What to do with neck while it's off bass for a while?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sundogue, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm going to be working on my bass and in the process it will be taken apart and stay apart for at least two weeks.

    What should I do with neck while it's off the bass for a while? Should I loosen the truss rod to keep it straight without string tension? Or should I even concern myself with that?

    Just curious. I've done it both ways. The neck is really nice and perfect on my bass and I want to make sure it stays that way. Thanks.
  2. Back off any tension in the truss rod to keep the neck from a reverse bend.

    It may not happen, but why poke the bear?
    SilGarzaJr likes this.
  3. Keep it out of the rain.
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I was thinking of storing it in the snow.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Two weeks? Don't worry about it. The neck will be fine.
    Ric5 likes this.
  6. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    You'll be totally fine. I had the neck off one of my basses for seven years, and when I finally got around to putting it together it still was good as new. (I did loosen the truss rod during those seven years though.)
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I think I'll just leave the truss rod as is while it's off. If I find it's taking me a bit longer than a couple of weeks before I get it back together I'll loosen the rod up a bit to keep it flat. It's not that what I want to do is going to take me that long...it's just finding the time to do it, so it will be apart while I work on it a little here and there.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  8. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    I had the neck off the one i had a custom paint job on , for three years, never did jack to it , did a slight truss tweak and intonated it , no problems at all .played prob 30 gigs with it since
    TonyP- likes this.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I think its better to be safe than sorry. While doing nothing to it might be fine, I think loosening the rod a bit might be a better option. I think problems could vary from neck to neck. Mine is a 5 laminate neck and very stable so I'm not terribly worried about it.
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    While erring on the side of caution is fine, it is an error none the less.

    Neither will cause harm. One will cause more work. Twice, actually.

    Respectfully submitted.
    Bob_Ross and Jah Wobble Fan like this.
  11. String tension acting against truss rod tension keeps the neck (and its relief) in equilibrium. No string tension to act against the trussrod tension will produce a backbow...almost immediately. No big deal I suppose if you're changing strings, or doing some work on the guitar but I'm not sure how long I'd want to leave a piece of wood in that condition.

    For short or long term storage I vote for release of tension by loosening the rod once the strings are off. The neck should stay nice and straight.
    Count the number of turns and write it on a piece of masking tape attached to the neck...somewhere. It'll give you a good starting point when you reassemble the instrument and string her up.
    comatosedragon and Geri O like this.
  12. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    This makes very good sense.
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I'm of the loosen school - I back it off one full turn. When I reinstall, one full turn gets me in the ballpark.
    Geri O likes this.
  14. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Neck was off for about two weeks. I didn't do anything with it. Put it back on, tuned up and everything is just fine.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Lean it in a corner? Put it on a shelf? Hang it on a wall hanger? Seriously, no longer time than it will be apart, it should not be an issue.
  16. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Another piece of evidence to add to the pile. For short term storage it's just unnecessary work.

    Loosen or not loosen: It's up to you. If it makes you feel good, have at it.
  17. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yes, I think it is unnecessary. But I do think (even short term) the neck should be stored with care.
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i'd do whatever is the safest thing is, one of my basses had the neck off for a year for some major neck restoration work and it took four pro setups before we could get the thing back in line with where it was before
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    ^ Good gravy! I don't get it. 4 pro setups? Find another pro.

    Now I'm not espousing this is the thing to do but I had my 1975 G3 neck off in the case for over 10 years before I resurrected it. No loosened truss. Took me about 20 minutes to fully set it up after assembly. Required a truss tweak at the advent of summer two months later. I can't think of any reason a setup would be that far off so many times in a row other than a rubber neck.
  20. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    I'm with you on that. Necessary or not, pretty easy thing to do.