Damage done but I'll ask anyway


Junior Member

I recently received a warmoth strat body and vintage modern neck for a complete build.

I took the guitar to a tech.  He assembled and bitched about the neck pocket fit - "These should fit better - I shouldn't have to sand  - blah blah blah.

I picked up the guitar Saturday - played great BUT the saddles (HardTAIL) were max'd out height wise.

Bottom line - either the neck pocket or the neck need to be sanded to lower the neck. "He didn't want to do -it - not even for more money"

I decided that it would be easier to sand the neck with better results (consistant) than trying to level the neck pocket.  AND I always figure I would rather take my chances on messing up the neck if I have to reorder (generally cheaper)

I taped a sheet of 150 grit sandpaper, and later 220 grit on top my metal work bench (pretty flat no dents) and worked the back of the neck (heel part).  I measured periodically and removed about 2mm from the entire neck heel.  I did notice that I begin to sand away at the metal circle (trusrod?) too

I placed the neck back on the guitar and was able to drop the saddles and the pu's down to a respectable level.  I played the guitar for a day and let it set overnight and intonated in the morning and fine tuned.  Everything seems GOOD.  I did however realize that the vintage hardtail is too wide and have ordered a narrow hardtail to replace.  I then took the neck back off and applied a wipeable poly (3 coats) on the neck.

I am waiting for the bridge and wondering...... should I have sanded the neck pocket instead? will the neck be OK (it seemed fine) There seems to be opposing opinions on what to sand (neck or body pocket).  I know I could have shimmed the neck - but don't really like the idea of shims as the best solution.

I should have researched a little more before action, but was pissed off.

The neck seats on a table or flat surface very even and appear to be a very flat (no wobble or lowered or raised corners.

It's late and my mind is wandering -sorry for ramble

Thanks for your time and appreciate any ideas.

techs love to bitch

you should have to do no more than perhaps lightly sand the pocket

you could have shimmed the bridge

you could have shimmed the neck (but it would look a bit goofy I guess)

you could have asked Warmoth what was up with the entire thing

But... as you say, you got what you got as of this point in time.

As long as the neck tongue is flat, I dont see a problem.  If it isn't perfectly flat, that can be remedied.... but I wont tell you how in the forum (pm me if you like).

The narrow bridge will go right on, and I've always wondered why... oh why... Strats with Fender bridges are fine, but Warmoth with Fender bridges seem to have narrow necks, even with a total vintage sizing.  Could be the way they contour the edges I suppose.  Dunno.

Everyone says - dont mess with the neck.  But if you have a body thats messed up - esp a finished body, the cost of fixing it is more than the cost of a new neck....

You're probably fine.  If you really wanna get anal about the fit - pm me.

there was another thread somewhere here with the same topic. I think the answer was, as CB suggested, to shim the bridge with some ebony peg-head veneer.


i personally would have sanded it at an angle, take more from the heel than the front of the pocket, it would require minimal wood removal, just a thing to think about for the next one. i know wood can swell and twist and contract and warp in many ways but warmoths bodies are cnc routed and hold a very tight tolerence. i'm surprised you had any issue with the angle at all. i'm glad to see you are more frustrated with the tech than with warmoth. here is a tip. go out and buy a cheap guitar, buy a book on guitar setup and repair, read the book, practice setting up the guitar once you're satisfied with how it plays setup your warmoth, learn to solder and follow a diagram and then never go to a "pro" again.
thinking back... didn't somebody say you can get "tall" saddles for that bridge too?
Thanks for the feedback!

I have experience building (assembling) various strat like parts together to make a guitar. I have painted, sheilded, soldered, drilled, etc.
The guitar I play most is a yamaha pacifica with stewMac neck (which took much work to obtain 25.5 scale as the neck was not a direct replaecment)

That was pre KIDS - I just don't have all that much time to tend to projects like this these days and figured I would pay for someone else to deal with it.  Every time I bust a tool out around the house I find myself chasing after 2 extra sets of hands and figuring out where they placed all the tiny washers screws, etc.

I have a MEXI -strat with a warmoth neck.  On that guitar - I did sand out the neck pocket to get the proper fit.  However, I chose the neck pocket because it was uneven (both the original neck and warmoth leaned towards the high E side).  Once I started to correct the problem - I just kept going to lower the base of the pocket to sink the neck.

I thought about a bridge shim-but that would offset the playing height - I like the strings closer to the body - I often rest my pick hand on the body (probably not the best technique but I am 39 - I am not altering my left hand feel now) Besides, I think that would look kinda hokey too.

My view on using a shim is: Yes, I could lower the neck into the body better but then I compensate with the headstock rising above the guitar plane creating taller action.  Trusrod adjustments in this scenario are limited as back bow hump (string buzz) when trying to lower the relief.  Finally, I think using shims are reserved for situations wher this is a "shortage" (ie. there needs to be a build up to correct the situation)
AND - I really believe that the neck pocket and the back heel of the neck should be even, flat and most of all level (one continuous line)

It just seems really hard to ensure a level neck pocket on the body without very tedious work and there is the fear of accidentally removing material from the sides making the pocket sloppy.

Oh well... I have given thought that - if I ever need to order a new neck for this body - I will have the same problem.  If that situation presents, I will work at the neck pocket painstakingly slow and patiently checking the fit -  making the remaining hair on my head turn grey.


The height adjustment screws for the vintage style bridges are expecting a vintage 7 1/4" radius neck and are made to a certain length. When you use a compound radius neck, the screws need to be taller since the flatter radius is achieved through leaving more wood rather than taking wood away. If you go get new taller grub screws (height adjustment screws) at your local hardware store, you're good to go.

A tech complaining about a tight neck pocket instead of being excited about it, is giving you an example of the way he thinks. :redflag: .