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Bolt-On Necks: Attachment Method

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Geoff St. Germaine, May 20, 2002.

  1. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I am working on a fretless bass right now. I am thinking of how to attach the neck exactly. I am curioius what some of the other luthiers use. I am specifically referring to the use of machine screws with threaded inserts as opposed to simple wood screws. I am planning on using 1/4 hex bolts with T nuts installed in the neck.

    Also, does anyone think that using more than 4 bolts on a bass neck makes any real difference. I was planning to use 6 on the fretless, as it is a 7 string and the neck joint is rather large.

    Thanks for your thoughts,
  2. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    What size of bolts are you thinking of using? I would go with 6-8 on a seven string bass neck.

  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I was planning on using 1/4" bolts. The design I have right now is for 6 bolts. I am just not sure if this is overkill. I suppose that more cannot be any worse.

  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Machine screws and inserts are more reliable, and also possible to reopen/refit several times without any loss of efficiency.

    Most of the job will be done by the screws furthest to the head, because the strings will try to lift the head, rotate it around the joint. While the ones furthest to the bridge will act to control the back bending due to outer forces, in transport for example. In theory, there is no need for more than 4 screws. In practice, spreading the loads on more may be good for the wood.

    For a rectangular joint (Fender-style) and 7 strings, I would probably go for 6 screws, myself. To even the stress to the wood.
    OTOH, I would prefere a less square joint...:D

    Seriously, make sure you attach properly on the headside. Then "feel" the strain of the wood and place the rest accordingly.

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