Neck heel thickness, should I be concerned?

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
Hello everyone, I got this tele body and im trying to fit a neck from another partcaster I was working on but I feel like is sticking up too much in relation with the body, I did some research and it should be about 9.5mm from the body to the top of the fretboard curve, mine is 12mm (center) and 10mm (sides), should I be worried?

The neck pocket was routed with fender specs by a luthier, it is 5/8".
Neck thickness from the middle of the heel to the top of the fretboard curve is about 26.8mm.
Before I start sanding the heel down I would like to see pictures to compare because I have no power tools and im not a fan of sanding off 2mm of maple by hand, Thanks.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220420_050707.jpg
    IMG_20220420_050707.jpg
    132.2 KB · Views: 42
  • IMG_20220420_050631.jpg
    IMG_20220420_050631.jpg
    123.2 KB · Views: 43
  • IMG_20220420_051501.jpg
    IMG_20220420_051501.jpg
    168.2 KB · Views: 42
Last edited:

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
332
Age
39
Location
Germany
If you have the bridge ready, put it on the body and screw the saddles completely down. Then put the neck (make sure it is as straight as possible) in the pocket and fix it.
Now you can use a straight edge or a ruler and put it on the frets crowns on one end, and the other end going over the bridge. Check how much clearance you have above the saddles at the bridge. That will show you, if you need to remove material.
I'd say, if the ruler/straight edge touches the saddle's top lightly, or you may have a clearance of maybe up to 1,5mm, you should be fine.
 

eallen

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Posts
2,801
Location
Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
The measurement that matters is the neck thickness from the bottom of the heal to the center of the fretboard. That measurement does not include fret height. It is really hard to tell from your pic of that measurement. It is best to use a caliper to neck between at the location if available. It should be 1"/25.4mm.

If your current measurment at the center is accurate and the neck pocket is to 5/8" as it should be then yes, the extra .055"/1.4mm neck thickness will not work with a standard bridge. Making it work will require shim at the neck pocket edge to lower the saddle height.

Be aware that sanding .055" off of the bottom of the heal has 3 issues. One is if it is not done perfectly flat you can end up with a twist between the plane of the heal and headstock. Two, a taper in the heal which could increase the problem if it is the wrong way. Three, removing .055" will require blending in into the neck contour, which is possible given the right skill.

I personally would find a correctly dimensioned neck.
 

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
If you have the bridge ready, put it on the body and screw the saddles completely down. Then put the neck (make sure it is as straight as possible) in the pocket and fix it.
Now you can use a straight edge or a ruler and put it on the frets crowns on one end, and the other end going over the bridge. Check how much clearance you have above the saddles at the bridge. That will show you, if you need to remove material.
I'd say, if the ruler/straight edge touches the saddle's top lightly, or you may have a clearance of maybe up to 1,5mm, you should be fine.
2 mm above the saddle
2.8 mm above the string slot.

I can smell the maple sawdust already.
The measurement that matters is the neck thickness from the bottom of the heal to the center of the fretboard. That measurement does not include fret height. It is really hard to tell from your pic of that measurement. It is best to use a caliper to neck between at the location if available. It should be 1"/25.4mm.

If your current measurment at the center is accurate and the neck pocket is to 5/8" as it should be then yes, the extra .055"/1.4mm neck thickness will not work with a standard bridge. Making it work will require shim at the neck pocket edge to lower the saddle height.

Be aware that sanding .055" off of the bottom of the heal has 3 issues. One is if it is not done perfectly flat you can end up with a twist between the plane of the heal and headstock. Two, a taper in the heal which could increase the problem if it is the wrong way. Three, removing .055" will require blending in into the neck contour, which is possible given the right skill.

I personally would find a correctly dimensioned neck.
I did not include the frets, it is 26.8mm from the bottom of the heal to the center of the fretboard as you said.
 

FuncleManson

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 23, 2021
Posts
339
Age
58
Location
Moline, IL
I agree with @eallen's assessment. 5/8" neck pocket depth and 1" heel to peak of the fretboard radius is optimal.

