Neck pocket gap...WWYD?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by jaz761, Sep 18, 2018.

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  1. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    I'm building up a parts tele. The neck heel is the standard 2 3/16" but the pocket on the body I have measures 2 1/4". I have built about a dozen parts guitars and never run into this issue! I searched around and found info on shimming for proper neck angle and height, but not much about filling in those gaps on either side of the neck.

    Anyone have suggestions on this?
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's only 1/32" on either side.
    Take a close look at Fenders over the years and you'll feel better about it.
     
  3. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Some of those inexpensive import necks are 2 1/4".
     
  4. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    Ha! I don't have any factory-built electric guitars...just my two partscasters...which fit well even though they were assembled from used parts. Is it not necessary to fill in a space of 1/32" around a heel?

    Thanks.
     
  5. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    This body is allegedly an mid 80s MIJ Fender body. It's very nice looking and not heavy so I'd like to make it work but am concerned about the gap.
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    A tight fit into the neck pocket is something we obsess over. Feel free to obsess if you're concerned with the look of the guitar, but otherwise it's pointless. The fit and gap don't functionally affect the tone or response of the guitar as long as the back of the neck heel is in contact with the body and screwed down properly. There are plenty of folks who will insist there's a difference, even though there's nothing to quantify.

    Edit: No, you don't need to fill the gap.
     
  7. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    So many Fenders, even (or day I say, "especially") the vintage ones people lust over have rather large gaps. I wouldn't worry about that at all.
     
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  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just stick some bark in the gap and rock it.
     
  9. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele Tele-Meister

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    In the old days we used to slide a 45(rpm) in and snap it off - stopped the neck shifting
     
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  10. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    Get a small piece of thin veneer. Cut two pieces out, to fit each side of the neck pocket. Trim with a razor blade if necessary. Paint the top edge that will be exposed the same color as the guitar body. Glue the veneer in place in the pocket, cover the heel with saran wrap and stick the neck into the pocket to hold the veneer in place while it dries.

    jb
     
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  11. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    I ended up replacing a Strat body that was ridiculously heavy. I found an inexpensive used replacement, bought it, and ready to install it when I realized the neck pocket was 2 5/16" wide. When I lined the neck up, I realized that all the extra gap was on the bass side. I ended up cutting, dry-fitting, and gluing in a filler made from two popsicle sticks. Worked out fine. If the neck had been able to center, with a smaller gap on each side, I'd try tezuka's suggestion with the veneer.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've matched necks to bodies using a thin veneer stuck to each side of the pocket to keep it centre.... plastic wrap on the heel and jam the neck in while the glue dries.... trimmed and fudged in later...... sweet....

    Zebra neck1.jpg

    Zebra neck2.jpg
     
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  13. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    get a 2/14 neck. They can be found on ebay
     
  14. tedtan

    tedtan Tele-Meister

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    I've played a lot of bolt on guitars over the years and in my experience, a neck pocket gap makes no difference in the tone, sustain, or playability of the guitar; it's purely visual. And if it's only 1/32", it's barely even noticeable visually.

    So in your case, I wouldn't bother to try filling the gap unless you finish building the guitar and the gap bothers you enough that you can't stop thinking about it or enjoy playing the guitar. Only then would I bother filling the gap.
     
  15. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My Dad used wood filler on his and then stained over it, but that was just for looks, it didn’t really do anything.
     
  16. jaz761

    jaz761 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to all. The neck centered up fine...pickguard mostly covers it anyway so will prbly just live with it!
     
  17. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep, you can get away with building to low standards, leaving plenty of wiggle room and just bolting things into alignment. And yes, Fender did that often enough, given that the fundamental purpose of Leo's guitar design was to create mass-produced guitars. It's not as though those vintage ones are wonderfully made, because they're not. And yes, even the poorly made and assembled ones work well enough and thanks to their electronics, sound good. I wonder why Suhrs, Fender Custom Shop, and innumerable other higher-spec Strat-style guitars have tight pockets and better tolerances and fit and finish? Personally, I would laminate veneer into any visible gaps, and file and sand until I had a really good, tight neck pocket. Why? Because I prefer excellent to adequate.
     
  18. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here is a close-up of my 1991 '57 AVRI Strat (same image as my avatar over there to the left). Good little gap there on the low side of the neck, ain't it...and it's one of the nicest sounding Strats I've ever come across. It is solidly in the "never sell" category.

    I wouldn't sweat it.


    DSC03278.JPG
     
  19. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    Veneer or wire screen door mesh work well for neck pocket gaps.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I were changing necks, I'd go for a MIJ or Allparts neck. Those seem to be super well suited - they're made for MIJ bodies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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