neck reset on a cheap plywood bass

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by kurt muroki, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Hi all! Happy New Year and thanks preemptively. Well i have this bass up at Stony Brook which was used as a jazz bass for the students... anyway to make a short story shorter, the neck popped out of the block and looks absolutely horrible. Since the great financial disaster of 2008, I will probably need to do the repair it myself since we have no funding. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I might start? I have no pics yet, but will take some on monday. I guess I have 2 questions right away...

    1) can i use bottled franklin hide glue? (I'm guessing no) and

    2)Do you guys think that I can pull it off without any major tools?
  2. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    If the neck broke off cleanly, it should be a cinch. If the break is not so clean, erm, look for actual luthiers for advice. :)

    Also, I read somewhere that bottled liquid hide glue contains urea or other chemicals to keep it from setting inside the bottle. I've used it before on slightly separated top, but I wouldn't trust it on a neck joint.
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You've already answered the hide glue question yourself and please post pix to help with 2)

    Don't you have a relationship with a DB repairperson? Someone who might help you through the job in their shop? That would be best, really.
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Try Jon Longtin in the Stony Brook Mechanical Engineering dept. Bass player, engineer, professor, and woodworker.
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    If you've never used granulated hide glue now is the time to learn. It ain't so difficult as you might think, and can be fun! However, better do a few practice joints first before tackling a neck!
  6. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    It also bears mentioning that you don't just glue a seperated neck back in. You remove all the old glue, repair any damage to the joint, re-fit, align both the lateral and pitch angle of the neck, and then finally glue it up with adequate clamping. If you don't clamp it, you don't have a joint. If the glue gels before clamp-up, you don't have a joint. If the fit is not excellent, you don't have a joint. And if the alignment is off, you will wish you don't have a joint. I'm not writing this to scare off DIY'ers, but to emphasize that this is not something to be taken lightly. As a matter of fact, I believe many commercial bass makers pay little attention to the neck joint, one of the most important on the instrument. I would say that 75% of basses I repair have a crappy neck joint. :meh:
  7. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon

    I have no luthier experience, but worked with hide glue for several years in a bindery. It's really amazingly versatile, and as you say, ain't so difficult. Plus there's the delightful aroma.

    Do you have a recommendation for an inexpensive hydrometer? What SG do you normally use for luthier work?
  8. YAY!!! thanks so much for the answers!!!!!! Thanks to Arnold for Jon Longtin's name! I hadnt known! Anyway I have used granulated hide glue before... its been a while. I do think that it would be a big undertaking for me, especially because it is disgusting in the neck joint. Splintered wood, crappy glue, and the neck slips in and out of the joint as though it were played loose and halfway falling out for years. Lovely. I will go ahead and contact Jon and I might just try and have a fun experiment. It is an extremely crapy bass.
  9. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Here's a pic of thick crap left inside what appeared to be a perfectly good neck joint:


    it all had to be chipped and cut out, cleaned up, new cheeks put in and the whole thing carefully re-set.

    Kurt, you can do it, but if its anything like this one, its a fiddly job!!
  10. looks similar, but even this looks less cruddy and a bit less chewed up. I'll take a pic today and we can all have a good chuckle.