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Guitar Creaks During Dives/Pulls, Can't Explain It

2534 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  CrossingStar
I have this old Stratocaster and I put another neck on it. It has a Floyd Rose PRO on it. It was a three bolt model from the 70's but I added two more bolts with the previous, original neck and it held rock solid. So I put on this replacement and not only is it creaking- (This isn't the "first creak" you get when you play it the first time in a awhile & goes away) -every time I pull up, I can also grab the neck and forcefully move it side to side and hear it creak, though the shift is barely visible. I added a sixth bolt and am about to add a seventh. The sixth helped a little, I am hoping a seventh will stop it. The neck pocket on the guitar is like swiss cheese, not to mention the necks heel.

I should also mention that I sanded down the neck profile somewhat to get it closer to a Wizard though I came nowhere near that. I'm wondering if that weakened the whole neck and the creaking it just the neck reacting to the change in pressure when I pull the trem up.

What are the possible causes of this creaking sound?
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Whats funny is your neck is probably creaking from being too tight. This happens quite abit from what ive read. I dont think you EVER needed to add more bolt holes, and your just in my opinion weaking your neck to body joint by doing so. Rich Harris has several fixes for creaking neck pockets. SOme people use talc in the neck joint, or they use that screen door metal stuff or whatsahuseits and things. lol
I don't think it was too tight because like I said, I could slightly move it from side to side. Adding the 7th bolt stopped this movement and most of the creaking but it still makes some noise. I don't get it.
You probably don't have two perfectly flat surfaces. So you are only making pure contact in a couple small areas. I would have re-routed the neck pocket, shaving off less than a millimeter, and then either hand flattened or belt-sanded the neck's heel. That can still be done now, but there're so many holes it's a bit late in the game to play armchair quarterback.

Some guys have put baby powder in there to alleviate the "lacquer against lacquer" creaks. That's okay I guess. Try countersinking all the holes slightly, both on the body and the neck.

Also it's entirely possible that some of your screws are threading the body. That's fine, and in theory it's advantageous. It actually helps to prevent neck movement. But if the neck isn't dead flat against the body, you can tighten the screws all you want and you're really tightening the neck plate into the body, but maintaining a slight gap between the neck and body. If this is the case, I would take out all the screws, ream out the four corner holes so the screws float freely in the body holes, but are still tight. Then install them, tightening the front two first, then the back two. Then reinstall your "overkill" screws, allowing them to thread the body as well as the neck.
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Having 7 bolts on your neck-joint is pure crazyness.I'm surprised the body hasn't split.

Sounds like you've wrecked a 70's Strat.:(
I took a few minutes to go over this issue, and I guess I have to agree with frank on this one. Did you only get this issue after you put the new neck on? Sounds like its the neck itself rather than the neck pocket that your having issues with
Frank - Your assessment is correct in that there are not two flat surfaces. It is the 70's era Strat with the "Micro-Tilt" adjustment. Meaning, there is a small set screw that juts out from the front of the neck pocket into the rear of the necks heel. This is for neck angle adjustment. Which came in very handy with a top mounted, non recessed Floyd. I really wouldn't want to shave the pocket at an angle because I might put the original neck back in one day. I did try lining the pocket with wax. I could try powder too. I'm not using a plate anymore either. I have four with Ibanez style neck attachment screw ferrules & three with washers.
I didn't have this creaking problem with the original Fender neck, and it only had three, then 5 bolts. I don't think I ruined anything forever. I can dowel the holes in the neck pocket. And if I want to spend the money, have the original neck repaired (new fretboard). I don't know what I'm going to do with it. Might be just polishing a turd at this point. Thanks for the input though.
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LOL @ Polishing a turd....

If your screw holes are a bit stripped, try tossing a little bit of cotton from a q-tip in the holes before you put the bolts in... either that or a piece of toothpick or something, but just enough for added grip. If you use too much you could split the wood if you have to force it.
Actually, none of them are stripped now. I mean They are dead tight in there. Thanks though.
You didn't want to shave the neck pocket, but you happily added 4 screws?
I'm at a loss for words.
Screw holes are easily reversed, I can just dowel them and repaint. I didn't "happily" add 4 screws, I figured it was the only way. By the way, adding two more screws under the neck plate of a three bolt Strat is not unheard of. I read about it somewhere, that's where I got the idea, except I just decided to go with Ibanez style ferrules and do away with the plate.
I have heard of other people doing this even with G&L, but i think its bad tech. That doesnt necessarily mean its sacreligous or anything. I live for modified beater guitars i think they are the epitomy of what a good guitar is really all about.
I'm the same way. My guitars are not museum pieces and I refuse to accept that 70's Strat's are anything special only because 25-30 years have passed. I will do whatever to them to make them work for me.
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