Help w/Adjusting string height

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Night Prowler, May 18, 2019.

  1. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler Tele-Meister

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    Hey guys, so I originally posted this issue in another thread But I decided to start my own thread in this forum because it seems this is the more appropriate place to ask.

    Other thread: http://www.tdpri.com/threads/strat-necks-on-a-tele.916976/

    So I tried to install a neck from a Fender American Special Strat (22 frests) onto a Chris Shiflett Tele body. The Shiflett body has a strat-like rounded neck pocket (unlike most Tele's) and after reading how others had done this in the other thread, I figured this should work well.

    Keep in mind the actual neck from a Chris Shiflett Tele looks very much like a Strat neck to begin with. Rounded heel, big Strat headstock, etc. As a matter of fact it looks almost identical to the American Special Strat neck i already had (except the Am/Sp has a maple fretboard).

    Well lo-and-behold, the American Special Strat neck fit perfectly into the rounded neck pocket on the Shiflett body, and everything went together well, except one problem...

    After stringing her up to pitch the strings were almost laying on the fretboard so I tried raising the action. But to get it playable without major fret-buzz, I had to raise the saddles quite high and this created another problem. The little grub-screws that raise the action were now practically falling out of the bottom of the saddles. Thus, they're unstable and lean in/out. It looks wonky and something doesn't seem right. Doesn't seem like the saddles shouldn't have to be jacked up like that.

    So then I was thinking perhaps replacing the saddles with some better block type saddles (like Graph-tech string savers) so I can raise up the action and have it be more stable. But something doesn't seem right. Isn't it odd that I need to have the action up so high to keep the strings off the fretboard?

    So I'd like to ask if anyone can offer any ideas or suggestions I can try on how to resolve the issue besides significantly raising the action.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shim the neck is how you take care of this. To raise the strings up, so you can adjust the bridge down, put the shim in the head stock end of the neck pocket. .010-.020 is plenty usually. Exaggerated picture:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Love this site! I be learn'n stuff. Idiot me, I was thinking make the neck pocket deeper.
     
  4. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    .
     
  5. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler Tele-Meister

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    I never heard of putting a shim at the headstock end of the neck pocket as there will now be a noticeable gap (noticeable because its at the front of the neck pocket). Makes me wonder if maybe the neck pocket wasn't cut right.

    Like Jim mentioned above I thought routing the neck pocket deeper or maybe sanding down the heal of the neck would be suggested. Just seems counter-intuitive to raise any part of the neck when the strings are already too low but I'll give it a try.
     
  6. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Agreed. I would think the pocket needs to be deeper as well. Shimming the neck will only exacerbate the problem. I will be interested in how this turns out.
     
  7. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Lay the heel of the necks close together
    If they are close to similar height , the new neck isn't seating properly in the pocket.
    Think about it. The new neck would have to be higher than the old one , so that all your action height is gone , plus some......
     
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  8. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    This could be fixed by shimming, by reshaping the neck, or by reshaping the pocket. Shimming is by far the easiest and most reversible method, so start there. If that doesn't work, then you can consider sanding off wood.
     
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  9. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    Good idea.

    Sometimes a 22-fret neck's overhang can get hung up on the pickguard, preventing the heel from seating in the pocket.
     
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  10. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Been there ! LOL
     
  11. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    Shmee describes the proper fix (a shim towards the headstock end) but the diagram is the opposite.

    Shimming is absolutely the appropriate fix and is commonly done on many factory guitars.
     
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  12. Kneel Young

    Kneel Young TDPRI Member

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    I built my tele and while it turned out great, I did mess up the neck pocket. Had to put a one degree wedge/shim from StewMac in. The thick end toward the headstock and the narrow toward the body. This is apparently a rarity as the precut holes are made for shimming the headstock to be more laid back. I could fix most of the issue with raising the saddles although not quite as high as you did. You may need at least the one degree and maybe more. After finishing the edges of the shims like the body, they aren't that noticeable. You may have to sand the edges of the shim to follow the shape of the pocket, so there is no overhang. Do make sure that you get a shim that runs the full length of the neck pocket and not just something at the end you want to raise. It could mess up the neck. While $8 for a sliver of wood may seem too much, making your own might prove to be frustrating.
     
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  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I use the StewMac shims sometimes, but 'mess up the neck'? Tell that to Fender, putting in a single strip at one end of the pocket or the other, from the factory, for all those years...


    The headstock-end shim is the appropriate fix here, by the way. Don't overthink it.
     
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  14. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Ok, that explains it. My earlier post was based entirely on the diagram. I didn't engage the thinking part of my brain to consider moving the shim....only what the eyes saw.
    Thanks!
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Every Fender I have has a shim at that end... Yes, that diagram is just what I had .... it's the opposite of what the OP needs.
     
  16. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Tele-Afflicted

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    I thought the headstock was the end with the tuners and the heel was the end that attaches to the body.

    Silly me.
     
  17. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Holic

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    Shim and good luck. I just started listening to Chris shiflett yesterday. Good stuff
     
  18. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

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    I would not alter the neck pocket or heel. I have tried it before and it never turns out good. Just use a shim.

    I put shims there pretty often. I use brass shims. It does not take much to make a big change at the bridge. The gap it creates is pretty much un-noticeable.

    https://www.truevalue.com/brass-shi...MIkpj17bu84gIVFL3sCh0RRw22EAkYBSABEgJlvfD_BwE
     
  19. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler Tele-Meister

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    Well I'm ready to give up on this project. There seems to be something wrong with the body because I noticed with no shims, when I screw the neck bolts in it pushes the neck away from the neck pocket heel.
     
  20. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Meister

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    Do the neck mounting screws slide through the body or do you have to thread them? If they don't slide through the body you need to drill the holes out. If the screws thread into the body they aren't going to pull the neck and body together and in some cases (like you described) they act like jack screws that actually push the pieces apart.
     
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