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Thread: Final grade of sandpaper grit used before applying oil/wax finish?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    105

    Final grade of sandpaper grit used before applying oil/wax finish?

    Does anyone knows the final grade of sandpaper grit used at the factory before applying the oil/wax finish? I recently sanded one of my necks with a final grade of 320 grit but I'm not sure if this is feeling like a typical EBMM finish. I know Drew eluded to using 600 and 1000 grit when cleaning a dirty neck in his video but is 1000 the final grit when a brand new neck is completed off the assembly line before applying the oil and wax?
    My EBMM's:
    - Original Silhouette Special (1996)
    - Luke Blue Luke II (2000)
    - Mystic Dream John Petrucci 6 with Piezo (2003)
    - Amber Striped Axis (2004)
    - Blue Pearl Sterling (2005)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    31
    I don't want to speak for the factory, but I've used 1000-1500 as a final grade. I also think you use 0000 grade steel wool to get ride of the lines and swirls caused by the sandpaper.
    '05 JP6
    '05 SUB1 HH

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    2,176
    If you're talking BEFORE you put on the tru oil, that's way too fine. You want the tru oil to have something to bite into. 400 or even 320 or less is fine. I do this treatment with other brand necks and end with 320. I've done a couple dozen necks. I can't say that I do it exactly factory, but I do it the same way everytime.
    7/29/04 EBMM Sub1 X11376 oil/wax neck, gloss black body, faux binding, HSS w/5 way and silent circuit
    keep in mind that you are talking about four pieces of wood two pots one switch a trem along with springs two pickups and some wire.....BP

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    105
    I was thinking the same - that anything above 320 would be too fine and the grain wouldn't be open enough for the oil to set in. *If* this is how they do it at the factory, then what are the next steps? Do they then sand with 600 and 1000 grit like Drew did in the neck cleaning/maintenance video before applying the wax? This is what I want to know.
    My EBMM's:
    - Original Silhouette Special (1996)
    - Luke Blue Luke II (2000)
    - Mystic Dream John Petrucci 6 with Piezo (2003)
    - Amber Striped Axis (2004)
    - Blue Pearl Sterling (2005)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    31
    Sorry I should have been clearer. Before oil, yes I agree, 1000-1500 is too high...
    '05 JP6
    '05 SUB1 HH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Paris, France
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    If EBMM recommend 600 - 1000 then I won't second guess them. What they use in the factory I can't tell you but I would imagine it's the similar. Personally, I like 1200 grit. Of course, feel free to go as smooth as you like.

    I've just asked a wood-savvy buddy of mine about the oil absorption thing. He is of the opinion that oil will be taken up by the wood irrespective of the sanding grit. It is not necessary to sand coarser for better oil absorption. And also remember that we are not 'finishing' the neck in the way the people would normally use an oil and wax finish for a gun stock or guitar body. It really is the lightest of surface treatments rather than a finish.

    Also a good rule of thumb for wood finishing is this - when you can't distinguish the sanding scratches from the grain, you're pretty much good to go.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Go with the EBMM recommendation (duh). I finish with 1200 when I do mine. You want the neck feeling as smooth as possible before you apply the oil.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central Connecticut (Manchester) USA
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    I usually go with 800/1000, apply oil, wipe off, 0000 steel wool, 2000 grit, wax, buff. This gives a very smooth finish that is almost glassy but not sticky.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    105
    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I think I'll move up to 1000 grit and then apply the oil and see how it feels. But if anyone finds out exactly what the last grit is applied at the factory before oiling, please post! Thanks again!
    My EBMM's:
    - Original Silhouette Special (1996)
    - Luke Blue Luke II (2000)
    - Mystic Dream John Petrucci 6 with Piezo (2003)
    - Amber Striped Axis (2004)
    - Blue Pearl Sterling (2005)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    5,379
    Just thought I would add to this old thread for reference, you can happily go as low as 400 grit or even lower if you like. last time I did my Silhouette Special, I did 1200 grit. It felt so smooth compared to my brand new Cutlass it felt like it was lacquered and I decided that I'd like it be closer in feel to the Cutlass. The answer was 360 grit. Feels great.
    Last edited by DrKev; 09-11-2018 at 09:54 AM.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    611
    Not sure about what the factory uses, but I really like the feel of 2000 grit before the wax. Like Pete said, it gives it a very glassy finish that still feels like wood -- smooth and fast.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis Super Sport Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black
    A half-dozen pawn shop beaters no one cares about

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    78
    Oil soap, 600grit, 1000grit, 1200grit, oilsoap, and then buff with wax works for me. Sometimes 1500 as last sand.

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    ---

    Luke 1 - Pearl Red
    Luke 1 - Pearl Blue
    Luke 2 - Pearl Purple
    Luke 2 - Black Sparkle
    Luke 2 - PDN Green Sparkle
    Luke 2 - BFR Trans Purple Quilt]
    Luke 2 - PDN Starry Night (MH)
    Luke 2 - BFR Island Burst
    Luke 2 - Dargie Delight 1
    Luke 2 - Dargie Delight 2
    Luke 2 - Sapphire Black
    Luke 2 - Sledge
    Luke 2 - Red Pearl
    Luke 2 - BFR True Gold
    Luke 2 - True Gold (MH)
    Luke 2 - Carbon Blue Pearl
    Luke 3 - BFR Boysenberry
    Luke 3 - Firemist Purple

  13. #13
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    Danville, IL
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    I stop at 60 grit - then hand smooth the rest with 10,000 hours of playing!

    Kevin
    Curator of The Morseum

    Top dollar paid for "First 50" Morses!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Mass
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrou View Post
    I stop at 60 grit - then hand smooth the rest with 10,000 hours of playing!

    Kevin
    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!!"

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