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Converting a bass with a set neck to a bass with a bolt-on neck pocket

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by superbassman2000, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Can this be done?

    I was just thinking about gibson guitars and basses and how they are set necks (or at least the guitars) and i was wondering if there was a way to route the body so that it could accept a bolt-on neck in the case that the neck broke...just wondering!

  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Where there is a will, there's a way.

    I think it would involve cutting the what would be left of the neck near the body, removing the fingerboard, and routing out a proper neck pocket. Then, drill for the bolts. This would involve a LOT of measuring, too. One of the problems with set necks is the angle of the neck in relation to the body (with guitars at least) makes the strings sit far away from the body, hence the pretty tall bridge on a Les Paul guitar. So, you may need to match this angle in the neck pocket.
  3. Holmann


    Dec 23, 2005
    Ashland, WI
    sho'nuff could be done- anything can be done. I'd default to making a new set neck or repairing the existing one. Oftentimes there wouldn't be anyplace to actually put the neck pocket. (I'm looking at a old washburn doublecut les paul looking bass bass on my repair bench as i write.) Bolt on necks typically join the body somewhere around the sixteenth fret (basic fender style- I know there are zillions of exceptions). On many set necks, because the neck wood extends into the wood of the body, more of the neck is free of the body. In the case of my old washburn bass, the neck joint is at the 20th fret of a 21 fret instrument- the only way to convert to a bolt on would be to fill in the neck pickup route, put in a neck pocket, and make a 28 or so fret neck. of course, those frets would mean you'd need a deeper cutaway- now we have to refinish.....I think it's more trouble than it's worth.