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Warmoth neck, advice on attaching it.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by KlarkKent, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. KlarkKent


    Dec 17, 2001
    Los Angeles
    My warmoth neck should be arriving any day now. I plan on taking it to a pretty good luthier to have it attatched to my body. My question is what are your experiences with this, heard any horror stories? The warmoth necks are not pre-drilled, will the luthier know exactly what to do? This woman who I have in mind has been luthier since she was a little girl. She works at Stein On Vine in L.A.., basses, stand up-basses, violins,...etc. If she does not have any experience in this. Who does? Could I talk to Fender about this?

    Warmothed in Los Angeles
  2. Any luthier that doesn't know how to attatch a neck would not be very experienced. The person you're talking about sounds like she has a life time of experience.

    It would probably be easy to do it your self, too. Set the neck in the pocket, from the back, though the existing screw holes, mark the neck with a pencil to where to screw holes need to go. Then measure your screws, versus the depth of the neck pocket, to see how deep inot the neck you have the drill. Set your tools, make some sawdust. If that is the way you end up going, use a smaller diameter drill bit. You don't want the hole as wide as the screw, or it wont hold. You want the hols to be of a smaller diameter thatn the screw, to give the threads some wood to get a good grip on.

    It shouldn't be a difficult job for a professional luthier. It is probably only a 30 minute job if you know what you're doing.

    How much is it gonna cost you to have a luthier put on the neck, if you don't mind me asking?
  3. After spending a lifetime at IBM, I've found that mechanical parts have a trait of finding their "home" position.

    Necks operate under tension, so it make sense the drill the final neck holes with the neck seated in the pocket with some tension applied by strings.

    I'm no luthier, so this is strictly speculation on my part. But... I'd think the neck would be most solidly joined with the body when it is fully in contact with the pocket. The four bolts keep the neck on the body, but string tension keeps the neck in the pocket.

    I'm faced with doing a new Warmoth neck install, and thinking about doing it under tension. I will also drill the pilot hole dimples through the existing holes in the bass while the neck is in position. This will guarantee a more accurate hole placement than marking and drilling separately. A drill press with a depth stop adjustment is necessary.

    Using an experienced luthier is safer. Plus, the nut still has to be cut and installed.
  4. I am now using threaded inserts for neck attachment and will on every bass I build or renovate from here on out.

    Threaded inserts have many advantages - they allow more torque to be applied to the bolts which makes for tighter contact between the neck and body. They also allow for repeated disassembly without fear of wearing out the screw holes. This is real important on Warmoth necks since the truss-rod is adjusted from the heel and usually requires removal to tweak.

    I prefer steel inserts with stainless steel machine bolts. The steel holds up a little better than the brass type and I don't have a fear of pulling the threads out. The stainless bolts don't rust or get "welded" in by electrolysis so that isn't an issue.

    This isn't an extemely simple installation. It takes care and planning but the right person won't have a problem. It sounds like you've got that person in your sights so all should go well.
  5. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    An 1/8" bit is generally the standard for Fender neck screws, but be careful about drilling the pilot holes through the neck holes in the body.

    The holes in the body are a fair bit larger in diameter than the screws, so it's possible to get your drill bit off-center. I recommend clamping the neck in the pocket with some padding, checking for alignment, and lightly spinning a brad-point drill bit with the body holes' diameter (ours are 3/16") against the heel through the hole in the body. This will make a perfectly centered mark to drill your pilot on.

    I've used the 1/4-20 steel inserts in my hand-built basses and they work great, but I don't think you can get 1/4-20 pan head screws that will work with a Fender neck plate. I know Jay Montrose at Vintique (the über-Tele guys) sell a set of stainless screws and inserts to retrofit Fender stuff. But I agree that this is trickier than drilling pilots for wood screws.
  6. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    If you do "screw" up the diameter of the screw hole, a nice solution is to use toothpicks and wood glue to fill any spaces in the neck holes. It'll make for a tight turn of your screwdriver. Watch you screw length too. I had a friend who didn't realize that Warwick neck screws are graduated...2 smaller, 2 larger, and put the bigger one in the smaller hole and proceeded to put the screw through his fingerboard! Youch!
  7. The wood screw used on stock Fenders is actually an "oval head" screw with a tapered shoulder under the domed head. This helps it center itself in the hole. Pan heads are flat on top and bottom of the head with a small radius between the sides and the top. I use stainless steel oval head screws in my installations but I use ferrules instead of a plate. No problem though if you want to use a plate instead. Just be sure to keep the screws the right length.
  8. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Well, don't I feel sheepish! :|

    You're exactly right. I see these things a hundred times a day and I've always used the wrong name for them. Now I've got to go check that I've got my shoes on the right feet....
  9. BW, you would love the little hardware store that I get a bunch of my hardware from. They've got everything you could imagine. Those stainless screws were easy - I can even get them in a round head with an allen socket - unusual and very stylish.

