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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / StewMac Neck Shims

Next 20 Messages  
Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Dec 30th, 2017 06:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Any experiences?

Seems like a good idea.

I always use the fat end of an appropraitely-thick pick.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 30th, 2017 07:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's a good idea if you're in a production shop.

Otherwise, make our own shims when you need the occasional tweak.

I've found all kinds of shim stuff in old guitars. Here's a short list:

Guitar picks
Broken-off sections of hacksaw blade
Matchbook covers
Business cards
Folded paper
Sandpaper
Wood slivers
Toothpicks
Stanley blades
X-Acto blades
Pieces of credit card
Steel/brass/aluminum washers

I could go on for days :o)

When I reassemble things, these weird shim materials go right back in if the geometry is correct. It all works fine so long as the shim material is at least as hard as the body wood.


Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Dec 30th, 2017 07:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

Once I used toenail clippings.

Ok, maybe I made that up.

I’d never seen these before. I didn’t know if they were something new from them. Nobody seems to discuss them.

(This message was last edited by Leftee at 09:40 PM, Dec 30th, 2017)

Peegoo
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 30th, 2017 08:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can easily make your own wood shims if you have a table saw or chop saw and a belt sander.

You can get the shims down to .020" or so if you have a stationary belt sander. The trick is to make a sacrificial wood block that the shim material fits into. That way you exert even pressure across the entire shim.

If you need to go thinner and they gotta be wood, get'cherself a Kizara note pad and cut shims out with scissors.


You can also stack this stuff up, with a little glue in between.

This. Then go to the Amazon link abuve and order ya one.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:59 PM, Dec 30th, 2017)

Peegoo
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 30th, 2017 09:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here's how they make 'em

in Japan

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 30th, 2017 09:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

WOW, Peegoo! That stuff is amazing!

I've never seen or heard of it. I think I might need to get me some just to have.

The past few years, on the rare occasion I've needed a shim, I make mine out of strips of timber veneer I've got from local joineries.

Thanks for posting that.


Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 30th, 2017 09:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

On a further note, whilst checking out the Stew Mac shims, the search lead me other videos, *other* forum comments and the like, and I didn't realise that "shimming" is such a contentious issue!

The "whole shim" vs "partial shim" camps are pretty adamant they're each correct.
The "loss of vibrational transference" "loss of tone" "loss of sustain" arguments are AWFULLY SCARY.

OMG!! What if I've been doing it wrong all this time. How many of my guitars have I relegated TONELESS JUNK!!

Gimme a break!

Feel free to chastise me publicly now.

(go on, guess what camp I'm in?)


Peegoo
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 30th, 2017 10:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Rest easy, cobber :o)

These people are the same screw sniffers that claim even a small gap along the side of a screw-on neck pocket causes loss of tone and sustain.

You can have a really crappy guitar, get it set up, and *practice*, and blow these tone snobs away.

I guarantee you Buddy Holly paid no attention to neck shim material or a gap along the side of his Strat's neck pocket. He played the thing.



Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Dec 30th, 2017 11:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

I ordered some just because I want to try them. I currently have two guitars shimmed.

Not that I think there's something wrong with using picks or toenails.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 31st, 2017 12:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use nuns' eyelashes.

They're not cheap, you know.

FunkyKikuchiyo
Contributing Member
*****

VT

Dec 31st, 2017 03:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sometimes I've set up guitars with shims and the shim seems to hurt the tone, but not always, or even most of the time. It is worth noting that with a lot of guitars that need shims, the pocket was cut goofy to begin with, so it probably wasn't ever getting a firm wood-to-wood contact point.

If I had a guitar that A) by design needs a shim (Jazzmaster) and B) was my precious little thing and I wanted it to be perfect, I'd probably buy the Stew Mac shim for it. Why not? I'm not going to stock them for the shop, though. They're kinda pricy, and as I mentioned, when a guitar needs a shim as a course of repair, you're not going to hurt it at all anyway since it probably never had good contact.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jan 2nd, 2018 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tone just happens man.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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**********

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 2nd, 2018 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's what I figure.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 2nd, 2018 04:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

or not!


sometimes.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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**********

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 2nd, 2018 05:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

The jury is out.

Perpetually

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 2nd, 2018 09:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tone is like, oh wow, man.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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**********

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 4th, 2018 05:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

They came today. I installed a .5 degree shim in this Strat-o-copy project I’ve been working up. It works well. I was able to get a decent angle and get the saddles up a little higher.

I like the concept. If I had to do this repeatedly I would get a tablet of that wood paper the Goo linked above. Much more cost-effective.

Did it do anything for the tone? Meh... maybe. The guitar sounds louder/bolder unplugged. I don’t know that I could tell a difference through the amp though.

So at least it isn’t worse. I hate it when that happens.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 4th, 2018 11:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's great you got a good result.

From what I understand, the improvement in its acoustic sound is more likely due to the changes in geometry *resulting* from the shim rather than the shim itself (if that makes sense).

The raising of the saddles (as a result of the neck angle changing) increases the break angle of the string from the the contact point of the saddle to the bridge plate and also increasing the overall string height. These two factors alone can increase sustain and effect tone, or so I've read.

I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't know already.
I think I might just be trying to feel relevant :^)

Hopefully Peegoo or other gurus will have some input and correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, a win is a win...

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 01:21 AM, Jan 5th, 2018)

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 5th, 2018 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Full disclosure - the guitar had a fairly thick pick in the neck pocket as a shim when I got it. It is set up at a better angle with this shim.



RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Jan 7th, 2018 02:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

I installed a .5 degree shim in my MIJ Custom Tele, I've read in the past that the neck needed to be shimmed to get a proper angle for the Bigsby.

The shim worked great and by looking at the neck and body joint from the side the neck, the neck was level with the body and worked out great.

They aren't extremely expensive. Most of us spend more than that on a set of strings.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / StewMac Neck Shims




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