“Sanding Down” Satin Poly Neck?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by spizike231, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. spizike231

    spizike231 Strat-Talker

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    Wanted to know the best method to get the satin poly neck on my MIM Standard down to bare wood (or close enough to it).

    I want it to eventually get that discolored look that you see on old Strats but I understand that poly is basically plastic and won’t ever break down or discolor the way I want it to.

    I’m hoping to “sand it down” enough to where years of playing will actually show on the neck and it’ll basically have the color / texture that a custom shop Strat does.. but done by my own hands.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sanding it down is easy.. but beware.. once you have bare wood your neck will not only absorb your sweat, it will absorb moisture far easier too, and feel sticky until its dried out. It certainly does in UK anyway..

    If you really want to get the poly off, lightly scrape first with a tungsten tipped scraper, and then sand with 3M 400 grade upwards until smooth and blended in to the ends of the neck.

    I did this with the neck on my old AM Standard, not because I wanted it to look worn, but because I have terribly sweaty palms, and it was like playing fly paper. I sealed my neck though with a couple of wipes with Danish oil. Super smooth now.

    I've been playing that neck for nearly twenty years and it still doesn't look like its come out out of the Custom Shop. I reckon, all the guys that play their guitars have just finished working on their car engines.. ha ha ;):whistling:
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Give it ten or more years and it will change colour. Give it twenty and classic Strat fingerboard wear patterns will start to show.

    I thought that the custom shop just took the guitars down to the garage and threw the old oil filters at them...
     
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  4. miveli

    miveli Strat-Talk Member

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    Dear spizike as Will said you need to have moisture protection. Naked wood is sensible need to breath and w/o protection it will not be stable. I had experience with naked EVH Music man and i visited luthier to adjust it. My suggestion is to think of some even thick protection.
     
  5. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ve got a strat that’s 30 years old with no finish on most of the neck and it’s perfectly stable - i live in Pretty variable and humid climate too...

    My 2002 Tele had that fault with the varnish that caused the neck finish to crack and peel - I just used a green scotch pad to clear the finish off the back where it was broken - ita smooth now and has that dirty grey look that old fenders get... the neck on that is stable too...
    E413D557-1642-4C78-A584-4CC1151F4A52.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  6. Jimgchord

    Jimgchord Strat-O-Master

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    Cabinet scraper
     
  7. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    @Mr C the back of your neck nearly matches your toenails LOL!
     
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  8. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    :D
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    use 800 grit sandpaper to make the back of the neck finish silky smooth. It will feel broken in and well aged but if you decide later you want a nice polished neck again (perhaps you decide to sell this one for another) you can use higher grits and polish compound and be right back.

    You don't want to go to bare wood. Satin finish and rolled fretboard edges and you'll have a guitar neck as comfortable as an old pair of favorite jeans.

    .
     
  10. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster

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    Green Scotchbrite.

    Harder to get to bare wood, but can remove enough that it'll feel worn in.

    Satin finishes aren't as highly polished as gloss, so you may actually see it getting more shine- as you knock off the high parts and smooth everything out.
     
  11. stratnutz

    stratnutz Senior Stratmaster

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    Right jaybones, scotchbrite will make it feel fantastic,
    but if your going for looks over feel, sand with progressively finer sand paper
    with the grain,I would start with 400 grit.