    The weirdest screw I've found there so far are grade 8 hardened (black) metric allen cap screws in - get this - LEFT HAND THREADS!!! Top that at yer local Home Depot!
  10. bwbass, does Warmoth offer a contoured neck block on bass bodies?
    access to the higher frets, especially the 21st on the fretboard overhang is a bit of a problem on my Warmoth P bass, so I was considering building another with threaded inserts + washers/no neckplate and a contoured neck block of some kind.

    and can Warmoth make 22fret 4 string necks (no overhang) to fit Fender US Deluxe basses/ old Precision Plus basses?

    also, re, the routing for P + MM, how will the P rout be done- as for rear-routed P bodies (closely following the pickup shell outline) or as on front-routed (a larger rout not touching the pickup, as the scratchplate covers it up)?
  11. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    BW...I seem to recall that in a previous thread, you mentioned Warmoth offers a neck with the truss rod adjustable at the head instead of the heel. Is this correct?

    Man, it's nice having a Warmoth rep here on the board! Especially since I'm collecting funds for a Warmoth P of Doom. Mmm...steroided P bass :D
  12. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Yes, we offer the contoured heel block option on all our bodies for $35 extra. We don't make 22-fret replacement bass necks, however. Unfortunately this would require a fair amount of additional tooling and programming for us, and there just aren't enough of those out there that need replacing yet to make it worth our while.

    Now twisty 70's Jbass necks, there's plently of those... :)

    We actually have both versions of the P rout available, the big roomy top-route one and the tight rear-rout one that looks the same as the pickguard cut. If it's a top-routed body (for use with a pickguard) we assume you want the big rout, but we can do either if you specify.

    As for head-adjust truss rods, all of our necks with angled-back headstocks come with this by default. This would include the Warmoth 2+2 head, LP 2+2 head, and "V" 2+2 head.
  13. the reason I asked about the P rout in a P + MM combination is that for tone reasons I'd like the MM to be as close to the P pickup as possible, without, as you said "the wood splintering in the router" due to the narrowness of the bit of wood dividing the P and MM- hence a close pickguard-following P rout would allow the MM to be closer to the P.

    can the warmoth 2+2 angled headstock be specified with truss-rod access at the body end instead?
    (avoiding any potential weakening of the angled headstock caused by the truss-rod channel)
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I am aware of this (I looove window shopping on Warmoth.com!) I was wondering about the standard replacement P and J necks.
  15. KlarkKent


    Dec 17, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Hey Brian,

    Talked to you cohorts at the shop, they said you guys were backed up at paint....man, I'm Dyingfor my neck!!!! Hopefully, it will come early next week! BTW, I called Jay Montrose Guitars about buying those threaded inserts...called 5 times, no returned calls...what-up? Wish they were as reliable as WARMOTH!!!! If anybody is reading this, don't be a hoser, eh, and buy a neck from anyone else!!

    Klark Kent
  16. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Well, we could shove the P+MM pretty close together, but we didn't think most people would want that, so we wrote our new CNC program to separate them by about 3/4". This keeps the P in stock location and moves the MM around 5/8" bridge-ward from where it sits on a Stingray. If you want them closer we'd have to mod your body special, adding $35 to the total cost.

    Yes, no problem with making the adjustment come out at the heel on an angled-back neck, just ask for it - no extra charge.

    Unfortunately the head adjust on Fender-style necks is a bit of a persistent headache for us, because our double-expanding truss rod design puts the nut too low in the headstock to get to without making a huge recess and a truss rod-cover. (Like my old Peavey T40) Those "bullet"-adjust necks that Fender does have the vintage single rod - less stability, but the nut sits high enough to adjust at the head. In the interest of making a superior replacement product, we've decided to keep the better truss rod and its heel adjustment.
  17. thanks for the info.

    the new option of stainless steel fretwire sounds good, too- more suitable for the battering Roto swing bass rounds inflict.

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