This is the second time I've tried realigning the neck to get the strings right - now I have to do it a third time

give me the toan

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Every time, I've managed to screw up getting the neck straight and it always looks like this:

20220609_203509.jpg

The low E is practically leaping off the end of the fretboard, so each time I, in order:
-Remove the neck
-Fill the old holes with wood glue and a dowel and mallet it in
-Saw off the rest of the dowel
-Wait for it to dry
-Seat the neck in the pocket with a clamp to hold it (I know my neck pocket is oversized, but at this point I can't fix it)
-String up both E strings almost to tension
-Wiggle the neck back and forth until it looks like both strings have an even amount of space on either side
-Fully clamp down and string to tension
-Use an electric screwdriver to drive all 4 neck screws partway in, then drive them back out
-Use a drill bit to go the rest of the way in
-Put the neck back on, string it up, screw in all 4 screws
-End up with the neck still misaligned

I think it might just be my dowels are softer than the rest of the neck wood, and thus the screws keep going in that way, but can anyone at all help me so I that I only have to do this one more time?

EDIT: I think that gap on the low E side may be the source of my issues. I *might* be able to stuff some wood filler in there and put a bit of paint on it
 
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dsutton24

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You're trying to drive your screws into end grain, that's not a strong joint. The screws are probably just centering themselves in the softer dowel. At this point I think I'd enlarge the screw holes in the body and try again.
 

WalthamMoosical

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The dowels do need to have about the same hardness as the rest of the wood, or drill bits will wander.

Line the neck pocket with something to provide a tight fit even if it is temporary? (Or equivalently, build up the neck heel)

I always do this without strings on ... "string to tension"?

Slightly larger holes in the body so that you can wiggle the neck before final tightening?
 

Fretting out

Doctor of Teleocity
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when it’s clamped to the body and lined up use something to make a mark where you want the holes, like a scribe of some sort, a nail will do, just something to make a little divot you can see

Then take it off and make your pilot holes

If you start screwing with it in the pocket it’s probably traveling to the old holes

That’s all I can suggest
 

kuch

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Every ****ing time, I've managed to screw up getting the neck straight and it always looks like this:

View attachment 992474
The low E is practically leaping off the end of the fretboard, so each time I, in order:
-Remove the neck
-Fill the old holes with wood glue and a dowel and mallet it in
-Saw off the rest of the dowel
-Wait for it to dry
-Seat the neck in the pocket with a clamp to hold it (I know my neck pocket is oversized, but at this point I can't ****ing fix it)
-String up both E strings almost to tension
-Wiggle the neck back and forth until it looks like both strings have an even amount of space on either side
-Fully clamp down and string to tension
-Use an electric screwdriver to drive all 4 neck screws partway in, then drive them back out
-Use a drill bit to go the rest of the way in
-Put the neck back on, string it up, screw in all 4 screws
-End up with the ****ing neck still misaligned

I think it might just be my dowels are softer than the rest of the neck wood, and thus the screws keep going in that way, but can anyone at all help me so I that I only have to do this **** one more time?

What "model" of tele or strat is this?
 

Fretting out

Doctor of Teleocity
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Try this:

loosen the necks screws a bit
bump the headstock a little with the heel of your hand one way or the other (in this case it looks like ya wanna hit the tuner side)
tighten it up
easypeasy!
That was my first thought, I assumed they would have tried that but who knows

Maybe it has enough room to get where it needs to be

Doesn’t hurt to try
 

Dostradamas

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I don't see anywhere for the neck to move in the pocket laterally.

It looks to me like the neck in pocket is up against the body on the bass and treble side.

Reorienting the screw holes wont move the inside of the neck pocket up or towards the base side.

The pocket is out of center towards the treble side.

If tou removed a bit from the pocket on that bass side the neck would have room to go that way.
 

DrASATele

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This:
"If you removed a bit from the pocket on that bass side the neck would have room to go that way."
I'd do 100 grit on a square sanding block. a couple of strokes should help you align it. A problem I encountered on a few of my first builds and it still happens every once in a while.
The truth is some (key word) of the finest oldest Fenders had gaps in the neck pockets but they still played and sounded amazing.
My feeling is that a guitar/bass/stringed instrument gets it mojo from the builder and the obstacles they have to over come to make it. Good luck!
 

gavquinn

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Hello,

You're not going to get it much straighter, it's the reality of parts guitars and cheaper parts also, things are generically cut. The neck will move laterally somewhat, but this is a regular issue with Fender trype guitars.

Where you need to focus now is the bridge, the saddles and bridge will be easier to move to get the alignment as close as you'd realistically hope to get it.
 

no doz

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Try this:

loosen the necks screws a bit
bump the headstock a little with the heel of your hand one way or the other (in this case it looks like ya wanna hit the tuner side)
tighten it up
easypeasy!

this was my first thought as well

Where you need to focus now is the bridge, the saddles and bridge will be easier to move to get the alignment as close as you'd realistically hope to get it.

this was my second thought. granted it's one photo, but your neck pocket fit looks pretty snug as is and it seems the screws want to settle into the same place over and over. i'd attempt to get the neck seated as straight as possible and then consider fine tuning your outside string paths via the bridge placement. in this instance a lateral movement of the bridge towards the high e string. i like to get the outside strings fairly even to the edges of the board and then compensate slightly for the extra width of the low e
 

Boreas

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I would try to refill the holes with a really hard maple dowel. When re-drilling, use a drill press and make sure the bit is perpendicular and DOES NOT DRIFT into previous hole. Start with a slowly-drilled pilot hole. This will help guide the larger bit. Make sure the pilot bit does not bend - MINIMAL pressure.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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For poor fit between neck & body, I like to glue a piece of veneer on one or both sides of the pocket so it is undersize, then re-rout the pocket using a template. I use a piece of 2x4 or 2x6 to make practice cuts until I get the size right before the router ever touches the guitar. You reduce the size of the template by adding masking tape along the dimension you want to reduce. The veneer will barely be noticeable when you finish unless you are looking for it.
 




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