OK with all the social quarantine and closings and staying at home decided to take my old '72 Tele Custom body and rebuild and upgrade. The neck was worn out a long time ago and was maple and had been Jonesn' for an ebony so bought a WD flame maple replacement. Looks good feels good but lighter in color than I want to match the body which is a natural that years ago I stripped and applied a Danish Oil finish which is really nice.
So the neck has a "light satin polyurethane" finish. Almost feels unfinished but a very light satin clear coat. I like the feel what would be the best way to slight darken, maybe a more amber, for a more vintage look?
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2020 16:16:51 GMT -5 by Stinger22
If you want to darken it you'll have to strip it first. Nothing will get through the poly to darken the wood. You may be able to tint more poly that would lay over the surface, but I think that would not have any depth to it. I'm not an expert so maybe there are tricks Im not aware of. Pegoo should chime in soon.
A really simple way is amber-tinted lacquer. This is a clear lacquer with a tint that adds a yellow/tan color to wood. The only caution is this: apply a little too much and it will look yellow or even orange, which no 'real' necks look like. The best way to apply it is to spray from about 14" away and lay on only one thin coat. Let that set up and then follow with several light coats of clear.
Here's a pic of two headstocks; the top one is a year 2000 Fender CS Telecaster, and the bottom one is a Warmoth that was originally bright white maple that I used the above technique to slightly darken.
Notice how the older one has more brown in the color, and the newer one is more yellow. This is a function of UV light and time; the brown appears over time because the wood darkens and the finish also tends to darken. Amber tinted finish you apply will also darken over time. But if you want that slightly browner look right away, you need to apply a much-diluted alcohol stain directly to the bare wood, and follow that with the light amber. When it comes to stain and tint, less is always better than too much.
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Unfortunately it is not a lacquer finish. I've lacquer tinted several tweed amps "antiquing" them by adding a little amber tint. The only option here would be to spray a satin urethane with a slight tint. But the more I hold the neck the more I like the finish and probably not going to chance it with an overcoat. Body was a natural with nitro which I stripped years ago, I hate to think back how many, and refinished with a hand rubbed Danish Oil finish, about 9 coats, and it has a real nice almost translucent look over the grain. Tried to upload a Dropbox photo but doesn't seem to want to take the url and Snippet tool not working here.
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2020 19:10:53 GMT -5 by Stinger22