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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Neck pocket shim.

I like my guitar to have the strings a little higher off the body of the guitar than some manufacturers set the neck angle to achieve. My old RG3120 is about perfect especially since Ibanez uses the low profile bridges on their guitars. I'm used to playing a Les Paul with the pick guard removed so the strings are way off the body. This matters to me because I don't have the best form and anchor my right hand on the body usually when playing and locate my palm by hanging onto the high E. Weird I know but it's worked for 25 years now. I dig into the strings pretty good too and the pick will bottom out sometimes if the strings are really low on the body.

Anyway...

I am still fiddling with my new Charvel ProMod to get the strings etc. setup like I am used to. Neck shimming for me has always been a process where I use the wide end of various thickness of picks and put them under the neck in the back of the pocket. I find that it's easiest to cut the picks so that the thickness still shows on the part going in the pocket so I know what the thickness is. Then I can find a piece that is thicker or thinner by fractions of MMs and adjust to exactly where I want.
Is there a better way or material to use in the pocket? Am I screwing anything up in your opinion?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

You might try brass nut shims. You can use those in a variety of configurations to get what you want.

The downside to either brass shims or picks is that they're harder than the wood and could easily cause indentations. Sticking to paper for shims should eliminate or minimize that problem.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

what about raising the bridge??
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMAGEDDON View Post
what about raising the bridge??
Raising the bridge and leaving the neck at the same angle raises the action. I want nice action, but the strings to be higher off the face of the guitar.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
You might try brass nut shims. You can use those in a variety of configurations to get what you want.

The downside to either brass shims or picks is that they're harder than the wood and could easily cause indentations. Sticking to paper for shims should eliminate or minimize that problem.
The first time I shimmed a neck back when I was a teen, it was a Ibanez SUper 70s LP and I used paper. I can't remember why I shimmed it exactly anymore as it's been 24-25 years, but I used paper at the time. The local guitar tech (pure hack and had no idea what he was doing..but I didn't know at the time) laughed at me saying that's a "donovan" fix. So I've had a negative view of paper ever since. I do like the hard shims better however for getting exactly what I like.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

I own a RG that never needed a shim. First Ibanez I've owned that did not.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:43 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Recently made a some-what similar topic

I found Rich used paper when doing a search. But what I did rather than a "bar" was I folded the paper like a stair (3 or 4 folds for me if I remember correct) so when I screw the neck it would be more like a triangle...

To give detail, it was a "T" shape. the hat of the "T" was to the body thick enough till first raw of screws. Then the bodt of the "T" gradually decreases height until the second set of 2 screws. So the neck touches the body right at the second set of screws (toward the neck)

Don't know how logical it is but I'm pretty happy with the result, the guitar definitely resonances more.

I made a bad shim before while trying to figure out what height was best, besides tone I got pretty obvious a dead note.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
Raising the bridge and leaving the neck at the same angle raises the action. I want nice action, but the strings to be higher off the face of the guitar.
oh! gotcha. well, I use those fake credit cards they send you in the mail for shims. those work really well and you can cut them to whatever shape you need.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

I have found thinner shims work the best. I can't imagine a credit card size shim underneath a neck. The tilt on that would be out there.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:29 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ke^in View Post
I have found thinner shims work the best. I can't imagine a credit card size shim underneath a neck. The tilt on that would be out there.
the ones I have used were actually thinner than a credit card.. they don't want to put too much effort into a fake one I guess. So, maybe half the thickness of what an actual credit card is. Come to think of it I have been using an AARP card I got in the mail.. I'm not even 40!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

On one of my guitars, you basically had to bottom the trem studs entirely to get the guitar even close to set up and even then it wasn't right. This was way beyond what a simple shim would fix. I feel like either the neck pocket was routed too deep or the neck was too thin at the heel.

So what I did was make a template of the neck pocket and traced it onto a piece is 1/16" basswood I got from a hobby store. Then I cut that out with an exacto knife and sealed it with sanding sealer.





I later took that out and painted the edge gloss black and now it's pretty invisible in there.

Last edited by Takin' a Ride; 02-19-2014 at 06:27 PM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
On one of my guitars, you basically had to bottom the trem studs entirely to get the guitar even close to set up and even then it wasn't right. This was way beyond what a simple shim would fix. I feel like either the neck pocket was routed too deep or the neck was too thin at the heel.

So what I did was make a template of the neck pocket and traced it onto a piece is 1/16" basswood I got from a hobby store. Then I cut that out with an exacto knife and sealed it with sanding sealer.


I later took that out and painted the edge gloss black and now it's pretty invisible in there.
Wow, that one was WAY off then. I just needed a tiny adjustment on this one to angle the neck back a hair. I think I would have sent something as bad as yours back.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 11:22 AM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
Wow, that one was WAY off then. I just needed a tiny adjustment on this one to angle the neck back a hair. I think I would have sent something as bad as yours back.
I was gonna say! usually on a neck with binding, the top of the pocket meets right at the binding, or really close. I have actually rerouted a neck pocket deeper so I could get the neck closer to the body but that was on a fixed bridge
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Pretty hard to send back a '91 USA Custom because of a setup issue

Perhaps the problem was in the way the trem cavity was routed? Or the neck pocket cavity is actually deeper at the back? All I know is that the trem was completely bottomed and it still wasn't right. I actually left the stock shim in place under the full-pocket shim I put in there. I'd have to check one of my other guitars to see where the binding usually ends up relative to the body. That guitar actually has some neck issues at the moment, so it definitely needs more diagnosis.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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Re: Neck pocket shim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
On one of my guitars, you basically had to bottom the trem studs entirely to get the guitar even close to set up and even then it wasn't right. This was way beyond what a simple shim would fix. I feel like either the neck pocket was routed too deep or the neck was too thin at the heel.

So what I did was make a template of the neck pocket and traced it onto a piece is 1/16" basswood I got from a hobby store. Then I cut that out with an exacto knife and sealed it with sanding sealer.





I later took that out and painted the edge gloss black and now it's pretty invisible in there.

This is the method I was going to suggest. It has a lot of great benefits in addition to raising the neck. If you need less than this, a standard heavy paper (business card) shim should be more than adequate...........
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