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Bass without a neck pocket

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skidmarkbass, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. I have been thinking about building a bass body and using a spare bolt on neck that I have, however, I do not have a roughter or do I know how to use one. My plan is to just bolt the neck on. Could this work? Or will it move around? I also have ideas for the pickups without a roughter.

  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I'd say it's worth buying a router. They aren't hard to use.

    You don't need a high-dollar Porter-Cable or Bosch. I have a $50 Ryobi, and it works very well. It is lacking in some bells & whistles, but it is solid. However, if I were to replace it, I'd go with something with 1/2" and 1/4" collets.

    Yes, you can just bolt the neck down to a body without a neck pocket, but it will likely be awkward and uncomfortable to play. You'd also have to make the bridge level with the neck somehow.
  3. Thanks... My plan was to glue on a neck pocket layer afterwards, also I planned to glue a block of wood under the bridge. Maybe I will look into a cheap roughter.
  4. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    If you have chisels and you're at least educated in how to use them properly, you could easily make a neck pocket out of them.
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    You could make the body in two parts. One back piece that have is more or less solid. (Except for maybe a control cavity) and a front piece that you cut the neck pocket and pickup holes in first, before gluing the two pieces together. It's not elegant, but could work The biggest drawback with this is that the depth of the pockets is dictated by the thickness of the pieces you are using, which could cause problems.

    Option to is to do as dcalde78 says, use chisels. That's how they did it in the olden days. ;) It does require lots patience, though. It's also advisable to get some good chisels, not cheap ones that go dull after 5 minutes.

    Your last option is to get a router, which is probably your best option. Just read up on how to use one first. Routers are very nice tools if used correctly, but dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
  6. I needed to read your initial post a few times before I understood you didn't had a router.. never seen it spelled like roughter (imagine it sounds like roufter). Is that an alternative spelling or something like dialect?

    I think the major, really major advantage of a router over chisels or multiple layers sawn to shape is that the edges you route are almost perfectly square and need very little work afterwards. This helps tremendously in getting a nice tight neck pocket. I'd buy one and learn how to use it. It's a basic guitar building tool, really.

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