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Telecaster Neck Query

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Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Dynamic Mike » Wed May 06, 2020 4:10 pm

I have a 1989 (ish) Korean Squier Telecaster which I've had since new. As far as I can recall it's always had a slight crown in the fretboard. Strung with 12's & with the trussrod backed off almost completely (just tightened enough to stop it rattling) it has been perfectly playable.

However, my son (an occasional bass player) has decided he wants to learn guitar. I've restrung it with Ernie Ball Super Slinky's but now it buzzes from around frets 1-5. It's not too noticable with distortion but it's annoying with clean tones or unplugged (he lives in a flat so practices unplugged at night).

I'm stumped as too how to address this. Would adding a shim help?
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby zenguitar » Wed May 06, 2020 4:42 pm

A shim won't help I'm afraid. But there is a fix that might work.

You need a good, solid, work surface (woodworkers bench, solid kitchen table or heavy work top) and a couple of clamps.

You could do it with the neck attached to the body, but more manoeuvrable with the neck off and you need access to the truss rod. Slacken the truss rod completely and lay the neck fretboard down on your work surface, then you need a shim of 3 or 4mm between the neck and work surface at the 7th fret. I would use a piece of cork or similar to stop the shim marking the fretboard. Then clamp the heel of the neck to the bench, and then start to tighten the other clamp at the nut. Keep on tightening until you have a slight forward bow on the neck and leave overnight.

If you are lucky, the neck will settle with the slight forward bow and you can bring it back using the truss rod.

No guarantees I'm afraid but it can work. If not, the same process with the addition of a little heat to the neck would be the next step, but that would not be something I would recommend unless you have experience. So if the basic clamping overnight method doesn't work, the best option would be to source a replacement neck.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Dynamic Mike » Wed May 06, 2020 5:03 pm

Thanks I'll give that a go. It's no great loss if it doesn't work I'm not especially attached to it. I've also been looking at telecaster kit guitars so at worst I can transplant the hardware onto that. I've been practicing a bit of inlay work and figured a tele kit would be the ideal place to start.

If my son sticks with it I'll look at getting him a semi acoustic to learn on. Harley Benton look good for the money though I've never played one.

I've got some 2mm strips of aluminium. Would a couple of those do for the shim under the fretboard?
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby zenguitar » Wed May 06, 2020 5:43 pm

Those strips should work. Might be worth sticking them together to prevent them slipping while you're clamping. Would definitely use a bit of felt/cork or similar with the aluminium.

Good luck :thumbup:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Wonks » Thu May 07, 2020 8:39 am

I've got a maple Squire Affinity Tele neck just sitting doing nothing. CAme off a friends guitar when I fitted a rosewood board neck for him. It's not the greatest looking neck, quite pale and with strange grain markings, but its nice and straight. Satin finish. Heel width measures 58.2mm.

If you can't fix your neck and you think this neck will fit your Tele, then drop us a PM with your address and I'll get it in the post.
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu May 07, 2020 11:11 am

I would think a Squire neck from that period was well worth saving, even if a trip to the luthiers and the exchange of some small green pieces of paper was involved. My favourite/most played electric has an old Korean Squire neck which is just sublime.

OTOH, If your Squire neck has anything like a similar profile to mine I would be happy to offer some 'SGPoP' in exchange for said neck should you end up taking Wonky up on his kind offer.
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu May 07, 2020 4:25 pm

Thanks Guys, for your kind offers. This place is definitely a bit special!

I can't get the guitar back until next week to follow Zen's advice. I only really wanted it originally for other people who called round to have something to jam with that I wasn't too precious about. Despite that over the years it's probably ended up on more of my recordings than any other guitar I've owned. It's not a great tone in isolation but it sits well in a track.

I'll let you know how I get on.
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri May 15, 2020 1:14 am

Initial result are looking good! It's still only about a quarter turn after it starts to bite to bring the neck true but that's strung with a lighter gauge than I'd ever use myself. The only complication was the nut already had a hairline crack between the 2nd & 3rd strings (I can't remember it ever not being there) & I didn't feel I had the necessary skills to replace it. So rather than risk making it worse I improvised & routed a small trough for it to sit in whilst the neck was clamped. I left it clamped for 48 hours & when the clamps were removed there was no obvious fret damage.

Result: One happy telecaster lives to fight another day!
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Re: Telecaster Neck Query

Postby zenguitar » Fri May 15, 2020 1:19 am

Fingers crossed, but hopefully it settles nicely into the equilibrium.

And thanks for the feedback :)

Andy :beamup:
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