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Thread: StingRay Headstock Edge Cleanup: Best Practices

  1. #1

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    StingRay Headstock Edge Cleanup: Best Practices

    I have a 2003 EBMM StingRay 4H that has a few blemishes/imperfections on the furthest edge on the headstock. I know many people would advice to leave them alone as character marks, but suppose I really did want to restore that "newish" look?

    One thing that really confuses me is that EBMM gives a procedure for sanding "unfinished" necks (I doubt there is really such a thing in the case of maple necks [exotic woods like ebony or wenge excluded] as even what EBMM calls an "unfinished" neck no doubt has some kind of sealer on it) but doesn't tell us how to distinguish between a finished and unfinished neck. Honestly, I suspect the difference is in reality a difference between a matte finished neck and a gloss finished neck. I suspect I have a matte finish on this particular bass.

    Anyway, I was thinking I would follow this procedure:
    Clean the edge of the headstock with a light spritz of Murphy's oil soap;
    Wipe with a paper towel;
    1. Sand lightly with 600-grit sandpaper;
    2. Remove dust with a cloth dipped in naphtha;
    3. Sand lightly with 1000-grit sandpaper;
    4. Remove dust with a cloth dipped in naphtha;
    5. Sand with 000 or 0000 steel wool;
    6. Remove dust with a cloth dipped in naphtha;
    7. Apply Birchwood-Casey TruOil gunstock wax. Wait an hour or two and wipe off excess;
    8. Apply Birchwood-Casey TruOil gunstock finish.


    Does this make sense? My main concern is to make the far edge of the headstock look more like it would be on a new bass. I tried the wet-rag-and-soldering iron idea with only mixed results. I don't want to sand too much, obviously, and I don't want to make the far edge of the headstock look any different from the other edges if possible.

  2. #2
    Daniel's Avatar
    Daniel is offline Ernie Ball, Inc. Ernie Ball Customer Service

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    If your bass is a 2003 it should have an unfinished neck, however, your headstock is most likely finished and we do not recommend sanding it.

  3. #3

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    The headstock on EBMM basses is not finished with the oil and wax blend. They are finished with satin polyurethane, and the finish goes until the nut.

    When I got some, I first used water think super glue to seep into any cracks. Then I used clear semi-gloss poly touchup paint made for furniture.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by selowitch View Post
    One thing that really confuses me is that EBMM gives a procedure for sanding "unfinished" necks (I doubt there is really such a thing in the case of maple necks [exotic woods like ebony or wenge excluded] as even what EBMM calls an "unfinished" neck no doubt has some kind of sealer on it) but doesn't tell us how to distinguish between a finished and unfinished neck. Honestly, I suspect the difference is in reality a difference between a matte finished neck and a gloss finished neck. I suspect I have a matte finish on this particular bass.
    No, you have Oil & Wax finish on your neck, and your headstock is finished with poly. The line is clearly seen on the back of the neck where the Oil finish starts and poly ends. EBMM use Birchwood Casey Tru Oil and Gunstock Wax and in factory, only coat the neck once with Tru Oil, then wipe it off, add a coat of Wax, and then wipe it off. It ends up being "almost bare wood" and many people love the feel of it (I myself added 8 coats of Tru Oil on my Stingray necks as I like more protection on my necks).

  5. #5

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    Have you got any photos of the damage to the headstock that you are trying to correct?
    Granted, you can’t make something new out of something old but you can try and tidy it up a bit

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