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What tools do I use to widen out a neck pocket?

 
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ekwatts
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Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 21944
Location: Bongchester

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: What tools do I use to widen out a neck pocket? Reply with quote

A while ago I came across a Burns Bison neck in black. It's lovely. Now, I want to stick it on my long-suffering teardrop neck. Lots of problems when I last made a stab at it but I feel I'm in a much better place to finish the damn thing off at this point, and the Burns neck would look absolutely blinding on it.

Two issues:

It's 25" scale. The guitar is already drilled out for everything to be fitted for a 25.75 scale, so that will require some work. As it's routed for three minihum pickups the worst bit will be filling and then rerouting the pickup routs, but I'm planning to cover most of that with a pickguard anyway, so fuckups in that area won't really be a big issue.

Issue number 2, and this is the biggie: The neck heel is a bit too wide for the pocket. How do I rout it out a bit wider? It's probably less than a mm either side. I have basic equipment, a dremel and a drill with a range of bits but what do I need to be aware of? How can I keep from fucking this up baaaad?
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HNB
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012
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Location: Puyallup, WA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually get a small block of wood (like iPhone size) and wrap sandpaper around it. With coarser paper, I do a couple bits on one half trying to make sure to keep the block flat against the wood so I don't sand at an angle. Then I do a little on the other side also being careful. Happened a lot with me trying to put a Japanese neck on a US body. The Japanese ones tend to be a little to wide.
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paul_
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Joined: 27 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to advise a sanding block method as well, if it's only 1mm or so.

I definitely wouldn't use a drill, and would probably only attack it with a dremel if I had a router base attachment to control the depth and steady it nicely... heavy grit and a block will keep it nice and flat though, then you can smooth it out with finer grit paper and the same block.
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Addam
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Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few questions; how many frets? Is there an overhang? Is the neck heel curved like a strat or squared like a tele? Are you redesigning the pickguard to cover the pickup routes?

I'm interested in you getting this completed, so if you're stuck I should be able to help you you with any routing.
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Bacchus
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fran.
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finboy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for that little, i usually just sand the neck, bit of a caveman approach but my projects are usually quite hamfisted. so long as they play well, and are solid, it works for me.
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ekwatts
A series of tubes


Joined: 18 Apr 2006
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Location: Bongchester

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've been sanding and I've ended up with a bit of a curve at the bottom of the pocket, so the neck now fits in but not quite all the way. So I'm going to get a sharp knife and effectively chisel away at the last bits. But otherwise it's nearly there. Now I need to do some filling and it should be nearly ready for spraying.

This is exciting. I suppose I should order the pickups and scratchplate material now...
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honeyiscool
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Joined: 01 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A box of utility blades (as for boxcutters) is actually far from a bad tool for some basic scraping needs. Also, I know you already did most of this, but I would have recommended a small handheld chisel.

I like using utility blades without the knife handle. Obviously wear a glove and have protection, but you can really get the blade into tight spots without the handle. And if it gets dull, just pop out a new one.
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