Making a Gloss Neck Smooth? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

Hey everybody,

My Epiphone Les Paul has this crappy and tacky gloss finished neck and was wondering what you guys do to alleviate issues associated with gloss finishes. I always find my thumb dragging on the neck whilst moving up and down the fretboard and it's really slowing me down in terms of speed and accuracy.

Some things I've heard people do is take a scotchbrite pad and rough up the neck a bit to create air pockets to reduce the friction (seems legit), or just completely sanding off the devil gloss and refinishing it with something less friction prone.

What would you folks recommend?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 06:37 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

What works great but takes a little time is to sand it with varying grits of sand paper until you get to about 3000 grit. I would start with 1000 grit go to 1500 then 2000 and finally 3000. It will give your neck a flat finish and be super smooth.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

That sounds good, obviously I'm not too worried about what some people would say is 'ruining' my guitar, just making it more playable. How do I know when to switch grits of sandpaper, or is that just a stupid question?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 08:03 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

The 1000 grit should take all the shine off. Go slow wipe the dust off peridotically. This will insure you only take the shine off. Once done each grit after that is used to take the previous grits sand scratches out. These steps will be far less sanding than you will need to do with the 1000 grit. And to be honest you don't need to go all the way to 3000 stop whenever you are happy with the feel.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 08:23 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

If you are not comfortable with all that sanding you could go the grey schotchbrite path. It is close to 3000 but you will see some sand scratches with it. You are pretty much assured that you won't go through the paint that way. I would say get a piece of the schotchbrite and try it first. You can always follow that up with a couple of pieces of 3000. Good luck
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 08:40 PM
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

I just did that JC7 they resprayed the neck on with 800 dry. You definitely don't need any more than that. Get it too scratchless and you'll just polish it by playing it. Sugi uses 1200 dry to degloss.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 09:04 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

My 1980 Les Paul Custom had that super typical thick tacky finish which never quite felt dry and was taken care of by previous owner by fine sandpaper routine. Being an older one, it had a three piece maple neck so there was no need to worry about cracking as on your mahogany necked Epi Les Paul if sanded down to wood (unless you have a certain Epi with maple Les Paul neck like Zakk Wylde or similar).
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcmiller View Post
If you are not comfortable with all that sanding you could go the grey schotchbrite path. It is close to 3000 but you will see some sand scratches with it. You are pretty much assured that you won't go through the paint that way. I would say get a piece of the schotchbrite and try it first. You can always follow that up with a couple of pieces of 3000. Good luck
Awesome thanks man, I'm definitely going to try out the scotchbrite method first and see how I feel about the playability after that. If further futzin with is in order then let it be so! haha, but yeah, thanks for the help man.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

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Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
My 1980 Les Paul Custom had that super typical thick tacky finish which never quite felt dry and was taken care of by previous owner by fine sandpaper routine. Being an older one, it had a three piece maple neck so there was no need to worry about cracking as on your mahogany necked Epi Les Paul if sanded down to wood (unless you have a certain Epi with maple Les Paul neck like Zakk Wylde or similar).
2007 Epi LP Standard Plus Top, so it has a mahogany neck.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:30 AM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

Just sand it with 600 or 800 grit. I have used all the way down to 220 and liked it. Either way it will knock the finish down to a satin. You can always polish it back out later if you want to sell it.

As far as mahogany and not being finished, I wouldn't worry too much. You'd have to take the finish down pretty far to get in to the filler coat. If you want to take it all the way down, just use tung oil to finish it back off.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

Wonderful tips everyone, I'm off to home depot today to pick up some sandpaper. Can't wait until this bastard gloss is off. It took me a while to realize what I was hating about my guitar, this was it. What is the point of a gloss neck anyway?
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:20 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_H View Post
Wonderful tips everyone, I'm off to home depot today to pick up some sandpaper. Can't wait until this bastard gloss is off. It took me a while to realize what I was hating about my guitar, this was it. What is the point of a gloss neck anyway?
It's there to match the rest of the guitar, and it's cheaper to produce.

I have seen some expensive guitars with the usual gloss on the top, back, and sides but with a special thinner, satin finish only on back of neck. Some Gibson custom shop guitars come like this right off the factory floor, but it's much easier and cheaper to give a shiny, uniform finish on entire guitar and neck.

And like you, many a guitar player who likes a smoother feel sand off the stickiness/tackiness of shiny backed necks anyway. I have been intrigued by the Zakk Wylde Les Paul that appears to have the shiny parts on the body and satin parts on the neck where it's in contact with the hands.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:33 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

My best feeling neck is an old Roadstar II neck on my frankenstrat project guitar. I sanded down the finish to wood and then just rubbed some cheap Minwax oil stain on it. Smooth and silky, not tacky at all. Plays awesome. I think I started with 220 and ended up with 800 or 1000.

There are some very high end guitars with glossy finished necks, like the through-neck Jackson USA Soloists. Personally I just don't notice it that much. My old worn out '76 Les Paul and '06 SZ320 both have glossy finished necks and play just fine. Maybe if I was talented and fast it would make a difference in my playing... lol.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

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Originally Posted by FireEagle View Post
My best feeling neck is an old Roadstar II neck on my frankenstrat project guitar. I sanded down the finish to wood and then just rubbed some cheap Minwax oil stain on it. Smooth and silky, not tacky at all. Plays awesome. I think I started with 220 and ended up with 800 or 1000.

There are some very high end guitars with glossy finished necks, like the through-neck Jackson USA Soloists. Personally I just don't notice it that much. My old worn out '76 Les Paul and '06 SZ320 both have glossy finished necks and play just fine. Maybe if I was talented and fast it would make a difference in my playing... lol.
You're implying I'm talented? Awww you're a sweetheart bahahaha . Maybe its just my model of LP that has an annoyingly sticky neck
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 03:43 PM
 
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Re: Making a Gloss Neck Smooth?

A friend of mine got a Hetfield Snakebyte ESP (the Japanese-made version) for Christmas, and it passed through my house before it went under his Christmas tree. It had a gloss neck finish... I set it up for him, and it sounded really cool cranked up to 11 and run through some distortion... the thing was made to play Master of Puppets. But... between the shorter scale and the glossy neck, I absolutely despised playing it. Very pretty, very nice guitar. Just not my bag.

All my guitars are bolt on. I take the neck off, tape-up any trim or edges that I don't want touched... then sand it with 1000-1500 grit, wet with a tiny bit of soap in the water. Dry it, then polish with synthetic 3M 0000 wool. It produces a satin finish that makes the wood grain really pop... it almost glows. My Universe's neck has tiger-striped maple that has a 3D prismatic shine in light (that picture barely does it any justice). Every guitar I own gets prepped this way. They look and feel awesome to me.
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