Bolt in neck for bass?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Videojunkie, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. Videojunkie


    Jan 19, 2021
    Omaha, NE USA
    Ok, so I was doing some pondering as I am considering my next build. I'm used to building neck through guitars and basses, and was thinking about bolt on necks, and was wondering about what if you reversed the orientation of the bolt on, and the slot for the neck to bolt into was on the back of the guitar?

    Maybe it extends to the point where the mounting bolts could be placed in the pickup holes, and the end slots into the body somehow.

    I've never seen anything like that, and there's probably a good reason...

    Beej likes this.
  2. Videojunkie


    Jan 19, 2021
    Omaha, NE USA
    Late night sketch. 20211012_221509.jpg
    Beej likes this.
  3. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    The only reason that strikes me in terms of why this hasn't been done is the extra complexity. The fretboard typically has to extend over the top of the body, so it makes sense to have a typical neck pocket and just a straight "tenon" for the heel of the neck. With the drawing as you have it, you've got a sort of finger of body material that sticks into a slot in the neck, which would be more challenging to manufacture correctly. And that joint would have to be a good fit, because the tension on the neck is more or less cantilevered across it based on where you have the screws. All of the tension from the strings will be trying to bend/break the endgrain wood in the neck around that finger and the extension under the body will just act like a lever to help it bend. Having the screws right at the actual "join" between neck and body, and having the neck on top with the screws through from the back, eliminates that leverage.

    Also - the pickup pockets are already rather thin (in terms of the depth of wood from the bottom of the pocket to the back of the bass). Trying to split that distance between the neck extension and having enough wood for screws to bite into is going to be a challenge. If you use a thicker 1 3/4" body, and allow 3/4" for the cavities, you've got an inch to split between the neck extension and wood for the fasteners.

    I hope this doesn't sound super critical, because I love creative approaches to stuff like this!
    lark_z and Beej like this.
  4. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    In your sketch I would anticipate failure at the heel of the neck.
  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Warwick did something similar in the infinity tcs model though it's a set-neck, not bolt on

    WarwickE36, andruca, Beej and 2 others like this.
  6. Videojunkie


    Jan 19, 2021
    Omaha, NE USA
    It does change the compression joint to a tension joint doesn't it.
  7. rudy4444


    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    The main reason would be that as builders, our natural inclination is to make any given task simpler. To my thinking this is the opposite, making a simple task much more complex, so it would go against my usual process to taking the easy way out.
    punchdrunk likes this.
  8. bararan


    Jul 22, 2015
    Boston, MA
    If I remember correctly Le Fay offers something akin to that as an optional extra, might we what they call "Le Fay CAP". I remember seeing a diagram explaining how the neck is attached to the body on their website a while ago and your drawing reminded me of it.
  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    i have no idea what i'm talking about, but if that sort of complexity is being chased, why not make it a dovetail joint?
  10. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    Your sketch reminded me of the old Travis Bean aluminum necked basses that did that. Pickups mount into the neck from the rear... I'd suggest to do some more looking around on the internet- then, make a prototype! When you do, please post photos! Travis Bean Bass back.jpg
    james condino and yodedude2 like this.
  11. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    What problem are you trying to solve and does this solve it?
    lark_z likes this.
  12. ZedLepp


    May 12, 2013
    Check out B.C. Rich's Invisabolt design.
  13. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Check out Brubaker
    Max Bogosity likes this.
  14. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I just saw this video where this old Curlee bass from the 70's had a bolt in.
    yodedude2 likes this.
  15. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I don't understand any advantages, but it's a neat idea and has me thinking. :thumbsup:
    Videojunkie likes this.
  16. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    an opportunity for failure mode analysis?
    Videojunkie likes this.
  17. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island

    Building is also art for some, wherein the creative process has inherent value. :D
  18. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Just cut the fingerboard higher than the body, and you got it.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    My Dog Sam Eats Purple Flowers

    Funkinthetrunk likes this.
  20. The short grain here looks like a potential problem.
    Durham52 and Allegrus like this.
  21. 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.

    Oct 28, 2021

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