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  1. #1
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default Problem w/ KNE Strat Body

    A lot of us here have used KNE bodies for various projects, and the feedback has been generally good. I bought an alder Strat-style body from Mitch off eBay now more than two years ago. It was one of three projects I started that year; all are still sitting incomplete because I found out the hard way how tough it is to do a quality clear coat finish in an amateur setting. A few days ago I went to town on the KNE body project, though. I wet sanded and buffed like crazy and got the thing looking good. (Not great, but good enough to look at from 36 inches away and **finally** have the completed guitar on hand.) Upon assembly, however, I found the string pull to be shifted toward the high-E. Moreover, the neck pocket is angled very slightly, which makes the strings sit on the fingerboard itself from about the 12th fret on up. The neck truss is adjusted normally, and the Ping Floyd Rose trem I'm using is mounted correctly with correct tension, and the base plate is sitting parallel with the body. Unfortunately, I believe I'll have to plug the trem post holes in order to re-drill them and create proper string alignment. Regarding string action, is it my best option to try and shim the saddles of the Floyd Rose, or should I have the neck pocket routed and evened out?

    This is a frustrating setback, especially since this guitar has been a long time in the making. I've never had to worry about re-routing a neck pocket on any of the Mighty Mite, Warmoth, Musikraft, or other bodies I've used. (ALL of the aforementioned fit Fender licensed necks perfectly and require only minimal shimming, if at all.) And now twice, when the maker of a body I've bought has pre-drilled the Floyd Rose trem post holes, the alignment has been problematic and required serious attention to fix. (The previous guitar was the purple quilt Tele-Strat I finished earlier this summer: http://www.andrewthomas.net/archives/00000148.html.) I will NOT buy a body again with pre-drilled trem post holes just for this reason.

    Pictures are posted. Any suggestions are welcomed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Eruption
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    07.04.12 @ 08:16 AM
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    Default

    Ok. Lets tackle the first problem. What you wanna do is align the neck.
    Sounds simple. And it is really.
    What you have to do is drill out the holes in your body. This way the neckscrews have a little play.
    Find out what size bit the holes are now, and drill out one size higher. Drill from backside (neckplate side) into the pocket. This way you wont chip.
    Screw the neck back up losely and , protecting the headstock, push the neck till aligned.
    You can use a helper or prop the headstock against something. when aligned, screw tight. After you have it stringed up and tuned, unscrew the neck screws 1/4 a turn. No more. Then tighten again and retune. This will "seat" your neck tight.
    Now the action problem.
    What you have to do is shim. But dont do it the Fender way and slap a peice of sandpaper in there. What you wanna do is make a "ramp". Use regular , 3/4th masking tape. Its the closest to real wood that you can get. Cut peices in cascading lengths. You need three each to go completely across you pocket.
    Start a an inch and a half and make em a half inch shorter, more or less, each time.
    7 peices = one peice of cardstock.
    The reason you wanna ramp instead of a shim is for tone You want tha neck and body as pressed against each other as much as possible as if they are one. Why Fender throws sandpaper in there is beyond me.
    Here's a pic to show you kinda what it should look like. Did this fast for a visual.



    If you can, utilize the whole neck pocket. For instance, if you are using half inch incraments, start a half inch from the back. This pick is just to give you the idea. You wanna have a true "ramp"
    You may have to add of take off a couple times, and it may take time, but worth it to get perfect action.
    Adjust the truss rod to adjust the neck relief only. never adjust to fix action. It dont work that way.
    Last edited by Ron4406; 10.18.09 at 01:00 AM.
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  3. #3
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    That's good info all around, Ron. Thanks! Have you ever encountered something like this with a KNE body? (I noticed the one in the photo is a KNE.)

  4. #4
    Eruption
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    07.04.12 @ 08:16 AM
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    Yeah.
    But its not just a KnE thing. Since Im a custom builder, I encounter this stuff alot. Very rarely do I have a project that peices together prerfectly. Warmoth, Fender, Charvel. you name it.
    You wont belive the lengths I sometimes go to to make somethin work.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  5. #5
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron4406 View Post
    Yeah.
    But its not just a KnE thing. Since Im a custom builder, I encounter this stuff alot. Very rarely do I have a project that peices together prerfectly. Warmoth, Fender, Charvel. you name it.
    You wont belive the lengths I sometimes go to to make somethin work.
    This is the first problem of this kind I've encountered (referring to the neck pocket). Sometimes the pocket requires a little shim or two on the bottom side of the pocket. I've never done the "ramp" before.

    Work is already in progress. The holes have been drilled out larger, and I'm applying masking tape as we speak.

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    07.04.12 @ 08:16 AM
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    Dont forget to cut the tape out of your bodys screw holes. Even that little bit can goof it up.
    Be patient. You may have to assemble and take apart a few times.
    And to save a little time, only put on some junky E strings if ya got em.
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  7. #7
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Thanks again for all your help on this one, Ron. I had to do the shim a few times, and it's still not perfect, but it's gonna work. And I wasn't able to cheat the neck over quite enough for a perfectly aligned string pull, so I've just been working the neck pocket with sandpaper in the areas that need a little more move room. Again, it's working. You've saved me a lot of trouble on this project.

  8. #8
    Eruption
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    Cool. Keep at it.
    Just be carefull how much you get rid of in that neck pocket.
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  9. #9
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    12.14.17 @ 02:44 PM
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    Default

    I had the same string-alignment/neck pocket issue with my Frank body. I did just what Ron said, drilled the neck screw holes a size bigger, had a buddy hold the neck straight and I tightened the screws. Worked like a charm.

    While we're on the subject though, I also had a problem with the trem cavity. The trem cavity was touching the trem block and not allowing the Floyd to sit properly. The trem would never come back up to the same point. I had to dremel off a good amount of wood to get it to sit right. And this was just with a standard sized trem block too.

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    Thank God for the Dremmel.
    Never had that problem though.
    But Im always usin 42mm brass monsters too.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron4406 View Post
    Thank God for the Dremmel.
    Never had that problem though.
    But Im always usin 42mm brass monsters too.
    Oh, man... I can't imagine working on guitars without a Dremmel. Forstner drill bits have also been incredibly handy.

  12. #12
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    01.16.13 @ 12:11 AM
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    I read diagonally Ron's first post and laughed my ass out! Because when I had the same issue, I did exactly that (except for redrilling)! I had no idea what I was doind, but some weird instinct told me that I was doind fine! I guess I was!

    The thing with KNE's pockets is that they are tight, you need to find where to sand or file in order to ghet the neck straight. I hasd that iseue with my 5150. I just had to sand some bit more on one side than on the other. It was a really instinctve thing. I also added masking tape. I figured that was the way to keep the shim from going out of place.

    Setting a body and a neck is not like Legos. I learned that and now I alweays count on some routing, some sanding, filing and some shimming. Except on my Divebomb / Musikraft combo. Amazingly, I didn't need anything. It was letteraly plug and play!!!

 

 

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