So, I bought this cheap Chinese neck for $47

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Norrin Radd, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    It arrived today after 8 weeks from ordering on eBay (and spending an extended stay in US Customs in Chicago). As you might expect, it wasn’t exactly ready to drop in and go!

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    Besides having a lot of finishing issues on the back of the neck and on the binding, the frets are very rough (but surprisingly level!), the tuning holes were almost too close together and the neck appeared too wide and deep to fit the MJT body I have for it! :mad:

    My first instinct was to post here several hours ago and ask for advice. I did not do that. I’ve put together many partscasters and worked on tons of guitars. I decided to pull up my big boy pants and fix this myself. After all, I knew the right thing to do (sand the neck to fit) and the wrong thing to do (sand the neck pocket on the guitar).

    Well, I don’t have much in the way of sanding tools other than paper and blocks, so I went to work with my hands. It took a bit of time (and of course the finish is bare on the end now), some improvised tools (it’s amazing what you can make with just a work bench, 2x4 scraps, sand paper and clamps!) and some sore fingers but I got it to fit properly (victory!) :cool:

    I attached it and drilled the neck holes (another 1st for me) and strung it up after tuner install (no room for even a hair between the backs of these 70’s style F tuners!). I’m happy how it’s going and pleased I took it on without using you guys as a crutch!

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow morning’s list looks like this:
    • Adjust the nut slots to proper height
    • Adjust string height
    • Install string trees where necessary
    • Intonate
    • Steel wool polish the frets
    • Adjust clamp on input jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That finish on the body is crazy.

    Cant wait to see the neck on it.
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the look of that body too. Good luck with the neck, lucky you got the tuners on there without a problem. The last cheap china neck I bought had the tuner hole spacing all over the place. I got it to work but not with the vintage tuners I wanted to use.
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Nice build.

    I've got a KMise neck on the way, a Dano style headstock one, to pair with a GFS closeout Strat body. I saw the one you bought but decided against it based on the orange-ish color probably not working with surf green. I just hope it gets here sometime.
     
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  5. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    So I got it assembled and did a little work this morning. Looks like it's time to invest in some fret files. I polished them with steel wool but the frets are still gritty/scratchy feeling when bending across. And my saddles are pretty high up - might take another couple mm of height off the heel of the neck. The electronics all work perfectly! :D The neck is surprisingly chunky and feels pretty big in my hand (it's close to my U shaped .90-.97).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Play that thang !!! That'll polish those frets in no time...
     
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  7. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    Very nice! Love that chameleon paint. I see purple and blue. Does it have any other tints to it?
     
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  8. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    That looks fantastic. I have a cheap neck on the way as well - should be here any day. I cant wait to see how good (or bad) it is ;) $39 CDN, so REALLY cheap! I have some woodworking experience and am reasonably mechanically inclined, but not much experience on guitars other than electronics and setups. But I am never afraid to jump in and take on any project ;)
     
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  9. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    A
    Actually, that’s just the lighting playing tricks with the colors! It’s just a straight up Crown Royal metallic purple
     
  10. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely jump in! How bad can it be for $39, right? I figured with the way almost everything is CNC cut anyway, how bad could it possibly be? I mean, even when I buy a brand new neck from Musikraft or all parts, it still requires all the finishing touches to get it precisely the way I like it, so why not see what I can do with one for less than 50 bucks?

    The big difference of course, is the fret work and the finishing work. But that is stuff with the right tools and effort, you could probably make work on one of these things anyway. That’s why I decided to give it a go. Good luck!
     
  11. TheDams

    TheDams Tele-Holic

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    I've had frets that were also pretty rough and needed a good polishing on a couple of Squier.
    These took care of it surprisingly well ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    my chibson had epiphone tuners, and when I replaced them , they had sleaves inside the holes , I removed those and it was reamed for gibson tuners ,that was lucky.
     
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  13. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I guess the most important part is, how does it play?,that fret board matches the guitar very well, and if its a player ......bonus1
     
  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wish I was so lucky, the tele neck I bought had 10mm holes which I wasn't expecting but they were unevenly spaced for vintage tuners and had uneven gaps between them on the rear.
    I ordered some Wilkinson mini gotoh style tuners for it on ebay for another $20 bucks. They look like the ones on my d35 copy and some Gibson les pauls only they have smaller buttons and are 6 in line. Still kind of classic looking but heavy. Its for a telebird so kind of fitting with the Gibson hybrid look. You cant really tell they are unevenly spaced on the back because the backs are not hard up against each other like on vintage kluson style.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  15. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    Got a link for those?

    It's close right now. I'll update after I shave that heel just a tad more!
     
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  16. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    if you think about it. It was lucky they added too much matterial to the neck that allowed you to work it , if it was the other way around with too little it would have been useless, but that looks hot ,man , I like it
     
  17. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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    If you shim the neck pocket that'll get the saddles down.
     
  18. TheDams

    TheDams Tele-Holic

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    Here ya go !
     
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  19. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    Thank you - purchased!

    Well, as I was going through the setup I made a booboo. As I was filing the g string nut slot I apparently put a bit too much effort into a single stroke and gouged the cheap plastic nut like the glaciers did to the Grand Canyon. Honestly I think if I had exhaled hard enough I would have cracked that nut. o_O

    So, overreacting the way I do I immediately ordered an LSR nut and some tools to install it. Got to build up that tool supply somehow! :D
     
  20. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    I said up above I ordered an LSR nut - while that is true, I decided to pull up the big boy pants again. A while ago, I bought these:

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    Blank bone nuts - with the idea of crafting my own. I was short some tools (still am) but went and bought this this morning:

    [​IMG]

    A little 5 inch clamp to my work desk disc sander - with the idea that I could use it to make nuts out of one of those blanks. To my surprise - I was right!:eek: The only part I'm missing is some way to polish the nut as the top of it still looks freshly sanded.

    [​IMG]

    Good news is I can now craft a perfectly functioning bone nut myself! That will save me tons of $$ in the future. :)
     
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