Looking for someone to repair a 1963 vintage fender neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by J.KEEFE_bass, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Hey guys! Hope you are all well. I have a 1963 Vintage Fender Neck that is in need of some TLC. I bought it years ago in the current condition in the hopes of restoring the neck to glory.

    Here is what is needed.

    1. Fretboard removal
    2. Truss rod replacement
    3. Flatten of the maple neck, currently is radiused for the fretboard.
    4. New "slab" fretboard installed and radiused (I'll provide the Brazilian rosewood I have)
    5. Re-build the maple heel of the neck
    6. Installation of the dots, frets, nut, & tuners.

    Anyone IMG_1253.JPG up for the challenge?

    Attached Files:

    Beej likes this.
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I believe @Bruce Johnson is no longer taking on work like this, but he probably knows somebody in the Secret Underground Laboratory who still does. I invoke his name like the Bat Signal, and he occasionally swoops in and saves the day when he's not building Incredibly Strange Musical Instruments. Like batman, however, he has his hands full, some other good samaritan may be able to suggest a competent Luthier in the Richmond VA area. Good luck with it, nice old neck.
    REV, kesslari, Microbass and 4 others like this.
  3. Thanks so much for the reply & suggestion. @Bruce Johnson, Please do swoop in like Batman and save this bass neck. LOL.
  4. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Try Dan Ransom of Real Guitars. He made me an awesome bass neck. I don’t know if he does radiused boards though.
    [email protected]
    Beej and J.KEEFE_bass like this.
  5. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Geez, my cape has a rip, and the Batmobile threw a turbine blade yesterday. And where'd I put my Bat-Spectacles? But, have no fear, I'll come to the rescue!

    Like they said, I no longer take in neck rebuilds like this myself, but I have the shop full of special machinery, and several associate Luthiers who work with me. I'll recommend you to Randy Robinson. He has a shop right down the hall from me, and frequently does neck rebuilds like this, borrowing a few of my machines. This would be a routine job for him. He does real nice work. You can contact him directly.


    By the way, we could rebuild it with a radiused-style fingerboard, if you like. I've done a few of those in the past, and still have the tooling around here somewhere.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  6. LOL! @Bruce Johnson, Batman I'm sorry for the recent cape rips and car trouble but you still show that you can save someone! Much appreciated. I'll contact Randy Robinson ASAP. Thank you so very much!
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.
  7. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Please make a thread once the repair is done. I wanna see how this turns out.
    sequel91, Low8, cataract and 5 others like this.
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    If you don't mind, I'm gonna play Devil's advocate here for a moment and ask: If you do all these things, in what sense is it the same neck? Or to put it another way, what would justify the cost of doing all this work? Just askin'....
    Fialka, ColdEye, pcake and 3 others like this.
  9. I sure will, I'll post everything in this thread so everyone can follow and for future reference for anyone in the same predicament .
  10. I don't mind one bit, I love a devil's advocate. I'm a sentimental person so this would be for the romance of it. It maybe and extension of my creative process. None the less, I never sell my basses, I've only purchased 8 in my 26 years of playing. Each one has a very special sentiment. I also see this neck as something nostalgic and old which is worth saving. It would be in no way the same neck but a lot of the same ol' pieces mixed with new to give it a new lease on life.
    MVE, Fialka, Sparuto and 6 others like this.
  11. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    I need a new neck for my person, not my bass. Does Mr. Robinson do those on the side too?
    staurosjohn and Max Bogosity like this.
  12. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    It will retain most of its originality anyway, including the heel stamp. Im not a Vintage collector, but I can see the aesthetic and sentimental appeal, and it will emerge from the Laboratory a better neck than the day it was made, most likely. That sounds like a Win to me.
    Beej and J.KEEFE_bass like this.
  13. biobass


    Sep 16, 2007
    Princeton NJ area
    Ship of Theseus, exemplar of one of the oldest philosophical questions in both the Western and Eastern cultures. A more modern variant is “My grandfather’s axe.” My grandfather had one axe that he used for his entire life. He replaced the head twice and the handle three times.
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    If Randy rebuilds this neck, he can do a fully authentic restoration, if that's what you want. That is, with the new truss rod, fingerboard, etc., right to the original Fender dimensions and design. Or, he can put in one of my improved truss rods, which is stronger and will add bottom end clarity to the bass. Your choice.

    I have a machine shop here, and I make up all my own truss rods from scratch. Sometimes I make up whatever Randy needs; or he comes over here and makes them up himself. We can make replicas of the Fender parts, or the more exotic designs.

    We're not cheap, but we're not that expensive either, because we have the machines and experience to do the job efficiently. I won't quote for Randy, but this job will probably be around $500. About the price of buying a new high-quality neck.

    And yes, Randy will also make up new replica or custom necks. We have the technology here.
    60bass, Hans Gruber, Joshua and 11 others like this.
  15. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    I'd love to read more about this. Any details on how this happens? Thanks!

    Beej likes this.
  16. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Starts on post 25 in this thread :thumbsup:
    Best Quality DA Truss Rod?
    Joshua and Low8 like this.
  17. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Any experienced luthier should be able to do this with good results. Of course, wood is an organic material and sometimes bad things happen but this really is a fairly routine job. It looks much worse than it is.

    Just make sure you bring it to a proper, experienced luthier. It seems to me that anyone who has "built" a Warmoth kit or knows how to do a setup like to think of themselves as luthiers these days...

    Good luck! I'm sure it will turn out great!
  18. coy garcia

    coy garcia

    Jan 18, 2020
    Like Bruce said Randy. He recently re-fretted my daughters 1945 Harmony guitar. I was very pleased with his work and price. The builders that work at the underground lab really know their stuff and will do it right.
  19. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    812 guitars in Greenwich CT
  20. I emailed Randy, I'm looking forward to his response. I'm not 100% into a fully authentic restoration. I would much rather go for the improved truss rods. Very excited about what you all are capable of. Looking forward to getting this neck into your zip code. Have a great day and talk more soon!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 28, 2021

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