I’m setting up a Squier strat.

highwaycat

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I’m taking pictures of setting up this guitar I’m hoping people will gather ideas from it and I address some recent questions I’ve seen. Hope you yall enjoy.
Here’s an old Squier Affinity just bought locally. After a quick inspection I think it was never played.
It had a ton of relief and what I call a little bent memory in the wood around the 8th fret.
I tuned it and pulled and bent the neck straight with my hands, then a moment later tightened the rod until it’s pretty straight but it still has that memory. I pull it a little more testing the flexibility. I let it settle for 20 minutes and get it a little more straight, and the relief memory starts to turn flat.
I look down the neck for twists and then up the neck too.
I use the strings as a straight edge and determined no major humps or bad frets, just a good typical squier.

The setup is kinda in the ballpark for a squier, you can tell it had a quick factory setup.

But the tremolo’s mounting screws aren’t adjusted properly. It’s somewhat floating but it’s stiff, it’ll bind and go out of tune and it won’t hardtail flat against the body.

The nut looks deformed, I’ll remove it and make sure the nut slot cavity is square and even, then I’ll sand the thickness of the nut so it sits all the way down into the slot. I’ll make the new nut with a better string spacing.
I use an adjustable capo to gently simulate lower nut slots. The body’s neck mounting holes will need to be enlarged. All this will change the string action.

The holes are drilled bigger and the neck now sits properly, the wound strings action increases. I square up the string spacing too.

I play the guitar for 30 minutes and determine it has a lot of potential.
Super tight neck pocket. I filed it a little while doing the string spacing, I also trim the pickguard if it’s warped. Bottom of pocket is fine.

The output jack is loose so I add a star washer and adjust so the jack protrudes out the hack and is solid.
At one point I did grip the orange part of the jack with needle nose pliers. I use a thin wrench too.

I play it more and determine its becoming more solid.

Next I’ll remove the strings and adjust the tremolo’s mounting screws and do any necessary deburring.
Address other hardware.

Eventually I’ll level the frets with the neck attached to the body, the neck is mounted good.
Then I’ll true up the nut slot cavity and make a nut.
Then I’ll do the real setup.
It will be a solid setup that will resist temperature changes. A long lasting setup. Stay tuned.
 

highwaycat

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Squier setup
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FortyEight

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so is that a nut file in the neck pocket? to ensure flatness eh?

i dont quite get how enlarging the body holes for the neck helps. what dies thst do. my mind says it would create a looser neck to body fit......
 

highwaycat

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so is that a nut file in the neck pocket? to ensure flatness eh?

i dont quite get how enlarging the body holes for the neck helps. what dies thst do. my mind says it would create a looser neck to body fit......
It’s a Nicholson file with a safe edge I got for $3.
The neck fit was tight and string alignment off so I filed the side to enable adjusting the string spacing.
I sold this guitar though, I’ll do another one soon.
It’s common for the neck mounting screws to pass through the body, squiers just don’t usually come like that. Sometimes it causes the neck to not sit all the way down,causing several problems. Enlarging the holes fixes this. It makes a noticeable difference, so I’ve done it to hundreds of Squiers.
 




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