how to attach neck to body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassmandavey, Aug 29, 2001.

  1. bassmandavey

    bassmandavey Guest

    Aug 29, 2001
    I bought a 4 string Carvin neck-through neck and big chunk of maple for my bass building project. I have settled on a design for the body, made the templates, and I'm almost ready to cut out the body wings.

    My question is what is the best way to attach the body wings to the neck? I don't want to simply glue two flat ends together. What is a good kind of glue to use? I was thinking maybe I could cut several corresponding grooves into the body and the sides of the neck to create more surface area for the pieces to bond together.

    Any advice on bass-building would be helpful. I'm trying to find those books that were mentioned in an earlier post so I can learn some on my own.
  2. Welcome to Talkbass, bassmand!

    Check out this link. It has sources within this guy's description of his bass building experience

    How about posting a pic or two here as it takes shape?
  3. Without some rather expensive matched router bit sets it would be very difficult to do what your thinking. Pardon me if I'm making too large an assumption but it doesn't sound like you have Norm Abrams shop behind your house so this might be an expenditure that you wouldn't want to make. But there are lots of alternatives:

    1. You could just do what all of the manufacturers do and that is to plane the joining surfaces and glue 'em up. If you use the right glue, it is absolutely no problem. Remember, this joint has virtually no stress on it at all.

    2. Use biscuit joinery. Like ol' Norm, you could put 3 or 4 biscuits inbetween the pieces. You don't even have to worry too much where they are when you got around to routing your pup inlets since the biscuits are wood themselves. This, too, requires a special router bit but they aren't too expensive. At least this method makes it very easy to align the pieces so that there isn't any need for resurfacing the top to level the joint.

    3. Doweling - it's sort of an "old world" approach but with proper alignment it would work well also. I've done this between the 2 halves of a 2 piece body and it went together OK. It's a little more difficult to align the pieces if you don't use a good jig but it's a strong joint nonetheless.

    Hope this helps
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Ham, I'd like to know more about that, never heard of it before!

    Variation of the dowel: nail!:eek:
    knock a nail in the neck, just 1 or 2 mm - or 3. Cut 1 or 2 mm above the wood an sharpen the end. Put the body part in place, then hit it. This will leave small marks. Now you could pull the nail out and use wood dowels, or, you use the nails as dowels.
    (Courtesy of Melvin Hiscock - I hope)
  5. Chris J

    Chris J Inactive

    I don't have any advice on what ot do about the joint but I can offer this bit of advice. Go to It's a VERY big site devoted to instrument construction.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    That is probably ill advised. If part of the nail ends up where the pickup routings are supposed to be and a spinning router bit hits said nail, at best you got a broken router bit. At worst you got a huge chunk of wood missing.

    But if you calculate very carefully where the PUs are going, you could do it I guess.
  7. A biscuit is a small football shaped wafer of wood - usually a laminate about 3/16" of an inch thick and about 2 inches long. They fit into slots made with round router bit that cuts on it's side. Mark where the slot should be, plunge the bit into the side of the wood, and fill it with the biscuit and glue. The biscuit straddles the seam and increases the glue surface. It makes it easy to get the depth right and because of it's shape, you can slide the two pieces laterally until they line up perfectly.
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Well, from what I learn, you usually make the neck to hold the pups, thus there would not be any routing after joining the body wings. In which case this method is great.
    If you plan very carefully, there is no problem enven if you do route after joining.

    If you don't plan carefully,,,,,at worst,,,,,,you have a nail flying about at the speed of arotating router bit,,,,ouch!:(
    Good that you pointed it out, Chas!

    measure twice cut once - gently, as you pet a rattler

    PS Thanks, Ham DS
  9. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    BMD, the glue joints that attatch the wings are low stress joints and regular Loc-Tite carpenters glue will make a joint that is stronger than the wood itself due to the large glue surface area.

    If you insist on reinforcing the joint, a spline joint may be a good choice if you have access to a tablesaw.