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Replacing wings on a neck thru?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Thonk, Apr 21, 2006.


  1. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    I posted this over at bassworld but sofar its got looks but no replys and from what ive read here you guys seem to know a hell of a lot more about modding/building anyways ;)

    Well i got a crazy idea running through my head the other day when a friend of mine was showing me some damage to his kids strat copy after he'ed dropped it down a small flight of stairs

    basically what had happen is that the lower body/horn section that was gluded to the middle section of the body(3 piece body)had split stright across the glue joint and was was just hanging on by the pickup wires

    As i was helping him clean up the joint to reglue it i thought to myself...hey why could'nt i do this to a neckthru bass,maybe just bandsaw off the original wings from the neck thru and replace them with ones i build/shape of my own design

    So anyone out there done such a mod? if so how did it go if not does anyone think this kind of thing is pratical or should i just take my design and pay a real luither to build it for me? ;)

    ive cut a few jazz type body pieces years ago that came out looking and feeling ok and i have access to a bansaw and other woodworking tools/power tools/clamps ect ect (my brother is a shopfitter/counter builder)

    Id have a go at the whole thing but profiling a thru neck/headstock and fretboard from scratch is way out of my league,but im pretty sure i could build/shape the wings/top myself

    heres a pic of what im thinking of doing taking the neck thru section of the top bass top (a HBB6000)and hacking off the wings replacing them with a singlecut body keeping the neck,pups and bridge ect (photoshop work up)

    [​IMG]

    So its this kind of build/mod pratical or just a fancy daydream?

    Cheers
    Thonk
     
  2. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    you could just buy a neck through blank from Carvin...
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I second this... Why destroy a perfectly good bass?
     
  4. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Never thought about that....:eek: many thanks g00eY

    Off to cavin.com i go

    Edit....seems they dont ship direct to the UK...humm i think i'll just sit on the design untill i can afford get it custom built

    thx for the replys though
     
  5. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    or you could get a large piece of wood... i have one that is about the size of a balance beam. if you were patient you could make a neck out of something like that.

    it just seems like a waste to buy a bass only to use the neck. neck throughs generally don't come cheap...
     
  6. Denyle Guitars

    Denyle Guitars

    Nov 30, 2005
    MD
  7. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Don't worry about it, if you like the neck do it!
    I had an import Tobias that I put 38 coats of poly on the de-fretted board and it played great, however I hated the body.
    Off to the table saw and off came the old wings, built new ones glued it up and happy ever after.
    It got me into building and I'm just finishing up a project that I built neck and all.
    Before
    [​IMG]
    After
    [​IMG]

    Dirk
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    1.) Nice work with the photoshop! Except for the FB, I thought these were different, real-world basses.
    2.) You have the one on the top? And you want to destroy that? IMO the top one looks better...
    3.) Getting a new top on it (making a "hidden neck-through") is much more trouble than you think
    4.) If you want to have less trouble, then you'll have to cut the p-up cavity, too, and make that part of the top look like a lamination. So that way you can't make it a real SC.
    5.) Spalted maple = rotten maple.

    So I'd say: leave it as it is and be happy with it.
    If you still really want a SC, then have a luthier make one for you, or try to make it yourself.
     
  9. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Thx for the link Denyle Guitars im gotting to get some specs together and fire them off a mail for a quote on a 6 string neck thru...errr..neck

    Thanks for the words of encouragement Dirk Diggler i was hopping that someone else had attempted this with another bass and im very greatful for your post and very glad to see that your turned out stellar looks like you did a great job (did you make the pup covers and knobs yourself as well?)the new wings are Zebrawood right? i have Zebrawood wings and neck laminates on my 4 string Sei flam and man is it a zingy wood! i had thought about using it for the body of this SC but i hear its very hard to work and smells a bit funny ;)

    Thanks for you post Frank

    First off what the FB stand for in your first comment? another bass builders design?

    i arrived at the singlecut design above after mixing and matching from about 3 diffrent body shapes i liked

    2. i dont infact own the top bass but it was the cheapest neckthru 6 i could find to hack up ;) ,from what i know of them there made in vietnam And there sold under the names Mania and Harley Benton the HB brand are carryed by a german music distro and are about $350 i also belive that the peavy grind 6'er are built at the same factory

    http://www.thomann.de/thoiw2_harley...info.html?sn=cf869d6c4475fcdc3a9785593a5c4e61

