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Creating Gretsch Streamliner Neck? Help with finish?


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Need help on figuring out the best plan for finishing the neck of guitar build. It's me so its going to be a crazy story of bad ideas. But how I finish the neck may need to be modified by its structure, so the history is probably important.

The neck's story:

The neck was from Warmth and had a SRV profile. I finished it with instrument lacquer. Absolutely hated the thing! Felt light I was constantly fighting the shape and my hand was sticking to finish. So other than selling it for a big loss of money, I decided to try to reshape it like my Gretsch guitar. 

1. Created profile of my gretsch on frets one through ten. Did this with illustrator, laser cutter, and some old clipboard material.

2. Discovered, much to my surprise, that the SRV neck was thinner than the Gretsch guitar. Crap, how to fix that?

3. Sanded off the lacquer finish from the back of the neck, headstock and heel. I've knocked off a lot of it from inside the frets, but not sure that matters much.

4. Steamed a 1.25mm thick veneer and glued it using Tibon III to the back of the neck. Wrapped it with cord to provide holding pressure.

5. Used profile shapes from gretsch to guide me on sanding the SRV neck. Discovered that if I added soot to the profiles, they helped mark where I needed to sand.

6. Used sawdust and glue to created a strong filler for the veneer to neck transition at the headstock and neck heel.

So after all that, which to my surprise went pretty fast, I'm not sure how to get the finish that feels like my Gretsch. The webpage for gretsch says that Streamliners have a Urethane finish. Other places I've read say that they probably used polyurethane and just shorten it to urethane. Anyway, being that there are still some traces of lacquer in the wood, how much risk is there in putting a polyurethane coating on the back of the neck? Will the little bit of lacquer in the wood off-gas and push off the poly? Maybe the layer of glue will force the gas out the fretboard side?

Should I use woodgrain filler that is oil based before putting on the poly or paint? I'm thing of painting the transition zones between the veneer and original neck black. This will hide the repair work. What paint should I use? What should I do to fret board? Didn't like the slippery feel of strings on the lacquer. Maybe just use lemon oil or other neck conditioning oil?

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This is going to end up a serious learning experience...

The smoothest necks I have played have been oiled, be it tung, danish, crimson, Osmo (for floors actually) etc. Anyhow something that leaves the surface matte and less coated than any lacquer or poly or whatever the thick clearcoats are called in different countries.

A maple fretboard will work even without any lacquer but it will soon get dirty. No matter how well you wash your hands, your fingers will always sweat and tarnish the strings and the oxidized metal will then be rubbed into the wood. You can use the same oils mentioned earlier but in order to keep the fretboard clean you'd have to clean and restore the oil pretty often. Then again, if the blotchy grey doesn't matter similar maintenance as with darker fretboards is sufficient.

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