What can make an ok neck great?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by squierTony, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. squierTony

    squierTony Dr. Squier

    Jul 4, 2012
    MAUD Oklahoma
    I know a lot of us guys do the majority of the work on our guitars and was just thinking on what makes an ok better. What do you guys do to make your necks play like butter?
    squierbilly, surf green and ElRey67 like this.
  2. Luvs2yoko

    Luvs2yoko Squier-holic

    Jan 19, 2014
    Best skill I've learned is fret leveling, crowning, and polishing. It took some patience and investing in a leveling beam and some files. Definently the single biggest improvement to neck action. Not that all three are required on every neck. The way a neck feels and plays is the biggest factor in keeping a guitar,and playing it more often. I like low action, with no buzzing or dead spots.It took awhile to get good at it. Watched a few good you tube videos, and practiced on some cheap take off necks.
  3. ElRey67

    ElRey67 Squier-holic

    Jan 10, 2016
    Chandler, AZ
    I’ve had to sand off some of the finish from the back of the neck with certain finishes. Or a slight scotchbrite smoothing. It all depends if you care about asthetics and resale value. My Les Paul obviously had nitro and I sanded it off. Would make most folks gasp, but the guitar is mine for life. Will never sell it and the difference has been night and day for me, so I’m glad I did it.
  4. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    The fret work and the nut. If you get good at doing those two things, all your guitars will be better. And like @ElRey67 said, sanding the back of the neck makes them feel better. For the record, I have not sanded down the back of my Les Paul's neck. LOL! Just can't bring myself to do that. All my Fender style guitars I do sand though.
  5. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    Once the fret have been worked over, grab a green Scotch-brite, some stain, and the "big easy" Tru-Oil. Gloss finishes look good but a slick satin feels good. As ElRey said, a scotch-brite will quickly knock down the gloss without the "bite" of sandpaper. If the neck is unfinished (as below), a coat of wood stain, followed by a wipe and swipe of Tru-Oil make for a fast and easy top coat, that is slick to the touch without the use of spray cans. DSCN1989.JPG DSCN1990.JPG
  6. mikesr1963

    mikesr1963 Squier-holic

    May 6, 2016
    Fret polishing makes the biggest difference IMO. It truly gives the fret board a greasy feel.
  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Squier-holic

    Oct 5, 2014
    Gilbert, AZ
    What everyone else said, but also slightly rolled edges. Just a little, not a lot.
  8. nitro

    nitro Squier-holic

    Mar 16, 2017
    ocala fl
    With the neck on and strings tuned to pitch, I’ll check the relief and check the nut to make sure the string slot depth were I like them is ok , and if not I’ll make whatever adjustments are neede.

    From there I take the neck off and tape it up. At that point I use 000 steel wool to clean the frets. At that point I take a good long look at the frets. Then I go ahead and flatten the neck with a straight edge and use a fret rocker of sorts, to check for any high frets . If needed , I’ll go ahead and do a level and recrown and take care of any sharp ends. Then I wrap some 320 sandpaper wrapped around a popsickle stick and slightly roll the edges of the fretboard. Once thats done , I remove the tape and clean and oil the board with lemon oil and wipe it off after about ten minutes.

    Then I’ll let it set for a couple of days. I use dunlop formula 65 to clean and polish the back of the neck. I take a good look at the neck screw holes and check the body holes to make sure the bolts move freely through the body with no slop. And I check the tuners to make sure the bushings and knobs are tight and the tuners operat smoothly.

    Once all that is done its like new again, at which point I’ll remount it to the body. And restring it.

    Its the same thing I’ve with all of them, and haven’t needed to do anything else to make them all really nice and playable.
  9. squierbilly

    squierbilly Squier-holic

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    Rolled fretboard edges for the most comfort..
    And rosewood..:D
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    Las Palmas Norte and Luvs2yoko like this.

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Meister

    I have to agree with rolled edges. They add a vintage vibe to the overall feel of the neck. And if everything else, level frets properly filed on a good level neck, it makes for the perfect playing experience.

  11. Made a HUGE difference on a cheap Affinity Stratocaster I bought a while back.
    Cheers, Barrie.
    ElRey67 and squierbilly like this.
  12. Rat cam 68

    Rat cam 68 Squier-Meister

    Mar 12, 2018