Friday, 15 June 2007
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My brand new Super J's neck is swelling. I can feel a seam running down the back of it - some days are worse than others, but even on good days I can still feel it. I assume my bass had been sitting in a store for a good while before I bought it - it is one of the older versions without the battery compartment. Perhaps the neck has never been cared for in the proper manner. Could this be the cause of the swelling? How do I fix this, and how do I keep it from happening again?
14 years ago
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#9322
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if you look back at Sheldon's reply earlier in this thread, he advised that you apply tung oil after the sanding/filing. An oil finish is very thin and is worn away even by your fingers over time. That's why Sheldon recommends monthly waxing of the neck if a bass is played a lot. Sandpaper cuts right through the oil down to bare wood very quickly. Think of it this way: you were removing seams in the wood, not seams from the oil finish, right? If you got rid of the wood seams by sanding, you removed wood [i:zhudwqy0]and[/i:zhudwqy0] the finish. You've got go through the finish to get to wood. If you didn't apply oil after sanding and filing, then those spots are unfinished and prone to swell even more now, not to mention they will discolor from dirt, oil, and sweat from your hands. Mark
14 years ago
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#9315
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[quote="guitarded":2673bgth][quote="Benjamin Strange":2673bgth] I used a very fine file to break down the edges of the seams, and then used some 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the whole thing out...I didn't even take off enough to cut through the finish. Excellent![/quote:2673bgth] Are you sure? A wax finish won't hold up to filing and sanding at all. I would bet that you hit wood. I would re-wax it ASAP. Mark[/quote:2673bgth] As I understand it, it's not a wax finish - it's Tung oil. Why should I refinish it? I like the way it feels now. It's not going to hurt anything if I leave it as is, will it?
14 years ago
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#9273
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IMO, the best course of action for new Dingwall owners suffering from seam anxiety is to wait it out for a season before doing anything. This will give the bass a chance to acclimate and it's owner some time to adjust as well. I sincerely think that part of the adjustment process is mental as well as physical, once you realize that everything is normal and ok, at the same time becoming more familiar with the feel of the neck the distraction will be gone. While the seams are worn down smooth in areas where I make most my money I am happy for what seams I have left. The way the necks are finished gives the most consistent feel in every kind of condition; hot, sweaty, cold, dry, you name it. I can barely remember what it's like to wipe the sweat off my bass between songs and spend half of the next song in complete friction-lock. I just don't think there's an all around better neck in the business...seams? No problem.
14 years ago
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#9239
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[quote="Funkshwey":25z3u2hl][quote="Funkshwey":25z3u2hl]I live in Houston and it's very humid here. Both of my ABII-5's are seam free. The necks are very stable too. I wonder if maple is a little more suseptable to swelling.[/quote:25z3u2hl] We had some extended winter coldness here in Houston which is rare. The heat was on alot. My Dw ABII-5's hang high on a 12' wall. My fretted really didn't react to the heat, it stayed stable. My fretless which has an Epoxy fretboard straightened out dead flat on the G side w/barely any relief on the B side. So the 2 different materials react differently to the heat. The positive is I really liked it almost flat. The bass MWAH's easier and w/the super low action your hand is really relaxed when playing. 1. Sheldon would you ever consider doing a fretless w/an ebony fretboard w/ no epoxy? 2. And not "build up" the fretboard to the thickness as if it was fretted? 3. Maybe recess the bridge the depth of the bridge plate to compensate? The break angle over the nut would be the only issue after doing it that way. As my fretless is right now some of the strings cut into the fretboard on the headstock side of the nut. I don't know if that messes w/ harmonics or anything else.[/quote:25z3u2hl] I've seen so many cracked ebony fingerboards, I'm a little gun shy of using them. I like the tone of the epoxied wenge so much I'm not sure ebony or ziracote would be any improvement so no comment until I've built one and tested it. Phenolic is another idea too.
