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Thread: Virgin Newbie - Need advice on seating Hofner style bass neck

  1. #1

    Question Virgin Newbie - Need advice on seating Hofner style bass neck

    Hello world,

    I have had a bass kit (HB-4S) for near on a year and have finally got around to assembling it.
    It's my first Pitbull, but I have done a Tele and a Strat and also a StewMac fiddle. All good experiences and all fun.

    I like trying to achieve a reasonable finish and decided to stain/polish the bass before gluing the neck in place. Right or wrong, I'm impatient and I can live with that. When I work out how to post a picture I'll expose my body.

    Now, I am tempted to just glue the neck in place as it stands (I masked the glued areas), because it seats reasonably well. But as I'm not a bass player, there may be some nuances or tricks in the setup that I might need to understand more clearly.

    So - can anybody tell me the best way to check/adjust the neck/body angle? If I need packers, the bottom won't seat satisfactorily for gluing. Is it better to go non-standard and plate/screw the neck like a Fender etc?

    I'm all ears!


  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Hi Stumagoo, and welcome to the forum.

    You've got a floating bridge on that kit, so there aren't any real worries about positioning the neck for scale length. All you need to really concern yourself with is 1) does the neck centreline line up with the body centreline and 2) Is the neck angle OK so that the bridge height is alright and not too low or too high?

    So the best way to test is to clamp the neck in position on to the body. If you haven't got a suitable clamp, you'll need to get one for gluing the neck on. Use cardboard or thin wood between the clamp and the guitar to prevent marking the body and neck.

    Then get a long straight edge and place it along each side of the neck in turn, and mark at a spot near where the bridge will go where the straight edge projects to. Hopefully this should be equi-distant from the centreline of the body. Note that the veneer join may not be quite on the guitar's centreline. If it's definitely skewed, then some sanding or shims to correct the angle will be needed. Check twice if you aren't sure and take photos so that we can see the problem.

    Then locate the bridge at the point of the body that corresponds to the scale length - tape it down so that you don't need to keep holding it. Adjust the truss rod so that the neck is as straight as you can get it (clockwise for less concave bow, anti-clockwise for more concave bow/less convex bow). Run the straight edge along the top of the neck so that it projects a straight line to where the bridge is. If you can adjust the bridge so that the bottom of straight edge hits about 3mm below the top of the saddle without the bridge being far too high, then you'll fine. If the bridge is screwed down as low as it can go and the straight edge is 4mm or greater below the saddle height, then you'll need to increase the neck angle with respect to the body (or possibly lower the bridge height if it's just a small amount out). If the bridge is far too high to get that distance, then you'll need to decrease the neck angle with respect to the body so that the bridge can sit lower.

    However, the bodies and neck are CNC routed, so there's normally no issues with the neck/body join.

  3. #3
    Mentor Kick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Welcome to the forum!
    Nr 1: Red Widow LP-1MQ (Finished) ->Diary<-

  4. #4
    Hi Simon.

    Thanks very much for the advice. I use a piece of cotton to align the bridge. Weird? Well, what I do is centre it on the nut and pull it taught over the centre of the inlaid dots. Using this method, the veneer join line is 2-3 mm off centre. I will check again at the body centre.

    It all looks pretty straight, but I'll follow your method for bridge clearance. Shouldn't be any dramas.



  5. #5
    Thanks very much mate!

  6. #6
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
    Welcome to the forum stumagoo
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  7. #7
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Welcome Stumagoo

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