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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Very tight neck fit on new build, before finish.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 30th, 2018 11:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The neck to neck pocket fit on my new USACG strat is very tight. Perfect if it had finish on, but it hasn't yet. With finish I expect it will be too tight. Should I take a little off the sides of the heel before it gets laquered, or leave it until after? If I end up taking all the laquer off afterwards, will it be OK to have a 'bald' section of neck inside the neck pocket?

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 30th, 2018 03:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Some will say never touch the heel but IMO, there are arguments for either method when starting with raw materials. (situation dependent)

re: the neck pocket *after* lacquer, you run the risk of cracking or chipping the finish, especially that little pointy bit on the outer edge and underside of the pocket.

In your case, I would do the pocket before the finish is applied.

Keep in mind, tighter is not necessarily better when it comes to heel/pocket fit. You need room for expansion with environmental conditions.
Too tight and you can get the aforementioned finish cracking when humidity expands the timber.

Also, you need adequate room to be able to allow for adjusting alignment.
You should never have to *force* the neck in. It should just about *drop* in.

When sanding the pocket sides, be sure to use a nicely squared sanding block so you maintain a good right angle to the bottom and do a little bit on each side at a time. Not taking it all from just one side. (That's the way I like to do it anyway)

Hope this helps...


twangdoodles

michigan usa

Jan 30th, 2018 04:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sand the pocket after finishing, leave the neck alone. That's how I've done it anyway and I think is the general rule. If you don't know the thickness of the finish that you've yet to apply then why would you sand before finishing?

Tape the pocket before you spray, leaving 1/8" or so un-taped where the sides of the pocket meet the top and where the bottom and sides of the pocket meet the front edge. That way you won't have much to remove when fitting the neck.

No issues having the pocket unfinished, you'd rather have it that way. And ditto what Mick said about tightness, alignment room and using a square sanding block.

Peegoo
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Tried vegetarian:

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Jan 30th, 2018 10:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Spot on.

vomer
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Jan 31st, 2018 04:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's excellent guys, thanks. I'd heard about tweaking the pocket not the neck before, but for some reason my brain wouldn't recall that piece of information and I got obsessed with the heel, with a vague sense of 'this isn't right' in the background. Now I know why!

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 31st, 2018 06:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I somehow feel like I need to defend my previous comments. This is not meant to be argumentative, just hopefully clarifying my points.

"Some will say never touch the heel but IMO, there are arguments for either method when starting with raw materials. (situation dependent)"

In this scenario it involved an unfinished strat body that has a spot on Fender regulation sized neck pocket and a neck with a non-conforming heel. (slightly wider)
I chose to re-shape the heel to fit the pocket rather than pocket to heel because *some day* I may wish to put a genuine or Fender-licensed neck on there.
If I had resized the pocket this would make a future neck swap (even if only slightly) problematic.
This path also would allow me to sell or trade the re-sized neck advertised as having Fender-correct heel dimensions.

"If you don't know the thickness of the finish that you've yet to apply then why would you sand before finishing?"

Another case of slightly mismatched pocket and heel. Both body & neck sealed but unfinished. Heel was spot on dimension-wise, but quite tight.
I sanded the neck pocket sides back approximately .5mm; lacquer finished each and when it was time to assemble, the fit was perfect.

I guess my point is the 'skinning a cat' thing (which is a horrible saying btw) thus why in my first sentence qualified it with it being "situation dependent".

I know many here have much more building experience than I, but I think most would agree that there is not always just a single solution to a single problem.

OK, I feel better now :^)

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 08:24 PM, Jan 31st, 2018)

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Jan 31st, 2018 09:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's all good, whatever works for ya. I might have done the same if mating a non-fender neck with a fender pocket, I dunno...

The main reason to NOT sand the neck heel is that you can add wood to the pocket (perhaps invisibly) in the event of a screw-up. Not so with the neck. There are also potential geometrical weirdnesses involved if you needed to remove a lot of wood from the neck to make it fit.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Very tight neck fit on new build, before finish.




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