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What happens if I reshape the neck heel?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by backtobass, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

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    I'm in the process if doing my "Sting bass" assembly. Yes, I'm calling it assembly since I'm not actually building anything. I've reliced a Douglas Pisces body with some ok results. I took the Douglas neck off and will be using it on another project after I play with the frets a bit (doesn't the headstock look a little like a Mickey Mouse sorcerer hat?).

    Anyway, I've reshaped the headstock of a Mighty Mite neck and have it ambered only to realize that the heel of the neck doesn't match the neck pocket. Rounded heel, squared pocket. Will it wreck the bridge to fret distance to the point where I won't be able to intonate the bass if I sand down the heel to square? Is it not worth doing since I'm probably the only one who will ever notice the aesthetics?

    Thanks everyone
  2. Neek

    Neek Supporting Member

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    Are the holes for the neck bolts already drilled in the heel? If they are, then sanding the heel flat will either prevent the holes in the neck from lining up with the holes in the body when the neck is seated all the way in the pocket, or the neck will have to be bolted in its usual spot now exposing a larger gap where the curved heel (which is now flat) used to be.

    If the holes aren't already drilled, then perhaps any distance lost in scale length might be compensated by adjusting the bridge saddle back a bit. I'm not sure how far back they would need to be adjusted, or if there is enough space on the bridge to properly compensate for the shortened scale length to begin with. Perhaps there is a more appropriate way to solve this issue that someone else could chime in with.
  3. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

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    Yeah, That's what I was worried about with regard to the bridge. I was planning on shaving off about quarter of an inch and then compensating on bridge adjustment. The neck has never been mounted so no holes . . .yet
  4. JP Morin

    JP Morin

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    that will change the pickup position too... i don't know how much it would affect the sound...
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    If it were the other way around: square neck heel and rounded pocket, it would not make any difference. But with a square neck pocket, you're going to be taking off almost (at that location) a fret's worth of wood, and that will necessitate moving the bridge back by the same amount of wood you take off, at least.

    The pickup will sound marginally more bassy, which you may or may not prefer.
  6. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

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    Wow, hadn't thought of the effect on the pickup. I'm using a Duncan SCPB-3.

    I gotta say though, I'm leaning towards just dealing with the aesthetics if I have to start sweating the pickups.

    So, as a honest question. What would you guys do?
  7. butcher

    butcher

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    What if you got a piece of hardwood and made a transition that was shaped like the neck heel on one side and squared on the other. Get the heel side right first and then cut/shave/sand the block down until the screw holes line up. Then glue it into the end of the neck pocket.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Reshape the neck pocket on the body so it accepts a standard Fender sized neck, then you can put in a different neck in the future and the neck you have now will still fit other basses.
  9. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure there's so much space that a piece of hardwood could be slipped in. If I reshape the pocket I run into the similar problem to shaving the neck,

    I think here great ideas, but I'm leaning towards just mounting it. Plus or minus a filler.
  10. JustForSport

    JustForSport

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    Measure the nut-to-saddle distance with neck in place to see whether neck will move toward bridge if squared, or if pocket is deepened/contoured to match neck.
  11. bolophonic

    bolophonic

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    If it were my project, I would get a neck that fits the body. Just jamming a rounded neck into a square pocket is going to turn out pretty janky, no?
  12. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

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    Thanks JustforSport, I think that's the best idea for right now. I had a neck that fit it, I just thought it would be better on another project, though now I may have to reshape that heel in the opposite way, haha.

    Just as an update, I didn't like the relicing when I was done with it. Stripped the body and am going to start over. May end up doing a rub on dye sunburst, then nitro, then relic that.

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