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Discussion Starter #1
One of my USA Predators has about a 1.5-2mm gap between the neck and the body on the 6th string side. This shifts the 6th sting really close to the edge of the neck, especially at the lower frets. I tried loosening the neck screws to see if there was some play to move it; there was none.

Two potential fixes come to mind. Best choice, fill the current neck holes with a glued in dowel rod, clamp neck into the body pocket, mark the new hole locations, drill the pilot holes, and Bob's your uncle.

I also thought I could just oblong the body holes 1.5 mm and shift the neck that way. I believe the screw tension should hold it. This seems easier but not really correct.

Thoughts on this?
 

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Best choice, fill the current neck holes with a glued in dowel rod, clamp neck into the body pocket, mark the new hole locations, drill the pilot holes, and Bob's your uncle.
I'd go with this. As you wisely said... "Best choice"
 

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I'd go option #2. I don't see anything wrong with making the holes in the body a few sizes bigger. It will give you room to properly adjust the neck, and the plate will hide what you've done. I've gone as far as 1/4" holes in the body to get a neck straight and where I want it in the pocket. The plate clamps just as hard, I don't think it cares.
 

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I've gone as far as 1/4" holes in the body to get a neck straight and where I want it in the pocket. The plate clamps just as hard, I don't think it cares.
WOW...That surprises me. Not intended as being critical or argumentative...you have done a lot of modding and building and I respect that fact.
 

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The dowel solution is fairly traditional. But what doesn't get spoken about much is the wood that the dowel is made of. Maybe I'm just imagining things, but dowels never strike me as being as hard as the wood that necks are often made of. In which case, I wonder if a softer wood, in between the neck screw and neck is possibly damping transfer of string energy through the neck/body joint. That's pure conjecture and speculation on my part, but it makes me wonder. That said, if one uses the doweling approach, verify that the dowels are as hard as you can get them, and that the glue also makes for a nice stiff joint.

Alternatively, some makes will use T-nuts installed into the neck, and then use bolts to tighten the neck against the body more snugly than screws might. Naturally, he neck has to be machined to a) accept something wider than the bolt itself, and b) allow the T-nut to be seated into the neck such that the neck can sit flush with the body. FWIW, my Vantage guitar uses a combination of screws and bolts to hold the neck tenon in place under the neck pickup.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback. Cutting a new nut is a tougher skill for me than working with wood. For dowels I would find a hard wood. But honestly with Lincoln's feedback, I'm going to try that first as it's super easy to do.
 

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I really like the T-nuts, but when using the standard Fender neck plate, it places the holes so close to the outside edges on the neck I'm afraid to use them. I found & ordered some narrower neck plates recently with 1-1/2" spacing instead of 2". When they arrive I'm going to use them with T-nuts on some builds.
 

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Assuming the nut is cut properly, and the bridge isn’t completely in the wrong place, this should work. I think I got this from a stew Mac Dan Earlwine video, so I’m not just making this up..
Take the neck off. Use a drill to drill out and open up the body holes so the screws just pass through the holes easily without needing to be threaded through. They will thread into the neck holes to hold the neck down, so tight body holes actually compromise the neck-body interface. Like putting cylinder heads on an engine- the block is threaded the heads have through holes. Anyway....
Reassemble and string it up (if you took the strings off...you can take the neck off with a capo in place). Loosen the neck screws a quarter turn or less and shift the neck up or down to get the strings lined up, in your case it sounds like you need to push the headstock down a tiny bit. Holding it where the strings are centered, tighten the neck screws. The screws will hold the neck there, and your strings should be centered. A good tight wood screw into hard maple can clamp several hundred pounds, 4 of them will hold that neck in place solid enough to not move for years if ever. Contrary to what the internet says, a super tight (zero clearance) neck pocket is not needed, and possibly can cause problems getting the neck aligned (especially in assembly line built guitars).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the continued feedback. With Christmas over I plan on taking this on in the next few days.
 
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