Neck Creaking - Luthier suggests Fill holes + redrill, I disagree

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by kudogg, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. kudogg

    kudogg New Member!

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    So I have an old 80s guitar, and the neck creaks a little bit. I have a method of repair that would involve, more or less, using slightly larger screws, since one of the neck screws is loose, and the neck plate isn't flush with the body.

    A luthier, that I've never used has an idea that involves filling the holes, and redrilling the holes. I hear "filling holes" in a neck pocket and am a little concerned. Hundreds of pounds of pressure? on a neck pocket?

    I predict a glue and sawdust compound to fill the holes? Is that safe?
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Usually, people use solid wood dowels when filling in the neck mount screw holes....you do it on the neck heel, not the neck pocket of the body.......

    I would not think glue and sawdust would be strong enough?? Others might have more info / experience.....

    What do you mean by 'hundreds of pounds of pressure on a neck pocket'?
     
  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    Typically one would be filling the holes in the NECK with glued in dowels and then redrilling, and you are greatly over estimating the amount of tension on a guitar neck.
     
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  4. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    Get very consistent information here at Strat Talk... :D
     
  5. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the OP was imagining that his luthier would fill the holes (either in the body or the neck) with sawdust and glue, and then redrill.

    So he was figuring that sawdust and glue wouldn't hold hundreds of pounds of tension on the neck. And probably rightly so.

    But now that he knows that his luthier would fill holes in the neck with solid wood dowels (I assume, that is), I think he's probably got it sussed.
     
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  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Carpenters glue is stronger than the wood itself, it's probably ok. Is he filling the holes in the neck, or in the pocket, or both?

    The amount of tension on the neck depends on the strings you play. A set of .009s makes less than 100 lbs, tension, a set of 10s makes about 115. A set of 13s will make about 180 lbs tension, and that's what the Strat and Tele were originally designed for.

    Remember that the bridge on an acoustic guitar is just glued to the body with carpenters glue, usually with no screws. They do come loose from time to time (esp. if the guitar is subjected to heat) but mostly they stay on, even with 13s pulling against the glue joint in shear.
     
  7. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    I was curious how many "pounds of pressure" or string tension there was on a typical electric guitar.
    https://www.elixirstrings.com/support/string-tension-for-tuning-guitar
    The pounds are at the end of each string, for example super light strings 85 pounds.

    GAUGE E-1 B-2 G-3 D-4 A-5 E-6 TOTAL TENSION (LBS)
    Super Light Strings

    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .024 / 16 .032 / 16 .042 / 15 85
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 94
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 103
    Light-Heavy Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .032 / 28 .042 / 26 .052 / 22 124
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .011 / 20 .014 / 18 .018 / 19 .028 / 21 .038 / 22 .049 / 20 118
    Heavy Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 28 .032 / 28 .042 / 26 .052 / 22 151
    Baritone
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .022 / 28 .038 / 38 .052 / 39 .068 / 39 191
    12-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs) .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17
    12-String Light Continued .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .009 / 19 .012 / 18 .018 / 23 .026 / 23 217
     
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  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Filling the hole with a dowel, and then re-drilling is the correct procedure. And just because the string tension is 100 or 200 pounds (or what ever it actually is), does not mean that is what the neck joint sees. Keep in mind the string tension is pulling the neck "into" the body joint, but the screws are at a 90° angle to that tension. And since there are 4 (or 3) screws in that joint, the total tension is divided among the screws. I've held a neck in a body at full string tension with just my thumb and forefinger, and I have girly hands.
     
  9. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    Another vote for he's got it right. Glue in dowels and re-drill. Done it safely I don't know how many times.
     
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  10. Agtronic

    Agtronic Senior Stratmaster

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    Don’t forget that the string tension is pulling the neck down into the bottom of the neck pocket, towards the bridge, not trying to pull the neck off upwards. Sure there is a little bit of tension pulling upwards since the strings are not on the same plane as the contact point, but much less than in the horizontal direction.

    I would expect a glued in dowel to be used, but I’m sure even some glue and sawdust in the hole would probably work fine.
     
  11. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored

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    What sort of guitar is it and what type of wood is it made of?
     
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  12. henderman

    henderman Dr. Stratster

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    add a sliver of a toothpick to the loose mounting hole to make that screw bite and stay tight.
     
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  13. kudogg

    kudogg New Member!

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    dude... you guys are the f'n best. Not to demean another site I ask Strat questions (and nobody knows jack ****), but you guys are amazing. Fantastic, I'll talk to him. I'm not sure what kind of wood, I think the neck is maple though
     
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  14. tschucha

    tschucha Strat-O-Master

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    A five minute fix that works just fine. No luthier, no dowels, no sawdust, don't even really need the glue.

    Simple fix.
     
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  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Why take the guitar to a "luthier" if you think you know how to fix it better than he does?
     
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  16. tinkertoy

    tinkertoy Strat-O-Master

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    Like everyone already said, wood dowels glued in is the way.

    I too have held my neck in place with a finger or two. It's what you do when you have a 9v battery under your pickguard, and dont want to lose your newish strings.

    I most definitely dont have girly hands.......unless you like your "girls" with big hairy knuckles.:D
     
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