Set necks


Senior Member
Does anyone have any idea how a DIYer would go about gluing a neck to a body a la Gibson. I know Warmoth base their builds on bolt ons but surely you could ask for no neck plate holes and have a go.

I have no idea where to start really. Does anyone know the processes or what glue to use? Has anybody tried doing this? Is it not just a case of gluing and clamping?
The Fender style neck pocket found on Warmoth bodies/necks is not really suited to any type of "glue-in" process, rather it is designed/engineered to be bolt-through. If you attempt to just glue the neck in, the joint will always be weak, you'll most likely throw the neck angle to the body off to some degree with the glue layer (no way to make that completely uniform) and have issues intonating/setting up the neck.

If you carefully examine them (or worked with trashed ones), most set neck bodies are put together either by adding "wings" to a one piece neck/center part of the full length body or the butt end of the neck has a long piece that is inserted/glued into a machined cutout in the body, rather than having an open pocket the neck sits in.

Why are you set on trying to do this?

There are some other sources for set neck guitars builds available, I've ordered three so far and have returned two (screwed on the third) as I was not happy with the quality of the products received, cavaet emptor!
Just about all set necks use dovetail joints. They figured out early on that that was the best engineering to make a glued neck work right.
You would have to re-make the pocket of the neck... It shouldn't be very easy in deed, even more if you want a transparent or natural finish...

"cavaet emptor!" ???
Was just a passing thought really. Sounds way too much like hard work, I hardly have any free time as it is.

Bolt ons all the way for me.  :icon_biggrin:
Tweed said:
Just about all set necks use dovetail joints. They figured out early on that that was the best engineering to make a glued neck work right.

On acoustics....

But on solids, the usual set neck joint is a simple tongue or "tenon" in a groove.  The part about wings is right, and those could be machined into a Warmoth neck, and you could probably get some sort of neck pocket-less body someplace...  but the fit is rather intensely critical.  Its a tight fit, nearly a force fit.  A typical Gibby neck is fit and glued on two sides (not the bottom) and on the "wings".  The bottom of the modern joint "rocks" to allow easier fitting.  On some thin body guitars - SG's for example - they do fit the bottom and sides and wings.
In 1973 I bought a new Strat that had the 3-Bolt micro-tilt adjustment feature and it would constantly shift, throwing the guitar out of tune. I got frustrated one day and super glued the neck to the body - maple to alder, it's still attached today, I don't think I could get it apart if I wanted. I do not recommend this though, in retrospect I should have just replaced the 3-bolt with a 4-bolt, but alas, hindsight is 20/20. I was even able to do a "contoured heal'.

Again, not recommended, but it did work for me that time.
heres my hay penny.

i though about doing this to a W lp. and the thing i came up with is, drill the holes in the body and neck bigger, then get some big m "f"in dowels, you can make them, its supper simple, cut half inch by half inch strips of wood, the cut the corner, and take a half in wrench and screw it around the octagon until round. (works for cross bow bolts)
then sand, any way, glue four into the holes in the neck, and then glue all that into the body, and cut the pegs to length.

haven't tried it, but the layer of glue wold throw the whole thing out of whack  i asked my dad and he suggested glue, then bolt the neck on, and glue the screws in permanently, but that sounds like defeating the purpose to me.
i want to do it to get rid of the screws, but countersinking the screws is a better option. put inserts into the neck, and use countersunk bolts, it sounds like you'd get more clamping power that way, and skuttlefunk say that the inserts help get rid of dead spots.
There's nothing wrong with a bolt on neck.  Taylor guitars, bolt on.  Ovation, bolt on.  Tacoma, bolt on.... etc  Collins, bolt on.

Oh yeah, Fender too.<ggg>
There is an article in Guitar player magazine on this subject good & informative. I was in Borders and read it a few weeks back. It is the issue with the Beatles on it because of the Vox amp cover article.

Not to mention that if you break the damn thing's a damn sight easier to replace a bolt on! 
I agree with Bolt on , I do also believe a good super glue, something from a model airplane store would be strong enough to hold any neck, in fact I have seen many (most or all actually) cases of the glue bond of superglues to be stronger than the wood itself.

So even though I believe you can do it, I am in agreement with everyone else here,,, why?
The only answer would be, because you want to, and can live with the outcome, and in my book, that's a good enough reason.
anybody have any opinions on how a bolt on neck would affect the sound and playability of something like a les paul, compared to a set neck?
If you do the LP in mahogany, with boatneck or 59 roundback neck, in mahogany, and use TOM and StopBar, and something like BB Pro 1/2 or BB 2/3 combination, you'll get the tone, no matter what the snobs say.  Better yet, do it in a hollow body LP, so it matches what Gibson is doing now.
What Gibson is doing now is sacrilegious, LP's are supposed to be heavy, what would Les say about that?