Thinning and refinishing the neck on a BFG...?

Randy K

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I love my BFG except that the neck is too thick and too rough. I'd like to thin it down to a 60's slim taper D shape and seal it or refinish it so it's smooth like a regular neck. How bad could I screw this up if I try it myself? I've got some basic wood working experience but no luthiery skills (other then wiring). Anyone ever just take a pad sander to a neck and go to it? What should I look out for?

Alternately, which luthier would you suggest sending it to for this kind of job? I don't want to sink a lot of money into it.

Thanks!
 

Dougie

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That's easier said than done, but no do not take a pad sander to it. Tricky part is whatever you do to it to reshape it won't really show any dips or sanding irregularities until you start to put the finish back on it. Then it's like "Oh sh*t look at -that-" when you hold it up to the light and look at it while it's wet.

Getting the back of the neck to be one long shiny smooth straight line can be a real bear. I have done a few of them but they can be a major PITA. I start with a cabinet scraper and rough in til I get close then switch to long sanding blocks with progressively finer grit paper carpet taped to them.

It helps too if the neck is supported 100% so you might have to make a temporary jig to support it by clamping the body to a table or bench, face down, and putting the peghead on a stool or some other rest, and supporting the fingerboard the whole way. You want the neck not to flex at all, because the part in the middle will sand before the ends and that would be disastrous.

If you really want it done to the best quality possible, it might be better to hunt down a pro and send the guitar to them.
 

Riffster

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I had this done to my Les Paul R8 by a pro, he took the huge neck and I mean huge by any standards down to a shallow D shape, like a 60's but with very little taper, so the first frets still have plenty of meat, I hate skinny necks at the first frets.

I paid $220 plus tax including refinishing the neck, the finish blends OK is not perfect but you have to look for flaws if you want to spot them. Now it is my most comfortable guitar to play.
 

MagPel

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I did this to a studio neck a little while ago. Hard to go wrong and take off too much if you use a scraper, but there is always a risk to go too far and hit the truss rod cavity of course. I could give you measurements so you have some ballpark numbers to go by if you decide to try it.

It is a bit of a gamble though so if you dont feel 100% up to it i would pay someone to take the risk for you.
 

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