Drilling a jazz neck to attach to the body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassguyky48, Jan 1, 2014.


  1. bassguyky48

    bassguyky48 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    Central KY./Danville
    Never done this..........prob very simple.........I just figured there are folks on here who know exactly how this should go....sooooooooo

    What size bit do I use? I'm thinking 1/8 or perhaps maybe a 3/32's?

    I don't want to split the wood.......it is maple.

    I also don't want to make the hole too big and not have a tight fit.

    thanks,
    Dave Lewis
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The 1/8" bit is fine, just wax the screws before you install them. Get a clamp with rubber pads and clap the neck in the pocket, then drill the neck holes through the holes in the body. It's pretty simple
  3. Remus_Redbone

    Remus_Redbone

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    I measure the diameter of the screw shaft with a dial caliper for all wood screw pilot holes (measure between the threads) and go with a bit slightly smaller than that diameter. That's toward the small side for the hole. Lots of folks do metal inserts with machine threads and use machine threaded neck screws. I've done that also, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of bases out there with wood screws holding the neck to the body with no problems. Wood screws are more forgiving of the accuracy of the hole location in the neck. Metal inserts (I'll specify steel inserts, you don't want brass inserts) require more precise hole location or the neck screw won't start in the machine threads.
  4. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Mark the correct depth on the drill bit with a strip of tape wrapped around the bit.
    So you don't drill straight through the fretboard.

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  6. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    With the neck in the desired position, I use a bit that is the diameter of the body's holes to mark the locations on the neck. Use a brad point bit and just kiss the neck with it. from there, I remove the neck and find the bit that is as near as possible to to the screw diameter, minus the thread. The actual size may vary, depending on the drill index at hand, but err to the side of too small. (You can always re-drill with a bigger bit) From there, I determine the required depth, add a touch, and then spike tape the drill bit, so I know when to stop. It's fairly straightforward, and easy enough to do with a cordless drill.
  7. bassguyky48

    bassguyky48 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    Central KY./Danville
    Thanks to all the above TBers. The information is very informative and much appreciated! I will follow your advice and reread your comments a couple of times just to let them sink in!!
  8. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Location:
    Brewster, NY
    All above is good advice, don't worry about splitting the wood - Maple is very hard, that's one reason it's used!
  9. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    G.R. MI
    Run a rubber band or a string through the nut, and the saddles on the outside edges to use as a straight line to make sure it's lined up good before you clamp it.
  10. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    #10 screws? 1/8" drill.
  11. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Fender neck screws are #8.

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  12. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    That's OK - 1/8" drill is recommended for #8, 9 and 10 screws in hardwood.
  13. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    That's what I use also - 1/8"

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  14. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    I use a 1/8" drill with a tape depth stop.

    I align the neck in the neck pocket and push a Phillips head screwdriver or drill bit through the body holes to mark the position of the screw holes then separate the neck and body and deepen the marks with the screwdriver. I use a hand-cranked drill to drill the holes. I turn the drill bit backwards several times to get the tip of the bit into the wood to prevent jumping out of the marks and make a clean hole with no tear-away before I turn the bit to start cutting .

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