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Neck Movement Problem!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by boneyguy, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm involved with a project that has an artist painting Teles I'm making. I decided to use four ferrules and screws to mount the neck rather than a neck plate because that would allow more area for the artist to paint and it just looks better in this context. There won't be a big, square chrome thing that distracts from the artwork.

    But, no matter how hard I screw the screws down the neck continues to swim in the pocket! I'm searching for a reasonable solution. The neck pocket and the heel of the neck are both flat and clean so I'm a bit stumped as to why the neck won't clamp securely. I can't see why the clamping pressure exerted by four screws and ferrules would be any different than four screws and a neck plate. It's not as if without the neck plate that the wood of the body is being bent by the force of screwing together the neck and body, right? If that was the case it would mean the pocket is cupping a bit and there would not be a large flat area that the butt of the neck would mate with. (I hope you follow what I'm saying...??)

    I could drill two more holes for two more screws and that would likely solve the problem but it's no guarantee. Also, I don't really like the thought of drilling into the finished body. There are things that could go wrong!!

    I've been considering applying some sort of thin, high friction coating in the neck pocket but I don't like the idea of that because it's going to prevent direct contact of the neck butt with the pocket.

    My wife suggest two thin shims on either side of the neck to prevent the wiggle. That would probably work but seems like a half-assed solution.

    So, any thoughts are welcome...thanks.


    Here's the current arrangement....I'm using #10 screws as I thought that would increase the clamping force. The tape is just marking out where to drill the two extra holes if I go that route.

    DSCF1267.JPG




    This is where the two extra ferrules would go. Is that going to solve the problem??

    DSCF1273.JPG
     
  2. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Have you tried threaded stainless steel inserts in the neck? I once fixed a shifty J-Bass neck by installing inserts. It allowed the neck to be clamped down much more tightly, regardless of the tightness (or lack thereof) of the neck in the pocket.
     
  3. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's a great suggestion....it hadn't occurred to me. Thanks.
     
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  4. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a bolted neck guitar with ferrules and no neck plate and the neck won’t move a bit. You should not even have to tighten the screws really hard.
    My guess is you’ve got too much play inside the pocket, so your wife’s suggestion of putting side shims sounds like a good solution.
    I don’t think adding two bolts in line with the others would really solve the issue. Putting a fifth bolt in the center would probably be better, but then you would hide part of the painting.
     
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  5. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

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    Is the neck pocket a loose fit? I've mounted necks with ferrules and
    not had any problem with the neck moving.
    Are the 4 through holes in the body tight or oversized?
     
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  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you go that route, just know that you don't have to tighten the screws down super tight to get a ridiculously solid connection.
     
  7. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    NB: side shims inside the pocket won’t hurt the tone. Only issue is you may be able to spot them when looking closely, but if you tint them like the rest of the guitar it would be hard to see.
     
  8. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Shims work, and they can usually be thin enough that no one will notice. I have used side shims to hold a neck in proper alignment when working on cheaper strats for my friends. You don't even really know they're in there. I wouldn't call it a "half-assed" fix, although I can relate to being overly self-critical for having to use a fix on something you built. ;)
     
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  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    How I’ve fixed a couple three bolt CBS strats that wouldn’t stop with the neck swim-

    Get some old school metal window screen.

    Cut a piece that exactly fits the neck pocket floor and lay it in there.

    Bolt the neck on nice and tight.

    No more swim.
     
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  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Considering that CBS era bodies had large gaps between the body and neck, I'd say you need to insert some glue and toothpicks into the neck holes. Let that thoroughly dry and then redrill with a smaller diameter drill bit. Then tighten the screws up again. Make sure the body neck holes are the correct size to allow the screws to just push through. Pilor holes for the neck should be the size of the minor diameter of the screw size. Unwaxed toothpicks will provide long grain as opposed to end grain which is what dowels provide. Endgrain has little holding power.


    Bolt Depot - Pilot Hole Sizes for Wood Screws
     
  11. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ancient Chinese Secret:

    Stop by your local music store that deals in school instruments and pick up a cake of bow rosin. It's a couple of $ (cheep!) and lasts forever.

    Remove the neck. Use a small pocket knife to scrape a little rosin off the cake and into the neck pocket. Sort of like salting a steak. Place the neck in the pocket, and put the screws in. Viola! The rosin will lock the neck and body together and prevent them scooting around on each other.

    Yeah, I know it's "voila," but we're talking bowed instruments here :twisted:

    If you don't want to use rosin, try chalkboard chalk. No chalkboard chalk? Use pool cue chalk. Scribble some in the neck pocket and on the neck, reassemble, and problem solved.

    One of the primary causes of a neck skating around in a neck pocket is over-zealous use of wax on the neck screw threads. If even a teensy bit gets on the mating surfaces of the body/neck, it's like Teflon, and you'll be miserable until you fix it.
     
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Do the screws slide freely through the body holes and ferrules?
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Looks like soft fir or cedar?
    Like trying to get a tightly clamped spring, the wood will continue to compress until the screws go right through the fingerboard.
     
  14. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I considered a center screw but I think that would just act more like a pivot, no?

    The neck pocket is not loose...it's a good fit...certainly a tighter fit then many Fender pockets I've seen that have no play. Which leads to the thought that maybe the neck plate makes a difference....?? I'll try the shims for sure because that's a completely reversible thing that won't leave any evidence behind.
     
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  15. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes....I always make sure that's the case. If only Fender would figure that out as well...the physics of how a screw works. But it still isn't working in this instance!!
     
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  16. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm certain the problem is not the hole size in the neck butt. For one thing I'm getting creaking when the screws are near the end of their travel which would indicate a good tight fit in the hole. The head of the screws are seating completely into the ferrules.
     
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  17. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    The rosin seems like a great and cheap experiment...I'll do that for sure. I was thinking of various things in that realm but that's better than what I've come up with. Thanks.
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think it’s about PSI of clamping force.
    The soft body wood deflects and crushes under lower pressure than a harder wood, and a neck plate provides more square inches to resist that deflection, thus allowing more clamping force.
     
  19. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, it's cedar and it's problematic for sure. What I've done to prevent what you're describing is that I've soaked the inside of the holes the ferrules mount in with super thin ca glue and the holes have also accumulated many coats of the acrylic 2k finish I've used as clear coat and that stuff is hard. I can say with certainty that the screws are not pulling through the cedar. When they are tight there is no more movement possible...but still the neck moves!!
     
  20. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    It is probably due to the decreased friction between the bevel on the underside of the screw head and metal on the ferrule flanges. Try roughening them up with sandpaper, or using a small fiber washer between the two.
     
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