Here is a little vibe I picked up and will implement in regards to how I bolt a neck to a Fender Stratocaster guitar. The method I will describe can be done to any Stratocaster, but this will be focused on a Strat built from scratch.
This is an experiment for the most part. I don’t have any beefs with the way Fender puts the necks on my Stratocasters in the first place. I don’t want to mess up my Eric Clapton Strat for sure or any of my other perfectly setup guitars. Building a guitar gives me the opportunity to fix a mistake with more ease since it is basically a ruff unpainted body and neck at that point.
For those in the know, Stratocaster necks bolt on to the body of the guitar with 4 wood-screws. My proposal is to imbed four studs in the neck using metal inserts and then using nuts and studs (stainless steel) to secure it nice and tight in the neck slot in the body. By doing so the neck is secured to the body with more clamping pressure and the pressure is then more evenly spread over the back of the neck and guitar body.
To perform this procedure requires a lot of patience and precision and some practice. Meaning buy a piece of junk to experiment on. Don’t try this to your favorite guitar.
A. The screw holes in the neck need to be plugged, meaning, drilling out any current holes and using wood dowels to plug the holes.
B. The next thing is to make sure the mating surface on the neck is square, flat and fits the body firmly.
C. If we choose to use a 1/4 inch diameter stainless steel stud, than we need to enlarge the screw holes in the body to 1/4 of an inch.
D. Next, the neck needs to be put into the guitar body and clamped so it won’t move.
E. Now we need to use a 1/4 inch drill and drill through the 1/4 inch body holes deep enough into the neck to accommodate the metal stud inserts (the insert needs to be measured and added to the body thickness to determine how deep to drill). The rest of the procedure is straight forward. Cut your studs to length and inset them into the metal inserts in the neck. Put the neck on the guitar by inserting the studs through the guitar body holes. Put one stainless flat-washer on each stud, put one stainless lock nut on each stud, then gently torque each nut to 35 inch pounds. Don’t cheat here, that is a BIG mistake. Go back the next day and retorque your studs to
50 inch pounds. Finish any small details and then string her up. I personally like DR Strings PHR9 Pure Blues Nickel Light Electric Guitar Strings
Return the next day after the strings have been on over night and torque it to 60 inch pounds. Then have at it.
GuitarPlayersCenter will start this project soon. Subscribe for free and watch the guitar being built.