First project (J-bass) - Neck pocket WAY too narrow

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by seang15, Apr 28, 2012.


  1. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Hi folks,

    OK, let's start off by stating this: Warmoth, Allparts, Hefner, etc. etc. If you are reading this: I KNOW! I will get one of your bodies next time! :) But this is a project bass, and I was able to get a swamp ash (supposedly, it's painted, I have no idea!) for peanuts. It even came loaded with the highest quality low-quality hardware available. Sweet. (Stripped all that out....)

    Anyway, as I would suspect, the neck pocket is too tight for the Mighty Mite neck I purchased. (Yes, I know how to search the forums! Nothing really fully matched my issue, really.) Basically, the pocket is like, maybe an 1/8" to 3/16" too narrow. Sanding the pocket just won't do here.

    At the moment, I have fairly limited tools, trying to change that! Piece by piece :) I have what most homeowner dads would likely have, nothing special. No router yet. No Dremel-like tool yet. Coming soon.

    I DO have a jigsaw though :) (I know, all you professional luthiers just shuddered....) And perhaps rightfully so.

    Or do I have the wrong idea after all? I mean, it's a fairly significant amount of wood that has to come out. I could also fine-sand it thereafter.

    Oh, BTW: No need to return the body, I got it for a song. I definitely like the neck, as well. This is a project, and this is, in general, exactly what I was looking for. If it was a snap-and-go project, everything worked out perfectly, I wouldn't learn a flippin' thing. This is fine. But unfortunately, I bother y'all with this noob question lol. :bag:

    Anything you might suggest otherwise? Wait for at least a Genuine copy Dremel tool? Or the best $22 Harbor Freight trim router money can buy? :hyper:

    Thanks for any and all input!

    Sean

    PS. I DO want to build more basses, turn up the quality a bit, acquire more and better tools for the operation...get into painting, etc. We all start somewhere! :) Thanks again!!
     
  2. Get yourself one of these: it should do exactly what you need without too much trouble. Then just smooth it out with sandpaper and slap that neck in there.
     
  3. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Never thought of something like that, thanks Jacsipmac!
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    It would be a better solution to make your neck pocket fit your neck than the other way around.
     
  5. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Thanks as well, Hopkins!

    Do you feel it's better to work the lower bout, where there is less wood, or the upper bout? Or perhaps as equal an amount as I can from each side?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    By upper and lower bout, do you mean the bass and treble side of the neck pocket? If so, it would be best to take an even amount from both to keep your center line.
     
  7. I might not have been clear, I was suggesting using the rasp on the pocket also, not the neck. If you can, take off an equal amount on each side, that way you maintain proper alignment with the bridge.

    Goodluck!
     
  8. Get a router. You can find them at pawn shops or on Craigslist. Doing it with a file or with sandpaper will end in tears. Search the innumerable build threads posted here for various ways to jig up your body to rout the neck pocket to fit.
     
  9. loend68

    loend68 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    NH
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses, T.C. Electronics
    Agreed. You're only going to make a mess any other way....
     
  10. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Thanks again everybody, for their replies and recommendations. Perhaps a router is past-due for me. Off to CL...thanks again! :)
     
  11. I had exactly the same issue on my frankenfender/partsicion with a Mighty Mite neck. After comparing the new MM neck to all the others in my collection (4) I determined the MM neck was wider than all the others so I sanded the neck down at the sides until it fit... much easier than cutting the pocket.
     
  12. Using a router will require a template to ensure you don't cut to much out of the pocket. It is my experience that MM necks are wider than other popular necks, so I recommend cutting the neck down.
     
  13. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Thanks for the info bassmeknik!
     
  14. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Ordered my first ever router. Thanks again Beauchene Implements, for the tip and inspiration!
     
  15. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Bassmeknik, when you say "cut the neck down" do you mean with a router? Or a chisel and/or sandpaper? Thanks!
     
  16. I started with the bench mounted disc sander (STEADY HAND very carefully took a little off real quickly) then sanded the sides of the neck with a sanding block until it fit the pocket, taking care to try and sand only were necessary. I used 120 grit to start and finished with 220 to minimize the scratches that were left visible on the sides. The finish was a simple coat of sealer so I wiped a little on the sanded area with a rag. I will post a pic of the bass here shortly...
     
  17. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Looking forward to some pics!
     
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Oct 18, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.