Neck too wide for pocket . . . options?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by dean, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. dean

    dean Friend of Leo's

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    I have a neck that’s about 1.2mm too wide for the neck pocket. I don’t want to mess with the pocket, so I need to adapt the neck to fit. This partscaster will strictly be a player - I’m not going for great looks. Can I just sand down the sides of the neck starting about six inches from the butt? Or do I need to do a gradual taper from the nut to the butt? Alternatively, are there any other possible remedies for getting the neck to fit into the neck pocket? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Guy Guyatone

    Guy Guyatone TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I’ve fitted too-wide necks to a couple of my home builds.

    You just need to take an equal amount off from both sides of the neck where the neck meets the pocket, I wouldn't do 6 inches. A sander will work, but might not be accurate enough. A Dremel tool in a jig with a small sanding drum might do the job, but try it on scrap wood first!

    How good a woodworker are you?
     
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  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know if it's just me, but I would take the excess out of the pocket, not off the neck.
     
  4. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    I’ve done this both ways, and both ways work. The biggest consideration for me is which is standard size, the neck or the pocket? Just in case I wanna do some swapping later.
     
  5. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Assuming its a Telecaster...the neck meets the pocket on the top side at the 17th fret, and on the bottom side just after the 20th fret. And the neck is not completely "sunk" into the pocket. You might carefully sand in this area on both sides of the neck , and also a little on the insides of the pocket maybe 3 or 4 swipes with medium-fine grit sandpaper to start, alternating between all 4 areas which each need 0.3 mm removed to give you the 1.2mm increased area...that's not much and would be hardly noticeable. Or just go with removing 0.6 mm from each side surface of the neck pocket, which was previously suggested
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Are both humidified in the same climate?
    Or did one recently arrive in the mail?
    I had a fit like that but the body was dry and shrunken, so after a while it magically fit.

    If they really are incompatible, I'd mod the cheaper part.
    Better still mod the off spec part as already mentioned.

    Parts Fenders will eventually demand you change them.

    Sanding the sides of the neck correctly requires sanding the fret ends and then filing them back to smooth.
    Sand a taper from fretboard to bottom of heel makes a wedge fit?
    Could crack the body at the pocket of knocked around.
    If you have a router but no neck pocket template, just rout a pocket template in plywood with a trim bit, off the existing pocket, them move the template 2mm and rout again with a top bearing bit.
     
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  7. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I encountered the same problem earlier this year on a build. I took one of those wood/tile square samples from Home Depot and superglued a sheet of sandpaper to it, making a sand block. I then took out equal amounts on both sides of the pocket until I was able to get a snug tight fit. The body and neck can stay together without screws or strings. I wish all my teles had this tight of a connection.
     
  8. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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  9. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Meister

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    You need to determine which part is off spec (2-3/16" width) and change it so either part can be exchanged freely for other standard parts. If you open up the neck pocket in the body beyond 2-3/", the body is only good for fitment of another neck with an oversized heel so you better off narrowing the heel on the neck in that scenario.

    By sanding both sides of the heel of the neck including the fretboard, you create a bit of an awkward transition to the width of the neck that you may/may not feel so you ,so you must sand further up the neck to make the transition more gradual and unnoticeable. With a bound fretboard, you're stuck and you must enlarge the neck pocket. Sanding the heel from the binding down can be done but then you have an awkward "notch" where the heel blends into the neck.
     
  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Seconded. I've done this on a couple of Partscaster builds and it's worked well.

    For softer woods (I did a build with a pine body), you don't even need to use a Dremel. I widened the pocket by gently shaving it out with a razor blade.

    - D
     
  11. dean

    dean Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. As far as the parts go, the body is a Strat body that was a display item at a now-defunct Sam Ash store - I got it for $25. It has the standard neck pocket specs. The neck is a cheapo that came across the Pacific Ocean - I’m out $30 on that and it’s the component that is out of spec. So neither of these will be a great loss if the project goes south. But . . . the body is decent and the neck feels quite nice, and I’ve got some custom wound pickups that I’ve been sitting on for a couple years waiting on this project. Worst case scenario is that my tinkering doesn’t work. If that happens, I’ll just scrap everything and start over with a Tele project.
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Modify the body, not the neck.
     
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  13. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    A general rule I follow...

    Seating and alignment issues: adjust the pocket.

    Angle issues: adjust the neck.

    This seems to be the path of least resistance when you're trying to mate a neck to a body.
     
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