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Neck Finishing Questions


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I have Warmoth strat replacement (mahogany / kingwood) neck that that I bought a couple of years ago for a guitar build that failed.

The neck was never installed and never finished. It sat in my basement (not too damp, not too dry) in it's shipping box for a couple of years. The neck still looks great and shows no signs of warping or twisting, so I'm going to attempt to use it with a finished Warmoth body that I just received.

Here is how Warmoth's neck ship:

"All our necks are dipped in an oil based penetrating sealer which is compatible with virtually all secondary finishes. This provides enhanced stability; however, it is not adequate protection for playing. We strongly recommend you apply a hard finish to all Maple, Mahogany, and Koa necks."

The plan is to shoot the neck with a few coats of Behlen B104-1406 Stringed Instrument Lacquer Aerosol to give it the recommended hard finnish. And although Behlen's instructions highly recommend the use of their B102-8000 Vinyl Sealer Aerosol product as a base coat, I was wondering if I really need this since Warmoth has already applied a sealer.

Secondly, since the neck has sat, should I sand it or rub it down with steel wool before applying the finish?

Lastly, the neck already fits very snugly in the body pocket, so should I be concerned about building up the overall thickness of the heel when I apply the finish? If the heel grows and has trouble fitting into the neck pocket, I suppose a little sanding of the pocket would solve the problem, but I figured I'd check in with you guys first, before I start.

Thanks in advance for any tips of suggestions that you might have.

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As an FYI to anyone else following this thread, here is some info that I got from : http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=53

"No you won't have to apply the sealer first. That is to treat the raw wood before spraying the lacquer. Since the neck has already been dipped you shouldn't need to worry about that.

I would hit it with some steel wool at least before spraying. If it were me I'd go over the entire back of the neck with some 320 grit.

The neck pocket is your choice. You can finish the neck, and then do a bit of sanding if you need to get it to fit, or you can tape off the heel area that actually makes contact in the pocket. The choice is yours, although I prefer to have my heel finished as well.

Unless its a maple board remember to tape off the fretboard. Good luck dude."

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I would put one thin coat at least on the heel, if it were me. Also, 320 seems a little too rough, perhaps 400 or 600 to rough it up. Other than that, you should be good to go.

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320 is not too rough at all, infact for prefinish work it is generally a good place to stop, as it leaves enough teeth for the finish to grab, post finish, for leveling go with 600, but any of the above reccommendations should be fine for you.

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