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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rstansfield64, Mar 2, 2008.
what material do you guys use to make neck shims?
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.
brilliant, business cards never even crossed my mind
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
the advantages of folded over and glued sandpaper is that it bites the neck and the pocket, making for a non-shifting neck
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.
New playing cards are consistently 0.010" in thickness - they make great shim stock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
What kind of shim stock is this? Where do you get it? Sounds great.
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.
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.
I have always used business cards and never had a problem.
What about washers on the neck screws?
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.
Metal shimstock. I have a few thicknesses, tinsnips and a file for a custom fit.
I like the mesh-type drywall sandpaper...it has grit on both sides-easy to trim-and really keeps the neck from shifting.