Neck finish recipie I got from a tech at Ernie Ball.



About 4 years ago I ordered a maple neck fitted with an R2 nut fitting.

I was wondering how to finish it since I was all into EVH, I wanted to feel the wood, not shelack.  So I emailed a few people and this guy from E.B. told me about Super glue and Acetone.

basically you thin out the superglue all over the neck with the acetone using a paper towel.  Worked great.  He said that they were putting them on the axis guitars and people loved it.
Actually... We do use superglue for fancy poly coated rifle stocks (like the shiny Remington BDL or old Weatherby).  Even on a guitar with poly finish, superglue is a good nick filler.  It "has" been used to fill nicks on nitro, but I dont suggest it.  It naturally clouds nitro.  Also it will cloud if it dries too rapidly and moisture gets trapped in it.

You can thin superglue and apply it to wood, sand it, etc.  I've never heard of doing a whole stock or whole neck in it, only as a repair finish.  Interesting thought though. 

The smell goes away after its fully cured.... could take a few days or a week though.
Also, don't grab the neck while it's setting up, unless you really like playing in only one position!  :laughing7:
Several months ago, there was a guy on Ebay selling some beautiful Warmoth maple necks that he claimed were finished entirely in SuperGlue. He also claimed that all of Clapton's personal Custom Shop necks were finished the same way.

I read it on the internet, so it must be true. My Yiddish lawyer (Bob Abrams) advised me to say that the statement preceeding this sentence was sardonic.


Amazing Finish
By Bill Haskell
written for American Woodturner Magazine

  Here is an approach to putting a finish on your turned work, believe it or not, that uses a glue to achieve striking results. The glue is cyanoacrylate and it comes in various forms and brand names. The chemical abbreviation for cyanoacrylate is CA, which the glue is often called. Hot Stuff is a popular brand of CA glue used by woodworkers. Sometimes, a person who has never heard of CA glue or Hot Stuff can relate to the name Super Glue or Krazy Glue. These are common household CA glue brands and there is even a version sold to repair broken fingernails.

There is a host of ways that CA glue can be used beneficially in woodturning; I always have some on hand. Examples of what it can be used for are filling and repairing cracks, voids and knots; gluing turning blocks to scrap blocks on a faceplate for immediate use; and reinforcing the bond of bark to sap wood on natural edges, just to name a few.

Most who know of and use CA glue as a quick reacting adhesive, are amazed, and even find it hard to believe, that this glue can be used as a wood finish. Well, it can, and it gives a very hard and remarkably protective surface that works well in certain applications.

You may be even more astonished to know that CA glue is used in surgery and on battlefield to mend and adhere human flesh to stop bleeding.

In using CA glue for a woodworking finish, there are obvious and some not so obvious characteristics that are inherent to this technique. Here is a synopsis of the pros and cons:

• Very hard finish
• Gives added strength for turning thin and fragile walls, especially with voids, knots, etc.
• Stabilizes punky and soft wood
• Provides sharper color and figure definition than most finishes
• Does not yellow over time or give a muddy appearance like oil based finishes
• Needs no maintenance over the years; e.g. waxing, polishing, etc.
• Does not require a lot of coats for build-up

• Can be tricky to learn how to use
• Fumes from the liquid glue can be irritating
• Can not be applied with brush or sprayed
• When polished it has a high gloss finish that some find unappealing
• Relatively expensive
• More time consuming to apply than a one or two coat finish, but not more than a multiple coat rubbed out finish
• Easy to sand or polish through the surface to bare wood

I started using a CA finish on California buckeye burl hollow forms. Buckeye burl often has bark inclusions that make vessel walls fragile, and the wood is soft. I use CA on the outside of a hollow form to give it strength while turning the inside wall thin. A demonstration given by J. Paul Finnell a number of years ago introduced me to this technique. Paul turned eggshell thin walls, and the CA gave him a measure of support that allowed him to turn down to a wall thickness of 1/8” or thinner. I found that when additional coats were applied and the surface sanded and polished, the swirling colors and patterns of the buckeye burl were clearer and more dramatic than I had ever seen before. Yes, the high gloss seemed artificial, but the spectacular color and detail were so attractive, I found I could live with the sheen. Come to think of it, I have seen a beautiful finish with a similar appearance on expensive hardwood car dashboards.

To compare the results, I took a piece of buckeye burl and applied CA glue to one-half and lacquer to the other half. Both were rubbed out and polished after a good build up. Side by side, the difference between the two types of finishes can be seen, especially the greater color fidelity and detail sharpness of the CA finish. Some will like the CA finish, others will not. It’s a matter of personal preference.

