so a good while ago i asked about making my p-bass' neck thinner, a response i got was to make a template of my ESPs neck and just sand my p-bass' down to how it was. Then i had another post say, dont just go sanding your bass' neck, you could ruin it. I replied with another question asking for any tips to avoid ruining the neck and the thread kinda never saw the first page again

So anywho what is a safe way to make my neck thinner w/o buying a new one or ruining the one i have?
I did my neck by hand sanding it with 80 grit sandpaper until it felt more comfortable. There is a finish on your neck already, probably just a thin layer of clear. Be warned, once you sand through the finish, you will have to refinish it (ask questions about how to do that in the refinishing thread). You could paint it, do another clear finish, or you could do an oil finish. All of these are going to take a couple hours, added to the couple hours it will take to sand the neck. Chances are though, your neck is not going to be as comfortable as you think it's going to be once you're finished. If you're willing to do the work right, I encourage you to go ahead and do it.
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Last edited by salsawords at Jul 25, 2009,
Great chance to do an oil finish! You could sand down whatever is on it and oil finish it. Oiled necks are freakin nice. Super smooth and tons less friction on the palm of your hand, making it much easier and quicker to move up and down the neck. Too scared to do it on my jackson because of aesthetic value. It's painted. Oh I so would get one though, if I bought a custom shop or something. I tried a guy's les paul who got a luthier to do it for him, and it was great.
and I'm not sure, but I think you should get it set up soon after. It might (not sure) need a bit of truss adjustment depending on how much you sand off because you're basically weakening the neck by removing some mass of it.
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K, was planning on just doing a clear finish like it is now, might consider oil though.
If you want to make your neck thinner, be careful you don't go into the truss rod channel.
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ever hear of a little tool called a caliper? it for measuring things. it'd come extremely handy for your situation.

get a caliper (a digital one would probably be easier for you)
get a pen and paper.

go to your local instrument dealer and try out as many different necks you can until you find one you like (or if you already have one you like use that)
take a bunch of measurements at the frets measuring the thickness of the neck.
write that down for later.
go home, start sanding and measuring until you've removed the right amount of wood.
add oil finish.

ta da! thinner neck.

although if its a substantial amount of wood to remove i'd just go buy a new neck instead.
Bass Necks are under a lot of tension, after all, they have to counteract the tension of the strings. If you removing a little bit, and just a little bit, the truss rod may be enough to keep the neck straight. If its a lot, getting a new neck is a better option, as it won't be strong enough. The neck would bow, and would eventually ruin the instrument. If you make it yourself (the typical GB&C answer), you could fully customize it to exactly your specs. If you do go this route, you could add various forms of reinforcement (laminates, carbon fiber tubes, etc) Its completely up to you.

Survey the situation and choose the best option.
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