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I want to "flip" the body on a jazz bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TNCreature, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I have one MIM Jazz that I just use for projects/experimentation. How easy/difficult would it be to flip the body so my righty looks like a lefty?

    I still want to play it right hand, I just like that look a lot.

    Anywhere I could go to get step-by-steps? Any reason NOT to do this?


  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The biggest problem will be all the fill work, basically fill the routs and the neck pocket, sand flush, and re-do on the other side, or buy a lefty boody
  3. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    I'd be more into getting a lefty neck or reversing the decal, cause the lettering on lefthanded necks makes the headstock look awesome to me.

    the offset waist contour and the comfort cutaways on the back are a reason to not do this...and the top horn cutaway will limit your access to frets 15+

    But it's your world. when you try it and hate it you'll know for sure. till then, what a fun trip!
  4. I've never seen it done before. Maybe try and find a lefty jazz in Guitar Center or something, and see if it's at all playable. If it is, and you actually like it (I'm sure the knobs will get in the way), then maybe try it. And if you just completely hate it, try and age it, and sell it as some rare custom 60's model :smug:
  5. Hi.

    If You mean what I think you mean, it's pretty simple, just buy a non-routed lefty body to work with.

    Doing that to an existing body would be near impossible, or at least very time consuming.
    Can be done, obviously, just cut the "wings" off the centerpiece and re-attach 'em the other way around. Then fill the un-necessary cavities and contours with something and route the needed cavities.

    You've never seen Dusty Hill's upside-down basses? Makes me want one, and I can't remember wanting a Fender product, ever.

  6. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Dusty's are not Fenders for the most part.
  7. Hi.

    True, the concept is the same though for the flipped ones.

  8. No, I've never seem him using them. I thought he only used the upside down headstocks and all that fancy stuff. Looking them up now, I only see his upside down p-basses.

    I don't know if they would have the same appeal with the bottom contour being upside down, and the knobs being under your forearm, and as has been said, you could hardly play to the 15th fret, but if you don't mind all that, then you'd be just about the only person with one of those.

    If it weren't for the neck pocket, then it could totally be done. But, with the neck pocket as shallow as it already is, if you tried to cut the same depth pocket on the back (assuming you have the tools necessary) it would go straight through, and you would have nothing to screw the neck into.

    ... If you really wanted to do it, you could route through it anyway, and find a plank of wood the relative thickness, and width of the bottom of the neck you have on it, and about a foot and a half long. And you could route out a channel long, and wide enough for it, and wood glue, and screw that baby in, leaving enough off the end for it be routed into, and made into a new neck pocket.


    You would have to move the pickups forward enough to where they wouldn't go through into the pickup routes on the back. You wouldn't be able to put a regular lefty pickguard on it, but you could buy a blank jazz pickguard, and route out what you need (if you could do the rest of that, you can route a pickguard blank), or just leave it off. The front would still have the belly cut in it, but it would be on the bottom. The back of it would be atrocious, but I've seen worse looking instruments. It actually kinda sounds like a fun project, and if you have the tools, and the time, you could make it a really cool instrument.
  9. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    WOW! Thanks everyone.
    I know I've seen gutarists with flipped guitars, I don't what they did.
    Maybe they were constructed that way from the beginning using a left body as suggested earlier.
    Interesting challenge!
  10. Seems to me you'd be better of starting from scratch.

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