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twotimingpete

is it okay to shim a neck with cardboard?

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I have a bolt on neck axe whose action can't get quite low enough with the bridge adjustment. I think the neck needs to be mounted a bit higher. can I shim it with cardboard and get good results or is that a bad idea? I'd just like to bring it up a hair.

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Ya mate. No worries with the cardboard. I use thin business cards for mine and they work perfectly. Some necks need a bit of shim. Make sure you leave holes for the bolts or it will change the shim.

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Erlewine uses folded paper so I would think cardboard (not corregated) would be fine. If you raise it up to that thickness you might want to taper the shim down gradually over the length of the neck pocket to keep maximum contact with the neck pocket.

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I have. Something to think about, is once you get pressure down on it, it will compress (a little or alot depending on the cardboard).

 

So that can make it hard to judge how much your actually shimming the neck.

 

Otherwise I have used it without any issues

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I wouldn't use cardboard because it is fairly soft. Maybe something plastic like a credit card piece or so would work better.

 

A credit card is pretty thick.

 

I've always used playing cards (Jokers so you don't ruin the whole deck :poke:). They have good solid lamination and are very thin

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Even though this will seem really tweaky, I would go with a wood-based product, ie. cardboard, business card, etc, over plastic. Body is wood, neck i wood, shim should be wood(ish).

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yeah, when you tighten it, it gets pretty compressed and act alot like wood, propertywise. You arent using corrogated cardboard, are you?

 

My favorite shim, is playing cards stacked one on toop of the other. They are really thin and you can cut one shorter than the next to make sort of a ramp of "steps" so the neck is consistantly in contact with the same amout of material per square inch in the whole pocket. That is probably the biggest contributer to retaining good sustain and transfering vibrations from the neck into the body of the guitar. You just dont want a couple small contact points, and there being a significant gap somewhere in there. You will be robbing your body of full transfer of vibrations from the neck.

 

I have always found playing cards to be just about perfect used for shims in this manner. They are cheap too. Who doesnt have an old used up deck laying around somewhere?

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Erlewine uses folded paper so I would think cardboard (not corregated) would be fine. If you raise it up to that thickness you might want to taper the shim down gradually over the length of the neck pocket to keep maximum contact with the neck pocket.

 

This is almost word for word what works for me. I didnt read this first before posting. Sorry.:rolleyes:

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I wouldn't use cardboard because it is fairly soft. Maybe something plastic like a credit card piece or so would work better.

 

When you squeeze that cardboard by tightening the neck screws, the fibers get pretty compressed and act alot like wood. In its squeezed form in the pocket, doing its thing, it is anything but soft at that point. Cardboard works just fine, as will any similar paper product.

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I shimmed a brass nut on a bass with a thin piece of cardboard. The nut slots were cut too low and it wasn't easy to locate a replacement nut for a 6-string bass. I was surprised to find that the cardboard worked pretty well as a shim. I guess I was expecting it to be a tone killer...It wasn't.

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Business cards,paper,window screen, sand paper just about anything that is thin can and has been used to shim a bolt on neck.

 

The most common item(definitely not the best, and not reccomended) are guitar pics in the neck pockets as shims.:facepalm:

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I have a bolt on neck axe whose action can't get quite low enough with the bridge adjustment. I think the neck needs to be mounted a bit higher. can I shim it with cardboard and get good results or is that a bad idea? I'd just like to bring it up a hair.

 

I agree with all the others regarding using thin cardboard but here's some more info to consider.

 

Shims aren't used to raise or lower the neck. They are used to change the neck's angle. If as you mentioned, you can't get the action low enough and/or have the height adjustment screws sticking way out of the saddles, that's a pretty good indication you need a shim.

 

Check and be sure... grab the headstock and gently pull it back. Does the action look right then? Push it gently forward. How does the action look now? This will let you know if the shim should go under the heel of the neck or where the neck meets the body. The shim does not fill the entire pocket. At most it won't be more than 1/4 of the pocket. Remember it changes the angle of the neck, not the height.

 

Most guitars need the shim under the heel of the neck. I used a very thin pick cut in half width wise. With subsequent tightenings of the neck, it has compressed the neck pocket wood a bit and is now the perfect height. Even a very thin shim will make a big difference. Try a few different thickness and see which works best. Take into consideration that no matter what material you use, there will be compression (either of the body wood or shim material itself) so it will be thinner than you thought.

 

:thu:

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I agree with all the others regarding using thin cardboard but here's some more info to consider.


Shims aren't used to raise or lower the neck. They are used to
change the neck's angle
. If as you mentioned, you can't get the action low enough and/or have the height adjustment screws sticking way out of the saddles, that's a pretty good indication you need a shim.


Check and be sure... grab the headstock and
gently
pull it back. Does the action look right then? Push it
gently
forward. How does the action look now? This will let you know if the shim should go under the heel of the neck or where the neck meets the body. The shim does not fill the entire pocket.
At most
it won't be more than 1/4 of the pocket. Remember it changes the
angle
of the neck, not the height.


Most guitars need the shim under the heel of the neck. I used a very thin pick cut in half width wise. With subsequent tightenings of the neck, it has compressed the neck pocket wood a bit and is now the perfect height. Even a very thin shim will make a big difference. Try a few different thickness and see which works best. Take into consideration that no matter what material you use, there will be compression (either of the body wood or shim material itself) so it will be thinner than you thought.


:thu:

 

good stuff, thanks. I was about to ask if a pick would make a good shim. I have all of these ultra slim nylon picks that need a use. ;)

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I agree with all the others regarding using thin cardboard but here's some more info to consider.


Shims aren't used to raise or lower the neck. They are used to
change the neck's angle
. If as you mentioned, you can't get the action low enough and/or have the height adjustment screws sticking way out of the saddles, that's a pretty good indication you need a shim.


Check and be sure... grab the headstock and
gently
pull it back. Does the action look right then? Push it
gently
forward. How does the action look now? This will let you know if the shim should go under the heel of the neck or where the neck meets the body. The shim does not fill the entire pocket.
At most
it won't be more than 1/4 of the pocket. Remember it changes the
angle
of the neck, not the height.


Most guitars need the shim under the heel of the neck. I used a very thin pick cut in half width wise. With subsequent tightenings of the neck, it has compressed the neck pocket wood a bit and is now the perfect height. Even a very thin shim will make a big difference. Try a few different thickness and see which works best. Take into consideration that no matter what material you use, there will be compression (either of the body wood or shim material itself) so it will be thinner than you thought.


:thu:

 

No?

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They can raise a neck, but they certainly can't lower a neck:facepalm:

 

You too are correct Sir and I think I need another cup of wake up coffee.

:lol:

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I've used paper products for shims and they seemed to work just fine. I've also seen loose knit fabric soaked in glue used for shims. That won't compress like some paper products will. A lot of paper these days is more rock than wood pulp and actually won't compress that much.

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piece of a playing card works too- or a little piece of mesh (like what they use in screen windows) that works real good.

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