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Installing Fender Jazz "Allparts" Neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by sincity, Mar 6, 2006.


  1. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    I have purchased, and will be installing, a maple Allparts 70's Fender Jazz neck with black block inlays on my sunburst 95 US Fender Jazz Bass.

    What tricks of the trade do you recommend for this installation to go right.

    For example:

    Does the neck need to be clamped in the neck pocket and strung in position before drilling holes?

    Should the neck be adjusted to any relief before drilling holes?

    What is the best way to secure a Fender decal on the headstock?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Steve
     
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Q: Does the neck need to be clamped in the neck pocket and strung in position before drilling holes?

    A: This is highly recommended, even more so if the fit is somewhat loose. Once clamped together, run the outside two strings between the nut and bridge to ensure the neck is nuiformly aligned. Adjust if necessary and re-check. Once you're good to go, mark each hole location by tapping the screw through the body mounting hole and making a center location into the neck. Do this for all four hole locations. Measure the screw lengths and then subtract the body heel thickness to determine how deep your neck holes will need to be. Remove the neck and drill the holes with a drill press adding +/- 1/16" to the needed thread depth.


    Q: Should the neck be adjusted to any relief before drilling holes?

    A: It's easier to drill press the neck if it has no relief, but either way is OK


    Q: What is the best way to secure a Fender decal on the headstock?

    A: Don't ... as this will reduce the temptation for you (or a future owner) to attempt to pass this off as a stock Fender bass.

    All the best,

    R
     
  3. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, clamp the neck in position first. I use a Quick clamp that adjusts by squeezing the handle. It's better than a c clamp in that it doesn't skate out of position so easily.

    String up the E and G strings with very light tension and tap the neck back and forth until you're satisfied the neck is right and the E and G strings aren't too close to the edge.

    Then with a sharp brad point bit that fits the holes in the body holes closely mark the position of the screw holes in the neck heel. be careful you don't shift the neck while doing this.

    Then remove the neck and drill the correct size pilot holes in the neck. It's best to use a drill press for this and a sharp brad point drill. Be carefull to drill exactly where you marked. You can check the right pilot hole size by picking up a small scrap of maple from a lumber supply store and drilling test holes. You want to make sure it's not too small or you risk splitting the neck.

    Then, mount the neck. String up to tension and adjust bridge saddles and action, relief, etc. You may also have to shim for proper neck angle. But that's a different subject.

    You don't need to adjust relief before mounting the neck.

    I've used Weldbond glue with success mounting decals. It dries clear and is water soluble so you can clean up before it dries. Once it dries it's quite water resistant. You might want to thin it water before using it. About 50 -50 should do it.

    That's the way I do it anyhow and it's worked well for me. You just have to be careful and plan ahead and use the right tools.

    You might want to check the Stewart MacDonald site and see if there are any tips there. Be careful though-you can get expensive tool GAS.
     
  4. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    Thanks Rodent. You really helped a ton. I will post pictures when it is done. Unfortunately, I can't resist the temptation to put the 70's decal on. I will fully disclose this if I ever sell the bass. :D
     
  5. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    That is a good suggestion on the clamps. Those things are strong, and easy to adjust. By the way, what is a brad point drill? I never heard of those before.

    Steve
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Check this link out:
    http://www.routerbits.com/cgi-routerbits/sr.cgi?1141746320_19835+2035

    [​IMG]

    Routerbits.com has become my favorite resource for router and drill bits, and their pricing & service is tough to beat. Of course you can usually find these at Hope Depot and Lowes as well.

    All the best,

    R
     
  7. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    Ok, I see what they are.

    You guys mentioned a drill press. I have toyed with the idea of getting one, albeit a small one. I have a lot of uses at home and with my kids.

    For my neck purposes, how do you guys hold the bass in position on a drill press? It doesn't seem you can find a level surface bewtween the bass's curves and the drill press's platform.

    Steve
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    one holding option is that you could make a simple caul to provide relief for the radius fingerboard/fretboard

    in my case I utilize a ShopSmith, and set my bedplate parallel to the shop floor while utiliziing the power head in the horizontal boring position. I then rest the fingerboard against a fence and clamp the neck to the bedplate by applying force against the edge of the neck. I finish holding the neck in place by lightly applying pressure to then neck towards the fence - and I mean really light pressure as too much pressure will leave a flat spot in the frets or fingerboard.

    [​IMG]

    another reason I use this method is that I also install threaded steel inserts into the neck. Since the machine is perfectly aligned with the clearance hole, I simply swap the drill bit with a phillips head screwdriver bit and twist in the insert.

    [​IMG]
    (sorry for the poor image quality)

    if you ever plan to use the inserts a drill press will be mandatory

    all the best,

    R
     
  9. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Good advice Rodent. I've got threaded inserts in my Fender P now and have done it for other basses. Much better all round.

    I have a small bench mount drill press. It's easy to make up a jig to hold the neck level on the table. You don't have to drill the body usually, but jigs can be made for that too.

    It's amazing what you can come up with if you think things through.

    Brad point bits drill nice, clean holes of exact diameter. They're much better than the regular "all purpose" bits which were originaly designed for drilling metal.
     
  10. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    even better to use a Forstner bit if you can find one of the proper diameter - and can afford the extra cost.

    all the best,

    R