Combining heel contour designs

ztbishop

New member
Messages
2
I tried a Fender pro (full heel thickness with the corner of the heel filed).  It doesn't do much at all - still too thick & bulky where the heel pocket starts.
I tried a Fender Strat ULTRA - it felt AMAZING.  It both angled the heel thickness similar to Warmoth, and cut the curve out of the heel corner. 
I have not had a Warmoth style body (yet).
--So I'm planning a new build and want to order the Contoured strat style body, along with a pre-drilled neck.

Has anyone tried the Warmoth contoured heel and gone the extra step of cutting/filing the corner off (similar to Fender ULTRA) and slapping on the Fender curved heel plate?
Will need to drill a new hole in the body, and then fill and drill a new hole in the neck. 

Reason to do this all up-front - I'm going with an unfinished body anyway and can do the carving before painting.  Get the best of both designs, similar to the Ultra.

I had a few concerns if the heel pocket would still be strong enough being both thinner and smaller (although Fender does it).
And - if throwing some wood filler in one of the holes of a roasted maple neck (and drilling a new one) would cause any type of issues (weaken the neck, etc).
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,483
Welcome to the forum.

People have tried or thought about various things. Some of them more successfully than others.

If you plan on using a Warmoth modern construction neck you would be better to just stick with a Warmoth contoured heel. See below page, scroll to the bottom as what you are suggesting would be incompatible.

https://warmoth.com/guitar-neck-fit

 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,668
Please note as mentioned you want do that with a modern neck.
With a non modern neck, wood putty or
Filler is not enough.  You would have to plug the holes with dowels, then re-drill using a press (pillar). 
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
795
I've done 3 Warmoth based partscasters.  All of them have an Ultra like heel that I did.

Some watch outs.....

You can't use the Warmoth Modern straight headstock neck.  The side adjust doo hickey is right in the way of where the repositioned neck screw goes.  You can use a Warmoth Modern Tiltback headstock since it doesn't use the side adjust doo hickey

If doing ferules, there is not enough meat around the screw hole in the body that is towards the neck on the upper bout side.  I've gotten chip out on this hole for the 2 guitars using ferules.  Not terrible and doesn't affect function, but not aesthetically the best.  Another option is to use the Ultra/Deluxe/Elite neck plate.  I did this on the guitar I did without the ferules and worked perfectly.

I've realized the mistake I made when using the ferules was having predrilled holes for the body and neck.  If I make another guitar (highly likely), the body and neck will be ordered without neck screw holes.

1st guitar I did with the Fender Elite/Deluxe neck plate.  All I did here was draw and outline, use a saw to lop off the corner and drill the new screw hole

Shore-Caster-4-2.jpg


This was the 2nd guitar I did, where I went with the ferules.  On this one, it did not come with the Warmoth contour heel, I made my own and like it better.

Warmoth-Hybrid-Tele-Getting-there-Back.jpg


And the latest one.  This was in an early phase of the guitar so it looks rough, and was later smoother out
Velocity-neck-heel.jpg

 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,483
I think if it was something that I was going to do by adapting Warmoth parts (as mentioned do not use a modern construction neck with the side adjust) I would use a suitable neck not drilled for holes, I would also reshape the heel transition of the neck to look similar to that of the Ultra so it looks like it was designed to go together and drill my own holes rather than (if you pardon the pun) end up with something that looks like it was bolted on.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
795
stratamania said:
I think if it was something that I was going to do by adapting Warmoth parts (as mentioned do not use a modern construction neck with the side adjust) I would use a suitable neck not drilled for holes, I would also reshape the heel transition of the neck to look similar to that of the Ultra so it looks like it was designed to go together and drill my own holes rather than (if you pardon the pun) end up with something that looks like it was bolted on.

Spot on
 

ztbishop

New member
Messages
2
I was planning to use vintage/modern (top adjust, single action) so that part should be okay. 
I hadn't considered counter-sinking ferules since the wood will already be a bit thin, but that looks nice!  No issues so far? Did you find the extra cutout worth-while?

