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Thread: Hi everyone! Newbie with a problem.

  1. #1

    Question Hi everyone! Newbie with a problem.

    Hi everyone,

    First of all, I'm glad to be here. I'm sure I'll learn lots and boy, do I need to! My love of guitars far outweighs my ability at playing them but I do love using my hands and creating. The nearest I have come to doing any guitar work of my own has been reworking a guitar I had - taking off poly, redoing a paint job and installing new hardware. Never did anything from a kit before so here my journey starts.

    I bought a Les Paul Jr kit with the hopes of doing it when I had time. Well, this lockdown, aside from become a full time stay at home Dad, I feel have some time in the evenings to dedicate to building the kit.

    So, opening the kit I discovered when putting the neck on the body that there was an issue with the fitness. There were gaps between the back of the neck and again under the neck. Please see photos. Just hoping you can offer me advice on how to fix these problems. I feel a little overwhelmed at this point. The bottom part of the neck which fits into the routed part of the body seems to be curved slightly outwards. So when I press the neck at the front of the body, there is a big gap underneath the bottom of the neck and when I press it at the bottom of the neck there is a big gap at the top of the body? I tried to put up more photos in pdf format but it still says files too large?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    We will need the photos. I think about 1500 pixels square is the maximum size.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin

  3. #3
    Sorry, eventually managed to figure out the photo uploads.
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  4. #4
    Mentor vh2580's Avatar
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    Hi , does the neck seat back further in the pocket in the body, is the neck tight to fit as in the photo (showing gap at heel and body) it seems to have a lot of squeeze.

  5. #5
    No, there is always a gap but depending on if you put pressure on the top or bottom depends on how big the space is. It's definitely not tight.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Is that a JRM-1DC? In theory that should be a bolt-on, not a set neck. I know the first pic in the PBG kit description shows a set-neck for some reason, but all the others are of a bolt-on, as it also states it is in the written description. Have you had this kit a while, or is it brand new?

  7. #7
    Is everything square? The other question would be do the screws go through the body without any friction? If you need a tool to go through the body they could be lifting the neck and not securely pulling it into the pocket.

    Another thing I personally would do is fill in the gap at the front of the pocket. Double check the scale length to verify the correct pocket location for the neck and fill that space with birch shims. I prefer birch because of the flexibility of tight long grain wood veneers vs coarse grain like oak or ash. They are less susceptible to cracking and are more stable with humidity.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Once you get the neck sitting properly at the end of the pocket, then you can start to think about any remaining gap. But it does look as though the bottom of the neck heel isn't flat but curved.

    If that is the case, I'd return it. You could try and level if off, but it would be very easy to get the neck angle wrong and end up with the strings way too high or low at the bridge.

  9. #9
    Unfortunately, I bought it a while back with the hopes oc doing it when I had time. I have missed my 30 days return policy deadline. I should have checked everything when I got it. Feel a bit deflated by it all. The neck heel is curved. It came as a set neck model.

  10. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I'd still contact Pitbull and see what they say. It is faulty and whilst it can be fixed, you shouldn't have to do it. But if you want a fixed neck rather than bolt-on version (the only replacement kit they've got now), then you'll need to try and sand the neck heel flat at the right angle. But first you'll need to try and get the neck fitting in the end of the pocket a bit better. I'd normally recommend rubbing chalk on the end of the neck, fitting it in the pocket and see where marks are left. Those will be the high spots which need so be sanded down. Sand at those, rub off any remains of chalk in the pocket and repeat until the neck fits snugly in the end.

    Then you'll need to check the right neck angle. Fit the bridge temporarily wrapping tape around the bridge posts until they sit in the post holes fairly securely, Don't fit the stud inserts yet. Then fit the bridge on the studs with the bridge as low as it will normally go.

    Use a long straight edge running along the neck to see where the line of the neck hits the bridge. As long as the line hits the bridge anywhere between 2mm below the top of the saddles and roughly 5mm above, then the bridge height can be adjusted to get a decent action. Ideally 2mm from the top of the saddles as the lower the bridge height, the better (IMO).

    If you need to angle the bridge up or down to get within this range then do so. If you can then draw a line on the side of the neck where it joins the body, then the bottom of the heel should be parallel to that line. I'm assuming that it's the bottom of the neck heel that's angled on this guitar and not the bottom of the neck pocket. You should be able to check this by simple measurement as the top and bottom of the guitar should both be flat and parallel and if so, the neck pocket should have a uniform depth along it.

    Providing it is the neck that has a heel angle, then it will normally be around 3. The line that's been drawn along the side of the neck should be roughly at that 3, and you should be able to draw a line parallel to that along the bottom of the neck as low as possible but so that it runs completely from front to back. You may only need to take off 1mm or so at most to get the neck heel flat but angled. I'd stick sandpaper (with double sided tape) to a flat block of wood and sand away at the heel until the excess wood has gone and the bottom is now flat, level but with that front to back angle.

    Now repeat the neck fitting exercise. You may find that a small gap has appeared at the end of the neck due to a slightly different neck angle, so you may need to sand that as well for a good fit. Then check the neck angle with a straight edge. If you are within that -2mm/+5mm of the bridge saddle height (use the straight edge running along several string positions to make sure it's true for all strings), then you should be good. I can't guarantee that there won't be a very small gap in places, as that 'tongue' of wood sticking out from the body is unsupported at the sides so may have arched slightly, but when glueing, if you first clamp very tightly at the body end, and then at the 'tongue', you should be able to close up any small gap.

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