Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

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MrShake
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Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by MrShake » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:18 am

Had a big show last week, and things got a bit wild at the end of the set and my VM Jag took a hit. Maybe it was when I clonked it against my amp to shake the walls, maybe when the drummer kicked over her kit. Whenever it was, we earned it.

But, the next day, I noticed the finish on the neck had cracked, from about the first to the ninth frets. Right along the seam of the truss rod plug. The skunk stripe does NOT seem to have moved, but I guess the resonance of impact (or because we rocked so hard that night) vibrated the fault line right up the seam.

That's why I got this guitar, so that I wouldn't mind some damage live, but what are my no-budget options for a fix? I was hoping #0000 steel wool might work, and I don't mind going from glossy to satin if the rock gods demand it, but I have an allparts neck for the Jag I haven't been able to scrape together the finishing fee for, so I don't wanna take this in, just take off the edges so it's comfortable, and more importantly, so I don't just keep tearing or chipping off chunks!

Thanks in advance, lesson learned. I'll treat it more carefully in the future.

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by JM Convert » Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:09 pm

I had this exact problem with my VMJM when my cat knocked it over.

I sanded all the finish off the entire back of the neck and then refinished it with Tru Oil.

I prefer the neck now as to how it felt before.

Good luck.

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by Lost In Autumn » Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:12 am

wick thin cyanoacrylate glue into the crack, sand it flush with 600 grit

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by camilonava27 » Mon Aug 08, 2022 4:06 pm

MrShake wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:18 am
Had a big show last week, and things got a bit wild at the end of the set and my VM Jag took a hit. Maybe it was when I clonked it against my amp to shake the walls, maybe when the drummer kicked over her kit. Whenever it was, we earned it.

But, the next day, I noticed the finish on the neck had cracked, from about the first to the ninth frets. Right along the seam of the truss rod plug. The skunk stripe does NOT seem to have moved, but I guess the resonance of impact (or because we rocked so hard that night) vibrated the fault line right up the seam.

That's why I got this guitar, so that I wouldn't mind some damage live, but what are my no-budget options for a fix? I was hoping #0000 steel wool might work, and I don't mind going from glossy to satin if the rock gods demand it, but I have an allparts neck for the Jag I haven't been able to scrape together the finishing fee for, so I don't wanna take this in, just take off the edges so it's comfortable, and more importantly, so I don't just keep tearing or chipping off chunks!

Thanks in advance, lesson learned. I'll treat it more carefully in the future.

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This happened to a strat of mine once, I just sanded the finish down and oiled the neck. But then again, I preferred the feel of an semi gloss neck

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by BeeTL » Mon Aug 08, 2022 4:26 pm

Owner, Lowe Custom Guitars

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by MrShake » Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:54 am

Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. I decided to go the "sand and Tru Oil" route. I posted the stuff below in another forum, and frankly, don't have the energy today to retype another version. May the internet gods forgive me for copying and pasting.

Also, after all my talk about how "rock and roll" it was to toss my guitar across the stage, finding out that I only rose to the level of "general cat mischief" really made it feel less rock-tastic.

Ever since I made the mistake of telling my wife/drummer that a cat knocking over a Jazzmaster had the same effect my cut-rate Pete Townsend routine did, she's taken to calling me "Pussycat" at practice. :squint:

[...]

I tried 600, then 400, but even 20-30 min of work wasn't enough to barely scuff it. It must be the half inch of candy coating on these Squier Vintage Modified necks. I went as low as 120 at one point, and as soon as I got some progress, I stepped down to 400, then 600, then the two finest micromesh. It was glinting in the sun by the time I was done, just the raw wood. The sanding took two and a half hours and even with a mask on, that dust felt reeeeeallly toxic, even with an open window and a vacuum

There are a few visible sanding lines from the coarse paper near the headstock and neck heel I somehow missed in the light, as well as a little poly spot I missed that now looks like a pee stain near the bottom of the heel. But it's a punk rock player guitar, I'm not too worried about it. I needed it functional and protected, I don't care too much about a little blemish. Taking off the finish really reveals how much neck tint there is on these things.

A gloved finger, barely dipped in Tru Oil, scraped off, spread around as thin as I could get it. 3 dips/drops per application in the morning. A cloth buffing and gentle micromesh wipe in the afternoon, and an hour in direct sun from 2-3 pm. The sun time softened the oil a bit, I think, so I'd take the opportunity to gently buff with a dry cloth.

I was reading some people suggest that you apply 15 coats, but with the micromesh pads and 3 coats, it's already glassy and feels like the best parts of my well-used 2008 AVRI Jazzmaster neck. Much more glossy than I expected.

Now I'm just going to wait a week or two with occasional gentle buffing and a micromesh wipe at the end, and this thing should be back in action by early September.

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by JM Convert » Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:59 pm

My experience was roughly the same as yours.

I hope your neck turns out as well as mine did. It was an improvement over the stock finish.

Fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by MrShake » Tue Aug 16, 2022 2:05 pm

JM Convert wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 12:59 pm
My experience was roughly the same as yours.

I hope your neck turns out as well as mine did. It was an improvement over the stock finish.

Fingers crossed for you.
Thanks, I appreciate it!

Out of curiosity, how long ago did your refinish happen? Someone on another forum seems (not without cause) very concerned about the skunk stripe plug having come unglued. It seemed to take impact at one end of the plug and probably fissured from there, but have you noticed any lifting or loosening of the plug on yours?

I appreciate their concern - having watched this thing pirouette through the air across the stage, the fact that I DONT see or feel any damage other than a little hairline at the top of the stripe surprises even me. But having twisted and flexed the neck once I removed the finish, I couldn't see or feel any lifting. And haven't been able to notice anything since, though I realize the oil might mask it, even with gentle occasional buffing.

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Re: Neck Finish Split - DIY repair options?

Post by JM Convert » Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:34 pm

It happened about 4 years ago and the neck has been stable ever since.

No issues with the plug moving.

I hope you have the same results I did.

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