Okay, heres my method of routing neck pockets, because face it, if you are building your own guitar, the whole 5/8'' deep thing usually doesnt work (not for me anyways)

Basically you need some algebra skills, a digital caliper (12 dollars at Harbor Freight), and some sort of calculator.

First thing is first, you gotta take your measurements, fretwire, fingerboard thickness, neck thickness, and the HEIGHT of the strings off of the face of the guitar body (measure the bridge for that)

Okay so the fretboard thickness is .2455, fret height (dont measure the tang, jus the crown) is .0345, and our neck thickness is an assumed .75'' (thats a good thickness for a neck heel), and the bridge (make sure you put the saddle at about the middle of its height) is .4135.

so i draw it out...

Now, we have to find X. you add everything on the neck side togeother to get 1.03''.

Okay, so the strings are off of the body .4135'', and the neck is 1.03'' thick, so you would subtract to find the difference and thats your depth, but wait.. you need to account for string action, which is about 1/16'', so lets go for .063'', add that to the THICKNESS of the neck to get 1.093''.

1.093'' - .4135'' = .6795''. Thats your depth of your neck pocket.

Now for the pickups, you do the same thing, except you may want to change your 1/16'' string action for it, depending upon how close you like your pickup to be to the strings, just take your caliper and measure from the bottom of the bracket to the top of the pole piece. I dont think this was on stew mac, stew mac just says "most neck pockets are 5/8'' deep" now 5/8 is pretty close to .6795, but i like to be better than close, and if you have a bridge that sits up a little higher than usual, aka a kahler or a recessed TOM, this will be handy.
Thanks I'll really remember that method in the future!
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
Here's an idea as well, as i know i had this exact problem with mine, and now need to adjust it as well:

how thick should z be?
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Shwiggity.
Great tutorial LP! When I turn your body blank into the hard tail metal machine she will be, I can use this method.

How thick should the guitar 'heel' be?
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Well, how thin can you go before the heel just breaks under tension?
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Otter, you're my new god.
Yeah, but you contour the heel in an AANJ style right? Ideally, the thinner the better (to a point) for better higher fret access...

So how much can you carve it?
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Otter, you're my new god.
^this

is my question as well.
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Shwiggity.
sounds good.
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Shwiggity.
So I need to route the cavity for my TOM bridge before the neck pocket so that I can use it as a measurement?=/
How far away from the strings will a pickup pick up sound? I like haveing my pickups way far away from the strings(speedpicking purposes)?
..I was watching my death.
thanks man will for sure be doing this on my build
Quote by Albino_Rhino
Yeah, but you contour the heel in an AANJ style right? Ideally, the thinner the better (to a point) for better higher fret access...

So how much can you carve it?

I can't remember what thread it was in but i remember Perry saying that the sides of the neck glued to the sides of the pocket is enough to keep the neck from coming out or whatever from string tension...
^ You're thinking of how he 'dry' tests the neck pocket; the tightness of the neck in the pocket is enough to hold the weight of the body. No glue, just friction.
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I noticed there are a lot of first builds coming up. This is very informative so I'm giving it a bump.
Quote by guitarcam123
I can't remember what thread it was in but i remember Perry saying that the sides of the neck glued to the sides of the pocket is enough to keep the neck from coming out or whatever from string tension...

This is true. But it doesn't cover bolt-ons... However, some troll math tells me that LP's estimate of .5" will be plenty solid when I think about how the force is directed.
Quote by guitarcam123
I can't remember what thread it was in but i remember Perry saying that the sides of the neck glued to the sides of the pocket is enough to keep the neck from coming out or whatever from string tension...

So...what you're telling me, is that the heel could essentially be non-existant as long as the tenon is glued in the neck pocket?
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^Yes... Think about how large the glue surfaces are on the sides of the neck tenon. They're more than twice as large combined than the glue surface in a normal scarf joint, which is more than solid enough.

edit: Plus, actually the forces pulling on the neck have less leverage on the sides than they do on the heel.
Ok so I found this through the thread Jim just put up and I have a relevant question.

If I'm doing an angled neck pocket, do I find the height of the side closest to the bridge, the side closest to the headstock, or the average?
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
It's still helpful though to people who need to know how deep to route the pockets.

I drew this up in MS Paint, I believe that it's easier to read/ understand then Kyle's drawing:
Last edited by guitarcam123 at Oct 11, 2009,
Quote by Copaman
If I'm doing an angled neck pocket, do I find the height of the side closest to the bridge, the side closest to the headstock, or the average?
Are you talking about how to find the depth of the neck pocket?

If so if its angled it will be different along the entire length of the pocket in relation to the body surface.

Your best bet is to draw it out full scale,

I have editted one of Perrys pictures to show you how to get the depth of the neck pocket, you have to find the angle, and then add a parrallel line to that at the depth of the heel of the neck, and once that is drawn on it will show you the depth of the pocket on the body.

I hope that makes sence

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Last edited by Absent Mind at Sep 6, 2009,
Confusing, but I guess I understand.

In order to do this I need my neck totally finished and my bridge, huh?
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
No you just need to know the height of everything e.g body, neck heel, fretboard, frets, action etc and stick to those dimensions.

But I would finish the taper of the neck and the heel before doing the pocket, because then you can use the sloping bits of wood that you will use to run the router at an angle when you route the pocket, and butt them right up against the finished heel, and then use a bearing bit against the sloping wood so that you route the exact dimensions of the finished heel.

If you look at this picture of a neck jig, the neck was clamped onto the body where it will eventually be glued, the bits of wood running the length of the body were then clamped against the side of the neck, and then the horizontal peice clamped against the butt of the heel, that will give you a fence to route against, ensuring a tight pocket.

Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
Alright, I came up with 3.5 degrees when I did it out today.

Does that sound right?

Also, I love that jig in the above pic. Gonna make mah own. Since I have made my heel a little bigger than the typical (1" as compared to .75"), a straight up 1" bearing on top bit will do the trick, correct?
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
would id it be ok if i just placed the bridge deeper to the body like 1/2 inch to keep it straight with no angle ?

ps/edit: like gibson bridge deep to play like fender height bridge
Last edited by Rockstar24 at Mar 4, 2010,