Removable neck conversion?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by ddbassGA, May 1, 2017.

  1. ddbassGA


    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    I have a late 60s Kay S1 and the neck is out clean. Thinking of getting this converted to removable. Any leads?
  2. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
  3. ddbassGA


    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Thanks for the link. I have heard of his conversions. It would be impractical to have this done in France
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Vintage Kay necks joints are pretty fragile and underbuilt; I don't recommend them for conversions with the factory oversized guitar dovetail. There are people who will take your money and people who don't actually use or travel with a removable neck bass and can get one to work for ten minutes in a climate controlled workshop that will tell you it will work. From the perspective of someone who has done a number of vintage Kay conversions, the dovetail is pathetically wimpy, the blocks are usually made from hardware store grade tulip poplar or Douglas fir, and the whole geometry of that neck body junction area has issues. It is pretty easy to compromise what remains.

    If you take the same bass after it has sustained damage to that area, build a new oversized neck block out of something more structurally sound (I use Honduras mahogany, because I have a lot of it in very thick form, 6"+, and because I like the structural and tonal features). Then either switch out the neck for something more traditional or do a scroll graft and make a nice old school beefy German mortise and tenon; that makes fantastic candidate for removable neck conversions. Add one of Mathew's magnetic trap doors while you are at it. I have one it the shop setup just like that as we speak, a 1945. Keep your original one at factory spec and look for one with neck damage and metamorphose that one for your project.

    Good luck.

    Kay Bass Repair on facebook
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  5. ddbassGA


    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Thanks James. I should just bring it to you for standard repair and not worry about travel. I've managed so far.

    See my latest? Found it in TX, now in Athens, GA. 20170501_221739_zpsbezih5ax.jpg
    uelliv, Engle and T_Bone_TL like this.