Neck Pocket Help

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Old Man, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    As I posted in another thread, I was looking to get a Squire VM neck for my Squier Standard body. I did get it because it seemed like it would be a close fit. Unfortunately, the neck pocket is full of the poly-plastic carp they finished the body in. Holding the neck above the body, it looks like if I cleaned the poly off the sides and back of the pocket it would fit. But the closer I get the pocket down to bare wood, it still looks like I may have to take some wood off, not much though. As you can see in the pic I am including, they really piled this stuff on the flat side of the pocket in lumps. How they ever got a neck to fit is beyond me.
    My question is, once I get the poly finish off, if the neck is still too tight, and I have to reshape it a little, how critical is it? I am taking measurements as I go and only taking a little at a time. The neck is a finished neck also with a thick coat of whatever they used on the necks. Should I take some of that off? I really hate to mess with the neck itself unless absolutely necessary. It is beautiful and from what I can tell, never played.
    How critical is getting the neck completely to the back of the pocket? The curve looks to be right, but I am going to have to use my dremel with sanding drum to get the poly out of the corners of the pocket.
    The neck measures 2 3/16ths wide at the heel, won't know my pocket until I finish cleaning the poly out.
    I am going slow and checking every few sanding strokes.
    Am I going the right way about this? I am going to clean the flat side of the pocket tonight.
    Thanks for any info and guiding you can give me. Image to follow, it won't let me upload it to this post.

    Old Man aka Mike
     
  2. MikeyH

    MikeyH Squier-Meister

    Age:
    64
    252
    Jan 2, 2017
    Hawaii
    I'm not seeing your pic in the post Mike. I'm guessing you're not an experienced woodworker, but a router with a top-bearing pilot pattern following bit and a template made to match your neck would be the best way to fit a neck in a tight pocket if you're so equipped IMO. Maybe you have a friend who's a serious woodworker with a router? I've made neck-specific templates by placing two straight pieces of plywood along the sides of the neck butt and adding a curved piece of plywood that matches the radius of the butt end of the neck between them to form a very accurate template for the router. A half-inch template bit will cut the rounded corners of the pocket to match most necks quite accurately even if the template's corners are not cut to perfectly match the corners neck's butt as in the attached photo. A straight-line drawn from the center of the pocket opening in the template extended to the center of the pocket to the center of the bridge (make the template long enough for this) will help to align it before you place it with clamps or double-sided tape on the body for the rout. You can cut a sample pocket in a piece of scrap with a template to confirm the fit. The attached photo is of a full template for a strat rout, you'd only need a template with the neck pocket and a centerline.

    FrontTemplate.png
     
  3. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    Thanks for the info, but I do not have a router or know any wood workers. So this is strictly a seat of the pants doing. I am very mechanically inclined but never got into wood working.
    So just going slowly and keeping the center line matching as close as I can. I guess the worst I can do is ruin the neck pocket, as I am not trying to reshape the neck, and as it is the neck pocket is useless with all the poly piled in there.
    The image is in my next post separately from the first post.

    Thanks, Mike
     
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  4. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Sep 27, 2014
    Offline
    There is no image in either of your 2 posts in this thread....
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    It shows up in my post of "Neck Pocket Image". Let me try again.
    strat body bad neck pocket.jpg
     
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    Can you see it now?
     
  7. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    The pic is visible, but it can't be enlarged and is not sufficiently detailed for us to be able to help.

    Are you using the Upload a File blue button just below each posting to retrieve the image from your computer's photo collection? Maybe take some better pics using natural lighting so we can see what exactly you are dealing with.

    Do you have access to a small Mouse type sander? These usually have small sanding pads that could be used to level poly resin bumps on the floor or sides of your neck pocket.
     