I talked to the manager of the Hot Stuff Company, and I learned that he had used CA glue as a finish. However, he was familiar with finishing flat surfaces, not round. For example, he had finished a breakfast room tabletop with CA glue and achieved a harder and more moisture resistant surface, he claimed, than could be accomplished with a bar top varnish or boat spar varnish. As another example, he also mentioned how a customer that makes custom guitars sometimes uses CA glue coating on guitar backs to create a different but desired sound. These are just a few examples of how CA glue can be used to treat the surface of wood for a reason other than gluing or repairing.

The method I use to apply CA glue as a finish for turned pieces is outlined below. Recognize that this is my approach, the one that works for me. Other turners may find that variations to this method will work as well or better for them. It’s a tricky finish to apply and achieve the desired results, but it can be well worth the effort and the learning process to get there.

CA Glue Finish Procedure


1. I typically apply this kind of finish only to the outside of a hollow vessel with a small opening. Bowl forms are a little more difficult to do on the inside, depending on the degree of enclosure, when sanding and buffing the inside finish. I will address only an outside application here; the same methods can be used to do the inside of a bowl.

2. Complete all turning and sanding to final grit.

3. In my hollow vessel process, the vessel foot and neck are left oversized for strength and support. These areas are not turned to final form until all hollowing is complete.


1. Mounted on the lathe, before turning the inside of a hollow vessel, apply a coat of thin viscosity CA glue to the outside surface. I used to use the medium viscosity glue, but now I prefer the thin version and apply only a penetrating sealer coat.

2. Apply by pouring a few drops on the piece and spread with a finger covered with latex glove or finger cot. I’m told Rude Olsonik would put this finish on with his bare finger, and after a number of applications and build up, he would peel the coating off. I have not found that it peels off easily; however, I didn’t let a number of coats build up either.

3. Cover several square inches with each application and repeat until the entire surface is coated. Spread on quickly and as smoothly as possible. Do not go over an area again once the glue starts to set up.

4. Fully coat the piece and let the glue cure and set up. Depending on the moisture and chemical content in the wood and other conditions, it may take anywhere from several minutes to 30 minutes to set up. I try to be patient (difficult) and wait for natural curing. Using an accelerator works, but may make the cured glue more brittle.


1. The CA glue will set up with a rough surface, so it must be sanded smooth. Briefly sand the piece with the lathe on at a low speed using 220 grit paper. After the high spots have been sanded, stop the lathe and sand the remaining high spots, bumps, etc. by hand with the lathe stopped. This will take a few minutes and some patience. Finish sanding with 320 grit paper.

2. In the sanding process, take care to sand as little as possible while getting down to a completely smooth and fully sanded surface. Good lighting will expose shinny areas or dimples, which require more sanding. Beware, too much sanding will go through the surface and expose bare wood.

3. At this point, one must decide on what kind of final finish is desired; there are two alternatives:

a. Put another coat or two of CA glue on in the same manner, or

b. Apply spray lacquer or other finishes when the piece is completely done.

c. I used to do the former, but now prefer applying spray lacquer to a base sealer CA coat. This is much easier and less risky. With two or three coats of CA, sanding and polishing often created a bare spot or two. These are difficult to repair without creating more bare spots.

d. With the base CA sealer coat, the color and fidelity of the wood color and figure has been preserved, and then the lacquer applied over the CA gives a fine deep protective coating.


1. After the CA finish has been sanded smooth, down to 320 or 400 grit, rub out with 00 steel wool. You are now ready to polish on a buffing wheel.

2. Buff with a soft cotton wheel no faster than 1750 RPM, using a compound like white diamond. Tripoli is too coursing. Be careful when buffing - you want to remove the scratches, but it is very easy to buff right through the CA finish to the bare wood.

3. This is not a problem if lacquer is going to be applied over the CA base coat. However, if CA is going to be the only finish, repair by wiping CA glue on the spot, sand, and polish. Making these repairs runs the risk of creating more bare wood spots, so be as careful as possible to keep from going through the CA finish.

4. After polishing is complete, I have tried to reduce the sheen by rubbing with 0000 steel wool, pumice, or rottenstone, but have not liked the results.


1. This total procedure takes practice and patience to accomplish well. It is a good idea to practice on a turned scrap piece until you get the hang of it. After you feel comfortable with the procedure, try it on a better-turned piece. Good Luck!

2. This finish works best on woods with pattern and color variation (California buckeye, Paralam, burls, spalted wood, etc.). Unavoidable imperfections in the cured CA will be more visible on plain wood like maple or walnut.

3. No doubt, there are other applications where this finish will prove beneficial. I know of some turners who have used it for pens because of its hard finish.

4. This procedure may sound complicated and difficult, but once it is learned and used, it’s not any more difficult than other finishes that achieve stupendous results.

This brings a whole new level to sniffing glue

I can just see it now,
I come up from the basement eyes all red and bloodshot.
My wifes asks what I'm doing down there and if I'm sniffing glue and getting high,
I say no dear I'm just putting a finish on my guitar.    SURE!!!!!!