Neck shims

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Oldguitarguy, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Meister

    237
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    just picked up this Epi Strat style guitar for very little because the action near the neck is high. The sight line down the surface of the neck hits well below the bridge. Tried truss adjustment but no help. I think I need to shim the neck to change the neck angle. Does this sound like the right solution? Any suggestions? How can I determine the right size/angle shim without buying a bunch of different ones and using trial and error? Any free shipping sources for reasonably priced shims? If I can get the action fixed, I plan to put in a set of GM 1/4 pounders. B8CC55B6-8D53-4BD4-8AD4-8DFFF49BCD36.jpeg BE62D48F-95A9-4058-A63C-4A1AD7184AEF.jpeg B6344B78-B0F3-4B9A-85EC-C45EF29BBF88.jpeg
     
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  2. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Squier-holic

    Age:
    61
    Nov 14, 2016
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Yeah, cut a slice off a business card and use that as a shim, don't go spending money on bits of wood.
     
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  3. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    yes - do this ! paper is wood ! sounds like a 2 card solution , maybe 3 ?
     
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  4. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Squier-holic

    Age:
    61
    Nov 14, 2016
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I've always been surprised at how high even one slice of card can raise a neck height.
     
  5. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Yup.... what he said ^^^
     
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  6. RegularJim

    RegularJim Squier-Nut

    Age:
    46
    507
    Dec 30, 2017
    Illiconsin, Wisinois
    If you use 2 pieces of business card at the end of the heel, maybe affix one piece near the middle to take up the empty space. This might not be necessary, but couldn't hurt.
     
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  7. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    I use old plastic gift cards for when I need to shim a neck. Sometimes I just shim the bottom of the pocket to change the angle and sometimes I shim the whole thing to raise the neck.
     
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  8. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Squier-holic

    Age:
    61
    Nov 14, 2016
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Plastic is an idea too, saves the Whales eating it..on the odd occasion I've had to put a shim at the front of the pocket.
     
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  9. -r3-

    -r3- Squier-holic

    Jan 28, 2016
    NC Piedmont
    I've never shimmed a neck. At StewMac prices, StewMac sells full pocket tapered shims at .25°, .5°and 1°. You can use one, or more at a time. It does seem to make sense that keeping the surfaces in the neck pocket flush would be desirable. Their shims have the following characteristics:

    • 0.25-degree shim offers the most versatility – stacking them will let you really dial in the neck angle you're after.
    • 0.5-degree taper is the one you'll reach for most often – it works great on Fender and many other solidbody guitars.
    • 1-degree taper for guitars with a Tune-o-matic bridge or Floyd Rose.
    Dimensions: 2-3/16" x 3" (55.56mm x 76.12mm)

    Taper specs (approximate):

    0.25-degree tapers from 0.030" to 0.019" (0.76mm to .048mm)

    0.5-degree tapers from 0.028" to 0.008" (0.71mm to .020mm)

    1-degree tapers from 0.060" to 0.010" (1.52mm to .025mm)
     
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  10. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    most of the time I shim necks with 0.010" to 0.012" plastic shim stock -just like Fender does it.
     
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  11. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    How do you calculate how much angle is needed? And are the measurements given the thick and the thin end of the shim?
     
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  12. -r3-

    -r3- Squier-holic

    Jan 28, 2016
    NC Piedmont
    The thick/thin measurements are under the 'Taper Spec' heading. For the angle, I guess: if the action is too high when the nut is at proper spec, the neck is adjusted to level, and the bridge adjustment won't fix it - then you'd throw a .25° shim in and see where it got you, then either swap a .5° in or add it to the .25° and check that out. Possibly sanding a little off the flat side of a shim if you needed to. So, a little trial and error based on those known measurements, and then your experience after having done it some. I have to guess that the 1/4, 1/2 & full degree shims are based on their experience on what is needed to remedy most problems encountered in real world situations.
     
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  13. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I dunno. That sounds good on paper. I can draw 3 lines on paper and know almost instantly what amount of exact shim I would need. But in general given the mass produced factors of necks and bodies, a 0.010 to 0.012 shim on a 25.5 scale guitar usually does the trick.
     
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  14. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    You should read or watch one of the many good tutorials on guitar setup. Adjusting the truss rod is part of it of course, and although it does change action, isn't used to correct action that's too high or make up for improper neck angle, it's used to set relief.
     
  15. cool gouhl

    cool gouhl Squier-Nut

    Age:
    45
    682
    Dec 4, 2014
    Cincinnati
    I agree that ordering shims is unnecessary. Most strats I've had Fender or Squier usually have shims made from old sandpaper or just paper from the factory. If it's good enough for Fender it's good enough for me.
     
  16. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    You probably have a selection of old picks you don't do anything with and that are different thickness. Voila!

    Note the impression of the Fender pick, you can even read the Medium writing in the wood.

    2007-01-01 12.00.54.jpg 2007-01-01 12.01.13.jpg
     
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  17. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Meister

    296
    Sep 6, 2014
    Va
    I spot the neck from the bass side of the guitar as it goes along the pocket. I basically eyeball it--it is dead straight, or does it lean down or up as it travels toward the bridge?


    https://www.tdpri.com/attachments/2016-01-02-19-04-50-jpg.315287/[​IMG]


    My goal is to have it at least level, preferably a little higher on the bridge side. Just a little. So I eyeball it and decide how much shim it needs. I cut a piece of similarly sized paper (I keep a variety of paper around from the mail, business cards, etc as options) the width of the pocket by 2/3" or so. In order to get good angle, 2/3" is good. If you run it for half of the neck pocket (1.5"), it won't tilt the neck as much. If the tilt is off badly, I will pile two pieces together.

    I dab it with elmers and stick in the back of the pocket so it'll stay put while I put the neck back on.

    One hint--err on the side of too much paper but only just so. That way you don't have to go back because you didn't put enough in, and usually the saddles can be raised high enough to cover the tilt.
     
    5ofeight likes this.
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