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Best way to fix neck angle?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by ChickenTele, May 17, 2018.

  1. ChickenTele

    ChickenTele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    10
    May 17, 2018
    USA
    I recently built my first kit guitar (cheap tele style), and I seem to have made a mistake when attaching the neck. It sits slightly crooked in the pocket. If I remove the screws, I can easily put it into the right position where it sits square with the body. I'm wondering if any of the more experienced builders here can advise on the best way to correct this. These are my ideas so far:

    1. Enlarge the holes in the body to get enough play to reposition the neck. They probably should be enlarged anyway because they grip the thread on the screws.
    2. Use a shim
    3. Fill holes and re-drill.

    I'm wondering if one of these approaches is better than the others? The neck is just slightly crooked enough to cause the strings to be a bit off from the bridge (maybe 3mm). As result, the low E lines up really close to the edge the neck while the high E has more space than it should. I don't have access to advanced tools, so I'd like to be able to fix this with my drill and hand tools. Any advice will be appreciated.
     

  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    If you loosen the screws a bit, can you shove it into position and retighten?
     
    mistermikev likes this.

  3. Hobs

    Hobs Tele-Meister

    112
    Sep 16, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Absolutely enlarge the holes. Having the body holes engaging the threads makes it hard to get the neck to seat properly, causing all sorts of problems.

    That will probably let you get the neck aligned. If not, look and measure carefully to see what will need changing.
     

  4. ChickenTele

    ChickenTele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    10
    May 17, 2018
    USA
    I've tried to finagle it but it seems to be locked in at that angle. I might try enlarging the body holes when I get home from work tonight and see where that gets me. I'll do a follow up post either way.
     

  5. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 14, 2010
    mojave desert
    Enlarging the body holes would be my first step.
     

  6. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    299
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    look at it this way: enlarging the holes would probably be the first step in filling them with dowels anyway... just a thought. best wishes and fingers crossed for you.
     

  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Holes in the body should be 11/64" for standard neck screws. That should give you enough clearance to line up the strings.

    The screws must not bind in the body or they will prevent the neck from pulling in solidly against the floor of the pocket.
     

  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Metric screws tend to be skinnier than standard Imperial sized screws. I'd measure the diameter of the screw threads and drill that size hole.
     

  9. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    469
    Apr 3, 2018
    victor,ny

  10. ChickenTele

    ChickenTele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    10
    May 17, 2018
    USA
    I enlarged the holes until I could slip the screws in without threading, and sure enough, I was able to reposition the neck enough to get the angle right. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than it was.

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice!
     

  11. ChickenTele

    ChickenTele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    10
    May 17, 2018
    USA
    As Ricky and Hobs predicted, the neck seems to be pulled tighter to boot.
     

  12. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Good stuff.
     

  13. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    When you say it's not perfect, how are you assessing the neck alignment? Try to get the high and low E strings to run a consistent distance from the edges of the frets. Don't worry about the pickup polepieces or the pickguard or the lip on the body - the way to align the neck depends on the strings.

    A shim would not be a solution to a neck alignment problem - that's only for issues with the saddle height.
     

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