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Bolt-on Conversion To Set?


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I remember seeing this topic up before, but I can't find it. To clarify; I have a bolt-on neck, that I want to convert to a set neck.....is it possible? Is there a tutorial already?

And a sub question, anyone near Toronto that knows where to get lacquer? Pease don't reply saying "...check out any hobby store..."; cuz the ones i've been to only have enamel. So please help me find some paint.

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I remember seeing this topic up before, but I can't find it. To clarify; I have a bolt-on neck, that I want to convert to a set neck.....is it possible? Is there a tutorial already?

And a sub question, anyone near Toronto that knows where to get lacquer? Pease don't reply saying "...check out any hobby store..."; cuz the ones i've been to only have enamel. So please help me find some paint.

To answer your first question, yes it can and has been done, i've seen it a few times on the internet. It basically involves using the bolt in and glue properties at the same time, where you countersink and cover up the bolts to make it permanent (but I don't know the details). If you google it you should find some documentation.

To answer your second question, nitro lacquer in Canada can be hard to find, Watco Clear Gloss is nitro and can be found at Rona or Home Depot, Deft is nitro and can be found at lee valley, although I would go with Watco. The other place it can be purchased is here http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/catalog_br....asp?ictNbr=223, I believe they have a distributor in toronto, so you can go directly to that.

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Like every time this question comes up, why do you wnat to do this? The one big problem that you'll find very common to factory bolt-on guitars is a loose neck pocket. That is fine when it has scews holding it together, but not so good when glue has to fill gaps. The best glue joint is the tightest fitting joint before gluing. Bolt-on pockets rarely provide a tight enough joint. And adding glue while keeping it screwed together is not going to do much of anything additional other than make it very difficult to ever remove the neck again. Other than that I see no real gains to keeping the screws and still gluing the neck in.

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Like every time this question comes up, why do you wnat to do this? The one big problem that you'll find very common to factory bolt-on guitars is a loose neck pocket. That is fine when it has scews holding it together, but not so good when glue has to fill gaps. The best glue joint is the tightest fitting joint before gluing. Bolt-on pockets rarely provide a tight enough joint. And adding glue while keeping it screwed together is not going to do much of anything additional other than make it very difficult to ever remove the neck again. Other than that I see no real gains to keeping the screws and still gluing the neck in.

I'll pre-qualify this by adding that I have almost no experience in guitar work...but this is an idea for getting around a loose bolt-on neck pocket.

This past weekend, my son and I made a "rough draft" of a guitar body he designed. We used a 1.75" thick slab of glued up particle board. The neck for his design is a bolt on neck from a Washburn BT-2. The idea is to do any experimental carving and shaping on the cheap particle board version, developing the near-net shape, before cutting into the costly body blank.

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I routed the neck pocket freehand using a 3/4" mortising bit. As you might expect, the fit between the neck and pocket was a bit loose. (but, it was actually tighter than the fit on the stock Washburn body.)

I cut strips of paper, (plain copier paper), and used them as shims to take up the gap. With only 2 strips of paper inserted on each side, the fit between the neck and body was tight enough to keep the neck straight. If necessary, I could have used shorter pieces of paper at various locations in the pocket to "steer" the neck into being straight on the body.

I've used shims made from paper in the past to make fine adjustments on wooden drawer guides. The material is much thinner than anything I could cut out of wood, it's not as compresable as most woods and it absorbs glue well.

Edited by toneblind
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Adding paper shims are going to act almost as a dampener. The idea is to create the tightest fit possible to transfer the vibrations from the neck to the body as much as possible. A hardwood shim will fill in gaps and because of the density will transfer sound better. Excessive glue is thought the dampen vibrations significantly (I say thought to, because I have yet to see a scientific study done). Even with the paper in there, you are not creating a true wood to wood joint and in the end it will fail easily. A trick I have seen used for wood turning projects is to cut slits into paper to place between two pieces being glued together to allow for easy seperation later, but enough glue gets through that you can turn the work piece. So even when coated with glue paper does not bond well to wood.

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