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0000 steel wool and guitar necks


DJB08

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Hello friends.

 

I've seen it referenced that 0000 steel wool will help smooth out a neck, take away the stickiness...

 

I would like my dot to be a bit smoother, I don't mind that the finish would be dulled by using the 0000.

I was wondering if anyone can provide a sort of...step by step process or guide if you will in doing this.

 

Does any one have any photos of their necks after they have done this??

 

Thanks

DJB

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The only guitar I have that needs this kind of treatment is my 2005 Gibson Advanced Jumbo acoustic. It has a nitro finish that, especially in hotter weather, will get a bit sticky. What I do is first cover the soundhole on my acoustic with a cloth and make sure it stays there. The reasoning behind that is because of the pickup I have installed in my Gibson. I don't want any steel wool shavings to get stuck to the pickup magnets. I would assume that you would want to make sure your pickups are also covered on an electric. I have heard of people using painters tape or plastic wrap, but i have found that just a carefully placed cloth baby diaper (what I use to wipe all my guitars down with) will effectively cover the hole so the pickups are safe.

 

Next take your 0000 steel wool (I wouldn't use anything courser) and lightly rub the back of the neck up and down without "digging" in too much. This works great but rest assured that once you play, you are starting to gloss it back up with your hand. I find during the summer, I need to do this about once a month or so, but then again I am rotating through 4 acoustic guitars for playing time. You may end up glossing it back quicker. Once you notice it getting sticky again, re-do it but ALWAYS COVER YOUR PICKUPS!!! Steel wool shavings will adhear to a magnetic pickup in no time. I actually use a magnet to clean up my work area prior to removing my cloth soundhole cover.

 

Don't be afraid.... you won't see any scratch marks and you will notice the difference in how quick the neck feels when your done.

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nobodys really mentioned the IMPORTANT part here........(#2)

1. rub lightly a few strokes up&down

2. wipe clean with a soft cloth (an old washcloth is GREAT for this)after every few strokes.

3. fold or turn wool so that a "clean side" is against the neck

4. repeat steps 1,2,&3 until it's as "satiny" as you like.

5. buff (back & forth crosswise, just like a shoe) with the rough side (usually the inside) of a leather belt to "re-seal" the grain.

6. repeat step 2

DONE

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I have dont this with all my Fender guitars, ad taken it much further - I removed all the finish completely from my Telecaster and Strat necks, just leaving the sealed wood. They feel so much better to me, I did the same thing with my Gibson Les Paul Special Faded - took the neck down to the mahogany. Looks strange, plays great.

Mask the pickups as stated, but be warned - once you try this, you may never go back. It's a real improvement to me, at least.

 

mark

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You can achieve the same result using a Teflon type, not steel or brass, dishwashing scratcher pad. I did my whole Dot Deluxe and it is much better. The neck looked and played beautiful. If one does the whole guitar they need to use some "cut" or scratch and swirl remover car polish on it to lessen the swirl pattern and bring out a nice luster. Either way no risk of removing too much poly or having runaway iron filings. (We are only talking polyurethane coated guitars here.)

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There is one other product that works absolutely wonderful. It's the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You get it in the grocery store cleanser aisle. You do need to wet it first and squeeze out all the water. This will take off oil, goo, and if you rub hard, the poly, so go softly. It kind of desolves as you use it, so you'll see small white particles. Just wipe off. It works wonders removing the gunk buildup on the fretboard, again, go gently.

 

There is no cleanser in the eraser, it's just this weird kind of sponge-like material, so you are not putting anything on your guitar. You can use it on glass without scratching it, so it is gentle.

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RTFQ!!!! =D>

You are right I didn't read the whole question any way I have heard on other forums that Virtuoso cleaner and polish does wonders to mucked up guitar finishes especially if they have a lacquer finish. It's a little expensive $10.00 a bottle each cleaner and polish. Suppose to be the best polish around contains no wax.

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I've never had a "stick" problem with mine, the 3 Gibsons I owned are another story, especially the SG Standard...real pretty guitar, but I was constantly wiping the neck on it because the sweat from my hand would I assume react with the nitro, making it really sticky in any humidity. Maybe I sweat turpentine, I dunno, but I'd never do that to my most beloved, and trusted Blue Bomber...nope, I won't do it!

