Neck joint screw doesn't tighten fully

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by CJY, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. CJY


    Apr 30, 2001
    Hi all,

    I recently bought a Yamaha RBX775(the discontinued model) 5 string bass guitar. It's a really good bass, and the fretwork is surprisingly consistent. After I brought it home, I proceeded to use various screwdrivers to tighten and adjust the screws on that bass. Out of the 4 bolt on screws, I discovered that 2 of them(the ones nearer the bridge) just keep turning, no matter how I try to tighten them. The neck itself didn't feel loose to me. I visited a local luthier/repairman, and he removed the neck and screws, put a bit of glue into the screw cavity and assembled everything back together. He claimed that the glue will harden fast, thus ensuring that the screws will be tight with the neck joint.

    A few days later, I tried tightening the bolt on screws again. This time, there were slight improvements, but I was still able to turn the screws indefinitely, if I use some strength. They were not as loose as before though. So I'm wondering, if the neck joint seems tight, is it ok that the screws don't thighten fully? How to gauge if the neck joint is tight enough? Will my bass's neck joint screw present condition affect the B string and the overall tone?

    I will appreciate whatever info and help from u guys, thanks in advance.
  2. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    If the screw continues to turn without stopping, this means that the threads of either the screw or the wood (most likely) have been stripped. You could use the old toothpick and woodglue trick. Also, plugging the original hole in the neck and redrilling would work.
  3. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    The repairman who just puts in a little glue when a little wood crammed in along with the glue is what's needed is the reason I learned to do most of my repairs myself.

    As Cerb noted you just need to fill the hole with glue and stuff in as much toothpick material as you can, trim flush with a good sharp blade while still wet, and put the screws back in.
    Be careful not to try cranking down too hard on them until the glue has had time to completely harden.
  4. The 2 bridge-side neck screws don't really hold all that much tension. The other two (neck-side) screws hold most of the tension and keep the neck from trying to pull out of the pocket. Even so, stripped screws in a neck joint are not good. It's surprising to me that these would be stripped in a wood as hard as maple, unless the screw holes were drilled too large to begin with, or someone used a death-grip-from-hell to tighten them.

    It's a cool trick to be able to add glue to wood threads to harden them, but it only really works when there are actually threads left. My glue of choice for this is thin, pro-grade super glue. It quickly wicks into good threads and hardens them, drying fast. After drying, the screw actually cuts very nice, clean threads that stay that way for quite some time.
    But simply adding glue to stripped threads never works. The dried glue usually tears away when you screw in the first time.

    Since you don't EVER want a neck joint screw problem, I'd either plug the 2 holes with MAPLE dowels and redrill for the original screws, or I'd consider going with threaded inserts and machine screws. The latter is a much stronger joint. If you do consider the inserts, do the other 2 as well. Talk to HAMBONE here at TalkBass. He'll forget more about installing inserts than most of us will ever know..

    The toothpick/glue tips would probably fix the problem. Just don't overtighten..

    Good luck...

  5. CJY


    Apr 30, 2001
    Thanks for all ur advice guys, really appreciate it. How do I tell if I'm overtightening the neck screws, since I don't own a torque wrench?
  6. You should tighten the screws in series, going around to each and tightening to the point that you get firm resistance. At that point, another 1/4 turn or so should make the screw as tight as it can be. By doing this in increments, alternating between screws, the tightening of each will help with the others.
  7. CJY


    Apr 30, 2001
    Cool, Hambone, thanks
  8. if you can keep turning...theres no preasure... it mean that the screws are not presing the neck against the body in that area.

    I would try with another 2 identical screws but just a hair bigger
  9. you do realize you are answering a thread that is 5 years old right?
  10. Uh, sorry!

    That mean two things:

    - My De Lorean works well

    - A filter in the Search engine would be usefull

  11. haha.