I need help anyone no what kind of finish for a fast neck action

I am building a guitar for a customer and he don't want Laquer on tha neck because when you sweat it gets sticky.       Any one know  what to use? Thanks for any help you can give me. Bill.'''''''''''

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Watco Danish oil, clear or natural. EZ application, no stickiness. There are other alternatives I'm sure, but this has worked for me in the past and it's easy.
Tru-Oil seems to be popular. I have always used a home-brew penetrating finish consisting of equal parts polyurethane varnish, mineral spirits, and pure tung oil. The first couple coats are sanded in wet. Total number of coats depends on the porosity of the wood, but 5 or 6 is a ballpark; each coat flooded on, allowed to penetrate for 10 minutes or so, and scrubbed off the surface.
Greg how do you find your mexture handls in the humidity??? BILL.''''''''''''''''
Well, I never had a complaint, Bill, but I was working in Southern California where high humidity isn't much of a factor. Still, playing a sunset wedding at the beach can be nasty. Lacquered necks get plenty sticky under those conditions.
Oil is a good solution for this.
Nothing works, too.  But remember your reputation goes out the door with the guitar.
Thanks Howard that is just what I am afraid of. BILL.''''''''''''''''''''''''

One thing Id mention to the customer before they decide- if they play outside a lot, an unfinished or oiled neck (unlacquered) does not do well in my opinion. I had an instrument once with the neck that was just oil finished. When playing outside at festivals, the neck would get a sticky feeling, then you realized it was literally getting wet from humidity/ condensation. The lacquered body was fine. I dont understand the physics, but when comparing to other instruments with lacquered necks kept under the exact same conditions, this 'unfinished' neck was wet feeling and the others were fine. It didnt seem to matter if it was high or low humidity outside either. Most disconcerting-you could also feel the grain on the neck raising from the accumulating moisture. I'd often take steel wool to it & re-oil (watco) after festivals as the neck finish felt rough after the grain raised. And by the way- that unfinished neck ended up twisting along its length- was this due to not having finish and therefore absorbing moisture?, I dont know, but I did notice the luthier that built this now offers both oiled and fully lacquered necks. If the customer plays primarily inside, then this may not be an issue. I never had a problem with this neck being sticky feeling when playing inside. Play the fully oil finished martin backpacker outside for a while after sunset- youll experience the same thing- a gummy sticky feeling, which is why I lacquer all necks & bodies on my travel guitars.


Try CA glue.  It's what Fender uses on the back of the SRV Strat neck. 
It provides a much better moisture barrier than any type of oil finish and can be worked just like lacquer.


As a working guitarist, I've never met an oil based finish that adequately protected the neck against environmental variables encountered in the middle of a performance.  The most aggravating issue is that oil based finishes also need to be reapplied periodically and, if not done properly, can present a whole other palate long term structural issues.


Just my 2 cents (:

Interesting stuff Paul, but how is it applied? And what viscosity is used? The water-thin stuff, or thicker? And does it change the colour of the wood?



Hi Grahame.

I've only done this once myself a few years ago.  I used water-thin CA & padded it on.  Very messy, VERY expensive and trying of ones patience.  Yes, it colors the wood the same way that water does. I wasn't concerned about that; nor was my client.


I used this method to save a Tele neck that was having stability issues because (tah-dah) the client stripped the finish from the back of the neck.  It worked and the neck is still in action. I hope this doesn't spur a purely academic discussion about tinting and spraying CA.  (;


Perhaps William's client will have to decide between functionality and aesthetics. If he/she is a pro player, the choice will be simple.  If the client is a hobbyist, I don't know why a lacquer finish wouldn't work.


Me thinks he's been playing newer Gibsons if he or she has been "frightened away" from sticky lacquer necks. Or perhaps the player has a body chemistry thing that destroys lacquer.  I've seen this many times.

In either scenario, sometimes getting what you want requires compromise.


Best of luck & cheers (:

I use water thin CA glue on some fretless fingerboards. I wipe 2 or 3 coats, let it cure a bit, then sand and go for another round, until the desired thickness is achieved. Be sure to wear a mask, googles, and an efficient air extractor, cause this is a nasty work. You can polish and get a high gloss finish.


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