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Neck not bolted on right???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mr. Kitty, Mar 16, 2008.


  1. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    Hey all you guys who are handy with repairing basses,
    I need your help please?

    Anyways I have this old Peavey Fury Bass but I would like to keep it...save me some cash instead of buying a new bass.
    But there's one problem...like all of the frets on the E-D strings fret out from like the 16 or 17 fret up. Not a Huge issue however it is a nuescance.

    But I think I did find the source of the fretting out. The neck is a bolt on one and between the neck and the body you can see a gap. I know there are usually supposed to be a gap or a seam or whatever especially on cheaper bolt on necks but this one is pretty big.

    Can this be repaired? If possible would I be able to do it?

    Thanks guys!

    and also if you need something clearer tell me and i'll let you know...and the truss rod is maxed out.

    :bassist:
     
  2. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    is it just loose bolts?

    And by maxed out, you mean tightened all the way? First thing I'd do is check the neck is aproximately straight with a straightedge. Sounds like something's pretty badly out of whack. Maybe you or someone else tried to compensate for an angled neck with the trussrod?

    Then I'd check out that neck joint and see what the gap is about. If it's just loose screws, tighten them. If one of the holes is stripped out, you'll probably either have to fill it in (toothpicks and woodglue?), or get some threaded inserts and replace it with bolts instead of woodscrews.

    I'd definitely check out that trussrod first though. You don't want it overtightened, especiallly when you take the strings off to check out the joint. Even if your action goes wacky when you adjust it, just remember the trussrod is to straighten the neck, not to adjust your action.
     
  3. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    and yeah by maxed out i mean tightened all of the way.
    and what do you mean "compensate for an angled neck with a truss rod"?
    sorry not so experienced with all of the luthiers' talk :)

    i'll see if the screws are loose and get back to you from there.
    and i'll check the trussrod too.

    and the action doesn't really change when the truss rod is adjusted...

    and what do you mean "one of the holes"? are you talking about the screws or something else? none of the screws are stripped.

    and would it be possible to take like a couple or all of the screws out and then like reposition the neck so that there is no gap?

    thanks for the help by the way! :D
     
  4. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    Oh, maybe I totally misunderstood you. when you say "between the neck and body" do you mean behind the neck, at the bottom of the pocket or you mean the line visible at the front (between the neck and the neck pickup area)?

    If you mean the one on the front I doubt it's the source of your problem. I don't see how that could really move. It's probably always been that way, and you've just noticed since you started having the problem.

    -Nick
     
  5. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    If your neck only frets out on frets 16 and up, check your neck relief and bridge height. You might want to tighten your truss rod a tiny but, and elevate your bridge saddles a hair...
     
  6. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    But he says the truss rod is already cranked as tight as it goes, so it sounds to me like either the neck is screwed, or there's something else out of whack.
     
  7. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    I mean behind the neck at the bottom of the pocket...

    there's an abnormally large gap there...
    is it possible to straighten that out?

    I believe that's waht is causing the bass to fret out...

    and if i'm being too vauge for those of you,

    if you are looking at the bass from the side you will see where the neck and the body are bolted together...

    then of course there's the seam between the two pieces of wood and then below that there's a spot where it comes apart even farther...i believe it makes the neck bow and therefore cause the bass to fret out...

    that might help you guys a bit...

    and thanks again for all of the help!
     
  8. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    Yeah. If it's at the back, there's definitely something wrong. Have you had the neck off of it in the past? I haven't really taken that many basses apart to know, but I was really surprised when I pulled apart my cheap Vantage bass I was defretting, and there were threads in the body, as well as the neck.

    I wanted to shim the neck, so I drilled out the body holes just enough that the screw would turn freely, Put in my shim, and then screwed it all together.

    If Peavey built those basses the same way, and you've had it apart, it's possible that you've got one thread exposed, which would give lots of gap to screw things up, or it's also possible with that construction that the screw has torn out of the neck, but is still in the body, so it doesn't feel stripped.

    Hopefully someone with more instrument specific experience will answer you though. I understand how it all works, but I haven't the experience to tell you if the threads are normally done that way or not.

    If you have had it apart in the past, I'd say loosen your trussrod and take the strings off (maybe a bit of both at the same time) Take all the neck screws out, and hold the neck in place while you put them back in. Either that or drill the threads out of the body, but you should definitely get a second opinion before doing something like that. I just did it because it made sense to me.

    It's also possible that I'm just way off. Some photos might help if you can swing it. ;)
     
  9. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    Well its a good thing you know what my problem is because from what you're telling me it sure sounds like we're talking about the same thing...

    and yeah that's what i was thinking i should do too...

    but yeah i know some guitar repairman guys and i'll talk to them about what you said...

    if i do take the screws out when i'm putting the neck back on how do i make sure its straight? just eye-ball it?

    and also in my time owning the bass i have not taken it apart or messed with that at all...i bought it used so its possible the other owner did that...

    but thanks soo soo much for helping me Arx!

    and i'll see if i can get some photos up soon...

    tomorrow?
     
  10. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    if i do take the screws out when i'm putting the neck back on how do i make sure its straight? just eye-ball it?
    [/QUOTE]

    Well, you're using the same screw holes, so it should go on straight. When you put the screws in, it helps a lot to turn them the wrong way initially, until you feel a little clunk as the threads of the screw drop into the threads that are already there. Then just put them in normally. if you do that, you can put them in and out a bunch of times without all the wood getting chewed out and stripped.
     
