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Neck pocket re-setting with epoxy... help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Frank Martin, Apr 15, 2006.


  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Damn, one of the two things I leave to a professional ends up causing the most trouble.
    After I got some of the polyurethane out of the loose neck pocket, the tone improved.
    However, after some rehearsals and one gig, the tone returned to dull, high-less again.
    I think the higher strain from more intense and agressive playing and the heat from the spotlights might be the culprit, aside from the ususal sweat, dirt and grease filling up the strings. The neck seems to have moved.
    Also, the fresh strings were only there to cover the underlying main problem. With them breaking in, it resurfaced.

    Now I'm thinking of removing all the remaining polyurethane from the pocket, and filling up the gap with either
    1.) epoxy
    2.) wood veneer glued to the walls.

    I'm open to suggestions.
    I'll be using epoxy for a fretless neck, too, so supposedly I'll have both at hand ("supposedly" means I'm having trouble finding clear marine grade epoxy, I only found coloured epoxy paint or epoxy glue so far...)

    Thanks again.
     
  2. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    How about routing the neck pocket 1/8" larger, glue 1/4" wood strips of contrasting color to the perimeter of the pocket and then reroute to spec? or
    Find a release agent you can apply to ne neck. Apply the epoxy to the pocket and install the neck. After it dries hope you can get the neck out.:eyebrow:
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well, these are the two things I said I was thinking about, so this didn't help the decision much :p
    Gluing wood veneer would be more subtle, imo. With the lacquer removed, the glue and veneer would make up for the gap.
    As for the epoxy, grease should work, but I'd rather build it up layer for layer, as with the finish - it's safer this way (the neck wont stick in) and hopefully stronger, too.
    Anyway, thanks! :)
     
  4. These guys should have West System epoxy, which is my favorite:

    Nautik Boat G.M.
    1203 BUDAPEST
    Koves u.
    Tel/Fax: +361 2848729
     
  5. Linas

    Linas

    Jan 6, 2005
    Chicago
    Someone once PMed me this, forgot who it was but i saved it on word. Maby this will help if you can get the epoxy.

    I just add the sawdust to the mixed epoxy until it's almost the consistency of peanut butter.

    What you have to do to get a tight pocket-with the neck still mounted on the bass, use a plastic tape to mask off the parts of the neck and body that might get epoxy squeezed out onto them. I use a coloured plastic tape as epoxy sticks to it less.

    Then remove the neck and on the heel of the neck and the surrounding tape coat it with a good coat of paste wax. This will pevent gluing the neck in for good in the following step. Wax the threads of your neck bolts while you're at it and cover the truss rod hole with a piece of tape to prevent epoxy from getting in there. Wax this piece of tape also.

    Mount the neck in the neck pocket and tighten the screws. Epoxy will squish out of the pocket of course. Remove this with a stiff plastic business cxard, old credit card or the like.

    When it's all cleaned up and youre sure there's no epoxy where you don't want it, Rmove the tape. Do this before the epoxy sets up.

    Set the bass in a warm place and let it harden completely.

    When the epoxy is hard enough undo the neck bolts and pop the neck out. It'll be tight but it will come out if you've waxed the heel properly. You now will have a nicely leveled neck pocket with epoxy filling all the gaps and a very tight fitting neck.

    Hope this works out for you. I did it on a 70s P bass and now have a very tight fitting neck pocket. It did improve the sound slightly and the neck doesn't shift sideways either.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I have an idea who pm-ed that - right, Allan? :smug:

    He also told me about fiberglass resin - it is harder and doesn't shrink while curing. That sounds interesting, also - I'll try to look into it, as well.
    I think I'll try hybrid solution: at the sides, epoxy or fiberglass resin; at the neck end, where the gap is the biggest, I'll try some veneer as well to conceal at least part of it.
     

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