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Setting the neck,

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I'm at a point where I'm test fitting the neck onto the guitar body. The neck has been installed on another body previously, so the holes in the neck don't match up with the holes in the body. I'm going to have to drill new pilot holes on the neck but they are going the be close to the exising ones on one side. I'm worried that the neck screws won't have enough material to dig into and hold the neck in place.

What I would like to do is fill the existing holes in the neck and drill the pilot holes again.

What do y'all suggest I fill the holes with? Toothpicks and Titebond II? :D

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I'd fill them with wood and glue, but after it's dry, I would drill holes for threaded inserts and use machine screws to bolt the neck on. It's probably the best mod you can make on a 'bolt-on' neck guitar. The reason I would fill the holes first is because if they are too close to where you drill another hole, it can make your drill bit start to "wander off " from it's intended path if a "wall of wood" gives way between the 2 holes.

Now, the problem is that it's pretty hard( maybe very hard) to find oval head machine screws with the same size head as the wood ones. I'm in the process of finding some at a good price. I'll probably have to buy a bulk amount. I'm not in a big rush to find them or get them, so it could be a good while before I would even have any.

Vintique has a kit with them, but it's expensive.

If you don't want to use threaded inserts, then I would drill the holes big enough that the walls are fresh, clean wood and then glue a fairly tight-fitting wood dowel into them. You should saw some "grooves" on the sides of the dowels so excess glue can squeeze up out the top of the holes. If it can't squeeze out, you can end up with an air-pocket under the dowel that will keep it from going all the way down in the hole.

Hard maple is the longest lasting wood to use. Hard to find hard maple dowels though. I make my own on the drill press. Making your own wood dowels on the drill press is one of the coolest wood-working tricks I've learned. Too much to explain to write it all here right now. in short, it's using a spinning round sander attached to the drill press talble (i use a portable electric drill with a sanding drum on it and it's clamped in the drill press vise), while your wood is chucked in the drill press chuck above and that's also spinning. You bring the spinning wood down with the drill press handle and the spinning sander below starts rounding the wood. The wood in the drill press chuck can even be a square piece, just as long as it can be chucked tight enough. It ends up perfectly round.

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The old turn the drill press into a lathe trick. :D

Actually, that's a pretty cool idea. I just happen to have some scrap bits of maple around from another project too. I'm in like Flynn. Thanks for the suggestion on turning my own dowels. That'll be my next project before I start applying the finish. I want to get the holes correct before I start finishing.

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