Shim material

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Nails, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    What's a good thin material for shims?

    I've read that both coins (penny/dime size) and buisiness cards do the job well. I've tried coins and they're to thick for the adjustment I want to make. I don't have any business cards laying around. Is there any other common item that will do the job well?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. If i knew what a shim was...

    Well anyway judging by the thickness, what about folding some paper a number of times to get that thickness? Or a old basketball card?

  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I assume you are going to shim a neck? If so, use something dense, I wouldn't suggest folding paper because it will collapse as you tighten the joint and you won't really be able to tell how thick it is going to end up.

    Got any index cards? They are about the thickness of a business card.

    I always prefer wood if I can find it. I have sanded down craft sticks and even taken a knife and shaved a little off a 2x4.

    Anything will work as long as it is dense enough not to collapse.

  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    If you are doing this on a Fender, you may have a neck tilt adjustment. Loosen the screws a few turns and with an allen wrench you can adjust the tilt thru the neck plate (there is a hole between the two bottom screws).
  5. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    I am doing this to a Fender, it's a MIM P-Bass and doesn't have neck tilt adjustment. Also I am shimming the neck, guess that would have helped to mentioned that in the original post. Thanks for the help guys, I'll look around for something suitable today.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You can buy aluminum or stainless steel tape in most hardware stores. I'm not sure that it works any better than a business card, match book cover, etc. It looks a little better, I suppose.

    I've heard of people using brass shim stock available at most any automotive store.

    I suggest anything besides coins. ;)

  7. Best shim shimming instructions:

    1) Buy beer in cans. Drink beer. Wait till hangover ends.
    2) Take shears to empty beer can.
    3) Cut shim to desired shape and size.
    4) Bandage bleeding fingers.
    5) Proceed to use 1 or 2 shims to achieve desired thickness.

    That about wraps it up for shims. I've always used the aluminum can shim. Even for bicycle purposes.

  8. jljohnson85


    Nov 27, 2000
    Woodstock, GA
    I'm new to setup, can someone tell me what a shim is and what it's used for?
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If truss rod doesn't allow for enough movement to get the optimum neck setting for action, you can change the angle by "shimming." By removing the neck and placing something in the neck slot of the body between the neck and the body itself, you can change the neck angle and its relationship to the body/bridge.

    Sometimes you shim to change the angle. I have also shimmed simply to change the fingerboard height.

    Other times you will see shims beside the neck (rather than under) These are usually in there because the neck slot was routed too large and the shims are properly aligning the neck.

    While it is sometimes needed to get a good setup, it has its disadvantages also. The more solid the contact between the neck and body, the better acoustic properties of the bass.