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Tele Neck repair

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Hi, I'm hoping someone may be able to advise me here.

I've a 1990 Fender USA Standard Tele, which has had a somewhat chequered history.

I turned up at a gig a few years back, to find the neck had split at the heel, and when the case was opened the strings simply pulled the neck up as well. Well screwed.

I managed to effect a usable if not aesthetically pleasing repair by cutting away the splintered wood, and adding a fillet of maple, glued and clamped, then subsequently reshaped.

But now, I find that after all my messing around, the screw holes in the neck heel have stripped, so that the screws will no longer hold the neck tightly.

So what I'm wondering is this - should I plug the holes with some glued dowelling, then mark and re-drill, or what? Any advice will be very gratefully received.


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So far those have been the only two solution's availabe but in the past couple of years bolts with wood anchors have come onto the market that can replace the standard neck screws in situation's like this.


The real noticable difference is that these use allen wrenches and not screw driver's to turn them.

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Go with Brian's idea, but modify it a bit. Don't use brass inserts, use steel. I have used both and take my word for it, steel is better. The brass inserts easily get distorted when installed.

I might offer a kit for this , but it will take quite a while if I do. Vintique offers a kit, but I think it's around $80. I 'd like to offer the same kit, but cheaper. The owner of Vintique isn't thrilled about this, but he knows that I now know all of his "trade secrets", plus I was doing this sort of thing long before I ever saw his kit, I just hadn't used neck-plates, only rounded neck heels without plates, and used counter-sunk screws. Now I want to do it so it looks more traditional, with a plate and phillips-head machine screws.

The kit includes a new stronger neck-plate which is the key to the hole thing. You can crank the screws tighter. Most normal neck-plates will bend and press into the wood too much with the extra tightening.

You might want to plug the holes with dowels anyway, because if the screw holes are "off", you want to get rid of them to make the marks where the new holes need to go.

I would make my own maple dowels on the drill-press with pieces that have all the wood grain going the same direction as the holes they are filling (not the typical dowel-plugs where it's end-grain showing on the surface of the plugged hole).

So, plug 'em up with dowels and you can always install inserts later, if you want, or end up needing to (if you start taking the neck off a lot, you'll want the inserts)

The inserts are one of the best mods you can make to a bolt-on neck guitar, for all kinds of reasons, some of which I have raved about on this and other forums.

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Thank you gentleman - I'd not heard of the inserts over this side of the water (I'm in the UK), but it does strike me as an excellent idea!


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