Neck raised at heel. Solution?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by basss, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    The final couple frets are raised up on my neck. I was told by a luthier that this was due to compression of the wood caused by the pressure exerted by the neck plate and screws. Its only slightly raised but I like low action and this makes the last few frets on the neck unplayable while the rest of the neck plays fine. Is this problem solvable? Can the frets be filed even if the neck is raised at the heel?
  2. if it is slight...and I mean slight...then a fret leveling will correct the problem...but first, are the frets seated properly?...if they aren't perhaps you should start by having those frets re-fretted first...

    at any rate, the problem is entirely solvable.
  3. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Firstly - do you have a shim installed between the neck and body? If so, this is most likely the real culprit for causing this problem - especially if the shim is not a complete wedge shaped slice, but instead something like a partial shim that does not cover the entire neck pocket surface. Sure the neck plate and screws put the tension on the neck, but a poorly designed and installed shim will be the real root cause. My first recommendation would be to investigate the neck pocket shim method (very common on Fender style basses) and resolve the root of the problem first.

    Depending on your fret size/shape, you could reduce the profile height for the affected frets. This may work well for several years or months, but if the damage is the result of an improperly designed shim your neck will eventually return to this condition.

    A more permanent fix that can be accomplished after fixing any shimming problems would be to remove the frets in the affected area and re-level the fretboard. This is something that should only be done by a skilled repair luthier who has ample experience performing this procedure. Once the fretboard has been re-leveled the fret slots will most likely need to be deepened an amount equal to what was shaved/sanded off the fretboard. After this the frets are re-installed and leveled before performing a complete set-up on the instrument.

    The cost for this can be very expensive, depending on where you live, so be sitting down when you receive your estimate. Depending on the estimated cost, it may be less expensive to purchase a new neck from Warmoth and have a luthier professionally install it for you.

    All the best,