  11. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    Okay that makes sence...I'll do that...

    When I do that what surface should i use to lay the bass on?

    lol sorry again i'm new with all this luthier stuff :p
     
  12. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    Doesn't really matter, anything that won't damage it. It shouldn't really take any force to hold it in place, you just want to make sure that it's held in when the screw starts into the body.
     
  13. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    It's possible, from the sound of things (gaping beneath the neck in the pocket), that the screw holes in the neck are stripped. In this case the best fix is to remove the neck, drill the holes out oversized and glue in a dowel, cut it flush to the back of the neck, then re-drill the holes.

    Alternately, you can do the old "toothpicks and glue" trick, but that's a "quick and dirty" solution, and is nto the best way to do it.
     
  14. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    Yeah. I mentioned that possibility a few messages back, though he said it wasn't stripped. The only possibility I could think of is that both the neck and body have threads, rather than the body being drilled to clearance, and only the neck threaded. Do you know if that's common? My cheap Vantage bass was done this way, but it seems really stupid. I was shimming it, so rather than have it bind and stretch the threads out, I just drilled clearance on the holes on the body.

    -Nick
     
  15. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    If that's the case, I would just drill slightly oversized the holes in the body... ;) end of problem!
     
  16. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    Sorry I missed all of that...Lots of band stuff yesterday...


    Me and one of my buddies (he's handy with tools) are getting together next week to work on it...

    so, what is the plan that i should do?

    Kay right now i have:

    1. Take the strings off
    2. Unscrew the neck from the body and take it off.

    now next would you guys recommend drilling larger holes first or just trying to see if we can reposition the neck and screw it back in right away?
     
  17. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Sounds like you have a complicated situation especially since none of us can see the problems you describe and you don't have the luthier lingo to describe it well.

    I suggest simplifying the situation by doing the following.

    1) Take all tension off the truss rod and remove the neck from the instrument. Inspect for glaring problems like stripped screws. washers installed as shims, etc. Verify that the mounting screws pass through the body without "biting" into the wood. They should be snug but not bound.

    2) Check that the neck is flat or has a slight back bow after removing the tension from the truss rod. It may take a day or more for the wood to relax back to it's "normal" state after removing the tension.

    3) Meanwhile, verify that the neck fits the pocket snugly. Too much slop from side to side is trouble. Make sure the end of the neck seats tight to the body when the screw holes align. Also, check that the back of the neck heel fits flat and tight against the bottom of the pocket. See if you can rock it back and forth at all and remove any high spots if you have them.

    4) Install the neck and see if it is within the height adjusting tolerance of your bridge. If it is too far out you must decide if you want to install shims in the pocket or remove material from the pocket or neck heel to bring it into range. After doing so repeat step 3.

    5) If you are within tolerance then install neck and string up. Let it sit over night under tension and then start your set up.

    Set up is something to be worked into place not just done once and forgotten. Every adjustment made effects the other adjustments you can make. Also, your idea of action is not my idea of action. Your playing style is not mine. There are ranges or target tolerances that can be discussed, but in the end it depends on you and your playing style. Only you know what these are.

    I suggest you take an approach of crude adjustment being refined over time. Set your truss rod first so that there is a slight dish under tension. You can use a straight edge or just capo the first fret and hold the string down on the 14th or so. The string should not contact any other frets between. Then adjust your bridge height to give you the action you like. Go back and check the truss rod relief, adjust bridge height, adjust intonation, check relief, adjust action, adjust intonation.

    While you do the above you may notice things like a nut that is too low or too high or one that buzzes due to misshapen notches. A fret or two may be high or low. Deal with these things directly and resist the temptation to fix them by tweeking the truss rod. I don't know why so many people believe that truss rod adjustment will fix all things. I swear there must be someone out there adjusting their truss rod in the belief that it will fix their foot odor problem. :rollno:

    You should be close to a good setup by now, but wait a few days. Things are a changin' as the strings battle the wood and truss rod for stasis. Do a "final" set up about a week later. Things may change slightly with the weather, but for the most part unless you are really fussy you should be good to go.

    Either that or take it to an experienced tech. Someone with a little gray hair is usually a good thing. Too many shops these days are staffed with kids who don't have the experience or the patience to do a proper job.

    Greg N
     
  18. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    okay lets see if this works...

    this is a picture of the gap in the pocket...

    68vjna.

    tell me if you want anymore pictures..

    I sure hope this helps...
     
  19. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Is there an adjustment screw in the back side of this neck? Some guitars will have a machine screw that presses up against a steel disk inserted in the back of the heel. You finger tighten the top two set screws on the neck, and then adjust the neck angle to what you want and then tighten the remaining two screws. Not the best for tone transfer but makes neck angle setting a snap!

    Open that puppy up and look in side. You will find the reason for the "problem" there. However, the "problem" may actually be a solution in use for a too low neck angle in the original manufacture.

    Greg N
     
  20. Mr. Kitty

    Mr. Kitty

    Mar 14, 2008
    okay before i screw up anything:

    i kinda understand what your saying but can you give me exact directions on what to do and how to do it? and does this picture answer your question about it having an adjustment screw? inside that black part (can't see in picture) but there's a little metal disk or part...

    2jcciw.

    does that help?
     

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