Neck through bass measures

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SCH1SM1C, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. SCH1SM1C


    Jan 21, 2020
    So thanks to the quarantine i finally have enough time to start building my first bass. The bass itself is straight forward. It will have 5 strings, neck through construction, 34" scale length, 2 humbuckers, 3 Band on board preamp, 5 piece neck and alder body.

    I know most of the measurements but i don't know how long should the neck be in total. From the headstock to the bottom of the body.
    jamro217 likes this.
  2. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    jamro217 and Matt Liebenau like this.
  3. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    My suggestion would be to make a full scale drawing. Start with a center line, draw your nut location and the 34" scale mark. Then, fill in the blanks. Think about where the body will join the neck (at which fret), think about string spacing at the bridge. Draw in some strings and carry them beyond the nut. Lay out full sized tuning posts and then follow up with a headstock outline. At that point, you will know how long it is... literally. :D

    The drawing doesn't have to be perfect, but make sure to get the important, functional, bits correct.
  4. Its a situation where you need to have a design in mind. The size of the headstock; 5 on a side, 4+1, 3+2 will have an effect. Also, the exact body shape and layout will change the measurements depending on how far in the bridge sits in from the edge of the body. If you can figure all that out, try to give yourself a couple of extra inches on each end to allow for “adjustment” while you’re working.

    Edit: looks like SlingBlader and I had a similar idea at the same time.
    jamro217, SlingBlader and Beej like this.
  5. Depending on which method you use to shape the neck, I'd just make the center block the whole length of your desired size plus two inches. Jazz basses are 46", P basses are 45". My project neck through is going to be a 34" scale fretless and I started with 48" of center block. Unless you plan on an extremely long headstock or something, this should work. In the event you want a longer body you can always join the body wings at the bottom to gain the extra real estate. Hope this helps and best to you.
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I'm another vote for making a full-size drawing. On that note, a roll of parchment paper from the grocery store is great for these drawings. Some of them even have measurement markings on them. The surface is perfect for pencil drawings. :)
    Dark Horse and Matt Liebenau like this.
  7. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    I use parchment paper for drawings as well. And I agree that you really need to draw it out and then you'll have your own answer. Remember that the neck blank needs to be longer than the finished product, especially if you're doing a scarf, since you'll effectively lose some length.

    For what it's worth, my 34" scale neckthrough bass neck blanks are usually 46".
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