EGR's Great Tele Relic Experiment: Misadventures Of A Neck Surgeon!


Okay, so as promised, here’s a little look at our Tele Relic’s neck now that it’s been sanded, dinged to hell, tinted with wood stain, and all finished up with vintage amber nitro finish.

Over all, we are mighty happy with the results, though it took quite a few tries to get it right…


As seen in an earlier post, the first step was sanding the finish off of the back of the neck, and of course sanding the generally glossy finish down to a dull matte.

After this step, we spent a fair amount of time dinging and scratching the neck and headstock with various tools around the workshop––razors, screwdrivers, socket wrenches and the like.

It was also at this point that I finally decided to take a risk and really try to emulate the look of a worn out fingerboard.

To that end, we quickly bolted the neck back onto the body, and strung the whole thing up loosely, so that with guitar strings in place we could have something of a template for wearing down the the wood between the frets where your years worth of string and finger rubbing will leave its mark.

That done, we busted out the sandpaper and worked away…. it was tedious stuff… but kind of creative… I did it while watching TV.

Relic-Tele-FretsWith the wood sanded down in various places to well below the original finish, and dings and scratches placed as naturally as possible across the neck, I got my trusty oil-based wood stain and doused the entire fretboard and neck.

Let sit for 20-minutes. Wipe off. And you’ve got one seriously beat-to-heck looking Relic guitar neck… worked like a charm!

Once dry (overnight,) it was time to start applying the Guitar ReRanch Fender Neck Amber nitro finish.

Now, this is no place to rush… trust someone’s who has been through it––ouch!!

If you screw this up the first time the only way to start over is to soak your neck in paint thinner, which works like a charm, but means you’ll have to go all the way back to the last step, because you’re going to lose all of that wood stain you just applied.

Anyway, I learned the hard way. TWICE!

On the third and final try I applied the amber finish in very thin coats. Letting it dry for an hour or two between applications.

The only way to control how bright the amber is, is to apply the right number of coats (by eye!) so you want to take this really easy now. Do it right the first time and you won’t have to suffer like me! hehe

Once it was all dry, and we liked the tint of amber, it was just a matter of sanding some of the sheen back off of the neck and fretboard, re-installing the machine heads and such, and then taking a flat-head screwdriver to the tops of the frets to chisel off the excess finish.

And wala! We’ve got us a very nice, pretty damned authentic looking Relic Telecaster neck… sweet!



We will now be taking questions…