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Mightmite neck & P bass neck pocket

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Philthy, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    I'm presently in the process of rebuilding a P bass. My friend gave me a P Bass body that has been crapily repainted. I plan on stripping it down and refinishing it. I recently bought a MightMite P bass replacement neck for this bass body. However, the neck is slightly too big for the neck pocket....about 1/16". Would sanding down the sides of the neck pocket take care of this and make it fit? Is there a specific height that the bass of the neck should stick out of the neck pocket? The reason I as is because this neck is thick at the base then the neck that was previously on this body. Should I sand down the whole neck pocket? Should a P bass neck pocket have certain dimensions? I would appreciate any help I could get. I'm kinda new to bass building and refinishing. Thanks!!!
  2. By no means should you alter the neck to fit the body. You should do it the other way around but it's going to require that you pattern the neck to alter the pocket. This is done best using a router and a pattern cut from a hard material that precisely matches the contours needed for matching the neck. Here's how I would do it (and have!)

    Start by tracing the base of the neck. Use a thin, precise pen and make a single thin line around the heel of the neck on a piece of paper. Then have this scanned into a drawing program. The reason is that you can alter this line and make multiple copies so that you won't have to keep tracing the contour. Once you've got it scanned, trace the contour in the program and print it out. Adhere the pattern to a piece of cardstock and cut it out with an X-acto knife. Be very careful to cut out the pattern precisely. Then using this cardstock pattern, check to see how it fits the neck. If it needs tweaking, go back to your drawing program and make the necessary changes and repeat the pattern process until you've got it fitting perfectly. Once you're satisifed with the fit, make a final pattern and use this one to make a thick template to use to guide your router. It will take some time and patience but it is a fairly easy process. You can make a router template from acrylic, MDF (medium density fiberboard), plywood, or a piece of aluminum. After you've finished your template, clamp it to the body in the proper position and, using a bearing guided router bit, route your pocket. Along with creating the outer contour, you can also deepen the pocket to fit your neck. This takes some skill so it isn't easy for everyone but if you follow the steps slowly, you can do a nice job.
  3. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    Thanks for your help. I might give it a try. But just to clarify things; I
    wasn't originally talking about sanding down the neck. I was talking about
    sanding the neck pocket. I would never mess with the neck.

    Your instructions are very helpful. Just one more question. Is there a
    certain height that the base of the neck should stick out of the neck
    pocket? I don't want it to be too high so it effects the strings or action.

    Thanks again.
  4. You will probably have to do some math here. Using the crown of the fretboard as your point of measurement, you will add your string height and then compare this to the height of your bridge. Don't worry about string thickness as this has no bearing on this area of the geometry. Personally, I would do everything to mount the neck and do some test fits with strings to see just how out of spec the new neck is. Since you can adjust bridges for height, it might not be bad at all.

    After rereading your post, I see where I made my mistake concerning altering the neck or the pocket. Sorry.
  5. steinbergerxp2

    steinbergerxp2 Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    If you're only off 1/16" in width, you might just be able to run a flat file along the inside of the neck pocket awhile on each side and get 1/32 from each side.

    You'd want to make sure you aren't cutting on any other surface while doing this.

    Not very sophisticated, but it will get you there.
  6. Welcome to Setup Steinbergerxp2!

    You're absolutely right about taking a simpler approach. Sometimes I forget that doing it the very long way around means that you can stop much earlier - before a big bugger-up!:mad: With a router at 10,000 rpm you can really tear up some wood in less than a 1/10th of second:mad::mad:
  7. steinbergerxp2

    steinbergerxp2 Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    I like messing things up with a Mototool at 30,000 rpm. Smaller divots, but it's very reliable at damaging just about any surface it contacts.

    I've built a couple of basses, and the most valuable tools I have are some woodworking chisels, 1/4" and 1/2" wide. They hardly ever cut more than I expect.

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