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Neck Pocket Area

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by HaMMerHeD, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Greetings, LC.

    I have a question for you guys. Approximately how much area do you like, or prefer, or design into your bolt-on neck pockets?

    I am designing the following bass:


    The pocket itself I estimate to be around 8.5 square inches (2.8x2.9").

    I require unhindered access to the 24th fret, so the lower cutout needs to be deep enough, and I really hate having a great long tongue sticking forward from the pocket. I just think it looks like a hack. I like the curves to flow freely, and extending the neck pocket/heel further up the neck looks, in my opinion, lame.

    Do you guys think the pocket is too small? I know I could go the Ibanez route and extend the neck heel further into the body, maybe exposing some neck beam wood...but I don't like that solution either.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I tend to think of it more in terms of the axial distance (along the centerline of the instrument) between the pairs of bolts. More distance should provide more torque to counteract string pull. But all I have is this qualitative notion; I don't have any actual numbers to back it up.

    Just glancing at your pic, I'd say your pocket is no worse than many off-the-shelf instruments. And the joint can be greatly improved through the use of threaded inserts and machine screws.
  3. How about a neck pocket route right to the pickup?
  4. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Not a fan. I want as much of the top wood to show as possible.
  5. I prefer a deeper pocket as a shallow one makes me think "unstable"
  6. Having the neck all the way to the pickup does not necessarily mean not showing all the top wood:


    It´s sure more work but it allows to have the same if not more contact area while allowing a better access to the higher frets than the regular pocket.
  7. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I tend to think of it as a question of clamping surface area and distribution of clamping pressure. To that end, I think I'll add a 5th bolt roughly centered between the others.

  8. I´ve seen your skills, what are you talking about? ;)
  9. That would be moment, not torque. Even though they are calculated the same way, they are different. Torque is the rate of change of angular momentum, while a moment is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, but not change the angular momentum. Since you don't want the angular momentum to change (you want it to remain zero), it is a moment.


    Edit: Also, you could make a neck pocket with only one screw and it would bever stable, as long as you had a few inches toward the bridge fron where the screw is. In your neck pocket design, the two screws closest to the bridge aren't doing much to resist bending, it is the wood of the neck being pushed against the wood of the body from the tension of the strings. So, in the case of a neck, the tension of the strings helps to resist the tension of the strings. If anyone is interested, I can do the calculations and post them up.

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