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Uneven neck heel from the factory-MIM

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by electricjr, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. electricjr

    electricjr Tele-Holic

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    So I bought a used Roadworn 50s tele online, got it for very little cash so I knew there might be something funny about it. Here's the deal- the high e string fretted out very early on bends starting around the 9th fret or so, the rest of the strings were fine. I did the usual stuff, adjusting the truss rod and string height, no success. So I took the neck off to see if there was anything funny going on in the pocket, everything looked fine. Then I looked closely at the heel of the neck, and one side (the high e side) of the heel looked a tad thicker. After measuring, it's nearly 1/16" thicker on the treble side. It may be hard to detect in my pic, but if you hold it in your hand you can actually see the difference. The heel has not been messed with, all the markings and finish are as they would be leaving the factory. How the hell could something like this pass QC? It clearly can't be set up properly as is. I attempted various shims to try and even it out in the pocket, but nothing did much. I googled "uneven neck heel" and couldn't really find a similar story. I'm not holding any grudges, because as I said it was one of those too good to be true deals. But has anyone heard of this with an off the rack Fender? the other thing is, there is a penciled in "B" on the base of the heel- does this mean B stock? I dunno, just a weird experience. I've already sold the neck described as-is, so I'm not looking for remedies, just curious to see if this has happened to anyone else.
     

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  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity

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    Have you tried installing as is, then using a ruler at the 12th fret. From the top of the fret to the bottom of the string, raise/lower each saddle so each string has 5/64" clearence. Set the truss rod tension so that is is almost straight.

    Can I see a picture of the back of the heel and the headstock? It may be a fake, or it may be an occurence of "stuff happens."
     
  3. electricjr

    electricjr Tele-Holic

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    It look(ed) legit, with the M serial number on the back of the headstock and the typical markings on the back of the heel- for what it's worth, the body's definitely real, as are all of the other parts. I actually measured the heel a few times and it is indeed uneven. Here's another pic
     

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  5. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I remember seeing pics of similar necks from Fender on the forum before , so it does happen....
     
  6. drvoodoo

    drvoodoo Tele-Holic

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    I have the same issue on a neck, not a Fender but some unbranded thing that is otherwise very good. I know you have sold the neck but for orhers that run into this it can work if you try to set the action following the radius of the neck given that the neck is high on one side from heel to headstock. Just MHE.
     
  7. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire

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  8. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

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    This does happen sometimes, and I'm not sure what breaks down in the manufacturing process to make it happen.

    However, the guitar can be set up to play normally. The high E saddle will have to be higher so you can keep the string at the proper height over the frets. This assumes that the entire fretboard is canted evenly and the frets are level. Maybe that's a big assumption.
     
  9. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity

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    The guy who loads and unloads the CNC didn't adequately blow out the shavings when he reloaded the new blanks. There was a small speck of maple shaving under that heel on the left side.
     
  10. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

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    That's what I thought too, but then I thought that the clamping force required would smash that shaving down. 1/16" is a lot in manufacturing.

    I also just realized that, for whatever reason, all of the examples I've seen of this have had the treble side taller than the bass.
     
  11. electricjr

    electricjr Tele-Holic

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    It's me, the OP- I did try raising the high e saddle without messing with the others, and the problem didn't go away (got a little better, but not much). Also, the neck sat high in the pocket as it was, all the saddles were nearly maxed out when I got the guitar. I'm glad to be rid of it, as I'm not confident that my work in sanding the heel would be precise enough- I've learned from past experiences when it's worth the risk in trying something new (ie, if it's no big loss if I dig myself into a deeper hole). I took the neck off of my other tele (a 2000 MIM std with a pro fret level) and I'm keeping the RW body, it's light, resonant and responsive, and I slapped a 3ply black guard on it so it doesn't look exactly like all the other sunburst roadworns out there, kind of a 70s vibe. Put my OV 52 pickups in it (oh yeah, the original bridge pickup was DOA, too), and a naturally aged bridge with some big brass saddles. I'm selling off most of the relic'd hardware to try and recoup a bit (people really seem to pay good money for those parts). Here's a pic of it slung around my 4 year old's shoulders-
     

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