I've sanded down a couple of neck heels, but it's tricky and I definitely wouldn't recommend doing it without a belt sander to help maintain the flatness. Even if you solve the geometry, you will probably have cosmetic issues because you'll be taking the finish off.

Off-the-shelf necks (not the licensed ones like AllParts) can be a bit of a crapshoot. I've found some good ones and some not so good, which is why I've come the conclusion to just use custom necks on my partscasters.
 

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
I agree with @eallen's assessment. 5/8" neck pocket depth and 1" heel to peak of the fretboard radius is optimal.

I've sanded down a couple of neck heels, but it's tricky and I definitely wouldn't recommend doing it without a belt sander to help maintain the flatness. Even if you solve the geometry, you will probably have cosmetic issues because you'll be taking the finish off.

Off-the-shelf necks (not the licensed ones like AllParts) can be a bit of a crapshoot. I've found some good ones and some not so good, which is why I've come the conclusion to just use custom necks on my partscasters.
Also agree, Im totally aware of the consequences, I have ¨some¨experience with wood working and sanding wood dead flat using handtools, but this will be my first time with a neck heel, Im planing on sticking sandpaper to a dead flat surface on my workbench and slowly sand the heel down using the pencil trick for evenness.
 

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
332
Age
39
Location
Germany
Hm, maybe I was lucky, everytime I built a guitar, but, I always had to sand the heels on my necks for perfect fit (set neck guitars), and never ran into a problem of having an uneven surface.
I did it exactly as you said, stick a piece of sandpaper to a dead flat surface (I use the table of my heavy bandsaw for that) and then move the neck over the sandpaper.
With a machine powered sander I almost always run into problems regarding uneven surfaces, so, when I need an even surface, I only sand ba hand power only.
In this case, there is not much material to be removed, so, that should go easy and quite fast.

BTW: is the neck pocket cleared of paint etc.?
 

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Posts
14,664
Location
Vermont
Does the standard measurement include the pickguard? That's a good 2 mm right there.
 

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
Hm, maybe I was lucky, everytime I built a guitar, but, I always had to sand the heels on my necks for perfect fit (set neck guitars), and never ran into a problem of having an uneven surface.
I did it exactly as you said, stick a piece of sandpaper to a dead flat surface (I use the table of my heavy bandsaw for that) and then move the neck over the sandpaper.
With a machine powered sander I almost always run into problems regarding uneven surfaces, so, when I need an even surface, I only sand ba hand power only.
In this case, there is not much material to be removed, so, that should go easy and quite fast.

BTW: is the neck pocket cleared of paint etc.?
Yep, there is no problem with the fit and the pocket is clean and free of debris.
Does the standard measurement include the pickguard? That's a good 2 mm right there.
as far as I know the standard measurement is made from the bare wood of the body without the pickguard.
 

tomasz

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Posts
943
Location
Europe
I just measured a warmoth neck for reference, I had lying around, it is 25.3mm in the center of the heel, that is with a 12" end radius. That would be 1.5mm higher in your case. I'd follow the advice to test fit first, it might be, that you will end up lucky with the bridge fit, with slightly higher bridge action.

The problem with sanding down the heel blocks are:
- you may not be able to maintain a plane surface, which will result in a poor neck to body contact
- you may move the plane out of parallel to the fretboard, which will result in an awkward geometry of the whole system
That is of course assuming, that you don't have the right tools or skills in your arsenal. Aesthetics is a different concern, which may be solved with a few coats of shellac.

Anyway, do the test fit and see how things fir, before attempting to sand or plane the heel.
 

Boreas

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Posts
8,720
Age
67
Location
Adirondack Coast, NY
If the neck in question worked on a previous guitar, I would leave it there and source a proper neck for this body, making sure the neck pocket is correct.

Most material can be quickly removed with a SHARP hand plane or power planer. Getting it square/level will likely involve a belt sander. But before you go too far, figure out what type of bridge you are going to use, as that will be important in finalizing the geometry.
 

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
If the neck in question worked on a previous guitar, I would leave it there and source a proper neck for this body, making sure the neck pocket is correct.

