Is sanding a raw neck required?

dar8922

New member
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I recently purchased a canary neck, king wood fingerboard for a warmoth velocity build. I will be leaving the neck raw, so my question is am I supposed to lightly sand it?

It feels pretty nice already, but this is my only warmoth and I’m not sure if I’m optimizing my experience or not. I’ll post pics once it’s complete. If I am supposed to sand it, any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

teleme01

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394
obviously burmishing will be suggested, but interested to hear your question answered, is burmishing necessary?
 

dar8922

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I like how you said obviously it will be suggested… because now I’m going to have to google what that is because I’m obviously a noob
 

dar8922

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I found that out after googling. Fast typing will get us all, but it was very easy to get to the right set of videos! (So thank you!) All of them show burnishing and oiling though, but for maple where I am confident it is required. I’m just not sure if oil, burnish, or both are required for canary. It feels fine without me having done anything, but I’d love a direct answer. I don’t want it to warp of course, but more interesting the feel. It feels great now, but definitely a little rough.
 

stratamania

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9,481
It is not required it is already sanded.

It is optional should you wish to sand it with finer grits to make it smoother.

Some will suggest burnishing it. See link below.


Also this link and many other useful tips and tricks, build threads etc you can find in the Welcome to the Forum link in my signature below.
 

TBurst Std

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I have a Canary neck. Played it as is for quite a while, then burnished it. I prefer it burnished. I would not Tru Oil it
 

cromulent

Senior member
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265
Ooooh I recently purchased an canary neck too. Curious to see responses.

Also, would love to see a pic of yours if you don't mind... I was thinking about kingwood but went with ziricote.
 

ragamuffin

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1,008
How did you burnish it? I was considering using a spoon
When people talk about burnishing a neck around here they're not talking about true "burnishing" (like using a smooth hard object like rock or a spoon), but rather sanding with progressively finer grit sandpaper. For my necks I've "burnished" with 3M polishing papers, going from 600 grit equivalent up to 2000.

This "burnishing" is not a necessary, but it takes a raw neck from feeling "nice" to feeling "really really really nice."
 

dar8922

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That is really good to know. Thank you so much. I wonder if there is a reason to burnish with sandpaper as opposed to using a smooth stone. I watched videos while putting the guitar together of this guy burnishing wood spoons he makes with various objects (smooth stones, marbles, deer antler). It creates a really shiny smooth surface. I am guessing the answer is it’s probably a similar result and do as I please, but it’s worth asking before I make an ignorant mistake. There’s like 25 pages in the other thread, and everyone appears to go the sandpaper route, so I probably shouldn’t be the contrarian and try an untested method.
 

stratamania

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Thank you so much. I wonder if there is a reason to burnish with sandpaper as opposed to using a smooth stone.

The other type of burnish technique you have read about using a smooth stone or similar is not what is meant here and not appropriate to using on a neck.

In this context, "burnishing" means using progressively finer grits of sanding to achieve a very smooth result on a neck.
The term "burnishing" here refers to the method used in the thread I linked. It refers to the polishing that is achieved by doing so.
 

dar8922

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Is there a reason the method using a stone isn’t appropriate? It will potentially deform the neck? Not that I am going to try, I’m just curious. Thank you for clarifying!
 

stratamania

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Is there a reason the method using a stone isn’t appropriate? It will potentially deform the neck? Not that I am going to try, I’m just curious. Thank you for clarifying!

It is more likely to compress the wood fibres rather than smoothing the grain fibres with progressively finer grits. Compacting metals and so forth is a different technique.

Again, using a stone is not what is being referred to here. Yes, it is possible to achieve smoothness on wood by rubbing it with something hard, but that is probably too aggressive a method on a guitar neck. I recommend that you do not use it though, at the end of the day though you are free to experiment, but why reinvent the wheel that has been tested by many of this forum's members.

If you look up burnish in a dictionary, it means mainly to polish, rather than one technique versus another. As with many things in English and other languages, context is everything and words have different meanings, and may mean one thing as a verb than as a noun. e.g. I achieved a good burnish by burnishing.
 

dar8922

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It is more likely to compress the wood fibres rather than smoothing the grain fibres with progressively finer grits. Compacting metals and so forth is a different technique.

That first paragraph is what I was looking to understand and that makes total sense. Maybe one day I’ll be willing to reinvent the wheel, but probably not on this first effort. I’ll stand on the shoulders of giants.

I am almost done putting everything together. Pics to arrive soon with before and after burnish attempt. Thank you!
 

stratamania

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9,481
That first paragraph is what I was looking to understand and that makes total sense. Maybe one day I’ll be willing to reinvent the wheel, but probably not on this first effort. I’ll stand on the shoulders of giants.

I am almost done putting everything together. Pics to arrive soon with before and after burnish attempt. Thank you!

Sure no problem. I tend towards giving comprehensive answers for the benefit also of future readers.
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,539
I’ve three unfinished necks … wenge, goncalo and rosewood. Never bothered to sand burnish or whatever … just played them. They were / are fine as is. Did George Harrison burnish his rosewood tele? If you have the time sure go for it. But necessary … nah. I guess I’m in the minority here,
 
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