removing kay upright bass neck

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Carl Dickinson
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, California

removing kay upright bass neck

Post by Carl Dickinson »

Thought I'd check to see if someone could tell me how to get the neck out of the body. I need to replace the bottom half of the neck heel but the joint is not at all loose. It's a 1960's Kay 3/4 bass. The fingerboard is off. The finish has been scraped off. A lot of it was flakeing off and would have been harder to stabilize and touchup than redo.
I know it's a dovetail and I should be able to steam it off but where to drill holes for the needle? I have a SM jig to push a guitar neck out but it doesn't fit this creature.
I intend to glue up a new bottom half of a heel similar to stacking the neck heel of a guitar and reshaping.
Oh, and I need to flatten the fingerboard before reglue. It's got a pretty good upward curve (not considering the scoop) from the heat of removal.
Thanks for any tips on this project.

Fred Battershell
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:23 pm

Re: removing kay upright bass neck

Post by Fred Battershell »

HiCarl. It is difficult to answer your question without a pic or two showing the extent of the damage. That being said, I would still try to steam it off,unless a previous luthier mistakenly used CA;then patience and a lot of acetone might get you in the right direction. If you would like to use your SM steam jig, then you're going to have to modify it. Basses are creatures requiring the luthier skills of a violin maker and the muscles of a diesel truck mechanic! Good luck!

Carl Dickinson
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, California

Re: removing kay upright bass neck

Post by Carl Dickinson »

I got the neck out. Lots of steam and some strategic hole drilling did the job. The problem was that there were several cracks across the heel that wouldn't close up with hydrating and clamping, so it had to come out. There was a dowel up through the heel that was holding the cracks open. So now on to the next stage of the repair....
Thanks for the encouragement Fred.

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