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Mounting neck with holes to body without...?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by klocwerk, Jun 10, 2005.


  1. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Hey all.
    So I've got a custom body on it's way to me, standard fender neck pocket. I want to drop in the fretless neck off my jazz bass, which obviously already has holes in it.

    If the body had the holes, it's easy: just go through the existing holes to get a perfect alignment. Instead my neck has holes and I need to drill the body to match. :scowl:

    help!

    Only think I can think of is to make a paper template of the neck, do a rubbing with a pencil to locate the holes exactly, and then put that template in the neck cavity and mark where to drill.
    Anyone have a better option for me?
    Please?

    :help:
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I think that you really have the best idea. Doing a rubbing would be a great idea. Just make sure that you don't flip it, otherwise your markings could be off. Just make sure you can see through the paper enough to see your markings, and use a center punch or something, so that way the center marks can't move like the paper can.
     
  3. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    hmm. I'm really hoping there's a better idea, so much to go wrong with a rubbing. ^_^

    :bassist:
     
  4. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    You could always plug the existing holes on the neck with dowels (after drilling them just a bit bigger to get rid of the threads) and then drill new holes through the body and neck at the same time.
     
  5. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Yeah, I could, but I'd rather be able to swap off the neck at a later date if I choose to. Since it's got holes, I want to figure out the best way to use the existing ones.
     
  6. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If you're really worried about it you could try a two part process. Here's what I'd do:

    Take a piece of heavy paper and stick it to the neck heel with some folded over masking tape or something. Then thread the screws through the paper into the neck. This'll mark out the holes nicely, though you could also just use a pen or nail to punch the holes. Before you take the paper off, flip the neck over and trace the outline of the neck heel onto the paper. Then take the paper off and use a gluestick to glue it to a thin piece of plywood or hardboard. Cut the hardboard along the heel outline and drill out the holes where they're located. Double check to see that it matches up with the neck, then put it in the neck pocket and mark your holes. If you like, you could even use it as a drilling template.

    In the end it's basically the same thing as simply using a piece of paper, but it gives you a few more stages to be sure you've got it right, and a bit more accuracy when you do the final drilling.

    -Nate
     
  7. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    If you were working in the sheetmetal trade, this is where you would bring out the templating screws. These are screws of the specific thread/diameter that you screw into the existing neck holes.

    The screws (or bolts depending on the needed size) are machined to a sharp point on the end that protrudes from the neck hole, and you would adjust them so that they stick out from the neck about 1/16th inch or so.

    Insert one into each neck hole, then carefully slip the neck down into its slot and apply enough pressure for the neck and body to meet. Carefully remove then neck and inspect the body joint - viola! you now have the center punch locations for each hole that needs to be drilled :hyper:

    You could make something similar to these yourself, just be sure to get the point dead on the centerline of the insert. The inserts wouldn't need to be threaded, per se, but should be of sufficient diameter to fit snugly into the existing neck holes (but not so tight you can't remove them!)

    R
     
  8. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    I was thinking something along those lines...
    OooH! Brainfart!
    Take some thick nails that pretty much fill up the holes, cut them off and stick em in the neck holes, point down, so that just the pointy bit is sticking out!
    Now there be a good idea! Would be easy to remove them once done, and would give me nice centerpoints for drilling!

    now I just have to wait for the body to arrive...
    :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    excellent adaptation, klocwerk! That should do the trick ...

    creativity = :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:

    If you think you might have a difficult time seeing the centerpoints, a little graphite powder (or similar dark substance that will easily transfer upon contact) will make finding the points in the neck cavity easier.

    Be sure to post back when you have an update on how things worked out.

    R

    p.s. where abouts are you in Beantown? I relocated to the Seattle area from Framingham about 9 months ago.
     
  10. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Good call with the powdered graphite. Except that I don't have any.
    I should probably get some, it's useful stuff to have. That, WD40, and Duct Tape / Gaffers Tape. ^_^

    I'm in cambridge, right near Porter Square.
    :bassist:
     
  11. I keep a set of threaded studs with points and set of double ended wood screws for just this task. We used this method in signmaking for years to blind mark mounting studs behind letters to a paper mounting pattern.

    There is one other way to do it that I've come up with and it works pretty good too. Take some plasticene modeling clay - the kind they gave you in kindergarten - and make a flat dime sized disc to stick in the approximate position of each hole on the bottom of the neck pocket. Then wax the bottom of the neck to keep it from sticking and set it into position and push. The screw holes will leave a nice impression where they should be drilled.