Can you sand a neck and make it thinner? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

Like making a Wizard III closer to a Wizard I? So we're talking 1.5-2mm difference here.

I've seen at least one guitar with an unnaturally thin neck so I assume it is possible, but how much work is involved and how easy is it to permanently mess up the neck?

Is it something one can attempt themselves or is it best to have a professional do it (if it's even possible)?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:49 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

I've done it to several of mine.......1-2mm off of a WizIII won't hurt it, but use common sense. Try to maintain all of the original curves and shape of the neck.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:53 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

I ended up taking about 1.5mm off of this neck (the one in the foreground). Its an original Wizard.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

How long did it take you? What types of sandpaper did you use? How do you finish it when you're done?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:38 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

does it effect to the strength of the neck?
Please do share...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:06 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

You would want to start with something coarse at first to remove the most wood. Something around 220. Then a few with 500. Then go to 800-1000 and finish off with some 0000 steel wool before either applying an oil finish or gunstock oil which will give you a smooth clear finish like before. If you get orange peel, than wet sand with 1200, and apply a few more and wet sand again, polish and peace out.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:17 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

I applied 3 light coats of Cabots spray on Polyurethane oil on my last neck. Gave it six hours between coats and it turned out beautifully.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

For me it's a little more involved than just grabbing some 120 grit and going at it. I have to leave for work now, but I'll be back on tonight to give you the play by play.

BTW......where in Chi are you? Obviously I'm far south side.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 10:04 AM
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

Yeah as long as you don't open the truss rod's cage
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

Word of caution -- go slow. It's pretty easy to create undesired flat spots on the back of the neck when using a regular flat sanding block. A few hard strokes with 220 can result in a flat spot or a depression that will never go away, and which you'll always feel, unless you then sand away the surrounding area to match it (not good).

I'd suggest buying (or making) a curved block that is close to the contour you want for the neck. You can affix the sandpaper to it with 3M adhesive. Also, it's really good to have a 2nd neck whose shape you're trying to duplicate. You can then use one of those wire shape-matching tools (I forget what they're called) to constantly check your progress.

Seriously, this is one of those jobs that can be easy to do, but equally easy to screw up.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 10:59 PM
 
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Re: Can you sand a neck and make it thinner?

I did this a few years ago just out of curiosity. I used a depth gauge, a small drill bit, 100 - 320 grit sand paper, pencil, curved sanding block.

Made 3 straight lines down the neck (left, center, right) about 1/2" spread then I made about 1 dozen 2mm deep dimples with the drill bit (by hand, no drill is needed) down the center line, about 1mm deep down the left and right lines. I took the pencil and colored in the dimples. Then I made an X pattern with the pencil all over the neck. This is used as a reference when sanding. As the pattern fades you can see where you are putting too much pressure. Once all the pencil is gone look at the dimples, they should be getting smaller. I made the X pattern several times as I sanded until the dimples were almost gone. From that point I used the 320 paper until the neck was nice and smooth. I went slow so this took a while but it did come out perfect. Good luck!
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