Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i have a baker b1 plus that is unfortunately an ed roman made baker and not an actual gene baker. I paid about what it is worth and it is actually a pretty awesome guitar.

I hate the finish on the neck. So i have sanded necks down and had ok results but i was wondering if there was an easier way for a bound neck. I read somewhere about a stripper that wouldn't eat the plastic binding. I was also thinking about maybe a heat gun or torch but again i am not too sure about protecting the binding.

Worst case i just put new binding on but i'd like to not have to.

anyways looking for advice and tips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I wouldn't trust any chemical strippers to not eat the plastic binding even if it did say it wouldn't.

A heat gun would be ok but you'd have to be really careful around the binding to not mess it up. In the long run a heat gun with the binding would probably be more trouble than wha it's worth.

Overall I think your best bet is going to be good ole sandpaper and elbow grease. A neck isn't that big of an area to have to sand down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wouldn't trust any chemical strippers to not eat the plastic binding even if it did say it wouldn't.

A heat gun would be ok but you'd have to be really careful around the binding to not mess it up. In the long run a heat gun with the binding would probably be more trouble than wha it's worth.

Overall I think your best bet is going to be good ole sandpaper and elbow grease. A neck isn't that big of an area to have to sand down.
You are probably right, but when i have done this in the past i used sandpaper and like i said the necks came out ok but mine dont seem as professional looking as i have seen others.

Whatever i do i will post pictures of the progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Definitely use sandpaper....

To get a professional look you need to go through the grits.
I'd start stripping the paint with 120grit down to the wood then work your way up to 1000 grit, slap on some Danish Oil and enjoy your new silky smooth neck.

Use a hard foam sanding block to keep everything even. You want to sand up and down the neck with it and avoid trying to take the paint off all at once in small sections.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
^^^^ absolutely this!!!

What Mad and Swirl have said are correct. ANY heat or chemical strippers will damage your binding. You also run the risk of delaminating your fretboard with heat.

Using a flexible scraper is another option that will take that thick finish off pretty quickly, but it's also a tool that requires some practice before hand to get the feel of it...........

I use the #0628 a LOT:
http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Binding/Scraper_Blades.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
To second what Swirltop said go through the sandpaper grits. Start out with 120 grit to remove the bulk of the finish. Take the rest of it off with 220 & 320 grits. Once you’re down to the bare wood start going through the higher grits; 400, 600, 800, 1000. You can go to 1200 grit if you want to, but 1000 should be good enough. Always use long strokes going with the grain and using even pressure along the whole length of the neck. As Swirltop said use a hard foam sanding block. You want the sanding block to be dense enough to provide even pressure but just flexible enough to conform to the shape of the neck; you don't want to accidentally sand flat spots. After you're done with sanding an oil finish makes for a really fast neck.

Again as Swirltop said danish oil works well. Other good oil choices are tung oil or boiled linseed oil (boiled as in from the factory not you have to boil it). Tru-oil is another good choice, I've used this a lot. It's basically linseed oil with other additives to make it dry harder. All those oil choices will dry non sticky & in layers. Whichever oil you use the application process will be the same. Spread it on evenly in thin layers. Let each layer at least be dry to the touch before adding the next layer. You can also lightly sand between every few layers with 600 or 800 grit paper to keep everything smooth. If you sand between layers let it dry at least overnight. If you want a super fast neck only use enough oil to seal and protect the wood. After you have applied the oil and let it fully harden (usually takes a few days to a week) hit it with some high grit sandpaper (800 then 1000, up to 1200 grit). Use light pressure here and let the sandpaper do the work. You're goal here is to knock down any rag/brush strokes and smooth everything out. A quick wipe down and you’re done.

Extra tips to get that professional look.
Be patient and take your time. I can't stress this one enough. Nothing else contributes more to a poor looking finish than trying to rush through it.

At minimum sand sown the entire back of the neck including the back of the headstock. You can sand down the sides of the headstock at your discretion. Two different finishes meeting at a corner looks fine but two different finishes meeting on the same surface will never look right.

Finally don't be stingy with the sandpaper. Change it out often especially when initially sanding off the finish. When sanding down finishes the lacquer (or whatever factory finish) can clog up the sandpaper quickly. Sandpaper clogged with old finish can easily make deep scratches that are harder to sand out.

I hope this will be helpful and good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Danish oil is much more fool proof than tru-oil or other oils that sit on the surface though.
It hardens inside the wood instead of on top of it and doesn't need sanding or anything else if you apply it correctly.
All you do is wipe it on then wait 30 mins while reapplying oil to the spots that dry out.
Then wipe off all the oil that hasn't soaked in with a rag.
Wipe more on, wait 15 mins, then wipe the excess off. That's it, wait a couple days and the neck is ready to shred.
Also you can tape off a sort of V shape at the back of the headstock behind the nut if you don't want to sand off the back of the headstock. Like so:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Thanks Swirl For catching that distinction between Danish & the other oils that I missed. I got caught up rambling about the process for the other oils I forgot to put that in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Thanks Swirl For catching that distinction between Danish & the other oils that I missed. I got caught up rambling about the process for the other oils I forgot to put that in.
I love the feel of Danish oil on the back of necks, it's my favorite type of finish for that purpose... So I'm a bit biased :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I love the feel of Danish oil on the back of necks, it's my favorite type of finish for that purpose... So I'm a bit biased :p
I understand that one, I've been using tru-oil for finishing necks for so long I automatically gravitate to that and sometimes forget about the other options. :D

Honestly I love any type of oil finish on a neck. It feels so much better and doesn't start to feel tacky when your palms starts sweating like lacquer or poly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate all the feedback.

