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First Bass INcomplete!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Motoboy, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Motoboy


    Nov 21, 2004
    Greer, SC
    Well, trying to build a bass the cheap way is NOT the way to go. I bought the Saga kit figuring I would replace the crappy hardware and build it. No such luck. After buying nice new tuners, bridge, pups, pots and wiring I find that the neck was twisted, so I ordered a new neck from StewMac. Guess what?! The neck pocket is too small for a real MIA style neck. So I guess it's off to Warmoth for a new body$$$ Now I'll have enough parts to build one new P-bass and one POS-bass. And it's only cost me enough to buy a nice new MIM bass!

    I always learn the hard way, but at least I'm learning... :help:
  2. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA

    I was looking into a saga kit, and read the horrid review on harmony-central. your story sounds right on compared to what is posted there.
  3. Motoboy


    Nov 21, 2004
    Greer, SC
    Well, to their credit, apart from the twist in the neck it is a fine piece. Much nicer finish and frets than the Mighty Mite I got to replace it. And the body is pretty nice too. Too much grain filler for an attractive stain/oil job, but perfectly good for paint. As a cheap project to work through your mistakes on and then move on to better things, it's well worth $80. Too bad it cost over $100. :rolleyes:
  4. Too bad. Enlarging the neck pocket would have taken about 15 minutes of work after about 10 minutes of instruction from right here. And that WAS the "hard way" :rolleyes:
  5. Motoboy


    Nov 21, 2004
    Greer, SC
    Is there a way to enlarge the pocket without a router? I did a search and came up with nil.
    I haven't ordered a body yet.
    Thanks for the idea!
  6. A steady hand with a very well sharpened chisel will do the job. I've also fine tuned neck pockets with various sanding blocks and papers or flat files. I don't know how much has to come off the sides but you'll certainly take it off with these tools. You've got to be careful about not flaring the pocket doing it this way - making the mouth wider than the heel.

    If there is more than a just hair to shave off, I would jig up the neck on top of the body and frame off the sides to act as guides for the rest of the work. To do this, get a pair of decently hard, straight 1 x 2's, 20-24" long and a block of wood that fits in the neck pocket and is the same height as the pocket is deep. You'll also need some double sided tape or duct tape - something to hold things in place. Firmly fix your body to your bench or work surface. Place the block in the neck pocket and tape in place. You'll also need to remove the pickguard and pickups from the bass for this procedure.

    Now, rest the neck on top of the wood block in the pocket but aligned with the back if the cavity in the same fore/aft position it would have if it were bolted in but just sitting on top of the body. You'll probably have it propped up in several places. A good thing to use is clothespin clamps around the neck making an inverted "V" for legs. Once the neck is in place, you want to use the 1 x 2"s to trap the neck on the sides so that they form a nice diverging "V" with the wood firmly pushed against the neck. Then ends of the sticks should rest far enough up the neck that they get a good directional read from the neck edges. With the formed "V", you can see that you can now center legs of the "V" on both sides of the bridge. USE A RULER!! When it shows center, tape the sticks firmly in place and they should accurately represent the sides of your new neck pocket. Now a chisel can be used to plunge down the sides or whatever technique is employed by the real woodworkers when they use those things.

    Hope this helps
  7. Motoboy


    Nov 21, 2004
    Greer, SC

    But I just ordered a black korina body. I'll oil and build the POS first to get the hang of it then build the nice one with the vast knowledge I will would have acquired.

    ("will would have" is not a typo)