Need to redrill mounting holes in roasted maple neck


New member
I got my neck from Warmoth finally and it's fantastic. Roasted maple, pau ferro fingerboard, lovely. I did not need to do anything special to the tuner holes, my Hipshot tuners with the UMP fit perfectly.

However, the mounting holes do not line up with the Guitar Mill tele pocket I'm pairing it with. I will need to fill and redrill them. Disappointing, I hoped Warmoth and Guitar Mill would be compatible, since they both supposedly build to Fender specs.

I've filled holes before using toothpicks, wood glue and then wood paste on top to make it flush. Will this work as well on the neck holes? I'm worried about the supposed fragility of roasted maple.
The method described with toothpicks would not be a good way to go about filling the holes in the neck.

But If the holes are not misaligned by much you would be better to enlarge the holes in the body so that the screws can go through and align with the Warmoth neck holes. The holes in the body need to let the screw pass through unhindered in any case and will not be visible under a neck plate.

Try strat man's method.  If it doesn't work, then jam in and glue a dowel and redrill ... accurately.  If you don't have the tools or skills to do it, bring it to someone who has the tools.
A dowel has also a problem in that the grain is running in the wrong direction. Ideally a plug cutter would be used if filling holes like that so that the plugs have the correct grain orientation. Better to adjust the body holes if possible.
Actually, I was only thinking about fixing the body holes with the dowels.
rick2 said:
Actually, I was only thinking about fixing the body holes with the dowels.

Ah got it for that dowels would do, especially if just for redrilling. They might not be needed if the holes only need widening a little in the body. We'll see what the OP comes back with.
I drill out the neck holes, glue in straight-grain maple dowels , cut level, and redrill the new holes. Is the way a woodworking class would teach you to do it.

A link with some step-by-step directions...

Or a video with Dan Erlewine (with a LOT more steps)...

This is also why I order my necks undrilled.
The mounting holes are off enough that I think I'd need to widen the neck holes to 5/16", any smaller and I'd probably have to angle the screws. This is too close to the edge of the pocket for comfort for me, plus the neck plate would be pretty far off-center.

I have some oak dowels which I should have thought of first, obv much better than toothpicks. I understand the "end grain" argument but looking around further, it seems tons of people have used hardwood dowels in this scenario successfully. As I said I've done this in other parts of the guitar before so I feel comfortable trying it here. I was mostly worried if the "roasted" aspect would present additional challenges but I think either way this needs to be treated as delicate work..
update: successfully drilled out 3/16" holes. Lined the holes with super glue and inserted oak dowels. Will remove the excess tomorrow.

Gotta admit, was a bit scared after reading so many stories of roasted maple neck mishaps!
If the holes would have to be drilled to 5/16" in the body they must be way off.

Have you by any chance marked where new holes in the neck might end up based on the existing holes?  For example might one of them end up a little close to the edge of the neck itself. Do you have any pictures of the neck and body by any chance?

If the Guitar Mill body is very out of spec perhaps an option may be to return it for exchange. It just seems to me having to adapt a neck which is more than likely of the correct spec for an out of spec body is not the best option.

EDIT just as I was posting this I see another update post while I was typing mentions the holes have already been drilled.
Looking at them casually, nothing seems amiss about either the neck or the body. The holes looked reasonably placed on both. But it's like each one is about 1mm off in different directions.

Drilling out the pocket holes to 1/4" would  have completely exposed the mounting pilot holes, just barely. But, no extra room for the screw threads which would have necessitated a slight angle to the screws. Which is probably not the end of the world -- I imagine it would have functioned fine and held the neck well enough...but the roasted maple had me worried about deviating from the pilot holes too much. And I want this guitar to look as clean and pro as I can make it.  :headbang1: