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Converting a neck-through to a bolt-on

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by duckbutter, May 24, 2005.


  1. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Can this be done?

    I have a pretty cheap neck-through that I wanted to experiment on. The neck is WAY fat. I have a neck lying around and was I thinking of installing it on the bass (if possible).
     
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    This is possible, as after all, we're just talking about wood.

    I'm not going to go into the whole why would you want to do this... that is your choice and none of my business (I've done a bunch of pretty radical modifications in my day... and still do, so I don't question this type of thing, that's your choice).

    What will determine if this particular neck through bass can be modified to be a bolt on depends on the following:

    1. How deep the current "neck heel" goes into the body.

    - If it has a shorter body with deep horn cutaways and the current neck heel is at about the 24th fret, this will pose a bit of a problem in that you don't have the wood available to make a stable neck pocket for a typical fender/warmoth bolt on neck and still have the scale match up. ie: You'd have a tough time converting something like a Carvin or one of my basses as the neck heel is pretty deep into the body and no room left for a good base for a bolt on neck.

    2. The scale of the bass. See above

    3. You're wood working skill, experience, and abilities, and availability of the right tools.

    It is a relatively simple matter of removing the fingerboard and then the truss rod (don't want the router bit hitting fret wire or the truss rod.. ouch), cutting off the neck about 10 inches above the end of the body (extra length left for htthe same reason God put nipples on men... just in case...), shaving the remaining part of the neck flush with the top of the body, then making a jig to route a regular neck pocket into the body, ensuring the pocket will line the new neck up with the bridge and that the scale is right (distance from nut to 12th fret and 12th fret to bridge are right).

    Depending on your skill, abilities, experience, and availability fo the right tools, this can be an easy undertaking or a very difficult one.

    :^)~
     
  3. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Thanks.

    There is no truss rod, and the neck goes the entire length of the body. (that may also tell you about who made it).
     
  4. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Gotcha.

    Maybe if I Wish upon a star I can figure it out! ;)

    :^)~
     
  5. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    LOL....so, does it change anything ??
     
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Nope, the above still hold true.
     
  7. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    K, thanks.

    BTW, I checked out your site. You do beautiful work.
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I wish you all the best on saving a "bass" like this.

    R