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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:42 pm 
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First name: Garett
Last Name: Dixon
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Working on my first guitar build and routing the neck pocket has turned out not great so far. I was wondering how good of an idea it was to just use wood filler and sand down or possibly glue in a shim? Also if going the filler route what kind is recommended?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:55 pm 
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Koa
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First name: Freeman
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Its not uncommon for tele's to have a drop in shim to correct the neck angle relative to the bridge - often a pick or piece of match book cover. StewMac even sells tapered shims for this purpose. However is you simply routed the pocket too big I would glue in whatever shims it takes to get it tight.

http://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Su ... uitar.html


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Yeah I was routing in the neck pocket and in a couple places I got it too big and I was thinking of using a two part wood filler and wondered how well that worked it is going to be painted.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:38 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Use wood not filler. Neck pockets are important in vibrational transfer. Most filler is way too dampening for this application IMO.

Often, not always.... painted or bursted guitars have imperfections be they natural or engineered...:) that they cover up nicely.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Koa
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GRD wrote:
Yeah I was routing in the neck pocket and in a couple places I got it too big and I was thinking of using a two part wood filler and wondered how well that worked it is going to be painted.


Have you made your neck yet? You could (possibly) make the heel to fit the pocket. A tele neck has pretty good support on the bass side but not very good on the treble (cutaway). Don't drill or route for the pups and bridge until you get the neck to fit - you might have to move them slightly off center line. I get the neck to fit, then lay a straightedge on each side and mark on the top. Make your center line off that, then locate the bridge.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Yes I already have the neck it's actually a warmoth neck it's really not very far off from fitting after I glued some small shims in. The one issue was actually depth my jig rocked forward at one point while routing and caused a couple of places to be deep. I was thinking possibly routing all out to the same depth and putting a level shim in. The whole experience is really showing me how important a good jig is


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Koa
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GRD wrote:
Yes I already have the neck it's actually a warmoth neck it's really not very far off from fitting after I glued some small shims in. The one issue was actually depth my jig rocked forward at one point while routing and caused a couple of places to be deep. I was thinking possibly routing all out to the same depth and putting a level shim in. The whole experience is really showing me how important a good jig is


Yes, the jig is very important. I don't trust double stick tape to hold mine in place - I screw it into the neck pickup area and use a couple of clamps on the sides. The neck pocket gets routed first, then the others. Most plans show the pocket 5/8 deep but you want the bottom perfectly level.

Fit the neck and clamp it in place. Clamp the bridge in relative position. With a straight edge on the frets I like to see the outside saddles near their lowest postion and the center ones up a little. Remember that to get acceptable playing action (lets say 0.060 to 0.080 or so) you will need twice that at the saddles - make use you have enough travel to get that. If you don't either shim or angle the bottom of the pocket until you are close. Remember too that with 9 or so radius on the fretboard the center saddles will be quite a bit higher than the outside.

Most of the time tele necks are parallel with the top and standing proud about 3/8 on the outside edges. Often the action ends up being too high and a little angle needs to be added to get within adjusting range of your bridge (and that is important, there are some difference between bridges).

If that doesn't make sense let me know. I have three tele-cones on the bench right now - it would be easy to lay a straightedge on them and show you what I'm talking about. This is the one really critical part of your build - you need to get the geometry right.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:15 pm 
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I definitely didn't realize all of that thanks for that info! If you wouldn't mind taking a picture of that it would be great!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:26 pm 
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Koa
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This is a good time to take the pictures - I've got the necks approximately set and have routed the other cavities, but I can still show how I did it. First, after you get the neck pocket routed extend the edges of the fretboard to the top and make two lines (I'm just using two straightedges)

Image

That establishes the center line. Measure out from the nut and mark the scale length at 25.5 inches. You probably have some other dimensions from the neck pocket (ideally from the nut or 12th fret) to establish mounting screws for the bridge or some other reference.

Route the neck pickup cavity and drill a couple of mounting screws for the bridge. I like to use the bridge to drill the holes for the strings (a tele body doesn't quit fit into my drill press and these holes need to line up with the bridge). Clamp or screw the bridge in place and lay a 24 inch straightedge on the frets (adjust all of the relief out and kind of make sure you don't have any high frets). Adjust your outside saddles to near the bottom of their travel. I like the straightedge to just hit the top of the saddle

Image

You may have to refine this slightly, maybe taking the neck pocket down a hair. My thinking here is that the straightedge represents the fret plane - if you have no action thats were the strings will be. The nut will raise the strings about 0.015 at that end, or about 0.008 at 12. When you pull some tension on the neck and adjust it you will get maybe 5 thou of relief at 12, so you're at 0.013 or so. To get that to 0.060 you need to raise the saddle 90 thou. Because of the f/b radius you need to raise the center strings a bit more and the low E even more (maybe 0.125 or 1/8). That should be within the adjusting range of typical tele saddles but if its not you can always shave a hair more out of the pocket or very slightly angle it.

As a final check I'll put a 36 inch straightedge on the nut and saddles and make sure I can adjust them to get the action that I want (you won't have any relief but it will be close).

Again, most plans show the pocket 5/8 deep and as long as its flat and level that should make all of the above happen.

ps - please don't comment on the quality of my wood LOL. That is hundred year old pine from a historic barn. Also those guitars are going to get P90's in the neck position and no pickguards so the routing is a little funky. They are also strat necks so there is an extra fret. Otherwise just your basic tele-clone....



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: Hesh (Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:55 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:38 pm 
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First name: Garett
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Thanks for all the hep and advice hopefully I'll be able to get all my current mistakes straightened with everything fitting and level! I really appreciate the help!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:04 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Wood is also better than filler because it will expand and contract with heat and humidity more like the wood that it is glued to. Filler is more likely to crack and separate.


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