To change the angle of a bolt-on neck, players and repair shops have used shims for years.
All kinds of materials have been used, from matchbook covers to guitar picks stuck in neck joints. In the early days Fender™ used shims for factory setup work as well, particularly for JM and Jag models. At first a synthetic rubber strip was used, from the mid-sixties a material similar to thin cardboard / sandpaper appeared. These kinds of shims create an unwanted gap under the heel of the neck: a dead air space where humidity condenses to swell the wood. As Dan Erlewine describes in his Guitar Player Repair Guide: “This gap may cause an upward kink in the neck. And many players feel they lose tone unless firm contact is maintained between the neck and the body.”
StewMac created tapered shims that cover the entire heel of the neck. With these ready-made shims, that work is done for you. Making a quality shim takes time! Keep these on hand for a quick turnaround on this common repair.
There are 3 different degrees available for changing the pitch of a bolt-on neck. The 0.25-degree shim offers the most versatility. Stacking them will let you really dial in the neck angle you’re after. The 0.5-degree shim is the one you’ll reach for most often. It works great on Fender™ and many other solid body guitars.
The 1-degree shim is great for guitars like the JM and Jag that benefit from a setup with a steeper neck angle in order to increase string pressure on the bridge. Current ‘American Original’-reissues of these models actually feature a 1-degree angled neck pocket to negate the need for a shim but vintage guitars and earlier reissues from the USA, Mexico and Japan don’t have this feature.
Taper specs (approximate):
0.25-degree shim tapers from 0.030″ to 0.019″ (0.76mm to 0.48mm)
0.5-degree shim tapers from 0.028″ to 0.008″ (0.71mm to 0.20mm)
1-degree shim tapers from 0.060″ to 0.010″ (1.52mm to 0.25mm)
Dimensions: 2-3/16″ x 3″ (55.56mm x 76.12mm)
These shims fit most Fender™ neck pockets with a rounded heel. You can trim along the lasered line to fit the shim to a pocket with a flat heel, like a TL.
Made of solid maple to match the guitar neck.
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