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Looking to sand neck - need advice

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by soulgroovn, May 7, 2003.


  1. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    I'd like to thin and flatten out the profile of my neck. I'm a former autobody guy so I'm pretty confident in my sanding skills but I have questions for all the pros here.

    First, I plan on using a 8" long radius sanding block. Any objections to this? Also, what grit paper should I begin with? 320? 400?

    Should I look out for any obvious pitfalls? Any advice? Thanks!!
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Are you talking about the back of the neck?

    There's a truss rod in there. If you don't know where the truss rod starts and ends, and how deep the channel is, I'd be VERY hesitant to take down any significant amount of wood. You run the risk of coming through or thinning under the feet to the point where the truss rod tension can crack the wood.

    Most bass builders finish up the wood at 320 and 400, for stock removal you'll probably want to go down to 120.
     
  3. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Thanks for the info FBB. I was talking about the back of the neck and I plan on starting very slowly. I only want to take a very small amount - probably take a little off of the very top and that's it. I'll post again to let you know how it went.

     
  4. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    First reaction: OOUUUCH!!!

    After calming down:
    Be careful with the back of the neck! Many, many are the luthier wannbies that changed their minds after opening the back of the truss rod grove!
    Or have been put off by a neck back cracking when the truss rod is being adjusted, due to too thin material in the grove bottom.

    Bottom line: find out how deep the truss rod grove is, before taking away anything!
     
  5. Assumer

    Assumer

    Mar 26, 2003
    Arkansas
    I was thinking of doing the same thing to my warmoth bass neck. looking at their pictures of a cross section of a neck, there seems to be a significant amount of wood there. Anyone have any experience with sanding the back of a Warmoth neck? Any problems arise?
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    How much is a significant amount of wood? I wouldn't go with less than 3/16" under the truss rod. That's with the rods I use. No idea what kind of rod Warmoth uses. You run a serious risk of blowing the neck away by trying to remove material.
     
  7. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    Our truss rod slots are around .4" deep, and the fingerboard is .25" thick. That makes the bottom of the truss rod slot about .65" from the front of the fingerboard. .65" + .1875" (3/16" per FBB's advice) = .8375" . Since our bass necks start out at about .85" at the first fret, that would give you only .012" to play with, or about two sheets of paper worth.

    IMO, it's probably not worth the risk.
     
  8. Assumer

    Assumer

    Mar 26, 2003
    Arkansas
    Thanks BWbass now how about that lefty gecko!!!!!
     
  9. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    My advice is not to use sand paper until the last minute. Use spokeshaves, and/or cabinet scrapers. Slacken off the rod and let the neck settle for a day or so before you start (that way its nice and straight). As the other guys have said, measure the channel depth. Unless its a skunk stripe type, you should be cool. ** Use calipers to measure the thickness along the neck.** This gives you a reference point. I would remove about a millimetre to start with. This will give you a subtle but noticable difference in feel. You may be surprised how much timber you have to remove to take off a millimetre... Get the back cut flat and even, then when you're happy with the dimensions, round and blend. only remove timber from where your thumb is gonna be. IOW, try not to cut into the area behind the nut, where the back of the headstock starts, and blend gently, not abruptly down to the heel.