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Tips on shimming the neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Danne, Sep 14, 2004.


  1. Danne

    Danne

    Sep 9, 2004
    Anybody who can give me some advice on shimming the neck? How much to put in between neck and body, materials to use, etc. Need to raise the neck to get a little bit more string height.
    :help:

    DP
     
  2. Let's start from the beginning and get some basic understandings squared away. Some folks say one thing and it means something else to us that can't see it.

    Your post says you need to shim the neck to get more string height. That means that the headstock will need to be raised by a small amount. Remember a very small shim means a large movement of the neck when measured 30"+ from the neck joint. That means that the shim will have to go somewhere around the front neck bolts. I liketo use something as hard as the body wood like a piece of veneer or some aluminum from a coke can. Make the shim as wide as the neck pocket. Start with 1 to begin see how much difference that makes. Add another if needed. If 2 ARE needed, you are presented with a chance to create a slight bevel by making the bottom shim longer than the top shim. This better matches the new angle of the bottom of the neck. If your neck needs to be adjusted by a large amount, you may need to consider making a full pocket shim with the taper built in. You would start with a thin piece of wood and sand it to height and angle. It will take some time to get right but it's really the only way to do it correctly.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Google for Dan Erlewine's "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great." I know they sell it at www.stewmac.com, and it's probably at Amazon. The answer to this and the next hundred questions any electric guitar/bass owner asks are in this book.

    That said, are your saddle screws maxed out? Usually the saddles are raised to get more string height. Describe your problem more exactly and we can tell you if a shim is needed.
     
  4. Danne

    Danne

    Sep 9, 2004
    correct, the screws are maxed out. they will fall out if I keep turning them more.
    DP
     
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    What bass is this? It sound like you need to see if there are already shims there that need to be removed. Shims are usually done at the neck pickup side of the neck pocket. Shims at the neck side of the neck pocket are rare, becuase negative neck angle isn't a popular setup.
     
  6. Danne

    Danne

    Sep 9, 2004
    it's a '78 P-bass. There's no shim in its neck pocket.
     
  7. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    How much more height do you need? If it's a small amount, then shim the neck side of the neck pocket.
    If it's quite a bit, I'd take it to a repairman and see what he thinks- maybe it would be better to deepen the neck pocket.
     
  8. Stevious G

    Stevious G

    May 5, 2003
    Or put a thin wood shim under the bridge. I've seen that done.
     
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Is it the stock bridge?
     
  10. Danne

    Danne

    Sep 9, 2004
    do you mean if it has the original bridge? yes, it's an ordinary fender-bridge. doesn't shims under the bridge affect the sound a bit?

    DP
     
  11. Depends on who you ask as to what answer you'll get! I suggest using your own ears and decide for yourself.

    Try reading this article on shimming..........

    http://www.mrgearhead.com/faq/basssetup.html

    Maybe this will help you!

    [​IMG]
    Treena