Quick question: Shims or no shims?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Minger, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Alrite, I want lower action on my SX. I know I can get it a decent amount lower without buzzing because I've gotten it there before, except because of that I had to lower my pickups so I wouldn't hit it, and at the E string there was a milimeter or two sticking up and it got kinda painful to play like that.

    So...to shim or not to shim? And someone on the SX forum asked if my pups were over my neck, and no they're not...
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Shimming usually isnt necesary.
  3. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Well, its just that I can't stand playing with the pickup that low - leaves almost no room for my thumb.
  4. So you're thinking about shimming/raising the neck heel evenly without changing the actual angle, correct?
    By doing this, it would allow you to have lower string action, without having your pickup sitting too low in its pocket.

    It's possible. First I would take a hard look at my bridge saddles to make sure they would have enough UP adjustment. Most times when we consider shimming, we're actually trying to change the "angle" of the neck in the pocket by adding a shim to one side or another, but your idea would still work.

    You'd want to cut some shim stock the same size as the neck pocket, and punch the screw holes through it. Having it fit the pocket like this would help keep a better contact between neck and body without gaps. You would not want the screw holes so tight that the neck screws were threading through it, but not too big either because when you tightened down on the screws, they would tend to pull the neck wood up slightly through these big holes.
    I would not use something soft like cardboard, plastic, etc.. Maybe something like brass or even stainless if I could find it. I guess aluminum could work too.

    Thickness? Well that would be trial and error, but it would need to be pretty thin. A thin shim goes A LONG WAY.. You could experiment with cheaper materials until you found a shim thickness that seemed good, and then make the permanent shim that same thickness.

    Just some ideas.. hope they help

  5. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Well, on the SX thread someone suggested using thirds of a playing card.