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Hmm...so we have a few who swear by the 0000 steel wool. Grant suggests something that is teflon based and deflepfan suggests mr.clean magic eraser...Now, I removed the finish completely from the back of my Epi Hummingbird some time ago. It's down to bare wood that was sealed with tongue oil. that would be ideal with the DOT too but, not right now. When the Bird was being decoated just getting under the intial coats left a very dull appearance. which might even work for the DOT. Not sure..I'm open to trying out a few methods. I'll have some time on Sunday - but, if it's good weather I'll be out on my bike! But no worreis my pick ups are going to be taped over entirely!!

Any other suggestions for different materials to use in Bender's "Step 5- buffing..."?

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Hmm...so we have a few who swear by the 0000 steel wool. Grant suggests something that is teflon based and deflepfan suggests mr.clean magic eraser...Now' date=' I removed the finish completely from the back of my Epi Hummingbird some time ago. It's down to bare wood that was sealed with tongue oil. that would be ideal with the DOT too but, not right now. When the Bird was being decoated just getting under the intial coats left a very dull appearance. which might even work for the DOT. Not sure..I'm open to trying out a few methods. I'll have some time on Sunday - but, if it's good weather I'll be out on my bike! But no worreis my pick ups are going to be taped over entirely!!

Any other suggestions for different materials to use in Bender's "Step 5- buffing..."?[/quote']

 

 

I am sorry but I disagree with some of the folks. I personally would try a primo guitar cleaner and polish like Virtuoso Brand before I sanded the finish but thats my opinion. You can get it for $20 online the stuff is real easy to apply and other people swear that their finish is as good or even better than brand new. Your call?

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If you actually "RTFQ", the OT is asking if anyone has photos of their neck after modding it to reduce "stickyness". I don't but if anyone thinks it is important I can take one and post it.

 

I think the debate here is based on what constitutes stickyness- gunk on the neck or the nature of glossy (poly) finishes. I got the impression the OT was thinking of the latter. My LP Ultra ll came with what Gibson calls a satin neck, meaning it is not glossy. It is faster without the gloss but as other posters mentioned the neck becomes more slick with playing. My Dot did not have a satin neck but using the scratcher pad to dull the finish made it look and play better.

 

If you want to see how the Dot looked after dulling the whole guitar see this link. I am Sin Nombre on this forum.

 

Dulling poly finishes thread

 

As far as my later comments on the thread about the swirl problem, it is not an issue on the curved neck, and I have since cured the swirls on the flat parts of the guitar with "Swirl & Scratch Remover" car polish.

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Grant, I'd love to see it. I mean, I assume you did the entire guitar. which looks great by the way. I love the way the new finish dulls the yellow of the VS. Mine is VS too and it can pop just a bit too much sometime but,I'm not ready to get in to the entire body though. Neck first...

I really appreciate everyone's input. I was really having zero luck using search engines. Things only really came up for strats.

and yes, RobintheHood, leather guitar strap would be great too. I have one to use for such a project luckily.

 

This all started when my pal showed me his brand new Gibson Les Paul Standard. Ebony. satin neck,back and sides....OMG!!! talk about and unreal guitar! Coil splitters and locking tuners...

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Here you go. You can see where the headstock broke off and was repaired good as new. I opted to not have the cosmetic work done.

 

epidotneck2.jpg

 

Now I am not sure the scratcher pad is better than fine steel wool. The swirls don't show up until you put the guitar in direct sunlight, like when taking a photo. Before I took this photo I went over the neck with some fine wool and it seemed to soften the swirls from the pad. I did not use the random orbital sander that they are using on the poly dulling thread so I don't know how they compare to using the pad without the sander. Maybe the pad is good for breaking through the poly finish and then the fine wool can tame the swirls, followed by some kind of car polish, regular to bring back the luster or "cut" to further tame the swirls and bring back some luster. Try experimenting in some small areas to see what you think. Also consider how often you play in direct sunlight.

I believe any of these techniques could be redone when the neck gets slick from playing without ever going through the poly.

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Wow. Grant that is exactly what I am going for. I have a feeling I will be spending some time on this over the weekend.

I feel like i can do the entire neck,including the base, with the 0000 wool. Swirl and scratch remover seems like a great option in case the neck looks kind of zany at the base. I don't play in direct light to often so I'm not too concerned.

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