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Making a "set neck" bass with bolt-on parts?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SanDiegoHarry, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Have any of you tried it / Done it?

    Is it worth the hassle? I've always thought that a set-neck was more or less like a glued bolt-on... But I'm sure there' more to it than that, right?

  2. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I tried it, and it worked..... for about three years.

    I built a Tele-style guitar for my bandleader. It had a poplar body with bloodwood top, and I designed it as a bolt-on. As I got farther into the build, I decided I wanted a more elegant heel, and decided to just glue the neck on. I put small nails in the body that went into the neck to help provide side-to-side rigidity. It worked great for a long time, and the customer was very happy. After about three years, it fell over and the neck snapped off exactly at the glue joint; no damage to the body or neck. I glued it on again, but put three screws permanently in the back so it wouldn't happen again.

    I think if I had designed it as a set neck with a dovetail, it would not have snapped.
  3. Maybe it is better to have the neck come loose at the glue joint instead of breaking the neck. I have one bass that I put epoxy at the joint and then screwed it together with the normal screws and plate. I think the tone improved. I was in the process of refinishing the bass after 10 years of service and the neck came off fairly easily. I will probably re-epoxy it when going back together.

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