So I want to get a good action to my next build with the ability to play slide and use my fingers. I have seen some builds that have the fret board a lot higher or they use a back angle to the entire neck. Is there someone that can give me some pointers on this. I want to avoid the back angle as of now if I can avoid it and just bring my fretboard up higher. My only concern is using the oak strips from home depot.  I can make a heel that could bring my fret board a bit higher. Anyhow, any tips or thoughts on this topic would be great.  Thanks. 

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Hi, I aim for a 1/4" fingerboard that sits on the top of the box lid/top.
I aim for a bridge height of 1/2" to 5/8" My action would be around 2.5mm to 3mm for slide. but it can depend on your style of playing.

If you raise the fingerboard and not the bridge you will lower the string action.

If you angle the neck back you will lower the string action.

Having a higher fretboard and bridge will give a higher break angle of the strings off the back of the bridge saddle, and good finger/pick clearance off the top of the box.

I would suggest drawing a side on plan to scale, it will help with planning your build and getting the action you prefer.

There's info on here, just wait for BrianQ, he knows how to find stuff.


Actually Taff hit the nail on right the head? You’ll have to increase the Bridge height whether you add the fretboard to the neck or use back angle on the neck? Also, nothing wrong with Home Depot oak, probably  9 out of 10 U.S. builders use wood from big box stores, sometimes it takes looking at every piece to get a good one? Also, if you go to the very top of the page, the “Search” box is there, type whatever your query is & it will usually display past discussions on the subject? A good one is member Richie Kay’s neck tutorial? 

Here’s that link to Richey Kay’s tutorial:

Thanks for that, Brian!

I went looking it & could not find it.  Turns out I had already read it, but I read it again anyway. 

I have spent several years lurking here, searching, reading, studying, learning opinions, methods, tips  & tricks, & picking up ideas to try.  These days rarely does a search bring up threads that I haven't read.  I read through it again as a refresher to jog my memory.

So much info here to be mined.  Wish I had been here during this sites heyday.  :)

Yup, I am with Taff.  I like 1/4" fret boards over the body. And pickups leveled equally with the height of the fret board as well when making flat tele/strat-esique guitars.

The pulling back of the neck only depends if the action is too high and adjusting the bridge isn't enough.   It's pretty easy to pull back the neck a degree or two with wooden shims angled correctly.  Stewmac sells them and they are expensive but are genuine and will do the deed.  The cheap ones on ebay are just flat shims and the metal ones will destroy your neck pocket over time.  Unless you wouldn't fear cutting a shim yourself with a miter saw, which is possible by the way, it just takes patience and nerves of titanium.

Hi Ill Green, well to get a set of three of those wedges from our overpriced supplier here in Aussie would set me back $90.00au. So I did the following:

As I had already made a jig for making wedges for Taylor guitar setups, I simply added an alternative device to take a Fender-style wedge.

It was a lot of work, but enjoy making jigs, and I do not have to wait for delivery. I can vary the degree of rise by thousands of an inch a time. The main jig fits on the bench and is stored away in seconds, however, the gadgets associated with the process have grown to fill this draw.

Cheers taff

Taff, you the man! Had no idea you from the Land Down Under.  Got a lot of support during my rap days, mostly Melbourne. Yeah I heard about getting merchandise and things are mostly generic locally. Don't feel bad I get the same treatment here. I sure miss New York though.

Sweet looking jig, like I can slice cheese out of that.  If that was marketed, I'd get one because that looks the way to go for shims.

When I make shims, it's accidental. I have maybe 4 to 6 shims through a 4 year process... also they came from refining scarf joint angles.

Your Neck/Wedge Shim Shaper is a very interesting contraption, Taff.  I would love to see how it functions.

Hi Carl, here’s an overview of its use:

I cut thin blanks, place them on the appropriate router template, and route to shape, four shapes in all, for Fender and Taylor guitars.

I have a special small sanding thicknesser I made up to bring the blank down close to the thickest dimension of the intended wedge or shim.

Place shaped blank into the jig on its dedicated [interchangeable] table/holder, shown in the photo with locating pins. The table is first adjusted level to get the higher dimension, then one end is raised to a level that raises the blank into the path of a special sanding block. For the thin end of the wedge.

The sanding block removes material down the set level at one end of the blank, [here-on known as a wedge] The adjustments are in thousands of an inch, a form of measurement I have just started to use and understand, ha-ha, after a lifetime of guitar work.

This is of course done after determining the degree of neck reset required.
I hope you can follow this. Prior to this, I did it on my belt sander, often losing the wedge and some skin as it disappeared up the dust chute, ha-ha. Then I used a backing block on the blank when using the sanding belt. But then I needed to end up with specific measurements, so the device mentioned above was born.

Thanks for the interest, Taff

Quite ingenious, Taff! 


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