14 years ago
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#9233
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[quote="Benjamin Strange":4be9nx08] I used a very fine file to break down the edges of the seams, and then used some 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the whole thing out...I didn't even take off enough to cut through the finish. Excellent![/quote:4be9nx08] Are you sure? A wax finish won't hold up to filing and sanding at all. I would bet that you hit wood. I would re-wax it ASAP. Mark
14 years ago
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#9230
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[quote="Funkshwey":28e9gmcc]I live in Houston and it's very humid here. Both of my ABII-5's are seam free. The necks are very stable too. I wonder if maple is a little more suseptable to swelling.[/quote:28e9gmcc] We had some extended winter coldness here in Houston which is rare. The heat was on alot. My Dw ABII-5's hang high on a 12' wall. My fretted really didn't react to the heat, it stayed stable. My fretless which has an Epoxy fretboard straightened out dead flat on the G side w/barely any relief on the B side. So the 2 different materials react differently to the heat. The positive is I really liked it almost flat. The bass MWAH's easier and w/the super low action your hand is really relaxed when playing. 1. Sheldon would you ever consider doing a fretless w/an ebony fretboard w/ no epoxy? 2. And not "build up" the fretboard to the thickness as if it was fretted? 3. Maybe recess the bridge the depth of the bridge plate to compensate? The break angle over the nut would be the only issue after doing it that way. As my fretless is right now some of the strings cut into the fretboard on the headstock side of the nut. I don't know if that messes w/ harmonics or anything else.
14 years ago
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#9227
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I finally got around to working on my neck. My seams were becoming VERY apparent, and I couldn't take it anymore. I used a very fine file to break down the edges of the seams, and then used some 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the whole thing out. Now it feels great, and I didn't even take off enough to cut through the finish. Excellent!
14 years ago
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#6207
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Ben- I've noticed this happening on all my Dingwalls, especially during and after humid, outside gigs. I played on a covered stage in the rain last weekend with my ABI, and the ridges became quite prominent, but after I got the bass home in my music room for a day or two they lessened to their baseline of barely being noticeable at all. Don't worry, it is normal and you will get to where you don't even notice it. Mark
14 years ago
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#6172
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My ABII is the same: small ridges -- sometimes more pronounced than others. I doubt I'll ever do anything about it -- feels fine and adds character. :) The neck itself is straight, solid and true like no other bass I've ever owned. Am I supposed to wax the neck now and then? If so, somebody remind me what the proper wax and procedure is. Thanks, John
14 years ago
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#6169
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The bass I have felt that "swelling" is on the neck of my black parallel pickups Voodoo (pre-fire Dingwall). It came this way to me (I have bought it used) but it's nothing that worries me. The neck has not bowed the slightest and I have no intention of sanding it down.
14 years ago
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#6167
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I often feel them on both my ABI and ABII. Nothing major, just something to get used to.
14 years ago
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#6166
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I live in Houston and it's very humid here. Both of my ABII-5's are seam free. The necks are very stable too. I wonder if maple is a little more suseptable to swelling.
14 years ago
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#6164
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Hey Benjamin, I too had this happen with my AB1 when I got it. Mine came new from Bass Central (I'd guess they have some kind of humidity control) but it wasn't an old stock instrument, rather one that had just arrived from the shop. Within a week or two I too noticed I could feel the neck seams on the bass and contacted Sheldon (who offered the same advice). In my case, the humidity in my house is averaging between 50 and 60% and I kept the bass in a room with a dehumidifier set at 40% with two different humidity gauges that read around 45%...when not being played. The good news is that while it drove me to distraction for the first several months it was like that, I did get used to it, and it has gotten no worse in the past several years. The neck is not any more unstable for it either. I've only done a few very minor trussrod adjustments within the past year and a half. I have always followed the proscribed method of cleaning and waxing the neck on a regular basis with the correct wax. As a guy with about 23 years of playing both guitar and bass, I will say that my Dingwall was the first instrument I've owned that wasn't a one piece neck, and it's also the only I've had that is not a poly or nitro finished neck. I was unprepared for the sudden discovery of the seams on a bass that was the most expensive I'd owned and was pretty freaked about it on my new bass.
14 years ago
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#6163
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[quote="Benjamin Strange":3c8aswxe]My brand new Super J's neck is swelling. I can feel a seam running down the back of it - some days are worse than others, but even on good days I can still feel it. I assume my bass had been sitting in a store for a good while before I bought it - it is one of the older versions without the battery compartment. Perhaps the neck has never been cared for in the proper manner. Could this be the cause of the swelling? How do I fix this, and how do I keep it from happening again?[/quote:3c8aswxe] Wood will move no matter what. We keep our shop at roughly 42% RH year-round. If you live in a more humid or dry environment, you'll feel ridges along the glue lines of the neck. I'm guessing that in your local area the humidity may be high, but it's probably always high, so you can have a local luthier lightly sand the back of the neck smooth with 600 grit sandpaper and apply 6 coats of tung-oil. If you don't mind a lacquered neck, you could also have a luthier spray lacquer or polyurethane on the back. This won't prevent wood movement, but it will make it less noticeable.
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