Neck Pocket Too Deep..what Are My Options?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by czech-one-2, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    Hi folks, I'm putting together a parts-tele with Fender mim standard neck and a one off body that I won on ebay. I've got it together and the four neck bolts even matched perfectly, however even with the saddles at there lowest the action is a bit too high and its hard to get rid of the string buzzing. It plays ok as is, but not what I was hoping for. :(
    I've tried shimming the neck heel and the taper from low to high gets better, but string buzz worsens.
    Then I decided to measure the neck pocket and its 76mm long which is correct, but its cut 19mm deep, while a fender or warmoth neck pocket is 16mm deep.
    This puts my neck too low and the saddles,at there lowest, too high.
    Can this be repaired/salvaged? Do I have to glue in a flat 3mm piece of wood into the neck pocket??? Will that work?
    The body was made by an Austrian violin/guitar builder student and was their first project. It is a beautiful looking body of maple with a black limba top and sonically the guitar sounds very nice. But I need to sort out this problem or it is not going to be my main player...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  2. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,953
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tenterfield, Australia
    That would seem to be the obvious solution but do a dry run first. That is, put a 3mm piece in without gluing it to see if solves the problem. Be careful of your screws though as they will be reaching 3mm less into the holes, there should be no problem just tighten them carefully.
     
  3. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,108
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Yep, 16mm is what it should be. The 3mm spacer will do the trick nicely. You don't even need to glue it. Make sure the holes you put in it are large enough for the screws to pass through freely.
     
  4. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I guess thats the only possible solution but its kind of a bummer. I was hoping for my ultimate tele...
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  5. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    Well Kwerk, that sounds encouraging at least!
    I just took the neck off and measured the pocket depth and its 20mm, not 19 so I need a 4mm shim. Is this getting ridiculous or can this be done?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  6. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    10,398
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    It's going to turn out great. It may be so good, we will all route our neck pockets 3 mm deeper and put in spacers like yours. Expect the best ,my friend, the best.
     
    Seasicksailor and Peltogyne like this.
  7. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,912
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Manheim Pa.
    Thinner saddles ?
     
  8. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,108
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    It's absolutely fine. Remember, all you're doing is making the pocket the depth it's supposed to be. There's plenty for the screws to grab, because all you're doing is making the pocket into what it shpould be. Just use the neck heel to pattern the insert, make it slightly longer than it needs to be, put it in there and tighten the screws up. if it's sitting happily, use the front of the neck pocket as a ruler to mark where it needs to be cut. Make your cut, reassemble and you're golden. If you're happy with the fit, you can even glue it in if you feel the need, but the screws will hold it plenty tight enough.
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,243
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    There's nothing wrong with a shim. Stewart Macdonald started selling them. Once it is in there you may not give it another thought. The shim controversy is another one of those unproven tone debate items that nobody can seem to substantiate scientifically.
     
  10. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    You guys are great! Thanks for the encouragement cause I was getting a bit bummed.
    As a temporary fix attempt I just put a metal neck plate with its plastic back [about 3.5mm] inside the neck pocket and bolted her up. Now we're talking! Easy buzz free action!
    So it can only get better with a proper shim cut. I'm not much of a woodworker but this can't be to hard.
     
  11. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    You know, I was even contemplating fileing them down on the bottom. Glad I didn't cause 4mm is an awefull lot!
     
  12. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,356
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    Try wearing a turtleneck.
     
    czech-one-2 likes this.
  13. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
    It happened to me on my last build. I got a bit rushed and yeah, the saddles were too high.
    I put a plastic shim under the neck with every intention of repairing it properly.
    That was 3 years ago. I haven't changed a thing since it is the most wonderful guitar I ever had my hands on.
    I don't want to mess it up by fixing it. It's not going to be sold or anything (ever) and so I will simply enjoy my littler shimmer.
     
  14. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    Yeah, fortunately I bought this with no intention of selling it. Actually, I plan to put a bigsby on it and keep it forever. :cool:
    It was actually made by a female lutherie student, and she did a nice job. Real clean routing throughout.She said she used a 52' tele template, maybe her drawing had a 20mm depth?
    I cant complain though cause the body was complete [sans EMG pickups] and it was cheap!
    Its even a chambered body so this guitar is very light indeed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  15. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,130
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    You may want to try a 2mm-3mm square shim made out of hard plastic or maple and just shim the back of the heel - closest to the bridge. That creates a slight neck angle, but a tele actually benefits from a slight neck angle - could make a great guitar actually better with more break angle on the saddles and a little more ergonomic playing angle.
     
    I_build_my_own likes this.
  16. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,586
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    When you put a bigsby on you will need a slight taper neck shim. The standard is 4mm thick at the heel with a taper to 0mm so you will be putting an even thicker shim in there. I would cobble one out of maple for the density and the match of the neck.
     
  17. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    I dont think I'll need to taper the shim for a B5 type Bigsby, just notch the bridge. But we'll see. I need to find a used B5 over here in the EU cause new they are getting outrageous, $170.00 + :eek: [Thats almost as much as I have into this guitar. Anyway, the good news is I made a 4mm thick maple shim today, and this guitar plays like a dream. Really the lowest action of my 3 guitars and no buzzing anywhere. I think it helped hearing from you guys first, gave me a positive attitude making the shim knowing it wasn't a lost cause. Really happy with the result!
     
    kwerk likes this.
  18. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,130
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    I do stuff like that - play it for a few years and completely forget about any mods I made
     
  19. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,833
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    East of you
    Not even that ugly!

    [​IMG]
     
    Seasicksailor likes this.
  20. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    Oklamerica
    just wondering what this has to do with anything. We've got at least one female builder on the board here, she does incredible work-- complex designs, inlay, and finishing are all top-notch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.