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May 10, 2021 - 2:48:10 PM
95 posts since 2/18/2021

I'm finishing the neck of Saga OK-2 banjo kit, using a danish oil-type mix (1:1:1 Linseed, oil-based poly, mineral spirits) and no matter how hard I try, a little bit of finish gets on the edges of the rosewood fingerboard with every coat.

I wipe it down each time and try to spread it out, but it gets into the wood all the same. Is this anything to be concerned about? I know you're not supposed to finish the fingerboard from reading archived posts here.

I did try masking tape, but then worried about a line between the unbound fingerboard edge and the neck.

Thanks

May 10, 2021 - 2:52:49 PM
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3064 posts since 2/18/2009

I get oily fingerprints from my gloves onto ebony and rosewood fretboards sometimes by mistake, and there's always some that gets on the sides as I'm finishing the neck. If it comes out smooth on the sides I will sometimes leave it there, but never on the top. The best way I have found to remove the oil is to wait till it dries and then use a single edge razor blade like a mini card scraper. I hold the blade perpendicular to the surface and rub it back and forth, pressing down very gently. To do the sides I hold the blade between finger and thumb so only enough sticks out to scrape the fretboard side, and not enough to reach the neck wood. It takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable with this method, but it's not hard.

May 10, 2021 - 6:26:30 PM
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11724 posts since 6/2/2008

Despite what I thought was good taping and careful application, I also got some finish on the fingerboard surfaces on the grand total of two necks that I've finished -- one Tru-Oil, one waterborne poly. In both cases I did what Zachary described and used a razor blade to scrape the dried film finish off the surface. Then I cleaned the surfaces with mineral spirits and oiled them with mineral oil to bring back a consistent look across the whole surface.

I believe finish on the sides/outside edges of an unbound rosewood board is a good thing.

May 11, 2021 - 6:16:58 AM

95 posts since 2/18/2021

OK, the finish I'm using is pretty thin and a fair amount has soaked in already but I'll try leaving it sit next time and try scraping it off with a razor. This reminds me of advice on gluing I've read; leave it to harden and scrape rather than wipe with a damp cloth.

May 11, 2021 - 6:27:44 AM

849 posts since 2/19/2012

I'd question that gluing advice.

May 12, 2021 - 6:04:45 AM

95 posts since 2/18/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Parker135

I'd question that gluing advice.


To be fair,  I didn't state it very well.. the idea is, when you're gluing two raw, unsealed pieces of wood together, and if the glue seeps out of the joint (almost always for me), it's better to let the glue dry somewhat (solid but not completely cured) and then scrape it off cleanly.

If you wash the glue off with a wet cloth while it's still liquid, the glue-water mix soaks into the wood and seals it unevenly. Later, if you stain the wood, the stain will penetrate unevenly and will be lighter where the glue-water mix soaked in.

I've done it both ways plenty of times and in my experience, the results are much better if you scrape the semi-solid glue rather than washing it off. This is what I was relating to Mr. Hoyt's advice.

May 12, 2021 - 6:41:46 AM
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849 posts since 2/19/2012

Clutch Cargo , got it. That makes sense, and it's something I've never really thought much about other than knowing it's a real pain to clean up dried Titebond. I've had the problem you described with the glue penetrating the wood and causing an uneven finish problem, so I've always gone after squeeze-out with a pretty damp rag to clean it out of the pores in the wood before it can start to set up.

May 12, 2021 - 9:02:46 AM
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3064 posts since 2/18/2009

I've followed the same method Clutch Cargo describes, and when the glue is rubbery does seem to me too to be the best time for getting the glue off without damaging the surrounding wood. The only problem I have is remembering to scrape it off at the right time. How long it takes depends on the relative humidity and the size of the squeeze-out blobs, and I sometimes forget to look at the right time and let it get past me.

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