Gourd Banjo

Finishing the Neck

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It is time to put the finish on the neck. Here is my setup.


The finish is in that little bottle of Tru-Oil®. I have used Tru-Oil before and it does a fine job. It dries quickly and makes a finish that I can customize between matte and semi-gloss easily. I just rub it on using a paper towel and it is done. Easy.

There is not much to photograph during the finishing. The one "interesting" thing that happened I did not photograph because I was madly dashing about to clean up the mess I made. During previous projects I have been known to ... um... spill the bottle of finish. So this time I was extra careful, and I put the open bottle way back on the bench, well out of reach of my clumsy hands. Well, as they say, "The best laid plans...". While I was putting on the first coat of finish I dropped the neck onto the bench, which fortuitously bounced around until it struck the bottle of finish, knocking it over and spilling half its contents into the the tool trough which lies beneath that pile of junk that you can always see sitting on my workbench.

Have I mentioned yet in this writeup that it is imperative to keep your workspace neat and clean while doing a project like this? No? Oh well.

The camera was forgotten while I ran into the house to grab a roll of paper towels to clean up the mess. The junk and paper towels flew as the puddle spread. This is stuff for Youtube, but alas, I have no video camera. Here is a photo of the aftermath.


You can see the pile of paper towels at the back of the bench. Those towels now hold half of my jar of finish, but the neck does have its first coat of finish on it.

I also put a string through my cherry tailpiece and hung it up so that I could put some finish on that as well.


Here is the neck after the second coat. You can't tell much difference in the photo.

Second Coat

Here is something interesting. An unkown substance of an ugly nature has soaked into the endgrain of the neck while I was doing this. I have no idea what it is, but it looks like some dirty petroleum product.


I suppose that it fell into something when I dropped it. There were also some dents and scratches inflicted on the neck as it bounced around on the bench. I have to start being neater and more careful. Here is the neck all finished.


I put three coats of finish on the neck in most places. On some of the endgrain I put a couple more coats to seal it better. It is looking pretty nice, if you don't look too closely at it. I also have a nice coat of expensive finish on a good part of my beat-up old work bench... no extra charge.

It took me one hour and 15 minutes to finish the neck, not counting waiting for it to dry, but definitely counting the time it took to clean up my mess.

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Last updated December 2, 2007