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Body to neck tolerances

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by zot, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. zot


    Dec 11, 2010
    is it vital that the neck and body fit tightly on a bass with a bolt on neck? My kids bought me an inexpensive kit for Christmas and I would like to try and do as good of a job that I can with it. There's about a 1/32 gap between the neck and body on each side. Thanks.
  2. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Inactive

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    Actually, it really doesn't matter at all. With a larger gap, the neck could shift out of alignment if it took a pretty hard hit but that's an easy fix. People get hung up over the tightness of a neck pocket but reality is that no matter the size of the gap there is still a break in contact between the neck and the side of the pocket. Just align the neck correct and bolt it tightly and you'll be fine.
  3. zot


    Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks, Blue Blood! :)
  4. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    No, it doesn't matter. The joining surface is the bottom of the heel and realisitically the neck pocket fit is aesthetic only.
  5. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Oct 23, 2012
    South Florida
    If the gap is small enough, sometimes the paint and clear coat can build up around the pocket and tighten the fit a bit. You didn't mention if the kit was pre-finished or just bare wood, so I thought that info might be a bit useful :)
  6. zot


    Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks for the advice. It's an unfinished J-bass style kit. I'm not real sure how to procede. I've painted car parts and other things, but when it comes to sealers and stuff like that for finishing this bass I'm somewhat clueless.
  7. JIO

    JIO shaken - not stirred Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    First thing you'll want to do is decide if you want a solid colour, a wood stain, or a trans-colour (red, blue etc). Most likely with all three you'll want to first apply a couple coats of sanding sealer w/finish sanding between coats. There are water-based and thinner based versions and either will work. I prefer a quick setting thinner based product regardless of brand. (found at most hardware/paint stores) Even if staining it will assure evenness. For a solid spray (paint) you can use primer/sand/spray paint/sand/clearcoat for a relatively decent finish. Multiple coats, wet sanding and buffing (w/sufficient setting time before final buffing etc) if you are versed will get even better results. It just depends on how far you want to go. If you want to visually tighten-up the neck pocket, leave it exposed when you're applying/spraying your primer/paint colours/clearcoats. Good luck and have fun.
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    +1 :bassist:
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    In my opinion (and it's just my opinion), the sides of the pocket don't really matter. What does matter, as stated above, is the large mating surface. The tighter that junction is, the better the tone. And a good way to optimize that joint is by installing threaded inserts into the neck and using machine screws.
  10. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    I had that issue when I put together a frankenP, and no, its not an issue. I aligned it and used a shim on the side to hold it in place (and aesthetics) but there's no issue.
  11. zot


    Dec 11, 2010
    Great tips! I am really looking forward to getting started on it. It is one of the Guitar Fettish J-Bass kits. From what I've seen, it looks like a decent starting point for a first build.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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