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Neck shims. What do you guys use?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ToneMonkey, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    I can't quite get the action as low as I would like on my new Franken P (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/now-bass-looks-home-surf-band-894897/).

    The E saddle is all the way down on the bridge plate and I'm still about 1/64" away from perfect action (for me). I'd like to get the saddles up into a more normal position at the bridge as well. Nothing too drastic, but a shim seems in order.

    What do you guys use for neck shim material? Business card maybe? Other?
  2. yup, small cut of a business card placed deep back in the neck pocket - works perfect
  3. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    Oops. Just realized that this post should have gone in the setup and repair section. Mods, can you move it? Apologies.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'm a fan of overkill, so I use sheet copper (found at most hardware stores, near the dowels and hobby materials) and cut it with tin snips.
  5. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    ^^^ Do you shim just the back of the neck pocket, or do you use a piece big enough for the entire pocket (so the neck angle does't change)?
  6. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    +1 the the business card. Perfect thickness.
    Sometimes a small strip of sandpaper will do.

    Just a small strip at the bottom of the pocket. Usually no need to line the whole thing.
  7. The neck angle is the point of the shim... so you can get your saddles off the bottom of the bridge.

    That thin strip of business card at the back of the neck heel ever so slightly changes the neck angle without effecting anthing. Just putting a big business card, without changing the neck angle would only raise the neck the height of the business card... probably 1/128th inch - not much.

    The point is to angle the neck just a hair... it will probably get you to raise your saddles 1/16th of an inch or so...

    Try it and see what happens - you'll see what we are talking about.
  8. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    No problem. :)
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used a wedge made of layers of masking tape for a tilt shim and simply layers of tape for a flat shim. For my personal basses I only use a flat shim.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    As others said, just shim a bit at the back end so the neck angle does change, definitely not the whole pocket.
  11. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I've used a business card for every shim I've done but I've heard of people using thin strips of veneer.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005


    - georgestrings
  13. This is how I've done it, but I could see shimming the whole pocket if one wanted a very subtle increase in finger/fretboard height relative to body surface.

    Edit: I use bits of business card
  14. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    Mucous grassy ass amigos!
  15. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Fender medium picks...
  16. My 63 P had 2 shims, shaped exactly like the end of the neck pocket and about 1/2" long, made of vulcanized fiber, the kind custom knifemakers use between handle and guard, or between scales and exposed tang. There was also a small hole centered in the flat side maybe 3/32" diameter IIRC. Never did figure out what that hole was for.
  17. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    Thanks again guys. One small piece of business card worked perfectly. Saddles are right where I want them.
  18. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    The hole was for hanging a bunch of shims on the assembler's workbench so they are organized, just reach up and grab one off the hook. Otherwise there's a stack or box of shims laying around on the bench getting in the way.
  19. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Depends on the bass... I get tripped up on action.. not where the bridge is set.

    Commonly most basses can be perfected with a tilt shim

    I use a machinists shim tape (made from pvc)... apply this tape to the neck...... it's about 1/4 wide... ... doesn't shift...
  20. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    Why not? Wouldn't shimming the whole pocket also work to give you a little more height at the bridge? That way, you would maintain a better neck pocket contact area, which might affect your tone? (For the record, I personally don't believe it would matter much)

    Not to say "shimming-in" more of an angle wouldn't also work.

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