This question regards a guitar not a bass, but this is a general luthier-oriented question. I have a Line 6 Variax 500 guitar for which a well known company makes replacement necks. One month ago, I placed an order for a neck specifying all my desired options in a lengthy telephone call, running the price to over $500. I'm no luthier or woodworker and have never taken apart a guitar. I'm confident, though, that assembly/disassembly is well within my capabilities, so I asked them if the new neck could be installed by a person of mechanical ability who has no real experience constructing guitars. They said yes, they encourage it, and you just have to drill the holes and bolt on the new neck. I made it clear to them that if there was any doubt, I could just take it to a local guitar shop to install it, but they said it's not an excessively challenging task. I received the new neck today. I took off the stock neck no problem and marked on my 1/8" drill bit how deep the holes in the stock neck are and put masking tape on the bit to mark the spot. I lined up the new neck in the guitar's heel and used an awl to make holes where the new neck needed to be drilled. I observed that the unbolted new neck fit with approximately the same snugness as the unbolted stock neck, but I noticed that the new neck's fingerboard falls about 1/32" short of the stock pickguard, but the stock neck meets the pickguard flush. That seems sloppy to me, but maybe my expectations are wrong. I drilled the four holes making sure to fall short of the masking tape so that I wouldn't drill all the way through the neck and into the fingerboard. I screwed in all four bolts most of the way, then went to tighten them so that they'd lie flush with their bushing-thing just as they did with the stock neck. Everything went normally, but the fourth bolt reached a point where it resisted screwing in, so I used a little more force with the socket wrench at which time the 17th fret wire dislodged a little and a crack appeared in the fingerboard at the 18th fret. After recovering my wits, I compared the thickness of the two necks, and the stock neck's heel is 2/64-3/64" thicker. That explains why the stock neck bolts pierced the custom neck's fingerboard, and though I was "lucky" it only happened at one of the four bolts, this $500 custom neck is ruined in its first hour of life. Is this my fault or theirs? If I had had any reason to believe the custom neck was a bit thinner in the heel than stock, I could easily have measured it and purchased appropriate neck bolts, but the company markets this as specifically a replacement for Line 6 Variax 500, so I naturally assumed it was designed to be attached with the Variax 500's stock neck bolts. If they do call it their fault, and they offer to replace for free the fretboard only, but on the same drilled neck, would that be "as good as new" or might I have done some sort of permanent damage tainting any future neck/fingerboard made from this same wood?