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kominak

 

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 20 2010
 

matted neck finish 

Hi,

I just started French polishing my 2nd guitar. After 3 sealer coats I noticed that the neck feels much better than that on my first build where I pore filled the neck and polished it to high sheen. It's just so much easier to slide up and down, it doesn't "stick" to the thumb.
Do any of you, luthiers, leave the neck with such a matted-natural look? If yes, how many coats of shellac do you put on the neck? How do you finish the headstock? Any pictures?

Thanks a lot!

Martin

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Martin Kominak
Slovakia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 19 2017 22:02:34
 
Peter Tsiorba

Posts: 130
Joined: Oct. 27 2009
From: Portland, Oregon Pacific Northwest

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to kominak

Martin,

I have had numerous requests from musicians to slightly "dull" the neck polish. I prefer a neck that feels closer to the wood.

You can still fill the pores, build-up the finish to a reasonable thickness, and then knock down the gloss with some very fine steel wool, sandpaper, or if you prefer to go the old school route, you can use a bit of linseed oil and pumice, applied to a cloth, and rubbed down that way.



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Peter Tsiorba
Classical-Flamenco-Guitars
tsiorba.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 19 2017 23:24:48
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to kominak

I use sealer - which is matt. Build up a few coats then sand back. Keep going till I'm happy. We used to use drying linseed oil on violin/viola necks. Similar result but more a stain seal than a varnish. End result - very smooth, but it wears quicker than a full hard gloss varnish.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2017 1:46:19
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3130
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to Peter Tsiorba

I've had a guitar or two where the neck tended to be sticky. It's a real pain. In some cases it ceased to be a problem after a few years. I think it's because the finish hardened with age.

But my newest guitar is still less than a year old, and the neck has never been sticky. Maybe the fact that I have learned not to pinch so hard with my thumb has something to do with it.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2017 4:35:29
 
Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to kominak

Some guitar makers finish the neck like violins, with no varnish at all. The head and the body of a violin is fully varnished, but the neck is finished in another way completely. It works with maple, not sure about a very porous wood like cedrela or mahogany. I have only seen this on guitars with maple necks personally though.

There are many ways to finish a violin neck. Here is one of them. Sand it smooth and raise the grain with water. Then sand it again with finer paper and raise the grain with water, continue all the way to 2500 grit whet and dry paper. Then give one coat of lavender oil per day for 30 days. Then buff the neck with ordinary paper. Of course violin makers prefer dark necks. The staining can be done for example with earth colours. Add pigments between each time you raise the grain and also together with the lavender oil. Be careful that it does not end up looking dirty.

Just one of many ways to do it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2017 12:29:40
 
kominak

 

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 20 2010
 

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to Njål Bendixen

Thanks a lot for all the ideas. I think I finish it all the way to high gloss and then try some abrasive method.
Interesting how many ways violin makers employ. 30 days just for the neck? I'm getting impatient after 2 days of pore filling :) (that Madagascar rosewood has some big pores - I'm finding new appreciation for cypress...)

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Martin Kominak
Slovakia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2017 17:38:58
 
Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to kominak

quote:


Interesting how many ways violin makers employ. 30 days just for the neck? I'm getting impatient after 2 days of pore filling :)


Here is another traditional recipie for oil treating, not instrument related, just general woodworking:

Apply one coat of linseed oil every day for a week. Then every week for a month. Then every month for a year.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2017 21:28:30
 
pundi64

Posts: 234
Joined: Jul. 29 2016
From: Thailand

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to Njål Bendixen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Njål Bendixen

quote:


Interesting how many ways violin makers employ. 30 days just for the neck? I'm getting impatient after 2 days of pore filling :)


Here is another traditional recipie for oil treating, not instrument related, just general woodworking:

Apply one coat of linseed oil every day for a week. Then every week for a month. Then every month for a year.


At one time I owned a Spanish made Garcia Rossi side by side 12 gauge, had a beautiful walnut stock, it had some
sort of lacquer finish on the stock. Well I stripped it all down, put a great stain on it, and did your description of the linseed oil
treatment, was a most beautiful stock, had many compliments on the appearance of it. Just to mention linseed is a great wood sealer and final
finish treatment. These pics are not of my guns stock, but you can see the deepness of the oil treatment, hand rubbed between each application.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2017 4:30:02
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: matted neck finish (in reply to kominak

quote:

There are many ways to finish a violin neck. Here is one of them. Sand it smooth and raise the grain with water. Then sand it again with finer paper and raise the grain with water, continue all the way to 2500 grit whet and dry paper. Then give one coat of lavender oil per day for 30 days. Then buff the neck with ordinary paper. Of course violin makers prefer dark necks. The staining can be done for example with earth colours. Add pigments between each time you raise the grain and also together with the lavender oil. Be careful that it does not end up looking dirty.


Before you start with the oil, you can also add a grain-popper. leave some steelwool in vinegar for 24 hours and brush the vinegar on the maple. It gives a very strong 3d like grain contrast that really brings out the flames in the maple. It looks a bit greyish-blue at first, but it gets smoother with oil and time..

With respect of satin feel on guitars. Porefill and finish normally with your favorite finish. Mine is French polish, when hardened, buff the whole neck with 000 or 0000 steelwoll. I frefer buffing the cedar of the headstock as well. It looks better to my eyes.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2017 6:19:34
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