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And Then Disaster Struck

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aaaarrggggg, everthing seemed to be going so well, I made a template to route the neck pocket, used a flush template bit set everthing up, measured again checked the template was stable, took a deep breath and went at it with the plunge router. the first cut went well, I reset the depth on the router and made the second pass, the router bearing was following the first cut due to the depth of the route but while cutting I noticed that there was a visible ledge on the second cut.

Consequently each cut produced another ledge, I thought I was going to be ok figuring that I would just chisel the sides down and even them up. after finishing with the router I sat the neck in the pocket and discovered that it was too big, the neck had a very noticeable gap between the pocket and the neck. I put the whole project on hold for a few days to collect my thoughts and try to figure out how to fix this mess before I scrap the whole body and start over.

The only way I can see to salvage this is to laminate a piece of scrap on the inside of the neck pocket and try another template to cut with.

Is this my only option?

Will the neck pocket be strong enough with laminated side?


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If your pocket is nicely cut but just too large then you can just glue in a couple of layers of veneer on the sides until you get a tight fit.

Next time try your router bit on scrap to see if it works properly. You'll get things like that once in a while with cheaper bits.

Edited by Phil Mailloux
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I 'm pretty sure the template slipped, I used double sided tape to hold the template it was scotch brand heavy duty mounting tape, it's kinda like a spongy material and I think it gives a little if you push sideways on it

ie like when you run a router bearing along it....LOL

At least I still have my sense of humor intact.

I will try laminating the sides and chiselling the pocket.

The routing also went haywire when I was cutting the PUP cavities.

maybe next time I will try clamping the template...

thanks for your responce...

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what you want is carpet tape. it's a mesh. sounds like you had the foam tape which doesn't have the hold. carpet tape has great strength against shearing motion..

clamping is by far the best though. extend your template so you can clamp down near the butt end and i usually use 2 squeeze clamps and let the body hang over the edge of a table and that's plenty.

Sounds like a couple of shims is all you need. The vast amount of neck strength comes from the faces bolted together. The neck pocket walls are more of a fit and finish issue than stability (i'm sure i'll catch some flak for that :D ) some danelectros and bolt on V's have hardly any wall to the pocket. Might affect the tone a little. Shim it, paint it or cover with binding and you should be good to go.

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Yeah, just glue a piece of scrap to the side of the pocket. My template for the neck pocket was a little off on my last guitar, a little shim leveled it up nicely. Nobody'll ever know it's there but me :D

And yeah, I've found carpet tape is the best for holding down router templates as well.

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for a template too large...

would putting tape on the sides be a temporary solution? I have an HB template that's probably a bit too large and i don't have any veneer for it...

I only need it for a single guitar, and If i need it again, i'd just make another template from the taped one...

But would it work?

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You could tape it, but from what I've read, the bearing chews up the tape pretty quickly. I've also read that for a one-off, some folks will just use straight edges to route with.

However, I personally think that if you are ever going to build even another humbucker based guitar, even 1 time, then the right way to do this is to make a new template.

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