noob head check: strat conversion neck, drill holes, etc, done 😁?

tiscoat

Newbie
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6
noob here.

i was thinking of buying a gibson scale conversion neck for my strat. i'm also naturally hesitant since i have zero experience with any guitar tech work aside from changing strings, haha!

here is the picture i have in my head. please tell me if it is wishful thinking.

i'm imagining receiving the custom-spec neck with tilt back from warmoth.

1. Fit it into the neck pocket carefully.

2) secure it in place

3) by hand, insert drill bit with appropriate diameter through existing body holes to mark the neck.

4) lay plate on body and drop bolts through to measure the depth I will need to drill into the neck heel.

5) removing neck and drill pilot holes in the correct location and at the correct depth as determined by steps 3 and 4.

6) change drill bit and drill into the heel the actual diameter holes that are to receive the neck bolts

7)) carefully refit neck into pocket

8) putting neck plate and bolts on.

9) add tuning machines and string guitar

10) believing I am done, start playing guitar .
 
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That's just the beginning! You'll need to adjust the action, intonation, truss rod, etc to make it play how you like it.
 
That's just the beginning! You'll need to adjust the action, intonation, truss rod, etc to make it play how you like it.
Besides all of those things, there could be more things you need to do. You seem to be assuming that the new neck and the neck pocket are going to be a perfect fit, with absolutely no play whatsoever, and the center of the neck will just be perfectly centered with the bridge. You’ll want to make sure that’s correct before you start drilling holes and screwing the neck to the body. A straight edge long enough to go from the nut to the bridge is going to be your friend. Maybe everything will be just right, but probably not. I wouldn’t leave any of that to chance.

The nut slots may need to be filed depending on how you like your action and the sizes of your strings.

Your new neck needs time to acclimate to your environment. Remember that it will never have spent any time under tension. So once you’ve tightened the truss rod to make the fretboard perfectly flat, you’ll need to give it more time to see if the wood does anything crazy from being under tension.
 
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Thank you each for taking the time to respond with your experienced knowledge.

I am able to discern from your input that I do not yet have the requisite motivation, patience and budget in-case-of-failure for this undertaking.

I will continue browsing and imagining for now instead. 🙏
 
Which exact Strat model do you have? Is a contoured heel? If not, and it matches the dimensions Ned linked to, the standard 4 screw pre-drilled neck holes should work.
thanks. it's early 90s Am standard.

(i was assuming pre-drilled holes in neck, would likely be a little bit off the mark. and that the only way to get the holes perfectly lined up would be to have the existing holes in the body as a guide.)
 
the requisite motivation, patience and budget

But, to your credit, you asked the right questions first before committing to a potential $400 mistake. ;)

As a potential answer to "motivation," I suggest starting with a pre-fab kit guitar. A lot of the harder work is done already, and you get the opportunity to dip your toes in the Builder pool without committing to ruining a cherished instrument already in your possession or spending that $400 on a WM neck only to make beginner mistakes (which, I'm sure, we've all done....at least I certainly have!).

And despite the reputation it may have in the more hoity-toity circles of the luthier community, a kit guitar is not necessary something to scoff at. One of my absolute favorite guitars in my collection right now is actually the first kit guitar I ever built, a clone of a BC Rich Mockingbird. I only replaced the pickups with some Seymour Duncans, but otherwise, everything else is stock to the kit. In fact, that's the guitar that I learned how to play pinch harmonics, so it now has an even deeper sentimental spot in my heart.

Patience is a hard lesson to learn, even for those of us who've been around this block a few times already. Mistakes will be made due to impatience, you'll learn, then the next time, you won't do that again....because impatience will lead to a different mistake :D

Budget. Yes, that's a big one. It does require a significant commitment to jump on a WM product. I have so many design ideas but definitely not the limitless funds to make those a reality ;)

One of my projects which should be documented here on the forum is my Red Death guitar. It's a Mighty Mite swamp ash body that I picked up on Reverb with a gorgeous candy-apple red finish. Since it was made to US Fender spec, the WM neck I bought fit it just right. But that was still a crap shoot as it very easily could've gone totally sideways and not fit at all. That would've led to way more than $400 of incompatible parts.

I've done mods on kit-based parts where nothing fit right, and that was when I was still a beginner at all of this. I didn't know the significant differences between US and import spec, and I had just bought parts without taking any of that into consideration. Many mistakes were made.

But this is a journey, and a marathon, not a sprint (I'm a former distance runner, too, so the metaphor is near-n-dear to my heart as well). If you're interested in getting into this, there are plenty of good ways to start and building up your experience before diving headlong into a WM project for far less money in the beginning.
 
