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Shimming help

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kyral210, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    I have an Epiphone Goth Thunderbird I am currently doing up, and found that the neck was shimmed. I generally hate neck shims (especially crappy tape ones) so removed it, and drilled out the screw threads of the neck bolts in the body (as all should be done).

    Anyway, I have found I need to shim the neck again, but I want to do it properly. I know I should use a tapered 'wedge' to give the best coupling and support to the neck. I read that using a cheap tape style shim near the rear of the pocket is bad for the neck and tone.

    Can anyone make this shim for me? If not, where can I get materials to make three shims of gradually reducing thickness?
  2. I have no problem with neck shims...they work and they are used in all kinds of basses. I flatly disagree with the assertion that they are bad for the neck - that's BS. I also don't have any problem with them for tone. Here are some good options:

    1) Business card folded over
    2) Layers of masking tape (custom fit for thickness and taper)
    3) Layer of sandpaper (keeps the neck from shifting)
    4) Sliver of wood, shaped into wedge by rubbing across sandpaper glued to a sheet of plate glass or marble
  3. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    I like your idea of using layers of masking tape, that gives control over the thickness! How many layers are needed?
  4. Unfortunately it's hard to predict..and obviously it's a pain to dismount and re-mount the neck and re-string the bass to experiment. I think I'd try something like a folded over business card as a test (amazing how often that's just right) and then try to replicate that thickness with tape. But more than one neck on/off operation will be required to fine-tune it.

    It's a technique used by one of the sharpest guys I know, but he is also very patient when it comes to setting things up.
  5. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    The business card idea?
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    If you're really into having a full pocket wedge shim, drop an email to Sheldon Dingwall. He sells them for his basses, but I'm going to guess that it would be fairly easy to modify one to whatever neck width you have. Probably not the cheapest option in the world though...
  7. What Pilgrim said.

    Also, what I do is:
    1. Measure the action where the neck joins the body with the bridge saddles as low as they will go.
    2. Determine what you want the action to be there.
    3. The difference between 1 and 2 plus about 0.010" is the thickness of the shim at the end of the neck pocket.

    It also depends on how far into the neck pocket the shim extends - the farther out it extends (towards the nut), the less height you need on the shim.

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