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neck pocket

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by nobuhiko takada, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. nobuhiko takada

    nobuhiko takada

    Jul 1, 2004
    ok after searching a bunch and finding some usefull info.. i just wanna know from some of you other TB'ers. what technique do you use to rout your neck pocket? and also how do you guys get it curved at the end to fit a curved neck...
  2. My techniques vary by the type of job. If I'm routing my own designs, the neck pocket is a done from a CNC cut template that is registered within a larger template system. If I'm cutting a pocket (or recutting) on an existing bass or for an existing neck things change up a bit. For these times, I'll scan the heel of the neck directly on my scanner and trace it's outline to use as reference for the pocket. In my software, I'll add the centerline and square it up in a pattern. I'll print it out and spraymount this to some 3/4" MDF and cut the pattern out. The sides I'll cut with my tablesaw and the pocket itself is cut by bandsaw and fine tuned with files. This pattern is then clamped or screwed to the body and routed. I use a 1/4" dia., 2 flute, spiral up bit, with a 3/4" depth. The radius is perfect for neck pockets. I'll plunge cut most of the waste out and then do a couple of clean up passes. The last is the final shaping pass which allows the shoulder of the bit to ride against the MDO pattern very smoothly as I finish the cut.

    I got frustrated with curved bottom pockets and finally thought to myself "Why do I have to have them at all?"

    I didn't and now I even take the curve off of aftermarket necks that I may use in a build with my own flat bottom neck pocket. I like this shape much better. It's easier to center and square with the pattern and it acts like a big dovetail. I usually can make a pocket tight enough now that I can pick it up and hang it without bolts. The neck I'm trying to make my standard has a 5/8" overhang on the fretboard and I can do anything with this I want as far as shape. That means that if the design really needs that curved look, I can put it there and not lose the benefits of the flat pocket.

    But I'm not a pro and there's about a dozen guys here that have done more and can say it better than I can.
  3. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    You should give yourself more credit Hambone!!!
    Very well said.
    For my bass, I just squared the neck up on top of the body, put some REALLY straight fiberglass pieces on the sides and back, lifted out the neck, and went from there. Seemed to work well for my first bass, but who knows if it's entirely or perfectly square???? And if you don't get as tight a fit as you wanted, just make it a bolt on! (plan B)
    I figure as you build, your methods are bound to change.