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Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!

Spot 23 Aug 06 - 01:15 PM
BTMP 23 Aug 06 - 05:27 PM
Spot 23 Aug 06 - 06:02 PM
s&r 23 Aug 06 - 07:30 PM
Greg B 23 Aug 06 - 08:19 PM
Stewart 23 Aug 06 - 09:46 PM
Richard Brandenburg 23 Aug 06 - 10:39 PM
EBarnacle 24 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM
Bert 24 Aug 06 - 01:12 AM
Spot 24 Aug 06 - 02:39 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Aug 06 - 02:51 AM
Spot 24 Aug 06 - 03:01 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Aug 06 - 07:13 AM
GUEST 24 Aug 06 - 12:53 PM
Kaleea 24 Aug 06 - 01:11 PM
Spot 24 Aug 06 - 02:26 PM
EBarnacle 24 Aug 06 - 03:20 PM
Spot 24 Aug 06 - 03:54 PM
Lady Hillary 24 Aug 06 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Guest from up in't north 25 Aug 06 - 12:00 PM
Spot 30 Aug 06 - 03:19 PM
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Subject: Tech: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:15 PM

Allo everybody...
                      Mando players in particular. I've just taken the bull by the horns and taken a Stanley knife blade to the neck of my Collings MT2.The original finish was oh-so-sticky in hot weather etc, the web between thumb and forefinger acting as a brake and causing considerable sonic distress to anyone daft enough to listen to my playing!! Well, knife blade, patience, fine grit sandpaper and Tung oil later..it's bloody wonderful!!!!
                      I'd be most keen to hear of anyone else's experiences and advice......

                Regards to all, as ever...Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: BTMP
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 05:27 PM

Well, what's done is done - I hope it works out for you. I live in Florida and have times when the neck of my mando gets sticky due to the heat and perspiration. I usually carry a small wash cloth into which I have sprinkled talcum powder. When the neck starts to stick, I run the cloth along the neck and my hands and this usually staves off terminal neck stickiness. Once I am back at home, I take care to clean the instrument and usually change strings, too. Some instruments today have the back of the neck finished differently - I think they call it a French varnish, which reduces the stickiness. Happy picking. -btmp


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 06:02 PM

allo BTMP..
             Wish you'd said that before I put knife to finish!!! :-)
Not really,,,I'm happy with the way its turned out, I managed to make a reasonably neat job of it plus I'm much more interested in the feel and sound than any cosmetic issues. I'm sure I've done the right thing for me. Took me long enough to decide!! Much info gleaned from Mandolin Cafe site, where such things appear commonplace. Right..off to do my Loar , Dude and Gil.....(I wish!!) :-)

                   Regards to all..... Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: s&r
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:30 PM

Most fiddles have no varnish on the neck, or perhaps a different one

Stu


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Greg B
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:19 PM

I wonder if replacing it with a nice wipe-on polyurethane would
be in order. The stuff is decidedly moisture/oil proof, easy to
put on, and seems (mostly) harmless.

I just used it to finish my new oak stairway rails and after
about eight cyles of sandpaper, finish, dry, sandpaper, tack-rag,
finish---   it's awfully nice.

I think I'd pick the 'satin' finish for the neck of an instrument.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Stewart
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:46 PM

For a violin: "The neck wood may be lightly sealed with a drying oil, but it is never varnished as this would slow down the player's shifts."

A friend of mine was given an old violin. He said, pointing to the neck, that it must have been played quite a lot since the varnish there was completely worn off. I had to correct him by pointing out that the neck was never varnished.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Richard Brandenburg
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:39 PM

Interesting, Spot.

I happen to have taken fine steel wool to the neck of my Martin just the other night. I had been smoothing out the areas where the finish had worn through, cleaning off the schmutz that accumulated where the finish remained; the slight raised edge was grimier than the smooth bare wood. I took a look, thought of all those fiddles that are out there thriving, and decided to clean up the entire neck.

The look and feel of the emerging mahogany was a great encouragement. I began at the base of the headstock, and stopped just above the ninth fret. The removed area extends an inch or so farther on the center of the back of the neck than near the fretboard binding at both ends of the job, in a symetric, irregular shape.

I showed it to a banjo-playing friend, and he called a "speed neck"; apparently it's done to banjos for an upcharge. I realise I'll get some dubious reactions, especially from collector-types, but that doesn't concern me. It feels great, and looks good to me.

