Shim voodoo?

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shoegaze_head
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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by shoegaze_head » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:28 am

I'm definely no expert, but when messing around with my CV Jag I just cut a buisness card in half and stuck it at the bottom of the neck pocket and it worked fine. If you want to play asap I'd recommend doing something like that and then next time you have to change strings or have the cash you can swap it for a stewmac shim

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by BeeTL » Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:39 pm

I keep a supply of the StewMac .5 degree shims in my parts bin because they're a time saver and a great value when purchased along with other items.
Owner, Lowe Custom Guitars

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bluemonday
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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by bluemonday » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:27 pm

Well, my Staytrem arrived so the only thing holding me back is my own reticence to make shims. I bought enough maple veneer for at least a dozen shims :o and now I doubt my availability of proper tools and skill. I have some electric cutting tools that MIGHT work.

This weekend would be a good time, so the next time I mention this it will be because it's a done deal. Thank you everybody!

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by timtam » Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:23 pm

Ben Crowe from Crimson shows how to make tapered shims ... which I suspect explains why most people just buy them from Stewmac. ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlmSeVMLr_w
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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by luau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:57 am

timtam wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:23 pm
Ben Crowe from Crimson shows how to make tapered shims ... which I suspect explains why most people just buy them from Stewmac. ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlmSeVMLr_w
I think it would be easier and more accurate to just tape sandpaper to a flat surface, tape the shim to a flat block, glue a narrow strip of the same shim material to the desired thick end of the shim. Then just delicately sand the glued on strip away. The height of the strip determines the taper of the shim.

I've been meaning to do this but haven't gotten around to it.

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by Lost In Autumn » Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:10 am

T70 wrote:
Mon Jul 11, 2022 5:37 am
bluemonday wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:15 pm
T70 wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:07 pm
Get the wood ones from StewMac, they're pretty nice.
Even though this may be shaping up into one of those "penny wise and pound foolish" scenarios, I just could not see springing for the StewMac ones. Now I've probably spent just about as much (in money and energy) as if I'd gone that way in the first place. I've learned that lesson before, too! :squint:
I hear you, StewMac's pricing and especially their shipping cost on small items is hard to swallow sometimes. Since your guitar is new I'm sure a standard cardboard/plastic shim at the back of the pocket would be fine for a few decades. They will cause a fretboard hump but it takes a long time, more of a known issue on vintage gear.
stew mac membership pays for itself in a couple orders with what you save on shipping. even if you only do 4 orders a year, it's worth it.

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by bluemonday » Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:08 am

Lost In Autumn wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:10 am
T70 wrote:
Mon Jul 11, 2022 5:37 am
bluemonday wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:15 pm



Even though this may be shaping up into one of those "penny wise and pound foolish" scenarios, I just could not see springing for the StewMac ones. Now I've probably spent just about as much (in money and energy) as if I'd gone that way in the first place. I've learned that lesson before, too! :squint:
I hear you, StewMac's pricing and especially their shipping cost on small items is hard to swallow sometimes. Since your guitar is new I'm sure a standard cardboard/plastic shim at the back of the pocket would be fine for a few decades. They will cause a fretboard hump but it takes a long time, more of a known issue on vintage gear.
stew mac membership pays for itself in a couple orders with what you save on shipping. even if you only do 4 orders a year, it's worth it.
I will check that out! I used to get their paper catalog back in the day. So much fun. I could spend hours looking at all the jigs and specialty tools.

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bluemonday
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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by bluemonday » Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:26 pm

Well, it was slow going. I underestimated how hard maple is. It ain't balsa! :squint: I used a combination of some electric sander and mostly hand sanding. The plastic shim set I already bought turned out to be crucial for measurement since I don't have dial calipers. I just kept sanding until I matched the 1.0 shim. I'm happy with the results. The thin edge is paper thin. (I've sanded even more since these pictures). Tomorrow I will use the drill at work to make the holes.

Then I can FINALLY put it together, string up the flats, put the bridge on, and adjust!

Image
This first picture shows how much maple veneer I had to remove to match the taper.

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by bluemonday » Wed Aug 10, 2022 1:36 pm

Well, I was going to come back and tie a nice little bow on this thread, but no happy ending yet! :(

The .1 degree shim is way too much.

The guitar shipped with pretty good action, the exception being the low E. This is a well known issue based on the factory strings the guitar ships with. So instead of shim voodoo, maybe I drank the shim kool-aide! Putting the cart before the horse as it were. From everything I read, these almost all need a shim. Yes, I know I took a calculated guess that mine would be the same, but now I think I need to set it up, and THEN shim if necessary. Obviously it will need something minor if at all.

What's worse, during the process of all the adjusting, I broke an expensive string! :'(

So I ordered the Stringjoy Bass VI round wound set. (Yes, I think I want rounds anyway after all). Just thought I'd keep updating in case my experience will be helpful to someone.

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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by Tele295 » Wed Aug 10, 2022 1:56 pm

How can I tell what size shim I need? Or is it all trial and error?
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bluemonday
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Re: Shim voodoo?

Post by bluemonday » Wed Aug 10, 2022 4:44 pm

Tele295 wrote:
Wed Aug 10, 2022 1:56 pm
How can I tell what size shim I need? Or is it all trial and error?
Until someone with more experience chimes in, I would say start small. Especially if it's a standard scale guitar. When I was looking at pre-fab shims, I found sets which covered the .25, .5, and 1 degree range.

I have found a little goes a looong way. For instance, my use of a 1 degree had my strings resting against the 21st fret! That is even WITH cranking my bridge up very high.

Now I see why folks use business cards or a thin pick or credit card.

So I don't know how to know this until one finds the usual set up adjustments are insufficient without elevating the neck angle. And even then I think it might be trial and error until one gets a feel for this.

I'm talking about some of us amateurs trying to do this, and not a pro who probably knows.

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