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Sanding Neck Pocket depth?


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5 hours ago, Playing for 32 years said:

@gardo...that would definitely work...I'm just curious about the sanding option:) I've got a new bridge coming anyway, as I wanted to go to 6-saddles on this guitar.

Sanding would probably work but it’s a lot more difficult.  I filled the neck on one taking more off the butt end to lower the saddles. in either case the real trick is keeping everything flat and even . I made a fixture with guides to keep things right.

A shim is the way to go. If you file or sand it’s a one way street, there’s no going back.

But if a shim doesn’t work you just pull it out and try again 

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I can't resist jumping in here.   There are two parts of a guitar's neck geometry - the angle of the neck relative to the body and the amount is stands proud of the body (called "overstand" from the bowed instrument world).     The actual amount of either one doesn't matter - it is the combination that does.   

Fender guitars are designed to have no neck angle (zero is an angle) and neck pocket is nominally 5/8 (0.625) deep.   In theory any neck that meets fender standards will screw into this pocket and give acceptable action.

The sometimes don't.   (Actually they often don't).   You often see some sort of foreign material in the neck pocket to change the angle or raise the neck relative to the body - picks, match book covers, whatever.   Fender even made an adjustable angle neck on a few guitars.   StewMac sell little laser cut shims marked with the amount of angle (recommended)

My rule of thumb when I build or set up a guitar is that I want the fret plane just hitting the tops of the saddles at their very lowest adjustment.   That (usually) will give enough adjustment to set an acceptable action (and thus intonation) and still have a little room to change it as required.   How you get there doesn't matter.   However a shim does have one big advantage over lowering the pocket - it is completely reversable.

If I was going to lower the pocket I would first measure how much it needed to be lower.   Assuming I wanted to keep the bottom flat (ie keep the angle at zero) I would use a router or a chisel depending on how much wood needed to be removed.   If necessary I would sand to make it perfectly flat on the bottom.   

I wrote a little thread about how I approach setting up a guitar for a different forum.   One of my cardinal rules is to measure everything before I do anything.    You might want to read the second posting

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/basic-setup.952636/

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For what it is worth, the official depth of a fender pocket is 5/8 (0.625) with a flat bottom.   Fender necks are 1 inch thick (neck plus fretboard) at the center line, typical total overstand at the center (neck plus fretboard) is 3/8.   Here is a good look at the standards

https://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/faq2.aspx

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23 hours ago, Freeman Keller said:

For what it is worth, the official depth of a fender pocket is 5/8 (0.625) with a flat bottom.   Fender necks are 1 inch thick (neck plus fretboard) at the center line, typical total overstand at the center (neck plus fretboard) is 3/8.   Here is a good look at the standards

https://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/faq2.aspx

This is very helpful - should be on a sticky somewhere around here.....

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