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Suggestions for dealing with a bad neck pocket


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  • Suggestions for dealing with a bad neck pocket

    I have a Squire Strat (China) that has a neck pocket that appears to be incorrectly cut. The neck fits in the pocket not too loose or too tight, but it sits down into the body too far and at an angle that is messing with the action. I've shimmed it with a cut up bit of 3x5 card (folded so that it is 4 thicknesses), placed between the two forward screws. Set this way the action seems fine with the exception of the saddles adjusted almost all the way down and the screws in the saddles protruding to the point that they dig into your hand when playing. I removed the paper shim and replaced it with 2 washers (approx 1/16" thick). Restrung and tuned. The neck appears to be setting in the body more correctly and Iit necessitated raising the saddles all the way up. It plays, sounds more jangley, but is buzzing somewhere along the 8 to 10th fret.

    The shims seem to be a functional cheap fix, but its limiting the contact between the neck and body. I wondering if over time if this is going to weaken and create a need for another repair (worn/pulled screwholes, or cracked body in or near the neck pocket). I'm considering trying to make a wedge shaped shim out of hardwood and using that instead.

    It appears the neck pocket may have been cut too deeply. It also appears the end of the pocket nearest the bridge is deeper than the end toward the headstock, throwing the neck into a weird angle.

    Is there a better way to go about dealing with this particular problem?

  • #2
    I recommend using guitar picks. you've already determined one shim ain't enough and the other is too much. Use the picks until you get the angle where you want it. You can stack them however thick you need to make it right. Once you have it the way you want it, mix up some 2 part epoxy putty. Cut 1/8' wide strips of the picks and lay them in the pocket as close to the body as you can. Build up the area with the epoxy putty and bolt your neck into place with it wrapped in cellophane. Leave it overnite, loosening and re torqueing the screws a few times so the don't get epoxied in place. When you remove the wrap and bolt the neck it place, you're done. BTW it's not uncommon to need shims in the neck pocket. Won't hurt a damn thang.