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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Oil for raw mahogany neck?

Hey guys -

Sorry but I know this is probably in the wrong place but... forgive me.

I have a new custom neck. It's made of mahogany and the fretboard is roasted maple. I am wondering what oil I need to rub into the mahogany, and perhaps the maple. I have read that the maple, during the roasting process, releases natural oils and does not ever need to be treated, but I don't know if that's true. Also I was thinking either lemon oil or something else for the mahogany (lemon doesn't seem right in my mind but I don't remember)... help is appreciated. Thanks!

DM
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 03:03 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I sanded off the poly finish off my mahogany neck and oiled it with Dunlop Lemon Oil and music store said it should have more than just that otherwise it may crack.

I used shellac and that did the trick for the mahogany neck. It's a great old world method but it's extremely tedious and takes many coats and is improved with light sanding between coats.

So I put on light coat, sand of 80% percent or more off, do another coat, sand, coat, sand, coat, sand, etc.

And I only do three or four inches of the back of the mahogany neck at a time since the French polish method dries so fast. If done right, you can still get the feel of an almost bare wood mahogany neck and not dampen the resonance. It gives just enough protection to avoid easy cracking (as is the case with bare mahogany) but not so much finish on the wood that easier methods put on which dampen wood tone and make a neck feel plastic-like.

I did my shellac on neck for two days this way, waited a couple of weeks and then re-applied five or six coats. If we are talking about a bare maple neck that's maple like a strat type neck then I leave it alone and maple can take the abuse like Van Halen type guitars, but mahogany is a little brittle and needs some protection.

As for maple being oiled I heard it could get stained.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 03-08-2015 at 11:10 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 11:04 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

There are severaly oil finishes you can use-

Tru Oil gunstock oil followed by gunstock wax- both made by Birchwood Casey

Teak oil finish or Danish Oil finish- both made by Watco. Can be found at most big box hardware stores (Home Depot, Lowes....etc)

Pure mineral oil and Bees wax- slowly melted together at a 50/50 ratio. This is what I use on my oiled necks. It has the most transparent feel out of all the options I mentioned, but needs to be re-applied from time to time.....it is NOT a finsh.

You want an oil finish (hardens and seals as it cures) to the maple board. If you dont, your board will stain and discolor easily.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I am editing as I saw your post again and the bees' wax and oil is not a finish... so will any of the other options discolor? It sounds to me like the gunstock oil and wax may be dark, but they will also be easily attainable in my small town.

Last edited by Dexter Morgan; 03-08-2015 at 03:07 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 05:55 PM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

The oil and bees wax won't stain, but it can wear through. It's also the easiest treatment to apply and remove. The downside is that, if you play a lot, you would have to recoat once a year.

Tru-Oil, teak oil finish, and Danish oil finish are all about the same as far as an amber color goes. In fact, I think the teak and danish oils are the same thing with the small difference of the teak oil being thinner when applying. None of the three are dark colored. The finished product will be the same "darkness" as getting the raw material wet.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

Ok, thanks man. The maple is already pretty dark for maple, so I'd like to keep it as light as I can. What about the gun oil - is it dark or not so much?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 11:01 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I use Tru-oil gunstock oil alot on natural wood projects. As RTG said it's not dark colored, it basically looks the same as if you dampened the raw wood with water. It is pretty transparent with only the slightest hint of amber coloration thats really only noticable if you catch it in the right light.

The one thing that tru-oil does (and most other types of oil finishes) is really pop the grain lines and any figure in the wood. The finished product looks reall good.

here's a pic of a guitar I did a while back... The stripes in the body and headstock are maple finished in tru oil. And the color has not faded or yellowed at all over the 10 or so years since I've done it.


And here's how tru-oil will look on mahogany.

Last edited by madasahatter; 03-10-2015 at 11:09 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

Wow, those are pretty. Thanks, I think I will go for the gunstock oil as it is easy for me to get a hold of.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 05:15 PM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I think you'll be happy with the results from the tru-oil. A couple of tips for applying it... for prepping the wood you can follow the directions on the bottle. It'll say to sand with 220 grit paper but I like to go to 320 and sand with the grain to aviod scratch marks. The directions will also say to slap on one thick coat but what I find works better is multiple thin coats. What I like to do is apply a few thin coats waiting about an hour between them then let dry overnight. After that lightly sand with 400 grit paper. Sanding between every 4 or 5 coats helps keep everything smooth & level. Repeat this process several times until you've built up enough layers. Once you have enough layers do one final thin coat let it dry for a few days then lightly hit it with some 0000 steel wool. Just use enough pressure to take out any rag strokes. Then you can rub on some gunstok sheen (made by the same people) to polish it up to a nice matteish finish. You can mix the tru-oil with some mineral spirits on the last coat to thin it out some so it goes on smoother and more level. The final results will be a nice smooth fast neck.

Something to watch out for when doing the final sanding with steel wool and buffing is witness lines. Witness lines come from if you sand through the top layer down to the layer underneath. The layers bond together but dont's actually fuse together like lacquer. If you do accidentally sand through the top layer don't worry, you'll just have to apply 1 or 2 more coats and rebuff.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

Thanks you very much - I appreciate the help. I will post some pics; this is a pretty neck and I think the oil will bring out some nice tones. Thanks again!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 04:52 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I use danish oil for necks and it is absolutely fine.

A good tip is to rub the back of the bare wood with some harder wood shavings (if you have some) and this brings out any grain nicely.

The other thing to do is to make sure that the final few coats you apply and rubbed into the wood vigourously to create some heat. This gives a slightly more polished feel.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 02:21 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I used tung oil on my latest project and that felt really nice. You probably have to do some maintenance coats on it ever year though...
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 01:19 AM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

danish oil works well, but most of the time i use tung oil. It is easy to apply and wipe off, take mulitple coats without any special treatment (other than time ) and feels natural.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 04:47 PM
 
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Re: Oil for raw mahogany neck?

I'll go for the oil.
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