Most material can be quickly removed with a SHARP hand plane or power planer. Getting it square/level will likely involve a belt sander. But before you go too far, figure out what type of bridge you are going to use, as that will be important in finalizing the geometry.
It worked just fine in the previous body but the pocket was 1.5mm deeper, giving me the 9mm im looking for with this body.
I did it exactly as you said, stick a piece of sandpaper to a dead flat surface (I use the table of my heavy bandsaw for that) and then move the neck over the sandpaper.
What grit do you use? Im using P100 and It took me 1 hour to sand the clear coat, I feel I can go with 80.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220420_123521.jpg
    IMG_20220420_123521.jpg
    244.6 KB · Views: 13

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
332
Age
39
Location
Germany
It worked just fine in the previous body but the pocket was 1.5mm deeper, giving me the 9mm im looking for with this body.

What grit do you use? Im using P100 and It took me 1 hour to sand the clear coat, I feel I can go with 80.
Wow, well, that seems long imho. I rarely use coarser stuff than 120. But if it takes so long, you can go lower, but maybe the paper is not so high quality? I learned early on, that you should spend more money on decent quality of sanding materials, as this saves so much time and hassle.
 

schmee

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
20,135
Location
northwest
Hello everyone, I got this tele body and im trying to fit a neck from another partcaster I was working on but I feel like is sticking up too much in relation with the body, I did some research and it should be about 9.5mm from the body to the top of the fretboard curve, mine is 12mm (center) and 10mm (sides), should I be worried?

The neck pocket was routed with fender specs by a luthier, it is 5/8".
Neck thickness from the middle of the heel to the top of the fretboard curve is about 26.8mm.
Before I start sanding the heel down I would like to see pictures to compare because I have no power tools and im not a fan of sanding off 2,5mm of maple by hand, Thanks.
Boy that sure doesn't look like 12mm to me...? 12mm being nearly 1/2"... But I'd try it first and see. Once you sand the neck it's useless to sell if you need to for some reason...
 

fenderchamp

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Posts
2,985
Location
omaha
I would screw on the bridge and the neck and put some strings on it all and evaluate.

If it's too proud to work with beg borrow or buy or steal or rent a router and buy a template bit and route a little wood out of the neck pocket, or take it somewhere or whatever. it's not that big of a deal.


If later, you have to use another neck on the body, it's easy enough to shim it up a little bit.

I like to get the saddles on a 3 saddle bridge "up there" personally, I tend to use convertible bridges and top load some strings and they need the extra down-pressure, so I often find myself shimming so I can get the down pressure and ensure that the saddle screws are down in the holes and not poking up and annoying me.

You can also get the bigger width saddles instead of the skinny ones, that will help, and might be enough by itself as well.
 

loidrinkaku

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Posts
32
Age
30
Location
Venezuela
Boy that sure doesn't look like 12mm to me...? 12mm being nearly 1/2"... But I'd try it first and see. Once you sand the neck it's useless to sell if you need to for some reason...
neck is 27mm, neck pocket is 16mm, 11mm over the body to be precise.
I would screw on the bridge and the neck and put some strings on it all and evaluate.

If it's too proud to work with beg borrow or buy or steal or rent a router and buy a template bit and route a little wood out of the neck pocket, or take it somewhere or whatever. it's not that big of a deal.


If later, you have to use another neck on the body, it's easy enough to shim it up a little bit.

I like to get the saddles on a 3 saddle bridge "up there" personally, I tend to use convertible bridges and top load some strings and they need the extra down-pressure, so I often find myself shimming so I can get the down pressure and ensure that the saddle screws are down in the holes and not poking up and annoying me.

You can also get the bigger width saddles instead of the skinny ones, that will help, and might be enough by itself as well.
Im using a 3 saddle vintage bridge, with the previous body the neck was 10.4mm over the body. the saddles where over the ashtray and the screws already down in the hole (middle saddle screws down half way), with this body I would have to raise the saddles 1.5mm-2mm, and probably shim the neck, and is just too much for my liking, also I would like to have a more standard room and of course lower the saddles a bit.
 
Last edited:

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,317
Location
netherlands
somehow one the second picture the body seems thin beneath the heel.
so i wonder if the body thickness is okay
 




Top