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Thread: Exm-1 explorer guitar build

  1. #1

    Exm-1 explorer guitar build

    Hi all,

    Really excited to get this build underway... have no experience or much knowledge of the guitar building experience, so please excuse any noob questions . My first question is that I have a bolt on neck which has a nice tight push fit but it does not sit flush with the guitar and sticks out of the neck pocket. See attachment. The neck heel thickness is 24mm, while the neck pocket depth at the very edge is 20mm. I know the manual says not the sand the neck pocket due to the break angle, but I canít see any other way to get the neck to fit flush. Any solutions?
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  2. #2
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Hi Sachin, welcome aboard!

    first up, you need to look at how your fretboard lines up with the bridge.
    Clamp your neck in place, pop the bridge roughly in place, use masking tape or rubber tube to loosely mount the bridge posts.
    You donít want to insert the anchor inserts until youíve got most of your finishing work done.
    Then just pop the bridge on the posts, take a straight edge or some string lines and run it across the nut down to the corresponding saddle on the bridge.
    If you run both the e string positions it should give you a feel for how the string action and the angle are going to be, before you make any drastic changes to the neck heel.

    if the strings hit the tail end of the fretboard with the bridge in a moderate or low position then youíve got an issue.
    If the bridge is sitting low and there is still a huge gap between strings and the fretboard, you also have an issue.

    if th bridge is in a middle position (not slammed to the guitar top, and not way up off the top), and you have a moderate string action then there is probably no real adjustment needed to the neck heel or pocket.

    Im assuming your kit is a bolt on neck not a set neck, which means the neck might sit higher, but 4 mm doesnít sound excessive. Iíd check your bridge height and such first.

    Edit: just reviewed the EXM page and it is shown as a set neck, unusual to see the board overhang like that with them though?
    Normally the board and the neck heel end square as it drops down to the neck tenon? Can we get a top view of that heel/neck pocket area?


    hope this helps!
    Last edited by FrankenWashie; 10-08-2019 at 11:25 PM.
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  3. #3
    Hi Mate,

    Thanks for the reply. Iím yet to test the strings on the neck to the bridge, but regardless, I have never seen or played a guitar with either a set or bolt on neck that has its neck sitting so high... the fretboards are always flush and touching the body of the guitar.

    As you requested, I have attached closer photos of the neck pocket and heel. Iím looking to overcome this hurdle soon as itís holding back my measurements for scale length and the rest of the test fit. Otherwise Iíll lose my patience and just sand the neck socket .

    Once again, any responses are greatly appreciated.
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  4. #4
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sachin View Post
    Hi Mate,

    Thanks for the reply. Iím yet to test the strings on the neck to the bridge, but regardless, I have never seen or played a guitar with either a set or bolt on neck that has its neck sitting so high... the fretboards are always flush and touching the body of the guitar.

    As you requested, I have attached closer photos of the neck pocket and heel. Iím looking to overcome this hurdle soon as itís holding back my measurements for scale length and the rest of the test fit. Otherwise Iíll lose my patience and just sand the neck socket .

    Once again, any responses are greatly appreciated.
    Mate that is looking all kinds of odd.
    I would strongly recommend getting a Kwik clamp or a C clamp and test setting the neck, then run the E strings or fishing line to your bridge to check the break angle and action BEFORE you do anything drastic.

    With the neck clamped in place you can verify your scale length at the same time as you do the other checks.

    I get what you are saying about the height proud of the body, but the Tune O Matic style bridge on that kit should give you ample adjustment.

    Also check the pickup rings that came with the kit. If you drop the neck further in to the body you might create fouling issues with those.

    If it still all looks wrong, then adjusting the neck pocket will work but you are better off using a router than trying to evenly sand out 2-3 mm. You can get a little palm type router with a guide bearing bit to do this, or depending on where you are, one of the other forum members might be in a position to assist you with that.

    I have to say that whole thing looks rough especially the veneer top around the neck pup position. The front of the pocket normally is fairly square up and down but that one looks quoted wobbly?

    Iíd pop some photos back to Adam at Pitbull for review as, to me at least, that doesnít look up to the normal PBG standard.

    Hope this helps,




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  5. #5
    Hey FrankenWashie,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I think weíre on different pages here. Where I say the neck is sitting too high, I donít mean jutting out too far onto the body and therefore neck pickup isnít a problem. Iím referring to depth, as in, the neck pocket is too shallow, that I canít clamp down the neck entirely. Sorry if I misunderstood, but right now I canít test fit the neck because it wonít go down any further.

  6. #6
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sachin View Post
    Hey FrankenWashie,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I think weíre on different pages here. Where I say the neck is sitting too high, I donít mean jutting out too far onto the body and therefore neck pickup isnít a problem. Iím referring to depth, as in, the neck pocket is too shallow, that I canít clamp down the neck entirely. Sorry if I misunderstood, but right now I canít test fit the neck because it wonít go down any further.
    Oh okay, I was envisaging it was all the way in and looked too high!

    Check the squareness of the neck heel sides, then the sides of the neck pocket.

    You might also see is there are any witness marks in the pocket where the neck is binding up, you can carefully dress these out with a file or sand paper stuck to a stiff backer board.

    Take a look at the radii in the corners of the pocket as these are quite often an issue.

    From the photo the back end of the neck heel looks kind of irregular, that may also be a binding point stopping it seating correctly.

    The key is small adjustments, with careful checks in between.

    Some use chalk or pencil lead on one component to highlight high spots where there is hard contact.

    Also look for any obvious irregularities especially in the corners at the base of the pocket.


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  7. #7
    Hey guys,

    Took a busy week and a lot of sanding (my router broke) to get the rough neck pocket into a clean and level state. Finally measured the scale length and got the neck into an appropriate position. However, the factory did not include the neck plate and screws to bolt-on the neck. I ordered them yesterday.

    Can I drill the holes into the neck now itself or is it better I wait for the parts to come? If I am alright to drill the holes, what size drill bit should I use?

    Thanks
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  8. #8
    In addition to the previous post, I assume it is normal for a bolt-on neck to sit on an angle like mine in the neck pocket given the guitar has a tunomatic bridge.

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Itís the EX design that requires the angle. On a lot of bolt ons, there isnít any appreciable angle.
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  10. #10
    Thanks FrankenWashie, also the factory forgot to include the neckplate and screws... can I still still the holes in the neck without them or is it better to wait till they arrive. And what size drill bit to use?

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