Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
Post Reply
Brian Evans
Posts: 900
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Brian Evans »

I looked up the dimensions of a Fender bass neck, and the heel was noted as 2.5". Perhaps naively, I assumed the heel was rectangular, that I would route out a rectangular recess to accept the neck heel. I bought a Warmouth neck, and it needed shimming to match the heel. No problem sez I, I probably routed it wrong. Then I happen to have my dial caliper in hand and measure the neck heel. It's tapered, starts slightly larger than 2.5"and gets smaller (2.55" to 2.42", matches the taper of the fretboard, which does seem logical). So from people who've been there, are Fender neck pockets tapered?

User avatar
Barry Daniels
Posts: 2676
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Yes.
MIMF Staff

Freeman Keller
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Freeman Keller »

I have one set of strat plans that calls it out as 2.2000/2.1875 on the inside and 0.84 degree angle and a set of tele plans that call it as 2.224 on the inside and 2.135 on the outside. Warmoth shows it as 2-3/16 and at the outside and does not mention the taper. Your numbers seem excessively high.

User avatar
Peter Wilcox
Posts: 1176
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

When I used to make Fender clones, I made templates for routing the neck pockets (bass, Tele or Strat) and templates for the necks. I routed the pockets first, then when I shaped the necks I finessed them for a tight fit (easier to shape the neck heel than the pocket). But yes, as noted above, they are tapered to the neck shape.
Freeman Keller wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:20 pm
I have one set of strat plans that calls it out as 2.2000/2.1875 on the inside and 0.84 degree angle and a set of tele plans that call it as 2.224 on the inside and 2.135 on the outside. Warmoth shows it as 2-3/16 and at the outside and does not mention the taper. Your numbers seem excessively high.
It's a bass. :)
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Freeman Keller
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Freeman Keller »

Oops, my bad. Your numbers are probably just right for a bass.....

JC Whitney
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by JC Whitney »

“Fender Manufacturing” video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bzm7OfuNBcQ

About three seconds in there’s a shot of a neck having the full length of one of its sides run along a stationary belt sander. Mr Leo aimed to make his production line run quickly and smoothly... I wonder if it was a judgement call that it was easier to pattern route a tapered pocket than deal with a change from parallel to tapered sides when sanding every neck?

User avatar
Steve Sawyer
Posts: 938
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

I can't answer your either/or question, but if you're making a neck, I just did a bass that had a taper at the heel (continuous straight lines from the nut to the heel) and used two templates to rout both the heel of the neck (actually the entire neck shaft) and the neck pocket. I got as close to a perfect fit as I could on both templates as shown in the first picture below, then used one to rout the neck profile and the other to rout the neck pocket. A tiny bit of fitting resulted in a perfect "piston fit". Note in the pics below the holes in the templates that are used with 1/8" stainless steel dowel pins to make sure everything lines up properly. If I was doing this with a purchased neck, I'd make a template to perfectly match the neck, then rout with that.
Neck Pocket Jigs 1.JPG
Neck Pocket Jigs 2.JPG
==Steve==

Brian Evans
Posts: 900
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Fender neck pockets - rectangular or tapered?

Post by Brian Evans »

Thanks, guys. Now that I know it's a taper, if I ever make another one, I'll just make a tapered routing template. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense. Easier to make a template and a thousand bodies than it would be to make a thousand necks not tapered. In the meantime, this body is shimmed and the neck fits. I'm making two more necks, probably as penance for buying the Warmoth neck in the first place, and it will be easy to taper them as well.

Post Reply