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Question on body thickness/depth

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BarkerBass, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Hi all here at Luthier's corner,

    I need your experience, know how and advice please.

    I am building a new body for my Yamaha BB605 neck and hardware, the bass' stock body is approx 40mm thick and the ash I have for the new body is 30mm thick.

    My question is:

    from your experience will routing the neck pocket on the new body the same depth as the stock body (and thus being approx 10mm thinner due to the body thickness difference) create a structural weakness for the tuning stability (and not snapping the neck off) ?

    My other option is to split the difference and have a neck pocket 5mm shallower (than stock) and the neck pocket base being 5mm shallower too, thoughts?

    I should probably explain that i'm trying to build a new body for this bass to be light weight and very rounded/contoured, kinda like an Ibanex SR type feel but maybe single cut to try and keep the balance uniform.

    So how much does the thickness of the wood of the neck pocket matter in terms of stability, rigidity and strength? and will making it 5-10mm thinner than stock affect this negatively?

    Cheers guys for your help,
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    40mm is just a little over 1 1/2" which is already pretty thin. 30mm is about 1 3/16" which is probably to thin for a bolt on neck. Assuming its a 5/8" deep rout that only gives you about half an inch to screw the neck to.

    You can always put a different top (or back) on the board you have to make it thicker.
  3. ok, thanks for the thoughts, the neck route is 5/8" deep and has a full inch of wood left on the stock body.

    I saw a thread (but can't for the life of me find it) of a guy building a headless where he reinforced the neck pocket with an extended neck plate which was set into the body and ran about half the length of the bass, I may go this way if I can find that thread again
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That could work, you would have to make sure you have enough thickness to make your control cavity deep enough, so all of your electronics will fit. This shouldnt be an issue unless you are using a preamp or stacked pots. Also you would have to use shorter neck screws, and possibly bridge and pickup screws.
  5. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    Do you have access to getting a top wood of some sort? That way you can add to the top or back and get the thickness you need. Adding the extended neck plate should help a lot. Like Hopkins said you may need to shorten your screws for everything so make sure you measure and cut the screws to the correct length. Years ago I forgot to cut a screw and when I screwed in the neck it started pushing through the fingerboard. Luckily I caught it before it could do damage. Good luck and post some pictures when you can. Also a word of caution, once you do this you will be hooked and want to do it again and again. So you have been warned, building guitars is addictive.
  6. To tell the truth this is my 2nd build (first build thread http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/2...-headless-4-string-bass-cannibalising-762756/)
    and yes... I am addicted :bag:

    I'm considering adding some thickness to the body but it's planked ash so not nice enough for a natural finish, it will be painted, and so a top isn't really worth it but doubling up the ash planks and planing the excess off might be worth while.

    The design is looking like it'll be a single cit version of the 4 string in my first build thread however 5 string and all ash not the mixed woods of that body build, I'll make a build thread when I start
  7. bump for more advice please!
  8. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    If you're already planning to paint it, I would go get a plain top of ash, alder, or soft maple, and glue it on to the top of the thing. You don't have to use a nice, pretty top, but for a bolt-on, you will really need more thickness.

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