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"Shaving" a neck

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MikeBass, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Not sure where this should be, mods please move if needed...

    I found a L2500 that is by far one of the best I've ever heard.
    I'm not a fan of the spacing at all, but the tone from this one is something special so I'll deal.
    But the profile of the neck is way chunky. WAY chunky.

    Anyone ever had a neck profile changed? L2500 or other?

    Yes I know, it may change the tone/value etc....it's a risk I would be willing to accept.

    If I could get it down to say a EBMM profile, I would be darn happy to be honest.
  2. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I have not done this personally but I know a bunch of people have had P bass necks shaved to jazz bass profile so I do not see why a qualified guitar tech could not do this.
  3. rmcfee


    Jul 5, 2012
    I have done it to several of my basses (Jazz, P-Bass) and lots of my guitars (approx 20) and it is important for me to do it because many necks are too big for my preference.
    I use a belt sander to remove the bulk of the wood. Carefully, I might add. It will take a bit of practice if you're not used to this.
    Then I hand sand. I use apprx 100 grit or 125 to smooth out any bumps that are obvious and then go up from there - 220, 325, 400 and 600. Go finer if you wish.
    I wipe the neck down with a lightly moistened rag (or paper towel) after 400 grit and let it dry. The "hair" of the wood will rise and then I use 400 again to smooth it back down. Then 600 and then I apply Tung Oil.
  4. rmcfee


    Jul 5, 2012
    I forgot to add that the other big reason I do it is to get rid of the glossy finish and go to a nicer natural feel. I like it anyway, some don't.
  5. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    This can be tricky if you are removing a good amount of wood. You may affect the stability of the neck or even get into the truss rod pocket. Post again in the Luthier's Corner or Hardware, Setup and Repair.
  6. rmcfee


    Jul 5, 2012
    I also forgot to add that I did get into a truss rod pocket when I was learning. Good fun if you know what you are getting into!
  7. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    What I do is I measure the depth of the truss rod pocket too the top arch of the fretboard. Then I get the thickness of the neck at that same point and then subtract the first measurement from the second, giving you how much play you have to shave down the neck. I go all by hand, I use rasps, I start with a pretty touch rasp to take off bulk, then a finer rasp for final shaping. Then I hit it with sandpaper, 100, 250, 320, 400, 600, 1000. Then I hit it with tung oil, about 10 coats. Be sure to do a light steel woofing in between each coat and be sure too let it fully dry. Yes it's a long proccess but the end result, if done right, should make a neck like glass without being glossy.

    In prep for this procedure, I remove strings, loosen the truss rod fully, and remove the neck from the body. I use my work bench and clamp the neck fretboard down at the joint with two claps with a piece of scrap wood in between too not dent the neck at all. for the rasp work, make whole strokes down the neck with light to moderate pressure on both ends of the rasp for optimum control. Every few minutes of shaping and shaving, check you're thickness at the nut too make sure you're not going to hit the pocket. I like using the rasps because it's much more controllable. I use 10 coats of tung oil because it is after all an oil finish, so 1 coat doesn't produce a solid protective coating from hand grime, humidity and temperature. I use 10 coats as a minimum. The final product is very nice. Good luck!
  8. Cool. Thanks for all the input.
    And there isn't anyway I'm going to attempt this myself!
  9. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    A while back, I had Carey Nordstrand reshape the neck on the
    baseball bat neck on my older Fender am dlx J V. No effect on the tone and its one of the best feeling Fender basses I've ever played. Neck shaping is an art.

    You could send it to Nordstrand. They do repairs like this.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've re-profiled many necks with no problems and no effect on tone.
  11. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
  12. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    It was only a matter of time ...
  13. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I suggest you take your bass to a experienced luthier and let him make the neck thinner or A-symmetrical :)
  14. I thought G&L offered a bunch of different available neck profiles. I'd definitely price a different neck against the cost of someone reshaping the existing one.
  15. Hounddog

    Hounddog Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    Southern, Illinois
    Sadowsky Featured Artist
    Gillette - The best a man can get.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Had a friend who did that... actually exposed his trussrod. Not a pretty sight.
  17. p12bassnut

    p12bassnut Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    DFW Metroplex
    I prefer a very thin neck. No one makes the size I like unless I custom order.
    I usually take mine down to .710 at first fret and .830 at 12th fret. I have never had issues with tone, sustain or stability. I think the removal is really very minimal in the grand scheme of things. It is all done by hand like "curbowkid" does - see above post.

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