I look at the instrument forums as well, and am firmly in the camp of playing and modifying the instrument to suit my needs. Twenty-five years ago it didn't have a scratch on it. Of course, neither did I. We both sound better now.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM

No! No! No! NEVER use polyurethane varnish on an instrument. Once it starts to fail, it will never come off properly and cannot be properly touched up. If you must varnish, use a tung oil varnish which can be removed with thinner. Instruments are much more delicate than bannisters and floors.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Bert
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:12 AM

It's your Mando and you can do what you like with it. In this case your decision was SPOT ON.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 02:39 AM

Allo everybody...

          Thank you for that , Bert.... :-)

          Richard...I wondered about steel wool but have always felt it seems to push its own blackness and dirt into the wood.Maybe I've been too heavy handed with it in the past...!! At the minute, there are 2 coats of 50/50 tung oil/white spirit on the neck. I dont want to overdo it!! (Are you planning to seal your neck with something or leave it bare?). Maybe the same again over the next couple of weeks will suffice...Its cooler in UK than as of late - it'll be interesting to see how it feels in the autumn humidity...Hmmm, hope I've done the right thing!! (course I have ...it's done now, anyways!!)

                Regards to all ....Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 02:51 AM

If you visit the Mandolin Cafe regularly you will see that it is quite a normal thing to remove varnish etc from the neck, the range of things done by mandolin freaks has to be seen, I just play mine.

eric


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 03:01 AM

Allo Eric...
               Guess I'm a freak...I'm obsessed with the damned things and virtually live on Mandolin Cafe!!   Love em!! I only have three at the mo'...savin up up for at least ten!!   :-) I really must learn to play em!! If the finish removal doesn't succeed, I may take the neck off completely and see how that goes...!! (Ermmm...quite quietly, methinks!!)

                   Regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 07:13 AM

You can't have too many mandolins Spot.

eric


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 12:53 PM

"There's nowt so strange as folk" as we say up in the north of England. Not a mandolin but I bought a Santa Cruz "Tony Rice" guitar to which someone had done exactly the same thing - cost me 75 quid to get the finish put back on!


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Kaleea
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 01:11 PM

I have an old German Violin that had almost all of the finish worn off when I got it. When I saw that, I figured it was well played, & well loved. My Fiddle sure has a beautiful tone. Now if I just knew how to play it . . .


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 02:26 PM

Allo guest from 12 53pm ...

   Hey up...I'm from the North too...hope you not implyin' I'm any more strange than anybody else from there...   :-)   Cos I'm not!!

          Anyway, what's "strange" about instrument improvement??? I took my finish off - you put yours back on...!!! (an it cost me nowt!!)    :-)

          How do you rate the Santa Cruz?? Thought about the same guitar but decided against for various reasons, one being that it felt, ermmm,, too "taut" for me...

          Regards to all, as ever ....Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 03:20 PM

By the way, the problem with steel wool is that the iron particles left behind rust. If you use bronze wool, the problem will not occur.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 03:54 PM

EB...      Excellent point there, I'd never have thought of that!! Have I seen bronze wool...?   Ermmm....never, come to think of it. I guess those particles are what I've classed as dirt....

                      Regards ...Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 10:38 PM

EBarnacle here, try a marine supply store or a really good hardware store.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: GUEST,Guest from up in't north
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 12:00 PM

Hi Spot - yes the cruz TR is a bit tight as its really meant for up-the-neck lead work with an action to match. The action on mine is a bit high 'cos I use it for backing a ba*n@o player which, I suppose makes it even tighter and not the easiest guitar to play. Its worst feature is its volume - its difficult to hear it whilst you're playing but I still get complaints about it being too loud. Still, I've got several others if I need something a bit easier to play. Its a 1991 model and I suspect they've changed things in the last 15 years.

Sorry, forgot to put my name on the original post.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Mandolin: Neck finish - gone!!
From: Spot
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 03:19 PM

Allo everybody...
                   Its been over a week ,now,and I'm not regretting my move... I may get hold of some ultra fine paper prior to a third coat of 50/50 oil/spirit.It's not sticky, I'm getting used to the sight of light wood - wood that actually catches the light, now...!!      Incredible stuff (hard rock maple, I think.)

                Regards to all...Spot


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