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Stripping Maple Fretboard?

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I'm reshaping the neck that came with one of my tele clones (both of which have, uh, less than perfect necks).

One neck is maple on maple, and it started off being as thick as a baseball back. But I wanted something a little thinner/flatter. So far so good, I'm sanding the back to the shape I want and that part's not difficult.

But I'm wondering how to approach the fretboard? It's finished the same as the rest--a pretty thick layer of probably polyurethane.

For the moment, I haven't touched the fretboard, other than roll the edges a little, the finish is still good there.

Should I bother stripping the finish from the fretboard? Seems like that will be pretty difficult though, since the frets will get in the way...

I plan on refinishing the neck with oil --I can use the same for the fretboard?

Otherwise, can I leave the fretboard finish as is, but still use oil for the back of the neck?

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Yup, you would be asking for grief.

Well, that's the last thing I need! :D

I finished the reshape on the neck (and headstock) and it came out pretty nicely...just needed a tiny bit off...

Any issues with using tung oil (it's actually a linseed/tung mixture) for the back and leaving the existing finish fo r the fretboard (and then using rattlecan clear for the face of the headstock)?

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If you go that route, defnitely do the clear cote before the tung oil. You would be very unhappy to see what happens to most clears when they're sprayed over oil finishes, unless you like the crackle paint look.

Okay, good point!

Here's my NEXT question (jeez, I never quit, eh?)

I've just finished sanding the back of the neck, up to 1500 grade. It feels wonderful, really smooth...so nice, it seems a shame to put anything there.

But (and here's the question), since the neck was already finished, is it possible that the wood has already been sufficiently treated--the woods been impregnated and protected--so I don't need to put anything else on?

Is there a way to tell if this is so? I'm thinking of dripping a little water on there --if it beads and runs, that should mean the wood is already sufficiently sealed, right?

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Put some Tru-Oil or similar hardening/polymerized oil on there, don't trust it to just be 'OK' as it is. That, or learn to love the grungy look in a few years.

For the record, fully dried oil under lacquer can work just fine, but always, always test on scrap first. It's worked for me in the past, but these days I 'simply' pop the grain with some shellac.

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