The techniques laied out in the article “Repair techniques for a heavily worn guitar neck” are fairly advanced methods of wood repair. They also take a lot of experience, literally years of practice. In other words, you will need a piece of scrap to practice on, don’t ruin your guitar.
Even when you click on the picture and enlarge it, the actual depth of wear is hard to determine. Many times one can really improve the finish and feeling of this type of wear by using Micro Mesh sanding abrasives. Note: Micro-Mesh was developed for polishing jet windshields to maintain their optical clarity. Imagine how your instrument will look! Great for repairing scratches and over-spray. Use them for polishing frets, too.
Micro Mesh comes in grits that range from: 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12000-grit. Start with the coarsest grit, 1500, and carefully sand the worn area until it is relatively smooth. Remember to masking tape off the areas you don’t want to affect. Graduate to the next grit paper and so on up to the 8000 grit. Be careful and patient, don’t take off much, we are just making each grit produce a smoother finish, use each grit, don’t bypass any grits on your way up to 12000. By the time you get to the 8000 grit paper, the area of concern should be smooth.
Once the area feels acceptable to you, your next step depends on what you want as a finished product. Assuming you will not put any new finish on the neck, it is simply a matter of polishing with the 8000 grit paper until it is super smooth, the 8000 grit barely removes any wood so don’t worry about sanding a divot into the neck. For all practical purposes the 12000 grit is like a fine wax with cleaner in it. The 12000 grit will burnish the surfaces where the refinished area meets the finish itself. From there it will blend the two areas together and actually bring it to a shine. All you need is elbow grease and patience.
Believe it or not, 12000 grit is like mild cleaner wax, you can actually take a small abrasion out of the finish and polish the area to a shine with Micro Mesh papers. Using warm soapy water is a great lubricant for a fine finish, this method is advised for final sanding/burnishing. The paper will last longer too.
Guitar Players Center buys most of our tools and repair products from Stew-Mac. However, I think Micro-Mesh is available through auto body shop supply stores, it is popular with quality car re-finishers and wood crafters.
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