  8. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    Yes, I used it tonight to remove all the poly down to bare wood. That got the neck to seat down,but it is a little high at the heal so I will keep working it at the back to seat it a little lower.
    I did get all the screw holes to align and strung the 1st and 6th string to check alignment, the 1st string is a little closer to the edge than I would prefer, but the neck fits very snug and there is no give to move it over just a little. I will try to take a little tiny bit off one side so I can shift it a little bit.
    Unless I can move the neck a little more to the back I am going to have a small gap between the heel and the body, or if I move it farther back, I will have to drill new holes and I really hate to do that on such a beautiful neck, but maybe the pickguard will cover that. I am going very slowly so I do not get to frustrated and mess it up. I can't post a pic of the mess they made with the poly now as I have everything in the pocket cleaned down to bare wood now. Looks like it might work out if I continue to go slow.
    I will keep everybody updated on the progress. I sure did not know building a partscaster was this difficult or I would just have bought another whole guitar in a color I like and changed out the pups and switches to my liking. This is going to need a refinish because I don't like black.
    Oh, the wonderful world of mixed up and messed up parts.o_O

    Thanks, Mike
     
  9. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    RI
    An easy way to cleanup or touch-up a neck pocket is to use a ladies nail file or emery board. Take a cheap straight file (they look like a tong depressor), usually a different grit on each side, and snip the rounded ends off making them square. The width of these are about the same as the height of the pocket. You can work all the flat areas fast, keeping them at a 90 degree angle.
     
  10. Dave M

    Dave M Squier-Nut

    524
    Feb 27, 2017
    Mira Loma, CA
    Your doing Fine...and no..... heel to body is not "that" critical....but if you keep working...you'll get there..better if you "Don't drill new holes.....
     
  11. Hotrodleroy

    Hotrodleroy Squier-holic

    Dec 7, 2011
    USA
    You have to keep your scale correct. 25 and a half.
     
    Caddy likes this.
  12. MikeyH

    MikeyH Squier-Meister

    Age:
    64
    252
    Jan 2, 2017
    Hawaii
    It's unlikely that Mike's hand work will move his neck toward the bridge so much that the scale length will be altered significantly. Barring some drastic change in saddle and nut height/depth and neck pocket depth, the saddles in the bridge can of course be adjusted to maintain intonation anyway. If the guitar in question is a strat with a floating trem, the spring tension will of course also be a factor in intonation.
     
  13. Old Man

    Old Man Squier-Nut

    724
    Jan 2, 2013
    Indiana
    OK, I have but this on hold as the nut shattered when I strung the low E and the high E to see how good the alignment was coming along. No one around me had the right nut. So I have ordered a new GraphTech Tusq nut. There was just enough of one piece to determine the right size in width and height, length I determined from measurement of the fretboard. I have ordered a PT-5042 nut.
    Why the nut shattered, I have no idea, as I had very little tension on those 2 strings, just enough to stretch them across the fretboard, it must have had some hairline cracks in it or something, maybe just age.
    Yes, it is supposed to be a standard body, it has 2 point bridge and I only had 1 spring on to hold it in place.
    If I need to move the neck a little to get the high E up on the fretboard a little more and move the low E a little closer to the top edge, do I just sand a little more off the sides? It is a good fit now and is a snug but not to tight to fit in the pocket? But I really want it to look good along the edges where the body meets the neck, unless a little gap is necessary for sideways movement.
    I got a quick look before the nut flew apart and the neck was setting a little high at the very back of the pocket, the strings were touching the back frets, but of course I had not tried to adjust any of the saddles, did not have time before the nut flew apart.
    Anyway the nut slot is clean and awaiting the new one, hopefully all will turn out alright.

    Mike
     
  14. MikeyH

    MikeyH Squier-Meister

    Age:
    64
    252
    Jan 2, 2017
    Hawaii
    Mike,
    You may not have to alter the pocket to shift the neck. It's often possible to shift the neck when the screws are slightly loose and then tighten them to hold it in place. Ideally the pocket is routed to accurately and snugly hold the neck in the proper alignment naturally, but that is not always the case.
     
  15. HALFCAWKT

    HALFCAWKT New Member

    Age:
    41
    1
    Feb 17, 2019
    High on the plains
    Sir, I am not ultra experienced at guitar modding, but if I were doing the project you are working on, and I went a little too far, I would glass bed the neck into the pocket.

    Glass bedding is used by gun smiths to make a rifle action tight to a rifle stock. It fills gaps between two pieces to give a tight, custom fit. I know of other who have used this technique to good effect with their guitars and were happy with the results. You can usually pick it up pretty cheap in the sporting goods section of Walmart.

    I’m not saying bedding should be plan A, but could save you if you went too far. All hope won’t be lost, so don’t “fret” over it too much.
     
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