Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Neck shims

Page 1 / 2

Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  

Hi, I’ve a Tele copy where the action is too high, if I lay a straight edge over the frets to the bridge the angle is too low. Any tips on how to make an accurate shim to fix this please? 

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 3 people liked
Quote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

Are you thinking of raising the whole neck with a flat shim or changing the neck angle with an angle shim. If it’s a flat shim then you could add it to the pocket and route to the depth you need, but if you want to change the neck angle then I would suggest adding wood to the neck and fitting by hand tools.I suggest doing a dry run by adding masking tape under the neck to get an idea of how big the shim needs to be.

One problem with changing the neck angle is that there will be a gap at the top of the neck joint which might be hidden with the pick guard. if not you might need to add wood to the end of the neck and sand to fit.

Second problem will be the fixing screws holes in the neck which will have a different angle. You might need to plug these and drill new pilot holes.

The easiest way to get shims is to use ready made veneer and build up as many as you need. They will be flexible enough to bend around either the neck or the pocket with maybe a bit of steam from a kettle. @darrenking might have some off cuts.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  

@rocknroller912 lots to think about there, it’s just the angle that needs raising so adding depth to the front edge of the heel. (Or arguably reducing the back) There’s no issue with a gap the fret board overhangs the neck and there’s a pick guard under that. 
i think plugging and re drilling the holes would be a must to ensure there isn’t weird tension in the join.

 Good call doing a test to figure out how significant the alteration needs to be though

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

Good luck I’m sure you will get some other opinions 

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 3 people liked
ReplyQuote
Boo
 Boo
(@boo)
Customer
Luthier
Rep Points: 27429
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3139
 

Have a look at these @tej There is some info on there too about neck shimming. 👍

https://www.stewmac.com/tonewoods/shop-tonewood-by-instrument/electric-guitar-bodies-and-necks-and-wood/electric-guitar-necks/stewmac-neck-shim-shop-set-of-12/

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  

@boo thanks, I’ll have a look through those, I’ll not be buying from there though, way over priced. I feel I could make similar myself which will possibly only remain true until I try 😬

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Robin
(@robin)
Luthier
Rep Points: 10594
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 755
 

@tej 

I was going to suggest removing some wood from the back of the heel to get the angle that you want, but I see you've considered that already. It would drop the neck deeper into the pocket though, is it high enough just now to allow that. I hadn't thought about the screw holes being out of alignment, we so lucky to have helpful people in this group.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

Even with the fretboard overhang and pick guard covering thing I would still try and fill any gaps in the joint, or the string tension will be pulling on the screws only which will probably cause them to pull out and make the neck loose. I saw this on a 1978 Fender Strat that I repaired last year. 

I would also be careful about removing original wood from the heel to alter the angle as once it’s gone you can’t put it back. Better I think to add shims where they can’t be seen, and you can have as many attempts as you need to get it correct.

Repair techniques are usually something to learn after doing a few builds so don’t be tempted to jump in too quick and find you’re in the deep end.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  
Posted by: @robin

I hadn't thought about the screw holes being out of alignment, we so lucky to have helpful people in this group.

@robin I’d have considered that, admittedly just after I’d put the first screw back in at a unique angle 😬

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  

@rocknroller912 I think what I’ll do is like you said, use some masking tape to get an idea of the angle I need.
Not sure of the best approach to making the shims, the table saw would give accurate results but wastes a fair amount of wood and I’d need to make a zero clearance insert. Could use a router but then expect the shim would split trying to get it off the double sided tape. Didn’t really want to do it by hand as I’d expect I couldn’t be accurate enough and I don’t have a belt sander which would probably be ideal. Any experience making your own?

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 3 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

Ive made lots of shims by hand, it’s not that hard. Start with a piece that’s longer and thicker than you need and clamp it to the bench. Then plane or scrape it working away from the clamp to create a taper. This sounds hard but it’s fairly simple if you mark a line on each side and plane the edges to the line. You will have a wobble in the middle which can be planed or scraped flat and tested with a straight edge. Pick a wood type that’s easy to work with if you can, not highly figured, like off cuts from the neck blank.
The thick end of the taper will be higher than you need, and the thin end will be as thin as you can make it. Cut off the bit you want according to your estimate. There will always bit some hand fitting after gluing the shim and it’s worth trying to develop the skill with this type of work as it will give you more confidence. My aim would be for a shim that doesn’t show at the front edge of the joint.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

Ive made a very rough sketch of how I would estimate the finished taper in wood. Hope you can understand it. Lay a ruler as shown from the tape to the front of heel and put your wood shim along side it. Draw a line using the ruler as guide and you’re cooking on gas.

CDEA3963 81B5 41D8 AB40 D2282C83DCCB

 You can see I didn’t major in art.

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  

@rocknroller912 I’ll give that a go and see how I get on. I’ll likely need a cabinet scraper to finish it as I don’t have anything to do that with and my plane is only about 40mm wide.

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 3 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej 

40mm is fine it’s actually easier with a small plane

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Tej
 Tej
(@tej)
Luthier
Rep Points: 5374
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 486
Topic starter  
Posted by: @rocknroller912

Ive made a very rough sketch of how I would estimate the finished taper in wood.

@rocknroller912 Thanks for that, makes perfect sense 🙂

…on an elaborate journey to turn trees into music.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Rocknroller912
(@rocknroller912)
Luthier
Rep Points: 6265
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 868
 

@tej

People don’t say that to me very often

Some people call me a tool, others are less complimentary. Tools being useful things.


mattbeels, tv1, Koendb and 5 people liked
ReplyQuote
Marcel
(@marcel)
Luthier
Rep Points: 2808
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 534
 

I have used a shim to adjust the neck angle a couple of times. I just put in a small strip of veneer in the back of the neck pocket. It's a matter of trying what the thickness of the veneer must be to get the desired neck angle. Always worked for me.

IMG 7812 (002)

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx


mattbeels, tv1, Tej and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Boo
 Boo
(@boo)
Customer
Luthier
Rep Points: 27429
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3139
 

@tej G&W are selling shims now too. 

https://guitarsandwoods.com/g-and-w-neck-shims-for-s-and-t-style.html  

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


Koendb, Russ, tv1 and 2 people liked
ReplyQuote
Marcel
(@marcel)
Luthier
Rep Points: 2808
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 534
 

But these shims are flat, so they don't change the neck angle. So if you want to change the neck angle you have to sand a taper on the shim before using it.

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx


mattbeels, Koendb, Russ and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Boo
 Boo
(@boo)
Customer
Luthier
Rep Points: 27429
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3139
 
Posted by: @marcel

But these shims are flat, so they don't change the neck angle. So if you want to change the neck angle you have to sand a taper on the shim before using it.

@marcel Yeah, I used the link to that page because it was the first one I landed on, if you look further on the website, I’m sure there will be angled ones. 👍 I was just informing you of a company that is selling them that isn’t StewMac. 👍

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


mattbeels, Koendb, Russ and 2 people liked
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2