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Drilling bolt holes

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Alright, I've got my body, neck and neck plate and want to drill the mounting holes in the neck pocket before finishing. Note, my AllParts neck is not pre-drilled so I will be marking and drilling it from these holes later. I layed out the neck pocket as per the dimensions on the Stew Mac site:


and it lines up almost perfectly with the neck plate I ordered from them as well. However, compared to my factory Fender teles, this will put the neck plate much farther down on the pocket (toward the bridge). I notice that the neck plates on my factory teles sit about 1/8" from the edge. If I mount it according to the Stew Mac instructions it will be more like 3/8" from the edge. So my questions are:

Does this positioning even matter?

If so, who's right, Fender or Stew Mac? (You like how I don't assume that Fender's right?)

Should I drill the holes from the inside of the pocket to the back of the body, or from the back to the inside of the pocket?

Also note, the top edge of the neck pocket is not completely square, it slopes off toward the cutaway so that the pocket is about 1/16" smaller on that side.

Appreciate any help, this is a really beautiful body I got online and I'm trying to take it slow and do all the research before attacking it with sharp objects.


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I figured as much, the only thing it seems like it might affect is how much up or back angle you can shim in. So, what I've done is lay out the measurements on a piece of paper as per the Stew Mac site. Then I centered the cover plate on the connecting lines to center the holes, and traced the cover plate outline onto the paper as well. I cut this out so now I have a piece of paper the same size as the neck plate, with very good 'crosshairs' for the center of the bolt holes, I can position this how I want on the back of the body over the neck pocket and have accurate guides for centerpunching the holes before drilling. I've positioned the plate like my factory Fenders, about 1/8" from the edge and center punched the holes. Ready for drilling.

I don't know a whole lot about woodworking, but it seems to me that if I put a piece of scrap wood in the neck pocket before drilling through, this might help reduce breakout as the bit punches through into the neck pocket.

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