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Snugging up the neck route on a Fender Bolt-on style body.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ground Pounder, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. I may cross post this on the Setup forum, but I figured you wood-workers might have some interesting thoughts.

    I have an early 80's MIM Jazz that's got an awesome neck - but the neck route on the body has way too much sideways slop. I've tried to use a shim, but the bottom side of the cavity (the short side) doesn't have enough stock to let me shim comfortably. Still, I'd like to try and shore up the neck route without swapping out the body - so what's my best option?

    I was contemplating routing out the body to the pickup cavity, re-blocking and then re-routing the neck slot. But I want to get some opinions first (maybe an easier fix?)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I fixed my old Fender P (for good) by filling the oversized and sloppily cut neck route with a mixture of epoxy resin and wood dust from the bag of my random orbit sander. It's a perfect and absolutly flawless fit now.

    But the process is tricky and you need to use wax and masking tape to mask off the heel of the neck and top and side of the body to prevent glue squeeze out from sticking permanently. If the truss rod adjustmet nut is in the heel of the neck, that hole needs to be masked off too.

    The only advantage in my case is in looks. No difference at all in sound. I'd already taken care of any sideways movement possibility in the neck by using threaded inserts and machine bolts. There was a slight improvement in sound from using the inserts. Seemed to correct the slight dead spot I had at C#.

    I know it's pretty tough to get wood shims to fit properly.

    By the way, there is one very big disadvantage to using my method. Although I can easily remove and replace the neck in the filled cavity, if I were to switch to another aftermarket neck the dimensions would be different for sure, and I'd have to re-route the cavity. At least either grind it down with a Dremel a bit or if the neck is smaller, re-fill the cavity.
  3. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    personally, i would route out the cavity to a square, fill it with a mathcing peice of wood, and then re route it
  4. Georynn


    Dec 4, 2007
    I've fixed a neck pocket with epoxy once before, wrapped the neck in saran wrap very tightly. Then I hit it very gently with a hair dryer to smooth out the surface of the wrap. Then lightly bolted it in place... let the epoxy cure. I attached the neck, and there isn't any slop whatsoever...
    perfect fit...
  5. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try the epoxy trick first, and if that doesn't work, I'll break out the router.
  6. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    I remember reading an old interview with Billy Sheehan where he mentioned doing this to all his basses, I believe as a preventative measure rather than to fix an existing problem.

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