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Thread: shellac on rosewood PRS neck? What say the experts?

  1. #1
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    shellac on rosewood PRS neck? What say the experts?

    Hi guys,

    One of my main weapons is a 2012 P22 with RW neck.
    I choose the RW mainly for tonal reasons (although it looks good too).
    it has a more even freq response and works really well with the new "special" pickups I have in it
    Two single coils mounted side by side in neck hum position, makes it a H-S-S
    PRS with the most convincing strat tones I have yet to hear from one
    and so did the main PRS representative in Ikebe, Tokyo that has seen hundreds
    and hundreds of regular and PS pass his store, he couldn't believe he was hearing a PRS,
    so I am very very happy with this, really best of both worlds!!!

    But, I digress... On topic..
    I had problems whilst in Shanghai, especially with humid the outdoors performances
    that the neck quickly felt "sticky". For me having super dry hands, and never even getting dirty
    strings, this is a very uncomfortable feeling. Don't get me wrong, it's nto like it really affects
    my playing, it's just that its such a marked difference between this and my McCarty 58 neck.

    So, I know most say you shouldn't need to finish RW, but for the reasons given above,
    I'm considering doing so. I'm thinking shellac would be a good option, using just a sponge and a
    shammy outside, putting it on in thin thin layers, on the back of the neck only (not the fretboard I think?)
    What does the expertise say?

    -Richard Lainegard-
    RichardLainegard.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    I wouldn't. I like the naked rosewood too much and wouldn't trust myself to be able to actually improve the feel when in high humidity. I'm afraid I wouldn't like the new feel in 'normal' conditions.
    That said, I don't think it would change the sound.

  3. #3
    Shellac can get very sticky in high humidity. I believe that the factory actually recommends wiping a RW neck down with a little Behold furniture polish applied with a cloth.

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    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Shellac can get very sticky in high humidity. I believe that the factory actually recommends wiping a RW neck down with a little Behold furniture polish applied with a cloth.

    +1. I've also used Dr. Duck's Axe Wax and give the neck a good rubdown at every string change. I've played in the middle of Austin in the summer, and it was still smooth as silk.

    IMHO it's the oils in products that counteract high humidity. But, that is just an assumption.
    BDR-529

  5. #5
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    I find that the more I played my BRW McCarty, the slicker and smoother the neck became. Your experience w/IRW might be different...


    Jamie
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    Yes - "hand" oils from use should seal it up over time. I've used linseed oil ala gun stock oil (Tru-Oil http://www.woodcraft.com/product/200...inish-8oz.aspx) on bare maple necks with good results. Some darkening of color will happen - don't know if recommended on rosewood. Consult the experts... If you do use it, will seem sticky at first. Buff out with a cloth and/or some light steel wool and will soften up nicely.

  7. #7
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    I have rubbed down an unfinished maple neck with Watco Danish oil and been very happy with the results. Felt super smooth as Watco hardens in the wood not on the wood... I wonder how it might work with RW??? Any expert chime ins are welcome!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    yes, only oil.
    Bavarian Barbarian

  9. #9
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundbee View Post
    Yes - "hand" oils from use should seal it up over time. I've used linseed oil ala gun stock oil (Tru-Oil http://www.woodcraft.com/product/200...inish-8oz.aspx) on bare maple necks with good results. Some darkening of color will happen - don't know if recommended on rosewood. Consult the experts... If you do use it, will seem sticky at first. Buff out with a cloth and/or some light steel wool and will soften up nicely.
    My experience is that Tru Oil does not work well on RW. It does not soak into the wood and looks splotchy.
    Last edited by 11top; 01-01-2013 at 04:53 PM.
    Sh*tter's full

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    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Hej Richard!
    Correct me if im wrong anyone but isnt finishing a neck a way to prevent moist to come into the wood as in most cases maplenecks?Is rosewood with all the natural oils possible to finish?And what will happen if u seal a wood that oily?Living in Sweden as you do i have come to the conclusion finished maplenecks holds up the best to the extreme climate changes here.I prefer a satin finished mapleneck and my next PRS will one with a mapleneck and fretboard.A 408 mapletop with a bolt-on mapleneck/fretboard and a PRS stoptail .Perhaps Rosewoodneck isnt optimal for you after all.I would say,keep it as it is.The guitar with those pickups sounds killer.Really dig your playing!
    Last edited by swede71; 01-01-2013 at 06:15 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    i've got a special oil for antiques that works perfect - nothing splotchy.
    Bavarian Barbarian

  12. #12
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the replies!
    Well, my "natural oils" as far as my hands go, are non-existant I'm afraid.
    Having super-dry hands (have't suffered a single sweaty palm since high-school

    IF my hands we more "Moist" I don't think I would feel the neck as being quite so "sticky",
    as the difference between the feel of the neck in dry and humid climate would be largely negated by my hands.

