A Loose Neck Pocket - how to shim it?


Junior Member
Any tips, like what kind of material/glue, what's the best way of doing it...

My strat replacement neck shifts if I push it, so I think it need some repair

Thank you
Notyethendrix said:
Any tips, like what kind of material/glue, what's the best way of doing it...

My strat replacement neck shifts if I push it, so I think it need some repair

Thank you

just a piece of veneer between the neck and the body.
You could try some powdered rosin in the neck pocket.  When you draw the two pieces together (neck, body) the rosin will help prevent shifting.

You can also dowel and redrill the screw holes on the body.  This is best done in pairs....  using a neck plate to get the spacing correct - from the existing holes, or, just be real careful to drill the new (smaller) holes right on center of the dowels you used.  maple dowel would be good (hard stuff).   

a body with little or no pocket like a v or sg relies on tight fit of screwholes, and good snug screws to hole the neck where it needs to be
If it's huge, those fakie credit cards that people send you are good, as are guitar pick slivers - I don't consider shimming the sides of a pocket to be a negative, some manufacturers like to shine on how their tight pockets increase sustain & tone & world peace but if that was the case, what are the screws for? :hello2:

Somewhat thinner shims come from the plastic in packaging for tuning pegs, strap-locks, printer cartridges, electronics crap etc., I'd guess it to be about .022" - .025"? It's clear, so you can trim it down and cram it into the slot with the screws slightly loosened, and in a few minutes you'll forget it was there. Save stuff like that - Confucius say, "You're only as good as your parts box." Some truly primo shims are the similarly stiff, clear plastic that's stuck on the backs of birth control patches, nicotine patches etc. - ask your wife/squeeze/girlfriend/boyfriend* to save you some,  It's about .003" (?) and you can stick it into the side gaps to keep everything perfect.

*(Speaking of "shine on", if your boyfriend is on birth control you need to go re-take high school biology or sumptin'.) :)icon_tongue:)
So it's shifting in the horizontal plane of the guitar not up and down ...
A shim at the side should do the trick.  Or bring it to your local luthier, he could tell you in a second if there's a problem and how to solve it.
I'm a bit afriad to mention this - but.....

There is a product called AcraGlass Gel.  Its for bedding gunstocks.  You can bed your neck with it too.  And thats as far as I'm going.  Its possible.  Its been done.  It works.  It has tremendous potential for bad results, but when done correctly and thoughtfully works like magic.  And kids... its all up to you because I'm not going to go into the usual how-to on this.  There are too many variables, and the liability is great.  If you trust yourself to do a good job, it will work.  I suggest doing some tests on scrap.

Its sold by Brownell's (www.brownells.com). 
That looks like some sort of epoxy... wouldn't it permanently attach the body to the neck?
Its a sort of epoxy... but not really glue epoxy, but more of a resin casting epoxy.

The reason for the tape, and release agent, is so it doesn't glue the neck to the body. 

Imagine this - on metal to wood - we use car wax and release agent only.  No tape.  The entire barreled action (barrel and frame, minus trigger stuff) goes into the gunstock.  It gets screwed down, the excess wiped off, and put away for a day.  Then to get the metal out of the wood (hopefully), its one quick rap with the heel of your hand on the bottom of the barrel and usually it just comes out.  Sometimes I had to back off the screws a turn, and give them a whack with a small hammer (and leather padding).  Not stuck one in "for all time" yet, but.... I suppose it can happen.

Wood to wood fitting, I like to use tape, which allows for finish buildup and expansion of the woods.  And it gives you that extra bit of security against gluing the damn thing solid.  Usually wood to wood fit is meant to have a little play, unlike gluing the wood in solid, or, metal to wood, where you can get pretty near a zero gap fit.
That Acraglas looks like it might be good for filling dings too, although the thick superglue works well too. I kind of like the birth control patch plastic shims cause they can be twiddled with no (potentially scary) permanence, but pretty much any lacquer or resin could be layered up on the sides of the pocket. There's a superglue accelerant that you can use to build up layers in a dent, surely it would work in a pocket.