Question about how Warmoth necks are finished and how best to treat the woods

Ralph1212

New member
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6
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I bought a custom built J-Bass from someone on Reverb about a year ago. It took me a while to figure out that the most likely source for the woods is Warmoth (Solid Koa body, Birdseye Maple neck, Goncalo Alves fretboard).

My question is specifically about the neck. It appears there is little or no finish on the neck (it's picking up dirt from my hand) and the fretboard looks and feels like it could use some moisturizing. (There's a roughness to the fret edges that makes me think the Goncalo may have shrunk a bit from drying out.)

What product(s) do you suggest to keep the neck woods at their best?

TIA,
Ralph
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,508
Clean lightly with naphtha and a paper towel. Apply mineral oil with a paper towel. The oil will swell the wood slightly. Monitor. Bring to luthier if it still bugs you.Done.
 

mayfly

Senior member
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8,302
Another note: You should remove the neck and look at the neck pocket of both the neck and body. This will tell you two things:
1 - is it really a warmoth neck and body?
2 - does the neck have a finish on it? If the neck has a little red dot on it, it's finished. Likely with warmoth's clear nitro if it looks like it does not have a finish.
 

Ralph1212

New member
Messages
6
Clean lightly with naphtha and a paper towel. Apply mineral oil with a paper towel. The oil will swell the wood slightly. Monitor. Bring to luthier if it still bugs you.Done.
Thanks Rick. Would tung oil also work?
 

triple jim

Active member
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49
I don't mean to answer for Rick, but tung oil is a finish that's sort of like a varnish. Mineral oil soaks in and doesn't leave a surface coating.
 

Spud

Senior member
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1,268
I don't mean to answer for Rick, but tung oil is a finish that's sort of like a varnish. Mineral oil soaks in and doesn't leave a surface coating.
It depends on what kind of tung oil you are using. Some are pure, some are heated, and some have varnish added.
 

Ralph1212

New member
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6
It depends on what kind of tung oil you are using. Some are pure, some are heated, and some have varnish added.
Spud, if I understand this correctly, pure tung oil would behave similarly to mineral oil for treating and protecting a wood finish
 

Ralph1212

New member
Messages
6
Another note: You should remove the neck and look at the neck pocket of both the neck and body. This will tell you two things:
1 - is it really a warmoth neck and body?
2 - does the neck have a finish on it? If the neck has a little red dot on it, it's finished. Likely with warmoth's clear nitro if it looks like it does not have a finish.
Mayfly, I took your advice and removed the neck. Now I'm not sure if these are Warmoth parts. The neck does have a very light finish on it (see the attached photo; I tried to catch where the finish stops near the end of the neck.). There are no markings that I could find on the neck. The body has no markings other than what look like three initials cut into the wood (see photo). Based on the woods used, are these likely Warmoth parts? And if not, who else uses the woods to make parts?

Thanks,
Ralph
 

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Ralph1212

New member
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6
Mayfly, I took your advice and removed the neck. Now I'm not sure if these are Warmoth parts. The neck does have a very light finish on it (see the attached photo; I tried to catch where the finish stops near the end of the neck.). There are no markings that I could find on the neck. The body has no markings other than what look like three initials cut into the wood (see photo). Based on the woods used, are these likely Warmoth parts? And if not, who else uses the woods to make parts?

Thanks,
Ralph
Correction, it's a number, not initials. 308
 

stratamania

Senior member
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9,453
They are not Warmoth parts, but who made them is anyone's guess. It could even have been done by an individual, although the 308 would seem to indicate whoever it was had made more than one unless it was a reference to something such as a Ferrari.
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,508
Get the mineral oil from the super market or drug store. It’s dead simple. It’s food grade so you can also u se it on your chopping block.
 

stratamania

Senior member
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9,453
Spud, if I understand this correctly, pure tung oil would behave similarly to mineral oil for treating and protecting a wood finish

Yessir! 👍

Get the mineral oil from the super market or drug store. It’s dead simple. It’s food grade so you can also u se it on your chopping block.

I am not sure of course how "mineral oil" is being defined by you both but it is a distilled petroleum product and could be used as a cleaning product. You must mean something else as I am not sure I would want a petroleum product near food.

Pure tung oil is from the nut of a tung tree and is one of the oldest types of finishing materials. So I am not seeing the equivalence?
 
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mayfly

Senior member
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8,302
As others have noted, those are not warmoth parts. Who made them is anyone's guess, but if the bass looks good and plays well, who cares?

Regarding the neck, if it's got a finish on it you should not need to do anything more that just clean it. Regarding the body, other folks are chiming in about various oils, so I'll let them complete the conversation :)
 

Rick

Senior member
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4,508
Same mineral oil that people take as a laxative and put on chopping boards. I learned about it from one the managers at ovation. Works great 👍. I used Tung oil once as a finish. If stratman says it works for him I don't doubt it. Point for me is ... No finish and you want to condition the wood ... Maybe because it has no finish and has dried out .. . mineral oil worked for me and the company that made ovation guitars. Guaranteed to work
 
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Spud

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1,268
I am not sure of course how "mineral oil" is being defined by you both but it is a distilled petroleum product and could be used as a cleaning product. You must mean something else as I am not sure I would want a petroleum product near food.

Pure tung oil is from the nut of a tung tree and is one of the oldest types of finishing materials. So I am not seeing the equivalence?
They both are light oils that will be absorbed into the wood. They will help revive the wood. If you want better long term protection I like wipe on poly by Minwax.
 
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DuckBaloo

Senior member
Messages
299
Conditioning the fretboard is just a matter of oiling every few years. I buy bore oil (sold at music shops for woodwinds). It's overpriced food-grade mineral oil, maybe with some additives. But whatever I buy will go rancid long before I ever need it again, so I'm not worried about bulk savings. A little oil goes a LONG way, don't overdo it, depending on the local environment and use, that could be every 2-10 years.

As for the rest of the neck. It could be Danish Oil, Tung Oil, Tru Oil, wipe-on polyurethane, etc. Many finishes aren't compatible so you really can't do much beyond cleaning it without first identifying the finish or testing for compatibility.

Even though it may not be relevant, for Warmoths finishes, they spray in glosss polyurethane or satin nitrocelluous, but I assume most buyers get them unfinished and use their personal favorite product.
 
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