Filling neck bolt holes?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by PlainAllman, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Squier CV 60 thinline which has some wonderful tone but I’m not in love with the thin neck. I have an old S-type guitar that is actually the first electric I ever bought some 25 years ago. The neck is wider and has a nice aged patina to it. I checked the scale and it’s identical and it fits in the pocket quite firmly. The neck plate is identical and all the holes are same spacing however the neck and body holes don’t match up. I believe the reason for this is because of the difference in shape on the bottom of the neck. The S-type neck has a curved bottom and the Tele neck pocket is flat.


    My idea is that instead of altering the bottom of the neck or the bottom of the neck pocket, I would like to fill the old bolt holes and re-drill them. What is the strongest most effective method for filling the holes? I’m thinking probably to glue in dowels but also thought of using epoxy mixed with some saw dust. Any experience with this and opinions/examples of which is better or is it 6 in 1, half a dozen the other? Thanks.
     
  2. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Use solid wood to fill the holes for best results. I assume you're doing that in the heel of the neck since redrilling will be easier that way, matching the neck to the body rather than the other way around.
     
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  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d go with dowels to fill the holes.
    Good luck,
     
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  4. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup, dowels and some Elmers, then sand'em flat. Done it a bunch of times.
     
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  5. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Holic

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    Recently did the same thing with good results
     
  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

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    I've done it with pieces of bamboo skewer and wood glue.
     
  7. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

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    Dowels work fine - I'd suggest using wood glue and not epoxy - though Dan uses superglue in this video - I'm not a fan of superglue for wood but Dan is the man. I suspect he uses superglue so he can get the job done without waiting - but I'd feel much better using wood glue and waiting for it to set up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  9. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Your S-tye neck is a Stratocaster style heel with the curved heel back-end, whereas Tele heels are square. There will be gaps in the corners of the body neck pocket when you use a strat type neck
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've used dowel from the hardware store before, I think 1/8"?
    But your scale is going to be off, if you have enough bridge adjustment to compensate... ok. Otherwise, cut the heel flat on that neck!
     
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  11. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I'm going to agree don't use dowels--dowels are endgrain, endgrain is notoriously poor at holding screws. It will work with dowels but not as well and not as long.
     
  12. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah I already knew about the gaps. It doesn’t bother me and I don’t think the gaps are significant enough to affect the stability.
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Good to have experienced points of view and confirmation of the best method.
     
  13. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah you may be right on this about the scale but the saddles do have quite a bit of room for adjustment so I think it’ll be ok.
     
  14. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    I see what y’all mean about end grain not being as strong. Have to research a way to get face grain plugs maybe.
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you have access to a lathe, you can turn them yourself.
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Confirm that before you go any farther. Clamp the neck in the pocket in exactly the location that it will be when you screw it in and measure from the nut to the farthest forward location to your saddles - that should be approximately the scale length. Any travel forward (towards the nut) from that is wasted. Then confirm that your fret plane hits the saddles where you think it should (usually you want it to just touch the tops of the saddles at their lowest adjustment). It's also a good idea to confirm the center line of your new neck relative to the bridge since the pockets are a bit different.

    Once you are satisfied that the geometry will be correct with the new neck then you can proceed with filling the holes. If I was doing it I would drill out the present neck holes to with a brad point bit that is the diameter of the outside of the screws so you remove the threads and have a nice cylindrical hole. Doweling isn't the best but it will work, use AR glue. I would consider installing inserts and making it a true bolt on.

    Edit to add, its tricky drilling mounting holes in a fender neck heel - you will probably want to make a jig to hold it perfectly aligned in your drill press.
     
  17. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Like the tailor says, measure twice, cut once. Before you drill and fill or cut, measure the distance from the middle saddle to the 12th fret. Test fit the replacement neck. If the distance is less than half your remaining adjustment range, you’ll be OK. Use a drill press to drill the holes for the plugs. Furniture dowels will be better than the stick dowels from Home Depot. Before you touch the neck, drill and set a plug in a scrap and drill a test hole to assure yourself that you’re drilling the right size pilot hole. Lubricate the screw. Bar soap should work. Test the screw through a hole in the guitar body to be sure you’re setting it to the right depth. Tighten the screw. Remove it and check for cracks in your test piece. Then start on the neck. What you’re attempting is a simple procedure with a lot of steps where something can go wrong.

    One more thing. I’m an engineer when I’m not playing. It will be a good idea to write out the protocol from step one to the last step, check that all steps are there in the right order, and check off each step as you go. I insist that everyone I train work from a manual or printed protocol until they know the job well enough to revise the method.
     
  18. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Is sanding the heel or making new holes more of a deficit value wise? meh, about the same probably. Sand the heel is my vote!
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The grain runs the length of dowels, if it ran across the dowel it would crumble easy, You want it like the dowel for filing the hole and driving a screw in. They don't make toothpicks with the grain across the tooth pick!
     
  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Don't complicate an easy process.. simply get a 1/8th inch hardwood dowel, they're available at most better hardware stores or at Home Depot and Lowes... cost ya about a buck..

    put a dab of glue in the hole.. about any is fine CA or yellow wood working is fine.. you will find 1/8th is a little too big which is perfect.. whittle a point on the end and hammer it into the hole.. break it off and sand flush.. this it is.. don't give the grain direction a thought.. just do it as I have described.... it;s not rocket science..

    Driving the dowel in the hole compresses the wood making it stronger than if you drill out to 1/8th then slip it in the hole..
     
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