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Laying top over neck thru??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kyote72, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. kyote72


    Jun 20, 2005
    This will be my first bass construction and I need some advice or some basic guidelines to follow- the neck I intend to use is just a one piece hard maple that I want to cover the hilt or the butt or whatever you call that part.. How do I compensate for the added height when I put a top on the top!!??Do I shave 1/8 or so off the top of the but of the neck?? Or will 1/8 make all that much difference to the height of the action/bridge??
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Depending on the neck blank you've either purchased or built, yes, you will probably have to shave some wood off of the top of the neck heel / tenon / butt... whatever if you want a figured top to cover the entire top of the bass.

    However, before you start cutting wood I would highly recommend that you do two full scale drawings of the bass you want to build.

    The first drawing is a straight on from the front drawing. This is the drawing where you'll layout all of your components, determine the neck width at both the nut and the last fret, and this will then give you the bridge location and the string spacing at the bridge so you'll know what bridge to buy.

    The second drawing is a full scale drawing from the side (I do mine from the side you see when playing the bass). This drawing will allow you to determine how high above the top surface of the body that you'll want the fingerboard to be as well as how high out of the body the pickups and the bridge will need to be. Now that you have those measurements, check the bridge and pickups that you're considering using on your bass to see if they will go high enough or low enough for this bass. If not, alter your drawing / plans to accomodate the hardware you want to use.

    For a typical neck through, the top plane of the fingerboard is usually parallel to the top plane of the body. Most that I have seen with this type of construction usually have the top of the fingerboard between 9 mm and 11 mm above the surface of the body. Do the math from there for your own bass, and work on those drawings until everything fits and works before you cut wood....
  3. kyote72


    Jun 20, 2005
    Thanx for the advice, that gives me a good starting point!!-K72

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