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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassedsouth, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. I have my plans ready and am almost ready to embark on my first bass.

    I'm not sure if my first bass should be bolt on or neck through , any advice etc would be great :)
  2. all personal preference, since this is your first bass, building a bolt on would be easier, because you are likely to mess up something along the way, so if you screw up either the neck or the body you can just get a new piece of wood, with a neck thru, you would have to start all over again, some people like the look of a neck thru, some bolt on, you can even go set neck if you want to, just look around, search talkbass if you havent already etc.
  3. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    I have to comment that if you haven't decided on bolt-on or neck-through you don't have your plans ready ;)

    In any case, when I started building I decided to do neck-through for multiple reasons, one of which was I figured it would be easier because you avoid the whole neck pocket thing. Still have yet to build a bolt-on.
  4. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    That is the reason why I'm building a neckthru for my first project but cricketfever is right... if you f*ck it up maybe you will have to start from 0 again.
  5. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    If you're good with a table saw, you can cut off the wings if ever something does go wrong, and you would be able to salvage the wings with 1/16 less... Its better than starting over. And I agree on the pocket thing, I have yet to build a bolt on too... Dont think its gonna happen either, unless someone asks. Good Luck.
    Chris_Toot likes this.
  6. before I started to look into the aspects of building an instument I assumed that neck thru basses were more difficult to build because brands like Warwick always charge extra for NT's ..... apparently I was wrong .
  7. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm working on my first build as well. I'm thinking bolt on provides a safety net for screwups too. Er...screwing up on the build...not that the person building is a screwup. Ah, anyway.

    I decided my first build would be a fretless, headless, neck through. Now I've chickened out and decided to glue on a headstock (crossing fingers) due to my lack of still in making a string retainer.

    In a moment of trying to salvage the headless idea I cut things short and no longer had the option of neck through. Of course I put two steel rods in the neck instead of a trussrod so I could go cheap and maintain doing everything myself. Now I don't have the option of bolt-on. I sure hope a set neck works for me.

    So, I guess the point of my rambling is make up your mind and stick with it before you go changing your build to match how you're feeling at the time.
    Chris_Toot likes this.
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I build neck throughs, and set necks as a general rule. I also build bolt on's, but generally for those wanting to add their own hardware and electronics, or for those that actually prefer them.

    Bolt on's are much easier for multiple reasons. Firstly, you can buy templates for just about every part of a bolt on, including the neck pocket. Bolt's take a lot less woodworking knowledge, and are not as exacting as a Neck Through. 2 seperate pieces is always easier than one continuous piece to work with and handle.

    Sound wise, I'd take a neck through over anything, but for ease of operation on a first build, I would go bolt on. It all depends on your confidence, skill, and patience.
  9. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    +1 on everything

    Well said.

  10. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I'm personally partial to bolt on necks... I've done set neck and neck through basses, and they each have their own merrit. In order of preference, I'd probably have to say bolt on, then set neck, then neck through. The set neck and bolt on setups use the same basic idea when I build them, really, except you can't detach the set neck... but I make my neck pockets exactly the same, nice and tight.

    Making the neck separate allows me to use thinner and shorter stock for the necks, and allows me to completely power sand the bodies, without having the neck get in the way. But that's just me.
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I can power sand my bodies completely also, but for finish sanding before finishing, I always block sand by hand to make everything nice and level. It's just personal opinion.
  12. bottom line, its what you feel you can do well, or what you would like to do

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