I think my main consideration for now is weather to order the neck pre-drilled, or do all 4 myself.  I don't have a drill press, just a hand drill.  I was nervous about roasted maple being brittle.
Would it hurt anything to just leave the original 4th hole empty after drilling another? I don't mind taking a dowel and some wood glue if needed...was just nervous if it's not filled correctly, if having the hole (plus not having that hole pulled down by the screw threads) could cause the neck to twist.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
795
No issues at all with stability.  Yes, the extra cutout was very worth it.  My fretting hand barely feels the heel.

If you're going to use ferules, I'd highly advise getting the neck/body without predrilled holes.  if only drilling the one hole, I used a hand held drill and it worked fine.  A drill press would be better.

No issues with leaving the original 4th hole unfilled, outside of aesthetics.
 

JohnL2112

Active member
Messages
26
I plan on doing this with a soloist soon, going the fender ultra heel route. I got a "scrap body" that I am going to test on, before I plan out how I am going to do this on a super nice body.

I'll take photos after I do it.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,541
Hendrix you are the man! 
So that I can search for this again I'm calling this bolt on without neck plate using 12 mm ferrules heel contour
 

docteurseb

Senior member
Messages
759
rauchman said:
stratamania said:
Here is another cross reference of a good example of contouring adaptation.

Candy Pink Strat with custom pink/red resin inlays

Wow, how hard is it to drill out the fret markers on the fretboard?  Would love the replace the black that I had ordered with either moonglow or mother of pearl.

Drilling out was not too horrible, but not all dots came out cleanly. Still the end result is looking good.

The real pain is to make the dots perfectly flush.
In my case it was easy since the neck was a fixed radius: I just sliced a matching radiused sanding block and slapped some sandpaper with adhesive backing. Even then I accidentally sanded down the treble side noticeably in one spot; easily avoidable going slowly.

On a compound radius neck you could make several matching radius blocks.
Some use a razor blade to scrape the new dot but I'm dubious about this technique yielding a flush and radiused dot.
 

Street Avenger

Senior member
Messages
2,260
It would be ideal if you could get Warmoth to drill 3 of the 4 holes in the neck, and do the relocated hole yourself. I don't remember if they will do that or not but you should ask them. I like the original Fender Deluxe heel, but the new Ultra style is cool too. Here is a picture of mine.

 

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docteurseb

Senior member
Messages
759
Looked at it recently, and at best you you can get just the pilot hole plugged or not. Problem is I think their pilot hole is precisely the one where you'd do the contour...
 

TheOtherEric

Active member
Messages
63
Not sure combining heel concepts (rounding the corner + sanding the whole area down) is necessary or a great idea, but who knows.  I'll be building in the next week or so a build where I drilled for ferrules and sanded down the corner -- see below pic.  So I'll let you know how this compares to my Warmoth Soloist with contoured heel and 720 Mod, which really feels great. I've read this sanded corner generally feels better but I expect they'll both be great.

By the way, that video about drilling for ferrules seems rather complicated -- you just need a drill press and it's easy peasy. Use a drill bit to line up the body, clamp the body down, then remove that bit and replace it with the bigger bit. Done.
 

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TheOtherEric

Active member
Messages
63
stratamania said:
I am sure you know this but don't forget to use appropriate size screws.
Indeed!  I bought a pack of Fender screws and will need to cut one down. I hate doing that, but c'est la vie.

Another big "gotcha" there is to realize that not all neck screws have the same thread pitch!  If you buy "off-brand" screws then swap screws of different pitches, you'll strip out the neck.  I about s**t my pants when I discovered that, and immediately panicked to see if I ever mixed anything! 

And another "gotcha" is to make sure your pre-drilled neck holes are deep enough for the screws you'll use, since you may end up with screws that go a bit deeper into the neck.
 
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