Show your own contoured heels / Advice on contoured heel

GT1-Reach

Active member
Messages
49
Hi guys,

i am currently planning my ultimate modern Strat/Soloist build and a contoured heel is a necessity for me. Of course i know that warmoth does not offer a full contoured heel joint, so i got / let somebody do it for me. My plan is to go with clear back on the body, so my luthier could sand / add the desired contour ( I am thinking Charvel guthrie govan style) and than seal / finish the spot again. Do you think it would be very visible colorwise? I mean, i think a clear finish is the easiest to "colormatch".

I am also very curious how your contoured heel joints look like.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
793
Hola,

I've done 3 Warmoth builds and all have had a custom neck heel.  Below are pics of 2 I've done.  The blue'ish Tele is using a Fender Elite /Deluxe neck plate.
The brownish Tele Hybrid body did not come with the Warmoth contour heel.  I made my own.  The Velocity body used the Warmoth contour heel.

Some notes....

You can't use a Modern construction / straight (non tiltback) neck due to the side adjust truss rod doo hickey.  The adjustment mechanism sits right where the repositioned neck screw would go.  I used a Vintage / Modern construction neck and a Tiltback Strat neck to get around this.  If you plan on using a Floyd Rose, you'll need to use some flavor of Tiltback headstock to not get the side adjust doo hickey.

Shore-Caster-4-2.jpg

Hybrid-done-3.jpg

IMG-0585.jpg



The neck hole on the body that sits towards the nut on the upper bout is challenging to get a clean hole for a neck ferrule.  In both the Velocity and Tele Hybrid body, the outer edge of the ferrule hole didn't have enough meat to get a clean hole and the outer side wall got dinked a bit.  If you're using a neck plate, this shouldn't be an issue.

If I make another build, I will buy the body with only the Index hole and a neck without screw holes so i can bring in the hole on the outer side / upper bout in about 1/4" to get a clean hole.  Also, I like the contoured heel that I made, better than the Warmoth designed one.  Will do that again too.
 

GT1-Reach

Active member
Messages
49
Thanks for your input!

I like the idea with the deluxe neck plate.

My current body is a MJT body with the "classic" Fender contoured heel joint also with the plate.

Here is a picture of the govan jeel joint. I think its the easiest joint to achieve with a warmoth body.

The neck im gonna use is a Musikraft Floyd rose neck that i already have.
 

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rauchman

Senior member
Messages
793
If you're going that route, a Fender Elite / Deluxe plate won't work since the outer lower bout screw positioning is inward by about 1".  Also, if you're going that route, I don't think you'll need a neck plate.  And yes, since that still retains the original 4 screw hole positioning, you could use any legacy Fender neck / body setup.  Just watch out for that one hole on the outer / lower bout.  The wood will be very thin there.

Looking forward to seeing your final setup.  Gotta say, that setup looks pretty dang good.
 

TheOtherEric

Active member
Messages
63
I wanted to copy the Charvel Govan heel too, so here's what I came up with. Body and neck were pre-drilled in the standard positions.  I used a drill press to drill the ferrule holes, which was breeze. Got some smaller 12mm ferrules because most (14mm) would be too close to the one edge.  For the edge that got sanded down, I left around 8mm of wood underneath the ferrule, and I'm crossing my fingers that was enough.  Assembly will be next week, so hopefully it goes together ok.

Sanding down the corner was actually really easy.  It doesn't take anything sophisticated to make it look great; just takes a careful eye.

I did deviate from the Govan where they have a relief cut into the lower horn.  I can find no utility in that, so I didn't bother. Ask me again after it's assembled and hopefully I'm saying the same thing.
 

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ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
1,002
Tip: don't try to countersink the ferrules using a plunge router and then shoddily fill in the the gaps that you made with wood filler

DTxARpR.jpg


Why did I think that was a good idea? The world may never know. However despite being ugly, that heel joint worked out fine and the guitar is my number one! I just try not to show anyone the heel  :laughing7:

This is a more recent attempt on my Supro style build. I took a lot of pointers from Hendrix and Raunchman's heels.

95poVr1.jpg


 

TheOtherEric

Active member
Messages
63
Just to follow up, this guitar came together wonderfully, including that ferrule arrangement.  I might also add that I used a 1/2" forester bit (12.7mm) to drill the holes for the 14mm ferrules. I wasn't totally sure that would leave enough room for paint, and also I was a bit concerned I may not have enough room to adjust the rotational angle of the neck (to get the perfect distance from the high E string to the end of the frets). For those 2 reasons, I carefully routed out each hole an extra tiny bit. That's very very risky, so I'm not sure I'd recommend that, but it did work out great for me.

In case you're wondering how well the contoured heel works, it works very well.  But my Warmoth Soloist with 720 Mod and contoured heel is better, mostly because the Soloist body shape is cut away more there. For a standard Strat shape, I'm very happy with the upper fret access. (note this isn't a Warmoth body)
 

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docteurseb

Senior member
Messages
758
Very nice ! Those inserts are definitely something I want to try for the next build.

This was my first attempt doing a contoured heel like Fender's basic contoured heel. I since replaced the neck plate with a plain one:
DtOnJcE.jpg


Overall it's a slight improvement over doing nothing, but Warmoth's contoured heel feels better to me.
A combination of the two could be worth trying...
 

Street Avenger

Senior member
Messages
2,247
I know this thread is over a year old, but I missed it. Here's how I do mine (with Vintage Modern necks).
 

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