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

Ricky D.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Posts
11,646
Age
71
Location
Marion, VA
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!
Please, no more major surgery. Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You do not need a press fit between the neck and the sides of the neck pocket. The actual correction you need is tiny. There are thousands of teles out there with a little clearance on the sides of the neck, and they all sound good.

If the pocket is too tight for Jupiter’s solution, relieve the sides of the pocket. 1/64” will probably do it. Use sandpaper on a very square block. While you are at it, make sure the screw holes in the body have some clearance for the screws. 11/64” is the correct hole size to allow the lateral play you need, and also allows the screws to draw the neck down tight in the pocket without binding.

Once you have these things done, final assembly using Jupiter’s method of adjustment is trivially simple and all you need.
 

cap47

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jul 27, 2014
Posts
574
Location
bushnell, fl
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?

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
You have to spot drill with screw body size first then use the smaller tap drill to follow the 1st drill point! Your attempt to start the screws is allowing them to drift into the easiest path of plug fibers.
 

Bearston

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Posts
34
Location
Toronto, Canada
Not an uncommon issue. If the neck pocket is off, remove a bit from the offending side or corner (chisel, sandpaper) and use shims on the SIDE to adjust the neck into place and keep it there. DO NOT fill and re-drill screw holes for the neck, slack tolerances and humidity make that work pointless. Just use shims, a sheet of paper is about 10 thousands of an inch, matchbook cover about 3x the thickness,etc. Brass shims available at industrial supply shops in various thickness to facilitate your needs.
 
Last edited:

netgear69

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Posts
2,083
Location
england
Battling with a neck when the issue could be the neck pocket on the body might be misaligned
if there is wiggle room in the pocket and you can hold the neck straight in there you will be able to see any bad angles in the pocket
if that is the case just shim the neck pocket up with the correct angle wedge some veneer will work
 

Demac

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Posts
14
Age
57
Location
Alberta
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.
I would be thinking the bridge placement is the limiter and its the first thing to look at when buying a guitar especially Fender. Look down on the fret board flat and gauge the distance from the low and high E strings to the edge of the fret board will let you know side to side placement is good. Also what about matching the bridge to the neck measurements. I'm not at all qualified to offer any advice but those are my thoughts.
 

Ronkirn

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 1, 2003
Posts
12,901
Age
75
Location
Jacksonville, FL
I don't see anywhere for the neck to move in the pocket laterally.
in even the tightest neck.neck pocket fits.. the neck can shift, compressing the wood ever so slightly, enough to take care of that missalignment... I'd like to see a shot of the guitars body with the pickguard and bridge/tremolo situated in their relative positions..
 

elin500

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Posts
23
Age
51
Location
Cleveland, oHIo
This hasn't been suggested yet, so I will chime in.

When I can't get my neck and strings to align and I have tried all of the above, the last ditch effort is to use a Schaller 3D6 (475) bridge on the guitar body. This bridge has roller saddles which shift laterally so that you can adjust the individual string alignment. I can't figure out how to link to the bridge but u can look it up on the interwebs. The big disadvantage of this bridge is that it is a top load strat/tele deluxe style bridge so I do not know if it will work for your setup.
 

Dostradamas

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Posts
1,158
Location
Not here
Are the strings parallel to the edge of the fretboard or is there an angle?

More pics would help

I am curious of the way the nut, strings, and bridge all line up.
 

Ronkirn

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 1, 2003
Posts
12,901
Age
75
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Guys.. the problem is not a major issue... it's not uncommon when assembling a guitar.. but to know with any degree of certainty, we need to see the full monty.. a shot of the assembled body and one of the nut... without those any of the "guesses" is nothing more than just that, a guess..

r
 

Loudog99

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Posts
605
Location
Howell, NJ
I know it’s not ideal, but in situations like this…after trying to no avail with adjusting the neck, I’ve had to shift the bridge placement a tad. Also, the nut slots impact string alignment as well. You need perfect alignment between the E string slots, neck, and bridge. All three play a part.
 

Winky

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Posts
541
Location
Canada
This seems trolly

Frustrated and trying to get it right isn't a very receptive head space for humor or criticism.

It looks straight, just off center to me
Wasn't intended to be. The OP says that he gets it right but once its tightened down it has always moved a bit. I'd try some shims to hold it right where it needs to be. Not regular action-adjusting shims but tiny ones down the side of the neck. Might not work, sure. The neck pocket side looks slightly curved and if that's the case, correcting that first might be a good idea.

Being parallel but actually off-centre by that much is a very serious issue that would definitely require re-cutting the neck pocket and filling/shimming.
 

Mango_Dave

TDPRI Member
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Posts
14
Age
50
Location
Villanova, PA
I may have missed it if someone else recommended it, but when I had this problem I used a shim. Putting a fender tele soft-V neck upgrade to a partscaster, the neck wouldn't align straight, low E was drifting to edge of fb. I used a shim. the shim was a clipped old guitar pick. It fit in the pocket flush to the guitar top. It ain't perfect, but it was free, worked beautifully and has held up without fail. Guitar sounds great.
 

Dostradamas

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Posts
1,158
Location
Not here
Wasn't intended to be. The OP says that he gets it right but once its tightened down it has always moved a bit. I'd try some shims to hold it right where it needs to be. Not regular action-adjusting shims but tiny ones down the side of the neck. Might not work, sure. The neck pocket side looks slightly curved and if that's the case, correcting that first might be a good idea.

Being parallel but actually off-centre by that much is a very serious issue that would definitely require re-cutting the neck pocket and filling/shimming.
Fair enough

Wondered what you meant.

No worries
 

steeve

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Posts
6
Age
68
Location
Waldport, Or.
Every 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 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
To me, you're messing with the wrong parts. Install the neck the way you like it and THEN align the strings by placement of the bridge/tailpiece. That's the way guitars are generally built. On an acoustic guitar, the bridge is the last part to go on....
 

Ronkirn

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 1, 2003
Posts
12,901
Age
75
Location
Jacksonville, FL
consider... I see more misaligned necks and correct them in a month than most see in a lifetime..

What you have there wouldn't even cause me to raise an eyebrow... But, to get everything aligned and LOOKING correct I need to see the body with the PG and trem mounted... with at the least the two E strings installed.

It would be highly unusual that the nut needs to be recut, or the trem needs moving... but I need to see everything where it's going to be screwed down to tell ya what to do.
 

Boreas

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Posts
9,145
Age
67
Location
Adirondack Coast, NY
If I am reading correctly, with strings installed, holes plugged, and NO screws, the OP states the alignment is GOOD. That is considered a good dry fit in my book. The misalignment doesn't occur until he re-drills the holes and bolts on the neck. That tells me when he is re-drilling the holes they aren't being drilled correctly.

Obviously, the pocket must be pretty close to nominal, or he would not be able to get a good dry fit. If he is using a simple hand drill, it may not be perpendicular, AND it is also very easy to wander into the plug. I believe if he follows my suggestion in #19 above, the neck will be aligned properly when done. But tryng to get different results by using the same method is - well - insane. At least that is what Einstein said, more or less...
 




New Posts

Top