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neck shim material

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rstansfield64, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. what material do you guys use to make neck shims?
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Business cards. They are made of (originally) wood. They are easy to trim. If you need more it's in your other hand. They come in different thicknesses. That allows you to tailor the shim thickness. If you use your own, you can cut your name out and everyone will know that you were there.

    Some like to use wood veneer. It is fussy to cut and splinters easily. It is also typically used only if a thick shim is necessary.

    Metal shim stock takes too long to fabricate, is quite often too thin, and if the bolts are socked down tend to compress the wood rendering the shim useless.

    Personally, I've seen guitar strings, cardboard, matches (both paper and wood), a plastic drink chip, coins in various denominations and countries of origin, the tooth from an old comb, playing cards, pieces of metal, and a condom wrapper.

    Business cards seem a better choice.
  3. brilliant, business cards never even crossed my mind:bassist:
  4. folded pieces of very fine grit sandpaper seems to be a popular choice with Fender, both my MIA and my Squier Jazzes had them. The MIA did not need it after a good setup though :smug:
    the advantages of folded over and glued sandpaper is that it bites the neck and the pocket, making for a non-shifting neck
  5. speedkills


    Jan 10, 2008
    I've used sandpaper and its great. If it has a sticky back even better.

    However if you're like me and you have to take the neck on and off a few times to get it right business cards are the way to go.

    My main bass has a business card (mine) in the neck pocket right now.
  6. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    New playing cards are consistently 0.010" in thickness - they make great shim stock.
  7. Masking tape works. You can fine-tune the shim with layers of it, and also shape and taper the shim as needed. And it won't move.
  8. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    I have some very thin walnut veneer that I've been using. Just trim a piece to fit and voila. But the folded sandpaper makes sense too.
  9. speedkills


    Jan 10, 2008
    Depending on the grit sandpaper gets thick real fast!!
    Playing cards sound like a good way to go.
    Especially if the thickness is predictable.
    With a good ruler you should be able to figure out how much shim you'll need before you even start.
  10. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i have always used dunlop picks...... in years to come somebody will take the neck of think cool!! like a time capsule with something usefull for a change.:bassist:
  11. jrfrond


    Jul 11, 2006
    Tech Director, dBm Pro Audio Services, New York
    I use the same plastic shim stock I use in speaker reconing, because I know the thickness. I have several sizes: .005", .007", .010", .012" and .015", which is the one I usually use.
  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    If it is a luthier or tech that is removing the neck, decorum prevents describing what will go through their minds. Rest assured it will not be, "Gee, how clever!"
  13. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    What kind of shim stock is this? Where do you get it? Sounds great.
  14. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004

    ooops... forgot to say that plectrums..or picks as we now tend to call them...make excellent shim materiel ...a sort of win win if you find them while removing a neck.
  15. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006

    Unless there is a specific reason, and an unusual one at that, the shim should line the width of the neck pocket. Picks are not that large. Not only that, but if distorting the heel of the neck (over a long period of time) is the goal, then a pick is a great way to do it. Not only will it help to cause the ubiquitous "ski jump", it can also cause a hump in the middle, too. Two for the price of one.

    Besides, most picks are far too thick for most shimming duties.

    All in all, a plectrum is a poor choice for this job.

    Of course, guitar players like them, too.
  16. I have always used business cards and never had a problem.
  17. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    What about washers on the neck screws?
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've used beer can aluminum for nut shims but never a neck pocket. It is thin enough to be cut with an xacto knife but will not compress once installed.

  19. miguel2u


    Mar 6, 2007
    Metal shimstock. I have a few thicknesses, tinsnips and a file for a custom fit.
  20. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    I like the mesh-type drywall sandpaper...it has grit on both sides-easy to trim-and really keeps the neck from shifting.

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