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Maple Neck Question


Xanthus
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Hey all. I'm in the process of planning out a Warmoth assembly for one of my brother's friends. Regarding the neck, I've come up with a simple question that I'm surprised I haven't been able to find on the boards already.

Most people do a hard lacquer finish on their one-piece maple necks. Well, I'm looking to finish the body and neck in Minwax tung oil, and was wondering how, if at all, to go about doing the fretboard. I've never worked with a maple fretboard before, but since I've read lots of literature requiring the fretboard to be sealed, I was wondering if tung oil would work. Also, because it's a Warmoth neck it's going to have the frets already in. Would the oil interfere at all with the frets? I know it'll definitely make sanding more difficult :D but I can't think of any other reasons.

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Hey all. I'm in the process of planning out a Warmoth assembly for one of my brother's friends. Regarding the neck, I've come up with a simple question that I'm surprised I haven't been able to find on the boards already.

Most people do a hard lacquer finish on their one-piece maple necks. Well, I'm looking to finish the body and neck in Minwax tung oil, and was wondering how, if at all, to go about doing the fretboard. I've never worked with a maple fretboard before, but since I've read lots of literature requiring the fretboard to be sealed, I was wondering if tung oil would work. Also, because it's a Warmoth neck it's going to have the frets already in. Would the oil interfere at all with the frets? I know it'll definitely make sanding more difficult :D but I can't think of any other reasons.

It's gonna work, but without a film finish, the fretboard is gonna get dirty reall quick from regular playing. Not totally undesirable IMHO, but just something to keep in mind.

I would simply apply liberally over the entire neck, and rub out between coats with steel wool, or even better, these pads : http://www.swingpaints.com/1303.htm or something similar as they don't shred during the rubbing process. Simply rub all over the fretboard, it's gonna polish the frets at the same time. You could always remove any oil residue on the frets using a soft cloth, but regular playing is gonna take care of that anyway...

Edited by Joel Rainville
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Do not allow tung oil to lay on too heavy. You want to apply the oil, give it a few minutes to penetrate and to cure a little, and then wipe off the excess. If you leave too much on it can develop white or cloudy spots in it that require complete refinishing. Only apply one coat a day. It will also take about 3 months for tung oil to completely cure.

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Thanks for the link, Joel! And at iHocky, the tung oil I'm using is from Minwax, and it's basically a wipe-on finish with a bit of tung oil on it. The can says it cures for handling in 24 hours, and from what I've used of it, it gets hard pretty fast after that. So I'm not too worried. But definitely the wipe on/off idea, I don't want cloudy spots!

I might use micromesh for sanding, seeing as I have a set of pads handy.

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