Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Black Ash Telecaster: Headstock Shaping & Neck Dye

Today I put the body to one side for a while, and started finishing the neck of the Black Ash Telecaster. I decided to go for a traditional Fender "yellow neck" look to contrast with the black body. Using my usual 'modern Telecaster' headstock pattern from the headstock templates pdf, I quickly got the headstock shaped and the whole neck sanded with 180, 240, 360 and 400 grit paper. At 400 grit, I raised the grain a couple of times and knocked it back down again with a gentle wipe of 400.

For the colour coats I used a weak solution of Colortone Vintage Amber, and applied it to the headstock, neck and fretboard. This is the first time I have dyed a fretboard, so it's kind of an experiment. I love the look, but have never been able to work out how to seal it effectively and still provide a good playing surface.

For clear coats I used two products. On the headstock and neck I applied my tried and trusted standby - Tru-Oil from Birchwood-Casey. On the fretboard I didn't want to use Tru-Oil (I've read some horror stories of fretboard wear and tear with Tru-Oil applied). Instead, I used some Dingotone Guitar Wax - hopefully this will be effective in sealing in the dye and providing a nice playing surface.

I have always loved the way Tru-Oil necks feel to play. The Dingotone Wax already feels really nice on the fretboard, so the combination of the two should result in a beautifully smooth playing axe. Expectation is now very high! A few more coats of Tru-Oil on the neck and this baby will be ready to assemble...