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Thread: Rooks RCA-4!!!

  1. #31
    Member rook's Avatar
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    SHIM MAKING

    After a bit of searching I found a hardware store nearby that sold maple veneer for about 7 bucks for an 8ft roll.
    Maple Veneer:


    First I traced the neck heel onto a piece of paper to create a stencil. I transferred the outline to the veneer and started cutting. The veneer is really easy to work with. Cut very well with scissors. It was kinda fun so I ended up making a bunch than needed. I ened up needing to sand the side a bit for a perfect fit, but it was kinda fun.

    Making template:


    I assume I will need to glue two or three of these things together to get the thickness I need, so I cut them in alternate directions of the grain. Which I think is the right thing to do...

    Still need to shape the top of the shim that protrudes from the pocket, but they are basically done.

    semi-completed Shims:


    @pablopepper gave some advice on how to come up with a tapered shim without many tools. And I might go that route.

    But I am wondering if there is any disadvantage to simply using a flat shim.
    I googled around and can't seem to find any reason a flat shim is a bad idea, but if anyone here has an opinion, I'd love to hear it.

    Thanks!

  2. #32
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    With flat shims, you need a much thicker shim to achieve the same amount of extra height at the bridge. O those Ric style neck joins, you haven't got a lot of direct contact area for gluing anyway. The more flat shims ypu put underneath the join, the less actual neck wood will be glued at the sides.

    Lets say the heel join that's 6cm long and you have a shim that tapers from nothing at the headstock end of the heel to 1mm high at the body end. Lets say the bridge is about 25cm from the far end of the shim (measured on a Peavey bass so it won't be far off your kit measurements). That means that you will have gained (25/6) x 1mm = 4.1mm of string height at the bridge. With a flat shim, you'd need 4.1mm of shims underneath the neck joint. If the shim went from nothing to 1.5mm high, you'd have gained 6.25mm of height at the bridge. That would be a lot of flat shim!

    So you don't need much of a shim to make a lot of difference. Also you keep the heel to body joint looking normal which is important if you are staining rather than doing a sold paint job on the bass. Otherwise you've got a lot of obvious ply sticking out either as part of the heel or if cut back flat, as part of the body under the heel.

    Now making a shim that delicate takes a lot of doing and you'd probably be best sticking the shim on the heel first and then sanding the angle in rather than doing it to a thin bit of veneer and then sticking it on. I've never made one so I really can't comment on the best way to do it.

    But that is why one small angled shim is a better solution than a lot of flat shims. You can probably work out how much extra height you need at the bridge to allow the saddles to be raised a bit and also get a low enough action. You'd probably want a minimum of 4mm extra height to be sure, so a shim that gained 1mm along its length would be enough. Plus if the shim didn't taper to nothing but had a finite thickness at the thin end and was 1mm thicker at the other, then you can add that finite height to the extra string height at the bridge.

    So basically just divide the distance from the start of the shim to the bridge by the length of the shim, multiply by the height gain along the shim and then add on the initial shim height, and you'll have the height gain at the bridge.
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093
    Build #3 Customised ES-1 for an ES-330 style build. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...700#post158700
    Build #4 Customised ESB-4 Bass. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...701#post158701

  3. #33
    Member rook's Avatar
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    @SimonBarden You have been a great source of help and info for me on this so far. I cannot say thanks enough, it is sincerely appreciated. Your write-up above is very helpful.

    For some reason I couldn't comprehend why an angled shim offered more bang for the buck. I'm starting to understand the math behind this a bit better and it has become clear that building an angled shim is the smartest option.

    I am still worried that a shoddy uneven shim might will lead to a twisted neck, but I'll face that hurdle when I get there.

    Thanks again for the info, Simon!

  4. #34
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    No problem at all, Rook.

    It's one thing to talk about the math behind an angled shim, it's a bit harder to make one well and as I've never had to make one yet, I wish you the best of luck.
    Build #1 ES-3 under construction http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6489
    Build #2 EX-1 (with alder body) Yet to start. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...093#post123093
    Build #3 Customised ES-1 for an ES-330 style build. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...700#post158700
    Build #4 Customised ESB-4 Bass. http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...701#post158701

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