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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    UK
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    27

    Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    Hi All,

    I'm considering stripping the neck on my LP Traditional. I've used light sandpaper on it a couple of times to 'matt' the finish and really liked the feel of it but with a bit of playing, it soon polishes back up again. It's obviously a pretty drastic thing to do so I want to be as sure about it as possible before comitting. My questions are as follows (to those who have actually done it):

    - How did you do it? Please give me your tips. Sanding vs Masking and stripping chemically? How did you treat it after stripping?
    - Did you notice a change in resonance / tone? It sounds crazy but I took quite a bit of finish off when I sanded mine down and it seemed louder acousticly which I didn't expect.
    - What are the downsides? I'm not worried about potential drop in resale value as the guitar is a keeper.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    3,044

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    Stripped finish works for maple...a closed grain hardwood.
    Unlike maple, mahogany absorbs more moisture and oils from your hand...and become destabilized.

    A great example of this phenom is the history of Clapton’s Fool SG. The finish was removed from the back of the neck...and the rest was history. Unstable neck.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    27

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by toxpert View Post
    Stripped finish works for maple...a closed grain hardwood.
    Unlike maple, mahogany absorbs more moisture and oils from your hand...and become destabilized.
    Thanks for the reply. Can that not be overcome through other means of sealing the wood? Using oils etc for example? Or is that not as effective?

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,516

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    My experience with a couple maple guitar necks my friend sanded down was that it made no tonal difference whatsoever. He also regrets ever doing it.

    With Gibson mahogany necks there's grain filler which helps a little, but I still would want to oil it with gun stock oil or something similar that will penetrate the wood. As toxpert mentioned mahogany is a porous wood that is prone to warping (and rotting under extreme circumstances) if left untreated.

    Personally, I don't think it's worth it.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SW Virginia
    Posts
    490

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    I'd steer clear of removing all finish, only refinish as a last resort. When I used to do outdoor gigs in the summer I kept a rag and some talcum powder (what works for pool cues), which did the job. Also, you could try some high quality carnuba wax finish (car wax) on the neck, which also worked for me.
    2007 CR8
    2000 Elegant
    1953 J50

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    27

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    Thanks guys really appreciate it

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    151

    Re: Neck Stripping: Please Share Your Experience

    For what it is worth, I have 3 Gibsons, a LP custom, an ES-335 and an ES-Artist. All three get sticky necks, the LP Custom is the worst, black finish. The only solution I have found is to clean and polish the necks frequently and to wash my hands before playing. I store the guitars on "A" stands with a small rag at the back top of the stand to protect the finish from the rubber on the stand and use the same rag to wipe down the back of the neck when I put the guitar down. For home use this is fine; the combination of a polished neck and a dry hand makes things loose and slinky.

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