Fix Your Gui­tar

Duff neck an­gle? A proper ta­pered shim will set it right once and for all. This guide will show you how...

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS - Words: Jack El­lis

An ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal part of a gui­tar’s setup, the an­gle be­tween the neck and body of an in­stru­ment sets the plane for the bridge sad­dle’s height.

Hav­ing a bolt-on neck of­fers a great chance to change this an­gle with rel­a­tive ease by us­ing a shim. A shim is the name of a sim­ple, minia­ture, wedge-shaped piece of ma­te­rial to be sand­wiched in be­tween the neck heel and the bot­tom of the neck pocket. In this month’s tu­to­rial, we’ll show you how to make a nice solid maple wedge, which is ta­pered at the right an­gle.

But why taper it and not fold some card over? Well, it’s pretty com­mon to see all sorts of bad shim ma­te­ri­als and shapes in a pocket but these will all in­tro­duce an air gap, which is ter­ri­ble for sus­tain! That’s be­fore we’ve even con­sid­ered that a non-full sur­face shim will warp the heel-end of the frets so even if you’ve had a fret dress, your fret­board can be­come un­even!

Read on to learn how to avoid such even­tu­al­i­ties…

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