how to attach a bolt on neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by T-birdfan, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. T-birdfan


    Jan 29, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    More specifically, what type of screws or bolts are used to attach a 4 string jazz neck, and how are they attached? Thanks as always.
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    You can find the same kind of screws most manufactures use almost anywhere.

    Try and go to the hardware section.

    Allparts, and tons of other companies sell them too.

  3. SteveL0530


    Jun 1, 2007
    I had high hopes that this was the thread I was looking for... :meh:

    I have 2 Ibanez SR-400 basses...1 fretted, 1 fretless. I want to put the fretless neck on the "keeper" body. Can anybody point me to a thread that discusses the procedure & issues I need to be aware of, or elaborate on the process?:help:

    I got this far just via Google prior to registering (this is my 1st post after intro). Sorry if the search capability is better now that I'm a member.

  4. mkress77


    Feb 27, 2005
    You can get a new neck plate and screws a GC for about $5

    It isn't really that hard to do if you have some wood working skills. If you are weary about it at all I'd probably take it to a professional

    That being said this is how I did it on my guitar...

    1) Fit the neck in the neck pocket (make any adjustments to make it fit tightly)

    2) Clamp the neck to the body, loose enough to move the neck around (I used a quick clamp)

    3) Put the E and G strings on, you do not need to tighten them all the way just enough to make a straight line

    4) Make sure the gap from the edge of the string and the edge of the fretboard is the same on both sides

    5) Mark where the holes will be on the neck

    6) Unclamp


    8) Put the neck back on the body

    9) Put the E and G strings on

    10) I hand tightened the screws through the body to the neck I once used a power drill and broke a screw off in the neck (not good) Just make sure the pilot hole is big enough and if there is too much resistance stop, I've heard of a few people using soap to lube the screws before tightening but I haven't tried that myself

    11) String it up then give it a setup

    If any one has anything else to add please do so... I'm not a professional... but I do play one on TV

    Plus I am quite confident in my woodworking skill
  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    When I did my first neck, I did the nails-in-the-screw-holes trick. Then I hung a heavy nut tied to dental floss, and taped it to the headstock, and fed it down the middle notch on my 5-string neck. Then I clamped the body to a table as vertically as I could measure it. Then I gently clamped the neck, wiggled it until the dental floss was centered on the neck's last fret, and clamped it tight so the nails dug marks in the neck pocket on the body.

    Turned out well for me. The E-G method to assure the strings are equidistant from the sides of the neck is also a great idea.
  6. SteveL0530


    Jun 1, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback, mkress77, but I probably wasn't too clear.

    The fretless neck I want to mount came off another bass of the same model. It already has holes. Part of my curiosity involves whether to use the screws that are already in the fretless neck or from the body that I'll be mounting it on. It sounds like the neck is more important.

    Is there much hope that the necks would be a clean swap? When I hand-measured the distance between the holes in both bodies, they matched. I don't know how precise the Ibanez manufacturing process is for the SR-400's. The good body is a special edition.

    I haven't done a dry fit yet, since I haven't actually dismantled the fretless bass yet...just the fretted with body I'm keeping.

  7. mkress77


    Feb 27, 2005
    Other than drilling the holes the process would be the same. I'd use the screws that were on the neck... Assuming they are the same model they should be the same size screw, but I'm a little OCD when it comes to details like that.

    I'd still clamp it though once you got the screws started in the neck just to make sure the screws don't push the neck forward... if this happened there would be a gap between the body and the neck. Just don't clamp so hard to push the frets down... and unclamp once you got to the neck plate so that the screw seat into the neck plate properly.

    I'd also put the outside strings on just to make sure the neck lines up right and good luck ;)
  8. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    I am going to be swapping out a neck soon and this post answered any Questions I would have had. The new neck is not drilled, but the body is, should be fairly easy, and the E and G string tip was priceless....that was where I had the question....and it will help me i the futer when I start custom builds with parts from various sources like Warmoth etc....

  9. What I did to match the body holes is line everything up with the neck clamped to the body, and I used a drill bit that was the same size as the body holes - insert the bit into the hole and tap it so that the 'center' of the hole will be in the location of the dent from the bit and then remove the neck and drill the holes using a smaller bit for the screw holes. .
  10. LzeroKI


    Dec 24, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    my question is, what size drill bit should be used to drill the holes in the neck?
  11. mkress77


    Feb 27, 2005
    I really can't answer that without knowing what size the screws you have...

    The best thing to do is get a scrap piece of hardwood (best would be maple or whatever the neck is made of) and try a couple different hole sizes
  12. SteveL0530


    Jun 1, 2007
    Thanks for the awesome tips. When I get to the home stretch, how much torque should be on the screws. I want the connection to be solid, without any risk of stripping the neck holes. :rollno:

    Also, there's a narrow strip of 2-sided sandpaper in the neck pocket of the body I already dismantled. Was that to prevent slippage during assembly, shimming, or does it improve sonic transfer between the neck & body?

    Thanks again,
  13. the sandpaper should be to prevent the neck from moving during and after installation. I never put an exact of torque on the screws. . . . I just tighten to the point that I am positive it is secure and not stripped. . . When I first started doing my own work I did strip one screw, just plugged the hole and re-drilled- - - so I never tried to measure the torque; I just made them "tight".
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Instrument Technician, Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    You might simplify this a bit. Leave the body and neck clamped together and drill through the body holes into the neck. No need to mark the holes. Running the drill bit through the body ensures that the holes are in the the right location and the bit is at the correct angle. But be sure you don't drill too deep.
  15. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    You should always dowel up the holes in the neck (glue in hard wood dowels), clamp the neck to the body, and re drill them following the body holes as a guide.. If the original holes in the neck are in a different location, the neck might not get located correctly, which would through the neck to bridge location off.

    Find out how far you have to drill, and put a piece of masking tape on the drill bit to prevent you from drilling through the fingerboard. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the threads on the neck screws, not the size of the body holes, which should be larger. You don't thread the screws into the body, just the neck.
  16. Stepitup


    May 23, 2006
    San Jose, Ca.
    Has anyone used threaded inserts?
  17. The only thing I do differently is, once the neck is clamped in place (snugly to the rear) Mark the neck holes very lightly with a drill bit the same size as the body holes. I then remove the neck and drill the holes for the screws very slightly to the rear of the marked area (no more than 1/16") The reason for this is that when the screws are installed, they will pull the neck tightly into the pocket. Use only quality screws! A broken screw below the surface of the neck is not a good thing. Inserts are nice and are better than screws but screws have worked well for many years.
  18. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw

    I have on a few necks. In fact I'm thinking of installing them on a Squier Bronco project I currently have on the bench.
  19. Stepitup


    May 23, 2006
    San Jose, Ca.
    How do you install the inserts? What kind of inserts?
  20. If you go by this chart regarding drill size, metal inserts are really not an improvement, unless you plan to remove and install the neck often. I prefer to use stainless #12 screws. Usually 'guitar parts' places will sell you #10 screws. Either will work fine.