I have used tung oil and boiled linseed oil. I like tung a little better. I have used danish oil on other wood projects but never on a guitar neck. I picked up some tung oil for this one.

I considered trying teak oil, but decided against using something new on this neck. I have a MIM strat neck that i can try it on later.

i am not sure if i want to leave a stinger or not. I'll have to see how much success i have getting the finish off the neck then figure out if the headstock is worth messing with.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
Have any of you guys tried an old fashioned shellac on a neck? I'm really tempted to do a french polish using shellac flake on an all maple neck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
never used shellac. I have wondered the same thing though. It can make a really beautiful finish and seems easy enough, just patience and time.


I started working on the neck today and made some great progress. I will try and post some pictures if i get a chance.

I started off using a flexible paint scrapper. Took a lot of the finish off quickly. I did the best i could using it for majority of the neck. Once i got most of the finish i switched to an 80 grit sponge. Worked well again on the majority of the neck, but i didn't think about getting the corners where the neck meets the body.

At this point i decided to try out the stripper i got. I put it on a small section and waited a few minuets. I wiped it off and it didn't really take a whole lot off. Which works out great because a couple of spots still had a little finish. It softened them up enough to scrape clean with a razor blade. I tested it on a really small section of binding and it didn't eat it. So it has been a really great thing to have.

anyways still have a lot of sanding to and still haven't figured out what i want to do with the headstock.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
never used shellac. I have wondered the same thing though. It can make a really beautiful finish and seems easy enough, just patience and time.

I started working on the neck today and made some great progress. I will try and post some pictures if i get a chance.

I started off using a flexible paint scrapper. Took a lot of the finish off quickly. I did the best i could using it for majority of the neck. Once i got most of the finish i switched to an 80 grit sponge. Worked well again on the majority of the neck, but i didn't think about getting the corners where the neck meets the body.

At this point i decided to try out the stripper i got. I put it on a small section and waited a few minuets. I wiped it off and it didn't really take a whole lot off. Which works out great because a couple of spots still had a little finish. It softened them up enough to scrape clean with a razor blade. I tested it on a really small section of binding and it didn't eat it. So it has been a really great thing to have.

anyways still have a lot of sanding to and still haven't figured out what i want to do with the headstock.
How about some pics man......8)

What brand is the stripper you used? I always like to try new products.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So this is when i first started with the scrapper.



After some more sanding/stripping . Like i said i am not sure what i want to do for the headstock so i just taped it off for now.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Have any of you guys tried an old fashioned shellac on a neck? I'm really tempted to do a french polish using shellac flake on an all maple neck
You might as well spray it with lacquer IMO. I use shellac all the time for sanding sealer/barrier coat. But IMO it wouldn't be as durable as lacquer and it would be just as sticky unless you left it scuffed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Shellac will be just as durable as any finish but it's more traditionally used on acoustic instruments; not so much on electrics. The reasoning for that I believe is that it better preserves the acoustic tone of the instrument than a thick nitro lacquer finish. Doing the french polish method is just as labor intensive as any other method but in a different way to get a high gloss. With other methods the shine comes from sanding down through progressively higher grits of sandpaper then using polishing compounds. With french polish the shine is achieved through the way you apply the shellac. The only sanding needed in french polish is 1) in the very begenning to make a little slurry with it to fill the grain or 2) if you accidentally glob it or have really high rag strokes that need to be knocked down.

The preperations before starting a french polishing is all about the same. There's a couple of thechniques you can use for the application depending on what you're most comfortable with. You can do long strokes across the guitar or go to town rubbing in circles. Either way you want to apply it in extremely thin layers to the point where by the time you've gone across the entire body the part you started at is dry. Go back to your original starting point and apply the next thin layer. Keep doing that until it starts to feel too tacky when applying (somewhere between 15-20 passes) then stop there and let it dry well. Application session 1 complete. You'll do the following sessions just as you did in the first. It takes usually 3-4 sesions total to fully build up your finish. For the last couple of layers you apply you'll want to thin out the shellac a little more so it flows more smoothly. Some people will do a quick sand with 1200 grit paper before applying the final layers to knock down rag strokes but if you took your time and applied it correctly it won't be necessary. After applying the final layers and letting it fully dry you're done and should have a nice high gloss finish.

A few tips to do along the way to make the application process go smoother: Once you have your applicator ball thing ready and fill it with shellac a few drops of alcohol will help to get things flowing. As you're applying make sure to use even pressure. If after you get a couple of layers on and it feels like it's being a bit gummy as you wipe you can add a dab of mineral oil to the applicator as a lubricant. the mineral oil won't interfear with the finish because it will float to the top. If you use mineral oil anywhere in your sessions you want to wipe it off with naptha after everything dries and before you start the next session. Between your sessions you'll want to store the application rag in an air tight container so it doesn't dry out. A ziploc bag or mason jar works well for this.

Here's a series of video's done by six gun guitars I came across that shows the whole french polish process pretty well.

Up at the top of the play list is french polish parts 1-8. There's also a video in the list that talks about mixing shellac. And for the OP there are a few videos on other finishes that you may find useful when you get to refinishing your neck.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
If you go with shellac don't go anywhere near it if you're having a few drinks...
Alcohol will eat right through it, that's why I consider it less durable for guitars.
Alcohol and guitars seem to go together a lot :p
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top