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putting on a new neck...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by cowsgomoo, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    okaaay... I have a new Mighty Mite neck with no holes drilled in it.. and a P-bass body with neck mounting holes drilled into it...

    is it a bad idea to attach the neck by just screwing the screws into the bare wood with no holes pre-drilled... i.e. would I probably split the wood and create all kinds of problems...?

    or should I really drill some holes in the neck before screwing it to the body??

    I know the correct answer is 'get a luthier to do it' but this is for my own amusement, I just don't want to do anything that kills my neck if I can avoid it

    any pointers for this amateur tinkerer??? :)
  2. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Can't say that this is the definitive answer, but if it were mine, I would definitely drill first . . . .

    - Tim
  3. Definitely a bad idea...

    The way to do it is to put your neck in the pocket and use two straight edges lined up along it's sides to center the neck's angle with the bridge. Then clamp it in place to mark your holes. You will want to pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the neck. Use a bit that is only as big as the center of the screws NOT the threads. When you screw them in for the first time, it will be a bit difficult so you can use some hard bar soap or beeswax on the threads to help twist them in.
  4. No threaded inserts Hammy? :D
  5. Here's a few additional tips that might help..

    1. Follow HAMBONE's advice.
    2. Practice drilling test holes in a scrap piece of "hardwood"..(maple, oak, etc..), by using the bit you intend to use and drilling the scrap. Then use a screw driver to screw in one of the neck screws. It should go in snug, but you shouldn't have to kill yourself to get it in. Please don't test drill into some soft wood like pine, and then expect the same results in hard wood like maple. It is MUCH harder.
    3. Find a good way to clamp the neck into the body pocket. Some way that won't dent or scratch the pieces, but they still need to stay in place. Not much good if the pieces shift before you get the holes marked.
    4. Use some sort of depth stop on your drill bit to keep from drilling too far into the neck. A piece of tape on the drill bit works ok, or some drill bit collars, etc..
    5. When getting ready to mark the holes for drilling, get a drill bit that just fits the already-drilled holes in the body. It should barely slip through, should not need to be twisted to get it through, and should not have any side-side play. With the neck aligned and clamped into place, use this bit on a drill to "score" the center points of the holes you intend to drill. Keep the drill straight in the body hole, and DO NOT DRILL the hole with this bit. You only want to slightly score the center point. The point on this bit will give you a center point that will allow you to drill your smaller pilot bit holes.Do this to all the holes. Now you have a nice center point for each hole.
    6. Carefully drill the holes in the neck using the previous PILOT bit you tested on the scrap with. Do not overdrill. Use a drill press if you have one, if not, keep the drill straight with a hand drill..
    7. Unclamp the neck, clean out the pocket and the back of the neck. Reposition the neck, start each screw in its hole. Draw them up evenly..

    Note: I have never mounted a neck.. Good luck!

  6. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005

    hambone's threaded insert method is where the money is. Highly recommended.
  7. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated
  8. Patience must be shown when learning the ways of the luthier priests, grasshopper. :cool:

  9. Absolutely perfect advice - obviously coming from a journeyman woodworker or at least a lifetime devotee.

    I've taken to truncating my responses to these questions over the years. There's so much information that could be included if one were to be totally precise that I would rather give some good solid tips - maybe something nobody else will come up with and then let others fill in with their ideas. It's less stressful and takes less time.
  10. Aww shucks ... Thanks for the kind words Ham.. I know what you're saying.. and I have learned bunches from reading your posts..