    From your no 3 comment i take it that you'ed recommend making the 1/4" top just cover the side wings? ive been thinking about this myself last night while playing with some scrap wood and realized how difficult it would be to make the top a full piece,your suggeston makes a lot more sense this way i can build the wings with the top level to the neck thru section and then butt and glue them to the neck section then route for the pup's

    The splat top was a 1/4" piece i was looking at on evilbay ive always loved the look of SM but if its going to be a pain in the ass to work with i'll try something else,any suggestions? i quite like walnut and buckeye burl(i have a BB top on my Sei bass and it looks killer)

    I think next step for me is to build the wings full size from some scrap to see if i like the feel/size/way it sits if im happy with it i'll see about getting a neckthru section made

    id take the whole thing to a local luither but looking around at there prices for one off custom builds theres noway i could afford it atm,singlecut 6'ers are running at about £2000/$4000
    here in the uk

    i reckon modding a prebuild 6 or even having a thruneck section made for me and building on that would cost me $1000 tops, after all i cant charge myself for the spare time id use to build it and like i said above 90% of the power tools i'll need are at hand at my bros work place for the other 10% im hopping i can use hand tools & good old fasioned elbow greese ;)

    Thanks again for the replys
    Cheers
    Thonk
     
  10. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Hey Thonk,
    Yes I am very happy with how it came out. And Zebra is actually fairly easy to deal with. The knobs and pup cover were done by me too. And as far as the smell goes, at first it kind of stinks, but now I kinda like the smell. :) You do get used to it, or at least I did.
    But let me also say that if you have any woodworking capabilities, making your own neck is not that tough really. I was always scared of building one until in my latest project. I was really surprised how well it all came together, the hardest things are getting everything joined/glued, the trussrod rout (router and cheap router table, or a straight edge) and tapering the neck. If you take your time and think things out first, it's not impossible.
    But for me using the existing neck in the first project gave me confidence to build the whole thing from scratch this time.
    Good Luck!
    Dirk
     
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    You'll smack your head at how simple FB is: FingerBoard :smug:

    Full top/hidden neck-through: your pic looked like it, so I thought that's what you wanted to do. I don't recommend it: it's a lot of work to get the cavities right. Once you glue the top on, you won't know where the cavities were...

    What you can do is: cut off the wings beyond the cavities (that leaves a bit of the old wing), and glue on the new wing. You won't have a full top this way, though.

    However, all this trouble is only worth doing if you have a wonderful neck but a body you hate. As you don't have the bass, you don't know how the neck is, right?

    Also, you can end up ruining a perfectly good bass...

    Why do you insist on a NT? I personally prefer BO.
     
  12. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Hi Dirk

    Thanks for your follow up post,i think im going to get a neck thru/head stock/finger board section built for me this time around(fanncy the job? ;) )and tackle the body wings/top myself,like you said im sure that doing the wings will improve my confidence no end

    i think im going to try to get some Zebra for the wings but it seems so dam hard to find here in the UK and it also seems to cost about x3 as much as it does at the US hardwood sites...much as is the way with most thinks here in the UK :meh:

    but before i go ordering wood im gonning to make up a ply template,ive scaled my design up to full size in photoshop so i'll get it printed and transfered to some ply/scrap wood in the next few days

    Final body shape im going for :hyper:

    [​IMG]

    Frank Martin also thanks for your follow up post

    Im going to take your suggestion onboard and just try an exposed neckthru,i'vealso been doing a lot of reading and i really dont think im ready to tackle a full top just yet so thanks for giving me a heads up on it before i started

    FB ah i see now...the FB in my mockup is just a lift from the HBB6000 pic i'll more than likly be getting an ebony board on my made up neck and while i have'nt play one of the HBB6000 i have played a peavy grid 6 my bud has(looks almost the same & no he wouldnt let me hack it up ;) )and from what ive read they are made to the same specs/dimensions and are even made in the same factory

    still undecided about what top to go for so ignore the SM top it was the only image i had at hand and the hardware is'nt to scale as this was just a quick 10 min mock up but heres what im hopping for when all's said and done

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the replys and advise and i will try to get some progess shots as i start the work on this project that is if anyones at all interested at all

    Cheers
    Thonk
     

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