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Thread: dents in the neck

  1. #1

    Default dents in the neck

    Any tips or tricks . . . there are several very small and very shallow little dents in the back of the neck - as if it was habitually rested against a coffee table with too much enthusiasm. Or imagine taking a butter knife and tapping on the neck with enough force to just produce a tiny indentation that is just barely noticeable by feel. If you hold to the light, you can see them in the finish. Nitro lacquer finish. Can they be filled individually? Can applying some heat do anything to level them? These are very small dents, yet noticeable under hand. They don't affect playing yet you want a silky smooth neck.

  2. #2
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    Back in the days of wooden baseball bats, we would “bone” our bats to smooth them, compress the grains down harden them. We felt it made a bat harder and made it less sushi table to miss hits. We would put a damp towel on it, remove the towel and rub it vigirisly with a large bone. I don’t know if it made the bat better or less likely to break but it did smooth the surface. I have have thought about trying this on the capo marks on my guitar.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    You can very carefully steam the dents out using a damp cloth and a soldering iron. Lay the cloth over the dent and lightly touch the iron to the dent, check to see progress, use a new place on the cloth and do again. I have had a lot of success doing this, especially for small dents in instruments. You need to be quick as you don't want to damage the finish, and you need to put the iron right on the dent, if it is long sliding it across the dent with the tip orientated so it goes into the the dent. Touch and gone is the order of the day, no holding allowed. You may want to practice with something other than your mandolin until you get it down. Preferable something with a finish on it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  5. #4
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    Might be a perfect time to do a 'speed neck' if you're into that sort of thing. That would allow some sanding and smoothing.

    Other method I've used on small dings on mandolin tops (haven't used it on harder wood of necks) is simply putting a small drop of warm water on the dent and leaving for 15-30 minutes. Results have varied, but several swelled right up to level again, especially on the spruce tops.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  6. #5

    Default Re: dents in the neck

    These little indentations are strictly in the finish I'm pretty sure. I don't think the underlying wood is even affected - or very little. I'm thinking that there are a couple that might be filled with some lacquer or (please advise) then the whole neck lightly sanded 400g/800/2000/5000, etc and then buffed / polished back to high gloss. Perhaps a pro would lightly shoot the entire back of the neck then sand / polish. I'll attempt some heat on the most pronounced one. It's really a minor deal, a perfectionist sort of thing.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    I would avoid drop filling with lacquer as it's going to shrink down over time requiring lots of fill and sanding sessions. Also, takes a long time to cure before you can sand and buff.
    I would recommend Gluboost fill n' finish (medium viscosity?) It's a super glue that bonds with finishes quite well. Cures fast, especially with their accelerator. Then you can scrape, level sand, and buff it out quickly. Could do a couple sessions in an hours time or less. It's better to do small amounts multiple times rather than fill it all in one shot.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: dents in the neck

    I'd just leave 'em alone and learn to live with it.

    Try foolin' with them, and you could end up with things worse than when you started...

  10. #8

    Default Re: dents in the neck

    If you end up refinishing, I would consider a satin finish. Fender does this on their production electrics now and the neck feels much slicker than gloss, which can get sticky. The satin finish does buff with hand wear over time, but never as sticky as gloss.

  11. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    Have a look at frets.com Frank demonstrates steaming of dents. I would stay away from drop flling with CA unless it is hard Poly fininsh. CA will look good initially, but after some aging the patch will show like a sore thumb on nitro. Poly finishes are harder to steam, especially if the finish layer is not cracked at the dent, the moisture won't come through to the wood and heat alone will do little for you. I had good luck using tiny sharp pin to create few very tiny holes along the dent and after careful steaming and drying they can be filled and polished quickly and easily.
    Adrian

  12. #10
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    Default Re: dents in the neck

    I'd speed neck that thing soooo fast.....

  13. #11

    Default Re: dents in the neck

    Yeah HoGo, I was thinking that if the steam couldn't get into the wood then you couldn't get the expansion you're looking for. I'm thinking that the solution would be lightly spraying and sanding the entire neck a couple times until completely smooth, then polish as desired. I've heard of lightly rubbing a gloss finish with fine steel wool to take it down to a satin finish and a much smoother, less sticky feel as Rob Roy suggests. Sounds risk free to try since you could always polish back to gloss.
    Last edited by Dillon; Feb-08-2020 at 6:52pm.

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