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Stratocaster Problem


jch4v
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Hello,

So in September I received a body and neck from the B. Hefner Co. It took over 2 months to arrive... so I was really surprised that it actually came, and more surprised that the stuff looked really good. I pre-assembled it with all the component parts and the neck slid into the body like a knife through butter... tight as a glove! I then proceeded to paint and then just finished assembling it the other day. Looks GREAT! Only one problem. The strings are not traveling up the neck straight. What I mean is that the Low E for example starts out a certain distance from the edge of the fretboard, and as you travel down, that distance increases. The neck dots are not even centered between the two middle strings.

Is the neck crooked? I had no choice as far as positioning goes because it fit the pocket perfectly... Is the pocket crooked? What do I do?

Thanks,

J

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Take the guitar and look down the guitar from the top of the headstock and see if you can see a bend or anything in the neck. If there is, send it back. You may need to add shims to the neck pocket as well, or possibly the truss rod is screwed up. The neck could've even warped due to possible hummidity, or temperature changes from places it was when it was being shipped.

Many things could've happened. Try what I said, and post what you find.

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The truss rod has nothing to do with neck to body alignment.

If the neck came undrilled for the screws to hold it on, then you should have done your alignment before you did your finish work. Take a C clamp and a piece of leather and a flat scrap of wood, put the piece of leather on the fretboard and the flat piece of scrap on the back of the body and then clamp the neck down just snug. Then set your bridge on the instrument. Take two pieces of string and tie them to the bridge as if they were your outside E strings. Bring the ends of the string up to the nut and just snug them there by hand. Look at your alignment on the outside of the fingerboard. Move the neck in the pocket until things line up correctly and then tighten the clamp just a taste more to hold the neck in while you take a neck screw and slide it one a time in the holes through the body to mark on the bottom of the neck where the screws will go and give you good neck alignment. Once you determine that, then you can deal with the neck pocket in as much as shims or whatever.

You can always plug the holes in the neck and start over if there is a BIG alignment problem. You can also try the easy way to fix standard alignment problems on Fenders--just unloosen the neck screws one turn, hold the body and whack the neck either up or down to correct marginal problems. Worked for me on hundreds of guitars.

If things are really out of whack then return them for a refund.

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Hey,

I am going to try to do what was suggested... Try to re-allign the neck. Maybe I drilled the holes wrong... but I really don't think so. There really was no room to move the neck around... it fit so snugly in the pockett. Unfortunately, I don't think that the B. Hefner co will take it back though. Their customer service is less than stellar. I will take some picures and try to figure it out.

I will post again soon!

J

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Hey,

I am going to try to do what was suggested... Try to re-allign the neck.  Maybe I drilled the holes wrong... but I really don't think so.  There really was no room to move the neck around... it fit so snugly in the pockett.  Unfortunately, I don't think that the B. Hefner co will take it back though.  Their customer service is less than stellar.  I will take some picures and try to figure it out.

I will post again soon!

J

i am sure you just misaligned it.

before finishing,i am also sure you had just a hair of play between the neck and neck pocket.that's the way all these bodies are made..

it is slightly possible that the neck pocket was not routed straight,but more probable that you did your part wrong,since you make no mention of even trying to align it before drilling

truss rod?what the hell?like 322 said,truss rod has absolutely NOTHING to do with the neck in that direction.:D

by the way,when 32251 says "whack"....i am sure he means gently...not up against a desk or anything B)

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Who drilled the bridge-mounting holes? How do the strings align with the pickup(s)? There is indeed a good 1/8" of side-to-side on even the tightest of neck pockets. If you feel the company you bought it from won't do anything to help you, you still have a lot of ways to fix this.

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I've bought two bodies and necks from USA Custom guitars and never had issues like this, of course, they drilled the holes for me.

I've heard bad things about B. Hefner's customer service as well, good luck.

I would try plugging the holes and starting over.

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OK, I am going INSANE with this. Here are some pics:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/jch4v/album?...jch4v/my_photos

Something is definetly out of line. My question is, should I just shave a little off the neck pocket and re allign the neck?

I lined the pickguard with the neck pocket. It fit perfectly. Then I alligned the bridge with the pickguard. Again perfect fit. I guess I went about this all wrong... I really don't want to ruin my paint job trying to fix this, and I am figuring that moving the neck would be the easiest... what do you guys think?

j

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you aligned the bridge with the pickgaurd?

what does that mean?the body did not come with the bridge holes predrilled?

this is not that difficult to figure out.you have the guitar,use some common sense.

it is much easier for you to figure out the problem with your guitar in hand than it is for us from a few pics.either you did not place the bridge properly or you didn't get the neck oriented properly.

maybe you got some finish in the neck pocket and that is throwing it off.

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http://www.edenhaus.com/stratbdy.htm

i see from here that the bridge holes are not factory predrilled and neither are the pickgaurd holes.

why did you think you could just slap it together and that it would be perfect?

you should have drawn a centerline on the body,lined your neck up with it,then placed your bridge on the same centerline,THEN installed the pickgaurd

it is not hefner's fault,you should have researched a bit

edit you didn't place the pickgaurd by centering it on the trem rout,did you?

because the trem rout is offset.

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I never said it was hefner's fault... I was just giving a bit of background to the situation... I am sure that this problem is the result of my inexperience... I am not asking anyone to solve my problem for me... Just for some advice from maybe someone who has made a similar mistake... I am sure I will be able to figure it out. Thanks for all your help guys.

J

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So here's what I did: you can view photos at http://photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos

First I took off the pickguard and covered the body in masking tape and a strip all along the neck. Then I took a straight edge to both sides of the neck and extended it by drawing lines along the body of the guitar... This was advice that I received previously to find the center line of the body. I then found the middle between these two lines to find the center line. There are pics of this process. Then I drew a centerline down the neck too. And as you can see from the pics, the two lines matched up perfectly. I could look down the body to the neck and see a perfectly straight line. That meant that the neck was indeed straight! Good thing I didn't just sand the neck pocket.. it would have been disasterous.

OK, so then I took off the bridge and noticed that the holes were indeed NOT centered on the centerline... it was a bit off to the right, which would totally explain the strings shifting!! SO... I drilled the holes bigger and plugged them with dowels. Then this morning, I cut the dowels flush and sanded them a bit. I didn't bother refinishing because I was really careful to not scar any of the finish not covered by the bridge! Then I measured 25 1/4" from the nut as was suggested and drew a line perpendicular to the centerline. Then I set the bridge in the RIGHT place and marked the holes. I drilled and then screwed in the bridge...

As you can see in the pics, the strings are pretty much dead on!!! My only complaint is that now I have to reshape the pickguard a little. It is from StewMAc and as with another guitar I bought A pickguard for, it doesn't quite match up. Is this common?

I still have to set up the guitar and wrap up a few odds and ends... Then it will be FINISHED!!!

Thanks again guys!

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