Join Strat-Talk Today

Care of Maple Neck

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by raf66, May 20, 2009.

  1. raf66

    raf66 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hi everyone. I thought I'd ask the group for some guidance as I trust your opinions. I've learned a lot from the board in the past and I welcome any suggestions you may have.

    I have an '08 MIA Std 3-tone burst with maple neck that I truly love. Sometimes my love takes the form of too much cleaning so I can keep her looking as lovely as the day I brought her home. Anyway, about a month ago I changed strings and gave her a full cleaning, which really just includes a good wipe down with guitar cleaner/polish. I also tried for the first time on this guitar the old 000 steel wool on the neck trick, lightly rubbing to try to get any dirt/grime off the neck and frets. I do this on my Taylor acoustic but the neck on my acoustic is mahogany.

    After doing this I noticed that the neck seems a little scuffed up, and, though not terribly noticeable, I'm worried that I've done something irreversibly bad. Do you think this was a bonehead move that will leave the neck permanently scarred or will I at some point be able to get the neck back to its pristine shiny condition?

    Thanks.
     
  2. dman

    dman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    765
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Antioch, IL
    Four-ought steel wool is fine for polishing frets, but maple fingerboards should be masked off. Also mask off your pickups on all electrics to keep steel wool shards from collecting on and in them. Finally, careful use of a good polishing compound should put your neck right!
     
  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    8,303
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    in New Orleans' past
    Now that you've done the 000, you should be able to go back over it with 0000 the next time and it will erase a lot of the heaviest scuff marks and replace them with lots of smaller scuff marks. It should look better like that.

    If that still doesn't look right, the time after that, try some test samples of some polishing compounds - find one that is just a little finer than the 0000 for your next cleaning sessions. Just gradually bring the finish back to a soft glow.
     
  4. sevycat

    sevycat Custom Shop Cat Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    12,007
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    It seems to me that if your working on a strat or tele. The best coarse would be to take the neck off and do the work.
     
  5. dman

    dman Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    765
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Antioch, IL
    Yup, sevycat, you're right... removing the neck would be the best bet. But if it's not possible for some reason or if one is working on a set-neck gitfiddle, masking the p'ups is the ticket.
     
  6. raf66

    raf66 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Boris, I misspoke/mistyped the 000. It was actually 0000 that I used. I'm going to polish her back up at my next string change and never use steel wool again.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  7. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    8,303
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    in New Orleans' past
    Micromesh is a better choice than steel wool. Fragments of steel get caught here and there, imbedded in the finish, then you spray over that and the tiny fragments rust. The rest of the fragments end up on every pickup in the whole building, somehow. It is banished, no more steel wool for me.
     
  8. Frogger

    Frogger Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    475
    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln Ne.
    I never use polish on a maple neck ever. I find using a wool cloth the best for keeping those frets shiney and the back of the neck slippery.
     
  9. pcypert

    pcypert Banned

    Age:
    38
    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Singapore
    What to do if you want it to look played and not brand new? :) I got mine with maple neck mostly because I love the look of a aged/worn maple board.

    Paul
     
  10. Sprocket

    Sprocket Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,867
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    De'ville, Florida
    There are 3 different finishes on maple necks...Im only familiar with the oiled and the clear poly type, not the nitro. I personally wouldnt know what to do with nitro.

    If youve got oiled(nude) or poly youre fine...and I will give you different advice than the rest, but its worked for me on 5 differnt necks with mutliple issues with great success.
    Forgo the 0000 steel wool, youre suppose to use "synthetic" steel wool anyways, that detail always gets left out and many of the steel wools issues could have been avoided by expressing that one detail.
    BUt use a green Scotchbrite instead...do the back of the neck lightly, itll remove all the dead skin and make the neck silky smooth.(I learned this trick from pool players who dont use chalk)
    I tend to go a lil further and use 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
    I EVEN go as far as to wet the sandpaper(after a few light dry runs) with LEMON OIL...think: bowling alley lane smooth and glassy.
    I even go over the fretboard with this(lemon oil on cloth), but rarely the 2000 grit unless its got clear coat flaking issues...and in this case I smooth out the sharp flakes(which really isnt unlike cheap chrome) as well as the fretends and the groove/void from aging...my necks are smooth with non jagged frets or fret grooves.
    And the lemon oil cleans all the finger gunk...I dont know why more people dont use lemon oil on maple necks *shrug*
    And 2000 grit wet/dry is mild when used sparingly.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.