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Before I Beeswax A Recently Sanded Body

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Hi Chaps,

I'm in the process of stripping the paint of a Jackson Rhodes, (nearly finished, will have it done in a couple of hours). I intend to keep the natural finish using beeswax. However, once the sanding is done, whats the best way to prep the guitar ready for waxing?

I've seen on here in some past posts about oils, but I don't want to interupt the natural colour too much.

Also, i've stripped the paint down using 80grit paper, should I then sand down to 600 (or more) before I apply the wax, and would I need to use a grain sealent of some sort, or is it ok to apply the beeswax directly?

Sorry for all the questions, but i've looked back through past threads but can't fill in all the blanks (Hiscock book etc are in the post :-).

Would be grateful for some help.

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Actually an oil and wax finish is fairly standard. That's how gun stocks are treated.

Click this link and head down to section 4 about the different oils and wax treatments.

Wood Cleaning and stuff

Typically after the oiling process, you would rub the wax, like carnauba, on and then buff. It has a classic feel to it, but mind you may have to reapply the wax every so often depending on use.

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Jehle has a good point about the wax which I'll pick up on.

Beeswax is rather a soft wax - whether it is in solid form or liquid. Nothing wrong with it, but as Jehle says it will require re-applying...and if you use it on the neck you may find you re-apply it more often.

If you go with a Carnuba wax (paste or liquid) - there are varying degrees of hardness...the higher the percentage of carnuba...the harder it is, the longer it lasts...but also..the more work it takes to apply and buff - but it's not all that difficult....and the results are amazing...

I have some expensive carnuba waxes - which mix a blend of non-bleached brazilian and yellow carnuba..they may seem expensive, but they are worth it...and as Algee knows, I use them for other things...

Just so you know how expensive this stuff is the lowest grade I have is 51% (carnuba) by volume...this is £119 for a tiny 200ml tub - the highest grade I have is 60% by volume...I'll not say the price here but it's into four figures for 200ml. I have some others with ptfe compound which might be ideal for the neck...they are 40% volume...if you want to try the carnuba, I have some samples I can send you - PM me if you want Byron....

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Jehle - thanks for the links, make some interesting reading.

With regards the body, I don't mind using the beeswax as the guitar will be my own, and probably won't be played all that much. But i would probably use something harder if it was for sale or built for someone.

Does the neck need to be oiled? Would this not make it harder to play than just a sanded smooth blank with a light treatment. As you can tell, i'm at a loss with regards the finishing. I've just purchased a book today about wood treatment, so should be a bit more clued up soon ;-)

Edited by ByronBlack
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Need to be oiled? Well, technically no. There's no set rule on what you can and cannot do. Eddie's Wolfgang guitar has a totally unfinished neck. The necks that I've played that have a wax finish have also been oiled. I suppose that may be from tradition more than anything.

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probably 80% of the guitars that i've built have been oil and wax finished. the one thing i've found is that it's better (for me at least) not to wax the neck. one last thinned coat of oil well wiped and cured before playing is fine. the wax never seems to set up hard enough not to create some drag when playing.

just my opinion.

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