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Some Rough Spots On The Neck (and How To Tell If Its 'raw')?


Voodoods

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Ok so I bought a cheap-o guitar off of ebay to use as my hotrod project and travel guitar.

Its fit and finish is pretty low-standard, but its neck seems pretty straight, and its a small solid mahogany body - kind of like a mini-Godin:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=110168985839

I was impressed with how good it sounds unplugged - very resonant and clear. The neck just sings in your hand. The pickups are almost too hot - and sort of nasally and shrill - I'm not an aficionado, so I'm probably not describing the sound properly but suffice to say they need replacing as I don't like the sound at all... I need a sweet clean jazz-blues neck pickup and then something hot but not mangy at the bridge.

I have my shop setting it up for me and looking it over to make sure its not irreparably uneven- there was some pretty bad fret buzz all up and down the neck and even I could see the frets aren't really straight, so no super-low action for me =D. But overall, it should be a solid platform to use as a project.

One thing I think I can personally handle for now is a little issue with the neck - either there is some manufacturing 'funk' on the back of it, or its an uneven sand-job or the finish (its either satin or raw) got some dust in it, as the upper 1/5 of the neck is slightly rough to the touch - not really rough, but enough to make it annoying and feel slower.

So my questions are:

1. How can I tell if its actually a satin finish or if its raw? This is a cheap Chinese made guitar I think, so anything is possible. It feels pretty smooth overall, but not glossy. I've felt satin necks and this seems the same - but I haven't had a raw neck to compare.

2. My question above is related to how to deal with the roughness - if its finished, would going over it with super-fine steel wool screw up the finish? How do you address something like this on an already finished neck (if this is one) without messing it up?

One other issue that I'm curious about - the edges of the frets feel rough to me and its annoying - How easy is it to smooth out those burrs? Does anyone have a link to a 'how to'?

And lastly - since I really am kind of getting the bug to do some stuff on my own with guitars - what is the best begginer how-to book for working on electric guitars??

Thanks in advance!

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You can tell if it's finished by putting a little bit of water on the "raw" area. If it changes in appearance and puffs up (you can feel the grain stick up a little) then it's definitely not finished. It's pretty easy to tell with maple because the wood really does puff up a great deal with the smallest amount of moisture. If the neck is finished, I would recommend wet sanding with 600 grit and work your way up to higher grits then polish. Or just refinish the neck as a whole, that's always fun!

To take down the fret edges to proper level, I use a foam or sponge like backing with sandpaper, I start with 220 grit then work up to 400. Don't apply too much pressure when doing this, the point is to hit the frets that are sticking out, not bevel the fingerboard. This is very simple to do and I doubt it would take longer than 5 minutes.

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You can tell if it's finished by putting a little bit of water on the "raw" area. If it changes in appearance and puffs up (you can feel the grain stick up a little) then it's definitely not finished. It's pretty easy to tell with maple because the wood really does puff up a great deal with the smallest amount of moisture. If the neck is finished, I would recommend wet sanding with 600 grit and work your way up to higher grits then polish. Or just refinish the neck as a whole, that's always fun!

To take down the fret edges to proper level, I use a foam or sponge like backing with sandpaper, I start with 220 grit then work up to 400. Don't apply too much pressure when doing this, the point is to hit the frets that are sticking out, not bevel the fingerboard. This is very simple to do and I doubt it would take longer than 5 minutes.

Ok thanks - I'll try the wet-test when I get it back - when you say to polish - what would I use for that?

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