Neck won't fit in neck pocket

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Martybass, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. What should I do? Plane the neck or the body down? The body is a Westfield P-Bass clone and the neck is a Mighty Mite Jazz. I was hoping that the only thing different with the clone was the headstock design (the only thing copyrighted) but it seems the neck pocket is too narrow for the replacement Mighty Mite.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. basstruck

    basstruck Guest

    Nov 25, 2005
    Buy a real bass! You are trying to save money but at the end of that adventure of putting that bass together, it will cost you more than buying a known bass from any store close to your place and a warranty will come with it.
    A cheap bass is always a cheap bass!
    Doesn't matter what anybody says.
  3. OK...thanks for that advice. I've bought both the bass AND the neck already, so I'd like to put it together. You inadvertently hit the nail on the head there, it's an adventure. It was my first ever bass, I'll never sell it. It's only shortfall was the neck ('P' neck, I have small hands; and it wasn't made too well), it has a decent tone and I would just like to make it more comfortable to play. Plus, I paid MUCH less for both the neck and the bass than I paid for my Ibanez SRX500, so I don't think it's viable buying a whole new, arguably better bass for what I'm after out of this one.

    Just to set the record straight.

  4. Marty, generally speaking, you should always leave the neck alone, and work on the body...
    if it is a cheapo body, like you said, then you should have the neck pocket routed to match the Mighty Mite neck (not the other way around).

    If you screw up the body, you can always plug and re-rout...if you screw up the neck....OUCH!

    If you don't have a router or the woodworking skills...find a luthier or a decent woodworker to do the job for you...
  5. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I don't recall reading how much the pocket is off by - is it over 1/16"?

    agreed that you should adjust the body and not the neck

    All the best,

  6. I haven't actually measured the difference in widths yet, that was my next step when I had the time. It's not much at all. by eye before I did anything I was convinced it was the same size. Alas it wasn't to be.
  7. just one other thing to look for, be sure that the bottom of the pocket is rounded like your neck undoubtedly is....., the tele basses, and some clones have flat bottom necks
  8. Yeah, It's alright in that respect. Let me explain why I thought about:
    The rosewood is clean above the pocket, so I was going to get a small plane to thin the maple ever so slightly so it fitted. I understand that necks are fiddly things but I thought that in this case, if something goes wrong, either the neck's wonky or the pocket is, so it'd make no difference. Also, the body is finished, so cutting that may present a whole host of problems too. The neck's finished too, but nowhere near to the same extent.

    I'm out of town for a few days so I may not have the chance to check how this thread's going, so I apologise for that. If anyone has any further tips/suggestions/orders/ideas, I'd be very happy to hear them.

    Thanks all,
  9. if the pocket is too narrow then planing the neck is out of the question. if the difference isnt anything insane you could try sanding some of the finish off of the base of the neck, but anything substantial as far as the differences go your going to want to route the pocket out
  10. Blackmag+c


    Feb 1, 2007
    how wide and deep is the neck pocket?
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    NEVER try to re-shape the heel of the neck. Re shape the pocket in the body. No matter if it's finished or not, it is the CORRECT way to go. If you use a good clean and sharp bit in the router, it will not damage the finish, and you can mask off the area as a secondary precaution.
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Also you need to make sure the neck will be mounted in the right position as far as playing in tune.

    Making a bolt on neck fit a neck pocket is not an easy feat.
  13. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    if it is a matter of the neck "just barely" not fitting, I would just take some sandpaper and strip the finish from the neck pocket. That may give you enough to make it work.

    Alternately, get a neck pocket template from Stew-Mac, clamp it to the body, and route. You will want to have a 1/2" router bit w/ a follower bearing (pattern bit, not laminate trimming bit). Stew-Mac sells those too, although you may be able to get one cheaper at your local Home Depot, etc.

    Don't make the pocket any deeper, just enlarge the opening by shaving off the sides. The Stew-Mac neck template fits the Mighty Mite necks perfectly, I've used them a few times before.
  14. livingstone


    Jun 15, 2007
    Oneonta NY
    He might have this completed by now--2 years later. :smug:
  15. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    lol. I've been reading this thread and never noticed that!
  16. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I would *hope* he's done by now...

    Now, if I could just remember to check the dates on previous posts. :oops: