1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Neck pocket question

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SonicMustang, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Location:
    United States
    Hello,

    Would anyone happen to have any tips on how to make sure that the neck pocket isn't crooked when you route?

    Backstory:

    My buddy and I have been working on building our first guitar body. We bought decent wood but we wanted to practice on a blank I made by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" plywood. We are almost finished with that body after a couple of mistakes we have had to fix, and we are starting the "real" build.

    I feel confident about everything we have done to the practice body, except for routing the neck pocket.

    We are making a custom shape guitar that is basically a modified tele body. I accomplished the shape by taking the Tdowns tele printout and tracing it onto a piece of plywood. I copied the center line from the printout onto the wood and then I adjusted the body proportions to my liking (smaller lower horn, slightly skinnier waist). I bought a neck routing template and made a center line down the middle of it.

    After lining up the center line of the body and the template, we routed the neck pocket on the ply body. The fit was nice and tight, but with a tiny bit of room. The fit seemed perfect.....however when I looked down the guitar, it seemed like the neck was not sitting straight. I look down the body with the neck on and it seems like it is ever so slightly veering towards the lower horn.

    I don't know how this happened, but I want to find out if there is anything additional I can do on the "real" build to prevent this from happening as we are going to route the neck pocket this next Tuesday.

    The photos are the ply body, the template I have and the neck in the pocket. Any help is appreciated.





    guitar 1.jpg guitar 2.jpg guitar 3.jpg
     
    crazydave911 likes this.
  2. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,350
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Location:
    The Dry Side
    I don't know that it matters, but in the first picture the template does not look to be centered on the body. I would extend the template's center line the length of the template so you have multiple references to line it up against the body. The pickup routs on it look to be cocked off to the left, and that seems consistent with how the neck looks while it's in the routed pocket.
     
    Preacher and crazydave911 like this.
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,398
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Measure from your centerline outward in both directions the same measurement and make marks...then line up your template to the centerline and marks. I'd check your template routs to see if they are equidistant. You may have made errors on the template.

    You could always make up a separate neck template instead of one with all those routs too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
    DrASATele and crazydave911 like this.
  4. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Location:
    United States
    Do you mean measure from the centerline outward on the body itself?

    I ordered the routing template from a guy on eBAY. Hopefully it is correct
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,398
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
  6. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Location:
    United States
    crazydave911 and guitarbuilder like this.
  7. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,840
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    england
    If there is wiggle room in the neck pocket it is easy enough to align the neck just make sure the fingerboard markers are centered between the 4th & 3rd string
    I always prefer neck pockets to have wiggle room to make sure proper alignment can be made any over the top gaps can always be filled with a shim
     
    Peegoo likes this.
  8. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,629
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    It's all about the center lines. As mentioned the center line has to be extended on the template. I use a laser level to align the neck when it comes time to drill for the neck screws. I also check for the neck being flush with the pocket inside the treble side horn.
     
    crazydave911 likes this.
  9. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Location:
    United States
    do you mount your bridge first or do you route the neck pocket first? I've seen both done and I decided on this one to route the neck pocket first.
     
  10. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    526
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    South Africa
    I prefer to use long fences/ straight edges so I can measure of my center line way down the body and don't rely on a small template around the neck pocket.

    Run a straight edge (long ruler) on the neck center line to make sure the neck aligns with the C/L. us the long router fences, take a few points along the center line to towards the back body edge and make sure the distance is the same to each fence

    One pic is for Tele heel, 2nde one for a strat heel
    IMG_20200823_112010.jpg IMG_20190129_120247.jpeg
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    5,998
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    Build your template to fit your neck heel, including the very slight taper. (Or conversely, make your template and use it to make the heel) Put your neck in the template and clamp it to the top of the guitar centered on a TEMPORARY center line. I like to use a couple of screws into areas that will be routed out for bridge and pickups - you can just see a screw head under the "19" on the top straight edge, there is another on the other side and a third in the neck p/u. The straight edges establish the continuation of the f/b sides and are equally spaced at the bridge location. By the way, that template does double duty - it is Fender on one end and Gibson on the other.

    IMG_4685.JPG

    Route the neck pocket. One trick is to put a layer of masking tape on the part of the template where the follower bearing rides - that will make the pocket a few thousands smaller than the heel (remember it was made from the heel)

    IMG_4686.JPG

    Put the neck in the pocket - it should be nice and snug - do whatever sanding necessary for a perfect fit. Drill the screw holes and temporarily screw it in place

    Erase all the previous marks on the the top of the guitar - the temporary centerline and anything else. Reestablish the center line using the sides of the neck and mark the true scale length based on the actual fretboard. Use these to drill and mount your bridge and pickups. If they are off it doesn't matter - use them.' (notice the screw hole in the bridge p/u route, I use different templates for the pickups and clamp or screw them using two of the bridge mounting screws

    IMG_4688.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

    Posts:
    4,044
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    Tucson
    What he said, except it DOES matter.
    Your template is not aligned to centerline in the first photo and that is quite apparent - the rear part of the template is offset to the left in the photo.
    It is correct you need to extend the centerline trough the entire template, but , "extend" could be misinterpreted. Don't try to lay a straightedge along the two small lines you now have at the neck pocket portion of the template and extend it that way. Rather, measure precisely the center of the bridge pickup cavity on the template and mark the centerline on that, then connect that to the centerline marks at the neck end of the template, and scribe that line all the way to the bottom of the template. Then, line those up on the centerline marks on your body and it should be much closer to right.

    BTW, that looks like it could be a very cool pickup configuration, but I'll be interested in how you handle switching and polarity.

    Best of luck.
    Rex
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    gregulator450 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.