    With that said, oil might be the ticket then. I have both teak-oil and lemon-oil at home,
    but I think what you're suggesting is quite different, such as "Dr. Duck's Axe Wax", and "Danish Oil".
    In the online store in Sweden that I usually buy my electronics from they have both
    "Danish Oil" and something called "Fretdoctor oil", as well as "Antique wax"

    Which would you recommend and why?

    edit: the store says about the Danish oil that you can also
    put antique wax on top of that afterwards on the back of the guitar neck? thoughts?
    Last edited by Richard Lainegard; 01-02-2013 at 03:10 PM.
    -Richard Lainegard-
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  13. #13
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    Update: Got me some Danish oil.
    The plan is this:
    1.) 1000grit and 00000Steel wool to clean up the neck (and fretboard).
    2.) Apply the Danish with a coffee-filter, wipe small excess after 5 min.
    3.) Repeat a few times with a few hours in between. Then let harden for
    one day.
    4.) apply last sheet of oil using 1500grit wetsand that has soaked in the danish for a full night.
    5.) wipe of excess, and polish after a few hours (by hand).


    How's this for a plan guys?
    -Richard Lainegard-
    RichardLainegard.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    in my experience you don't need to go higher than grit 800 to get it really smooth.
    the sanding paper will be clogged after 2 strokes and ineffective.
    the steelwool could go into the grain - i took a fine abrasive fleece
    and polished in the end with oil.
    my personal "extreme awesomeness" treatment.
    Bavarian Barbarian

  15. #15
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proxmax View Post
    in my experience you don't need to go higher than grit 800 to get it really smooth.
    the sanding paper will be clogged after 2 strokes and ineffective.
    the steelwool could go into the grain - i took a fine abrasive fleece
    and polished in the end with oil.
    my personal "extreme awesomeness" treatment.
    hehe, sounds like a plan =)
    I'll skip the wool, I got this "rubber-type" kinda block
    that can be cut up into smaller pieces and use to polish frets.

    However, do you really think the wetsand will be clogged even though it's been soaked in oil
    and I dry of the excess as I go along?
    apart form the 1500 I think I only have 600 and 1200 though,
    I think I'll start out with the 600 for base sanding and take it from there
    Thanks for the reply!
    -Richard Lainegard-
    RichardLainegard.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    i even started with grit 180, because i changed the neck shape to my likes.
    the highest grit i used was 600!!!
    for the finish i took only that very fine abrasive fleece - like scotch brite maybe.
    this is very fine!
    oiled sandpaper will get clogged even more 'cause the abrasion would not fall off - just my guess.
    but you can't go wrong or damage anything.
    as finer as better!
    i ordered a special finishing oil for testing, that hardens in the wood to protect.
    there is NO wax in - it crystallizes in the wood for protection and needs just a little
    care later.

    what i have now is a very good oil that is for care the other one is for protection.
    there is imho no forcing need for the protecting oil, but i'll feel better in summer
    with sweating hands.

    let me hear about you results, richard.
    Bavarian Barbarian

  17. #17
    Member Richard Lainegard's Avatar
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    So, it took me three days, but now the neck is done!
    I ended up doing the following:

    1. Sanding down the neck with 400 grit to get rid if the old
    failed attempts with oil, wax and whatnot.
    2. Over to 600grit.
    3. Sanded the fretboard and frets with 1200grit (everything is wetsand paper).
    4. Did a coat of Danish oil, waited about two minutes, wiped of the excess.
    5. Same with the fretboard.
    6. Redid the back of the neck next day.
    7. Third day I applied the last coating on both back and fretboard
    with 1500grit that had been soaked overnight in the Danish.
    8. Wiped off the excess.
    9. Sat about 4 hours. Wiped down again, hard with a clean cloth.
    10. Sanded the back of the neck lightly with 1500grit (dry).
    11. Did the fretboard and frets with super fine steel wool.

    Now the neck neck and board feels like raw wood, but infinitely smoother,
    truly a baby's bottom (for the parents out there).
    Will re-sand the back lightly again in a few days.

    Also, I finished up by polishing the frets with a "rubber" kind of stick
    I got from a guitar store for this purpose. I don't recall what it's called though.
    -Richard Lainegard-
    RichardLainegard.com

  18. #18
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    sounds good!
    Bavarian Barbarian

  19. #19
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    now i tested the ordered oil after a 1000 grit sanding with a fantanstic result.
    that goes into the wood and crystalizes there.
    the finish is even water and alcohol resistant - not too bad for musicians.
    it is food safe and breathable.
    the feel of the surface is not from this world!
    Bavarian Barbarian

  20. #20
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I saw Shellac in 2000 in both those guys had aluminum neck guitars, not rosewood necks...
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

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