Can I bolt on a set neck kit?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by vox_rox, Apr 11, 2014.


  1. vox_rox

    vox_rox

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I just want to ask if it's reasonable to think that I can bolt on a neck on a set neck DIY kit.

    I just saw a friend of mine with a headless bass kit that I think is pretty cool, but it is a set neck according to the plans. But there's a neck, and a neck pocket, so if I just put in some threaded inserts and used a plate on the back, is there any reason why bolting this neck on wouldn't work just as well - or better?

    This will be my first crack at a kit, so I'm punching a bit above my weight here, but I would love to know pros and cons of this.

    I did a search for this topic, but all I got was projects that wanted to set a bolt on neck, the exact opposite of what I want to do, and I don't know why you would do that anyway. Still, that's off topic.

    I would be very grateful for any feedback. comments, or red flag issues.

    Peace,
    Pierre
     
  2. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi, Pierre.

    Usually set neck neck heels and pockets are so severely stepped in order to enlarge the gluing area that there's not much material in the "right spots" to mount inserts or screws.

    Just out of curiosity, why BO over SN?

    Regards
    Sam
     
  3. Drake Custom

    Drake Custom

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa
    Disclosures:
    Builder/Owner:Drake Custom Bass Guitars
    Just curious, what type of kit do you have? Could you show a picture of the pocket and heel? My suggestion would depend on the parts that you have. If it is possible to do a bolt on construction with the parts you have, I would suggest recessed neck bolts.

    [​IMG]

    I get these at www.stewmac.com I imagine you could use machine screws with them as well.
     
  4. Batmensch

    Batmensch

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    If I might butt in ... Easier to repair(or replace)?
     
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  6. hover

    hover

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    You won't have enough mechanical bolting area to keep the neck in place and it will most likely shift like crazy, laterally, in the joint pocket. (think Fender 3-bolt-itis)
     
  7. vox_rox

    vox_rox

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    That's part of it, yes. The other is I just prefer the control. Glue and clamps and I can never really know what's going on, and if I get something wrong (happens), then there's no really go "undo" on a set neck. This is kind of a new hobby for me, so mistakes will be made.

    I don't actually have the kit. I was at a friends house out of town and he just got it, and took a really quick look at it. It's this kit from a Canadian place called 3G:
    HERE

    It almost doesn't look like a set neck there, but that's what the specs say.

    As for recessed bolts - would that give me more flexibility than a plate on the back, or would I compromise the material on the back of the neck pocket with the countersink? I think a meaty metal plate on the back would give me even more torque capacity, and maybe I can put metal inserts in the neck heel and use bolts instead of screws.

    Thoughts?

    Good feedback on this, much appreciated!

    Peace,
    Pierre
     
  8. Drake Custom

    Drake Custom

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa
    Disclosures:
    Builder/Owner:Drake Custom Bass Guitars
    Just looking at the kit on the link you posted, I see no reason why that could not be made into a bolt on construction. I think you can use either the rear mount plate or the recessed screws to mount the neck. The ferrules I use for neck mounting are wide enough to support the screws. You would twist a screw head off before anything would happen to the ferrule or the plate. Screws need to be tight but not so much that you would break a screw. I can't see how much thickness the bottom of the neck pocket has but you have wood down both sides that would help support the 160-180 lbs of tension from a set of 4 strings up to pitch. If the floor of the pocket is too thin then you may have to use the plate. I would not be worried if your are going to use a kit like the one pictured.
     
  9. vox_rox

    vox_rox

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I tend to agree Drake and think I will just go ahead and try it. Not much to lose really. Keep in mind that this is a super cheap budget kit and I'm a newbie hack, so I don't expect results to be close to the out-of-this-world construction that goes into your basses. It would be nice if I learned a few things along the way and ended up with a playable bass - THAT would be awesome.

    The recessed screws do have a nice clean look, so I think I will go that route first if there is enough material on the back of the pocket. I can always put a plate over that if I it's not looking like it will work. I'll need to source some quality ferrules somewhere. Again, I'm just playing around here.

    Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

    Peace,
    Pierre
     
  10. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina, USA
    Careful. That body already has holes for bolting to a neck, but the neck has a heel like a set neck. What's going on with that?

    [​IMG]
     

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