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Taking off Neck of Bass..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassfacer22, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Hi Guys,

    What have your experiences been with unscrewing the neck from the body of your basses? Has there been any major issues and setup things you need to do after putting the neck back on the bass? Are there any secrets or key things to know when taking the neck off the body and then putting it back on?

    I am flying and was thinking to just separate the neck and body of my Bass and then put it back together when I arrive to my destination..

    Need to know what I'm getting into when I separate my neck and body of my Bass..
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Just unscrew it and you are good to go. If you are leaving the neck off for more than a couple days I would relieve the tension from the truss rod. If your neck has a shim you would need to set it in again, otherwise it just pops back together.
    pudgychef likes this.
  3. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    It should go right back together.
    The one thing you MIGHT notice is that the string tension will be off the neck, so depending on how your truss rod is set, the neck might go into a slight backbow. However that will come back out once you re-string it up to pitch, though it might take several minutes. Be patient, it ought to come right back.
    pudgychef likes this.
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    No need to take the tension off the truss rod, it will be fine...
    idoker and SteveCS like this.
  5. whenever i remove my neck for cleaning/travelling etc. i just make sure i loosen the truss rod an iddy biddy bit, just to play it safe and reduce any possible backbow. other than that, just unscrew the bolts and it should just pop right off.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Remove strings.
    Remove neck.
    Don't mess with ANYthing.

    At your destination:
    Install neck
    Install strings (shift neck if needed to align strings)
    Check intonation..tweak if needed

    Chances are that once you have the strings on for a few hours, the neck will settle in to its normal state.
  7. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Also, be careful not to damage the finish along the edge of the neck pocket, becaude it tends to be thinner in that area.
    Lava, MegaSwing, GBassNorth and 5 others like this.
  8. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I did it with my EB3 copy when I was younger--out of curiosity.
    I got it back together okay--but you may need to check the neck angle as well--it might need a shim or might not.
  9. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    "I" would slowly over two days back off the truss rod tension (and maybe just a little off the strings by dropping it down half step). When you put it back on don't over tighten the neck, I can't stress this enough. I would give it a day or so to bring the truss tension up again. Some my say this is overboard but I say it's insurance! I choose patience over speed and ease. This has worked very well for me.
    etherealme likes this.
  10. Alright sounds good.. I'll pack the bass in my soft-case, bring it to the airport and when attempting to board the plane if there is an "issue" I will have my handy dandy screwdriver and pop off the 4 screws and separate the neck and bass..

    (i'll have the string detuned and a shirt/cover to not damage the neck/strings/body if I actually need to go through with this.. it all just depends on if they let me take it on the stupid plane..

    thanks for answers..
  11. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    Be really careful with the neck in the luggage. If you don't pack it well you might get some serious warping..at least I think that's what happened to a cheap neck I brought overseas in the luggage.
  12. Thanks for the answers..

    please understand I appreciate all your replies.

    however- (hopefully I'm not over-analyzing this, but from some of the replies...)

    I keep thinking everybody thinks I am somehow putting my bass in my luggage!? haha..

    What I mean is : I am going to try to walk/board a plane carrying my soft-shell case on my back - with the Fender bass inside my soft shell case on my back { fully assembled } (neck and body together)

    If they give me hassle to not be able to board the plane, I will then take the fully assembled bass out of the soft shell case, and take the 4 screws out of the neck and separate the bass right there. I will then be standing outside the plane door (probably) with my bass in two parts which then I should be able to walk on the plane with my bass guitar neck and body separated. Make sense now? there will be no bass in any luggage at anytime. Just me carrying the bass in a soft shell case while boarding the plane. (the usual problem is there is no room on some planes in the upper compartments to put a bass guitar. - yes I know sometimes they have a closet in 1st class - I will try to put it there if i can.)
  13. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    I think it changes the sound of the bass, at least temporarily. You'll likely hear a plastic-y crackle noise that goes away after a while.
  14. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    What kind of screwdriver do TSA allow through Security?
  15. Imagine a pen.. literally a pen..

    now imagine a small little drill bits.. that you can take on and off.. the size of a regular Phillip heads screw driver.. (only the tip)

    now imagine putting the tiny drill bit only tip sized Phillip heads screw driver on where you normally would write with a pen.. and that is the little tool i have..

    I can post a picture if you need to see it..

    Well I got it through security last time.. but yeah i guess whose to say if they got up on the left side of bed that morning I guess they could take it from me.. but it just looks like a pen..
    Goatrope likes this.
  16. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    You may want to test using that small screwdriver at home first. Might be a bit of a struggle unless it has a pretty thick handle. Those screws are pretty tight.

    Safe travels. :)
  17. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW
    I also have a "pen-screwdriver" and I wouldn't want to tighten neck screws wit it. Just buy a real one once you are out of the plane.
    etherealme likes this.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    JUst put things back just like you took it apart and all wioll be good.
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Don't EVER try to remove and install neck screws with anything other than a screwdriver with a nice clean #2 tip. More neck screws are buggered up by people using undersized screwdrivers or worn tips than you would think. There is no excuse for messing up neck screws by using the wrong tool, or a damaged tool.

    A proper take-down screwdriver should pass through security. According to this TSA webpage: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items#7

    The following is acceptable for carry-on or checked baggage: "Wrenches/Pliers/Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length)"
  20. Don't know if you're aware but musical instruments are now allowed as carry-ons to be stored in the overhead bins, as long as there's room:

    The rule requires that each U.S. carrier subject to this regulation allow a passenger to carry into the cabin and stow a small musical instrument, such as a violin or a guitar, in a suitable baggage compartment, such as the overhead bin or a closet, or under the seats, in accordance with FAA safety regulations and the carrier’s FAA-approved carry-on baggage program.
    Carriers must allow passengers to stow their small musical instruments in an approved stowage area in the cabin if at the time the passenger boards the aircraft such stowage space is available. Under the rule, musical instruments as carry-on items are treated no differently from other carry-on items and the stowage space should be made available for all carry-on items on a “first come, first served” basis. Carriers are not required to give musical instruments priority over other carry-on baggage, therefore passengers traveling with musical instruments may want to buy the pre-boarding option offered by many carriers to ensure that space will be available for them to safely stow their instruments in the cabin.

    Since we're on the topic though, I wonder if there's a torque requirement or rule of thumb for the neck bolts? I've never removed the neck on my bass but I figure there must be some approved standard by which we reattach? Too hard and you damage the neck, too soft and you damage the neck, right?
    etherealme likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 17, 2021

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