow it to spread.

Place this side to the wood of the neck and rub up and down like unholy hell is after you and  the only chance of escape is by starting a friction fire.

When the wood/paper is hot stop, allow to cool, then repeat until you achieve a fine gloss finish.

This particular finish will last at least 35 years with only the occasional cleaning with a soft rag and naphtha. It is easily repaired if something out of the ordinary should happen to the surface by simply repeating the necessary parts of the original process. (By out of the ordinary I mean things such as steaming out a ding.)

Couple of coats of sanding sealer.Then spray with aerosol lacquer

Get a smooth finish is more about the prep work than what actual finish you use, although you want a hard finish to get a good gloss.

So the wood has to be sanded in stages like 120, 220, and 320 grit - each grit removing the scratches from the previous grit. Then a couple sealer coats, then scuff sand with fine sandpaper, then a couple coats of your final finish, then if you're starting to get orange peel, do a bit of wetsanding being careful not to sand through, then a few more coats of finish and so on until you get a good enough build to do a final wetsanding.

For many finishes you would want to let the finish dry and harden for several days before final sanding/buffing. Then I use Micromesh "sandpaper" up through 12,000 grit or whatever the final number is. You'll get the best results if you can spray on the finish, as it will go on smoother with less bumps, unless you end up getting a run. 

I use shellac, either Zinnser Seal Coat or mix up my own from shellac flakes and Everclear (pure grain alcohol). This is the least toxic finish you can use and it still looks great. Zinnser also makes a spray shellac, but I haven't tried that personally. Sometimes I put the shellac in a Preval sprayer and spray it that way.

Shellac won't be quite as high gloss as some other finishes. Shellac can also be brushed on or applied using the French polish method, which is how it was done in the old days.


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