Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Remove 4 Bolt Neck for Travel?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by rhcole, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. rhcole

    rhcole TDPRI Member

    May 12, 2017
    Petaluma, CA
    My wife and I have the chance to travel internationally. It could be fun, but I don't want to leave my Teles behind. I have never been comfortable using a standard case for a guitar with airline travel, a friend of mine had his prize Strat bashed up that way by the airlines. The big heavy travel cases are... big and heavy.

    What about taking the neck off and packing the guitar body and neck separately? Has anybody done this? I wonder if there are cases for this approach? It sure seems like this would be way more secure...

  2. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

    Nov 23, 2016
    Boulder Creek, Ca
    Sure, we take them apart for other reasons all the time. Just wrap the neck and put it in a backpack. You might get a hassle at security screening but the x-ray won't hurt it.

  3. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Aug 14, 2015
    I've removed a neck from a Tele and stashed the whole thing under the seat in front of me.

  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I have done it, I put both pieces in the same suitcase separated by some clothes.
    brookdalebill and xafinity like this.

  5. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    A two-suiter ought to handle it just fine.

    If it was mine and I was going to do it a lot, I'd switch to machine screw and get some threaded inserts for the neck.
    J Hog likes this.

  6. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2003
    I once read that Steve Cropper ( I think) would travel all the time this way. I think he did it so much that the screw holes in the body became loose so he had machined screw slug insets into which machine screws would secure the neck.


  7. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    I fly a lot and usually I luck out without needing to un-bolt the neck of my Fenders.I place the guitar in it's gig bag in the bin or closet and it works out fine.But I do keep a mini screwdriver in my pocket in case I can't place the guitar in the storage bin.I can quickly un-screw the 4 screws and place the neck and body together and fold the gig bag and place it under the seat which is permitted.I always bring one of these in my pocket in case I need to do so:


  8. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    You could take off your neck and screw it back in 100's of times before you need to mess with inserts....

    just be careful when seating the screws..and don't be heavy handed... you don't need a million pounds of tension....

  9. dtbiscuits

    dtbiscuits NEW MEMBER!

    Oct 7, 2017
    Meißner, Germany
    My folks just traveled from Australia to Germany with my 62 MIJ Tele, with body and neck separated , in their luggage. It got to me after 27 hours and 3 flight changes in perfect condition. I have also done the same thing with a p bass. I always remove my guitar necks and pack them in with my clothing and towels e.t.c as extra protection since an airline ground crew friend of mine told me that some ground crew actually ENJOY throwing guitars in cases and items with fragile stickers on them a little harder when unloading them.
    cmclayton101 likes this.

  10. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I've done it a couple of times, but only with my "least important" Tele, since I'm concerned that valuables can get lost, stolen or damaged if put in checked luggage.

    I did pack it in a carry-on once but then got held up at security because it must have looked "suspicious", so keep that in mind as well...

    Good Luck!


  11. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Jan 15, 2012
    Gigbag is all I use- I never take it apart. Fits in the overhead just fine. (Although lately I've been travelling with a Traveler's Speedster & Irig)

  12. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 3, 2009
    Suffolk Coast
    I've done it plenty of times on international flights, no problem at all with a tele. Just bolt the neck on the other end, put the strings back on, tune up and go!

  13. capt pearl

    capt pearl Tele-Meister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I seem to recall Jerry Donahue (Hellacasters) did same. Was first time I'd heard about it.

  14. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Don't forget your screw driver and gig bag.

  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have done it, too.
    My method was to put socks on either end of the neck, and the body in a sweatshirt.
    Worked like a charm.
    Troubleandahalf likes this.

  16. Golem

    Golem Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    I've traveled internationally with instruments about a dozen times. I carry it in the case and talk to the airline about putting it up in one of their storage spaces up in first class (although I did put it in an overhead on two occasions). JAL was probably the most proactive in helping me with this.

  17. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 29, 2011
    I travel a lot to southeast Asia, and this is what I do. Well, I don't pack the neck and body separately...what I do is just leave the guitar body in the gig bag, unbolt the neck, and wrap it in bubble wrap, sometimes leaving it in the gig bag and folding the top/neck part of the bag down so it fits more easily in an overhead compartment (or wherever there's stowage).

    Look into threaded neck inserts. There's a few threads in the archives (see what I did there? :D) that explore that modification in detail. You want to get someone who really knows what they're doing to have it done for you, but I think the results are worthwhile if you travel a lot with a four-bolt neck. Threaded neck inserts mean you can unbolt the neck as many times as you need to without weakening the neck/body joint by stripping the screw holes (the stock 4-bolt neck setup wasn't designed to be unbolted over and over again, and if you do it enough times, no matter how carefully, you'll eventually lose wood or crush the threads in the body).

    This mod can give you a lot of peace of mind when travelling. You won't have to worry about being forced to check your guitar as baggage. Another side benefit is that it makes the neck/body connection rock solid when you bolt the neck back on.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017

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