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removal of back???

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by basswraith, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    Why is it generally not a good idea to remove the back from a bass? Any thoughts?
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Back removal is sometimes necessary. But it is more difficult than removing the top, mainly because of the very real possibility of damaging the back in the area of the "button". Also, when the back is reinstalled, a minor change in the way it had been previously positioned can lead to a change in neck projection/bridge height.
  3. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    I was also thinking there is the possibility of the back shrinking during the repair..if that happens, Im screwed. I have a nice old Czech flat back here in which the back really needs work. Is it possible to remove the back partially to allow room for clamping and things of that nature while still being attached to the button area? Of course it would make sense to keep the top on to keep the form.
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Sure, that can be done. However, one reason why backs are reluctantly removed[in addition to the more important one Arnold mentioned] is that backs are generally put on with a stronger concentration of glue. Damage to the maple is a little more likely to occur.
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Getting the button off in one piece is tricky business, and I do it as the last step in removing a back. Warm water, a syringe, a sponge to catch the excess water, thin knives, and a LOT of patience will get you results. If it's glued on with titebond or epoxy, that's a different story...