Big Update: Mess o Shims and gluing madness So... I overdid my chiseling x-x but not to worry, B-stock (or damaged by USPS, idk) Sapele Headplate wood to the rescue! I had a 6x4 inch peice and the little skinny one, and I ended up using it all to re-build the neck-pocket so that the gluing surface would be even and uniform wood-wise for the neck to grip onto (plus, it was cooler than usual all day, 60-50 degrees so I'm expecting wood expansion later to work in my favor) Yeah... used the pool table and some thinking to clamp down the sidewall shims for an hour each and overnight cure unclamped before spending most of my day today getting everything to fit (neck, more shimming, etc.) but I didn't take anymore pictures until I got close to the biggest hurdle to check my work: I had to shave the shim down nearly 3/4ths of its orginial thickness on the bass side to make sure the neck would be straight in the pocket so the strings on the bridge would be reasonably aligned (I still have to notch the saddles). the height of the bridge after the tweaking was complete is abit higher than the picture I took here, but I managed with just hand tools, sandpaper and my sister doing a legit Korean BBQ dinner to get it done right, the length from the bridge to the nut being right on the money for Gibson's total string length, about 24 9/16ths based on info from Stewmac.com And... with some folded up napkins, a paint stirrer broken in half, two grip clamps and one small screw clamp, the deed was done: And the only bad thing about this was the fact I found a heat gun in the attic AFTER I did all the sanding on the body... damnit Dad, why didn't you say you have one when I asked >C The guitar is now sitting in the cellar under the staircase with just the two grip-clamps re-positioned after an hour under heavy clamping to allow the wood to acclumate to warmer temprtures (well... not that much warmer) and it will stay like that for the next day or so just to be sure all of the glue cures so that next weekend will be simple: carving, filling, hole-widening, staining and painting. Before then though, I need to get a custom decal for the head-stock. comments appreciated!