Can this neck be saved?
I recently took this bass (see pic) out of the case and found a nasty crack in the wood right at the nut. Probably because of the crack, the neck is badly bowed and the truss rod can't really be adjusted, so the action is uncomfortably high. It's a beautiful neck--a mid-1970's Jazz with white binding and mother-of-pearl block inlays--and I'd hate to have to replace it. Is this something that can be fixed, or is it beyond repair?
That is probably one of the most common neck problems for a '70s J Bass to have....The rod is basically beyond maxed out and completely useless now. Mine was glued back together by a very talented repairman but it was never the same after that, the tension had to be loosened quite a bit to avoid cracking again. If yours is bowed even with that, I'd say cut your losses and try for a replacement neck.
This is why basses with blocks should be heel adjustment ONLY!!!
Bummer. Replacing neck is prob best and most economical fix.
If the back of the neck is not cracked and you really love the neck it could be fixed with a bow tie inlay. A skilled luthier or cabinet maker can do this. The patch would be visible and the grain of the patch would need to be perpendicular to the grain of the neck for strength.
First link that came up.
The big thing would be to keep glue out of the truss rod channel. The topnut should be removed and the points of the patch extend from the block inlay to the topnut slot. Side to side, I'd have the edge of the bow tie under the outside strings and make the angles on the plug shallower for this repair than shown in the link. Use hickory for the bow tie for it's toughness. The crack in the neck would need to be glued and clamped before the bow tie inlay work was started. It also may be a good thing to use slightly lighter strings after the repair was done.
Edit: While it was apart I'd look at the area the truss rod nut puts pressure and see if a thick metal washer was needed to spread stress.
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