But, to your credit, you asked the right questions first before committing to a potential $400 mistake. ;)

As a potential answer to "motivation," I suggest starting with a pre-fab kit guitar. A lot of the harder work is done already, and you get the opportunity to dip your toes in the Builder pool without committing to ruining a cherished instrument already in your possession or spending that $400 on a WM neck only to make beginner mistakes (which, I'm sure, we've all done....at least I certainly have!).

And despite the reputation it may have in the more hoity-toity circles of the luthier community, a kit guitar is not necessary something to scoff at. One of my absolute favorite guitars in my collection right now is actually the first kit guitar I ever built, a clone of a BC Rich Mockingbird. I only replaced the pickups with some Seymour Duncans, but otherwise, everything else is stock to the kit. In fact, that's the guitar that I learned how to play pinch harmonics, so it now has an even deeper sentimental spot in my heart.

Patience is a hard lesson to learn, even for those of us who've been around this block a few times already. Mistakes will be made due to impatience, you'll learn, then the next time, you won't do that again....because impatience will lead to a different mistake :D

Budget. Yes, that's a big one. It does require a significant commitment to jump on a WM product. I have so many design ideas but definitely not the limitless funds to make those a reality ;)

One of my projects which should be documented here on the forum is my Red Death guitar. It's a Mighty Mite swamp ash body that I picked up on Reverb with a gorgeous candy-apple red finish. Since it was made to US Fender spec, the WM neck I bought fit it just right. But that was still a crap shoot as it very easily could've gone totally sideways and not fit at all. That would've led to way more than $400 of incompatible parts.

I've done mods on kit-based parts where nothing fit right, and that was when I was still a beginner at all of this. I didn't know the significant differences between US and import spec, and I had just bought parts without taking any of that into consideration. Many mistakes were made.

But this is a journey, and a marathon, not a sprint (I'm a former distance runner, too, so the metaphor is near-n-dear to my heart as well). If you're interested in getting into this, there are plenty of good ways to start and building up your experience before diving headlong into a WM project for far less money in the beginning.
thank you for taking the time to compose all that. cheap kit sounds like a wise idea to start with. not that the strat is cherished or anything but it plays very well and it's naive to think that my first crack at it will go perfectly.
 
The only problem with a starter kit is that you will want better tuners, bridge, nut, pickups, wiring, etc and you will have spent the same amount on hardware as you would on a warmoth, you could take a gamble and if the neck doesn't fit you could get a warmoth body to go with the neck but, thst opens a whole bunch more options to choose from, single, humbucker, fixed bridge or tremolo, maple or walnut, Bottom line, your fascinated with guitars and you have the desire to explore, so destiny has you by balls, which ever way you go, get going. You will learn more about playing guitar by learning how they go together.
 
thanks. it's early 90s Am standard.

It "should" be a direct replacement, then.

Call Warmoth and talk to someone to confirm, but I'm 99.9999% sure.

Also, if you do go through with this idea put some time into thinking about tuner ream / frets / nut ... (inlays, woods, back profile, fretboard radius, binding?) ... oh, yeah ... finish ... ...
 
It "should" be a direct replacement, then.

Call Warmoth and talk to someone to confirm, but I'm 99.9999% sure.

Also, if you do go through with this idea put some time into thinking about tuner ream / frets / nut ... (inlays, woods, back profile, fretboard radius, binding?) ... oh, yeah ... finish ... ...
ty. i reached out to them to see what they think given details. already know all the specs of the neck i would be seeking to get.
 
If you're confident that a WM neck will fit into the neck pocket of your existing body, then here are my suggestions about your list of steps. And this is assuming that you're going to pay the upcharge to not have them drill bolt holes in the heel.

5) removing neck and drill pilot holes in the correct location and at the correct depth as determined by steps 3 and 4.

6) change drill bit and drill into the heel the actual diameter holes that are to receive the neck bolts

This is superfluous. Once you mark the bolt hole locations based on the body, the pilot holes you drill should be what matches the shank diameter of the screws you'll actually be using. Marking the depth is wise, and you can use just a regular piece of painters tape on the bit as your depth gauge.

One step, not two.

10) believing I am done, start playing guitar .

That's assuming you're going to order a neck that can be left in its raw state. You may need to also consider finishing and fret dressing, as while I've had great luck with WM necks out of the box with minimal fret dressing required, others have posted in the past in ways that make it sound like WM is slinging the same low-cost import garbage that some other well-known mass-production import retailers sell.

Based on anecdotal experience, I'm not sure how much of that is factual or a bit of "Princess and the Pea" thinking coming into play, but still something worth considering before believing you're done.
 
thanks Ned. i'm not confident but will take measurements to get there. no point in not taking measurements

re the drilling of holes: makes good sense ty.

i'm not concerned about dressing but i was sorta wondering about a potential need for leveling.

have never touch a truss rod to make adjustments. what's the best noob friendly neck relief gauge?
 
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