Fender neck makes cracking sound when pressure is applied?

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
I have a tele that’s about 5 years old. It is a full glossed neck. I notice sometimes when I slightly bend the neck, (no I’m not insane) that I hear the faintest sound of cracking. Now according to my knowledge, when fender sprays their necks, they spray over already seated frets. In my mind it’s simple that it could be tiny bits of poly pulling from the frets but I also noticed that the neck is very very close in the pocket, like if the lines were sealed I’d never be able to tell it was bolt on. It is very specifically seated in the pocket. So it could also just the the gloss from the neck rubbing on the bare wood in the pocket. Maybe maybe not. There are also cracks along the frets on the sides of the neck. Now this may not be the case since obviously it’s just marks from the seated frets. However on the non visible underside, some cracks get almost as wide as my pinkie nail. This doesn’t bother me because I love a worm in look, but what do you guys think? Anyone have an idea what this may be exactly, the guitar is under full tension and I do a decent amount a full bends on the top strings so I figure if it were a crack in the neck pocket, something would’ve happened by now. The neck is also just bolted with sides. There is no wood at the front of the neck end. Meaning if I take the pickguard off, I can see and touch the front of the neck completely. Only side support no back. If that makes sense
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
The snapping noise is likely the neck moving slightly in the pocket. Check the tightness of the mounting screws.

What kind of Tele is this, that the heel of the neck is not seated into the bottom of the pocket? Was the body modified? Worst case, a Fender would have a "Mickey Mouse" route in the pocket where the corners are relieved a bit that would allow for the use of either the rounded Strat neck or a squared-off Tele neck, but it should still be seated firmly against the bulkhead on the pickup end.
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
The snapping noise is likely the neck moving slightly in the pocket. Check the tightness of the mounting screws.

What kind of Tele is this, that the heel of the neck is not seated into the bottom of the pocket? Was the body modified? Worst case, a Fender would have a "Mickey Mouse" route in the pocket where the corners are relieved a bit that would allow for the use of either the rounded Strat neck or a squared-off Tele neck, but it should still be seated firmly against the bulkhead on the pickup end.
Sorry I worded it wrong I’ll show you a picture of what I mean. And it is a 2016 fender tele player plus. Nashville style with a strat pickup in the middle. I think you may have seen it on the thread I started about it.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
So it's open between the neck pocket and pickup cavity?

This is a Player Plus Tele body.....

aq49bdgmz.jpg
 

Dolebludger

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
16,473
Reaction score
16,116
I don’t understand the problem here. From the pic above it looks like the neck is attached by four screws from the bottom of the body — not from the sides of the neck pocket. It does not appear that the neck pocket extends into the neck pup route. Just confused here.

But I will convey something I was told by a good luthier. With a bolt neck guitar, you need periodically to take string tension off the neck, loosen the screws that hold the neck, and the tighten them well. it seems that neck and neck pocket wood can shrink slightly over the years, allowing some neck movement in the pocket. This suggestion is how to correct. Just for giggles I checked the tightness of the neck screws on a 40 year old bolt guitar. I had never done this before. To my surprise, the screws weren’t very tight. Though I was having no problem with this guitar, I followed the advice. Primary sustain improved.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
But I will convey something I was told by a good luthier. With a bolt neck guitar, you need periodically to take string tension off the neck, loosen the screws that hold the neck, and the tighten them well. it seems that neck and neck pocket wood can shrink slightly over the years, allowing some neck movement in the pocket. This suggestion is how to correct. Just for giggles I checked the tightness of the neck screws on a 40 year old bolt guitar. I had never done this before. To my surprise, the screws weren’t very tight. Though I was having no problem with this guitar, I followed the advice. Primary sustain improved.
Loosening the neck screws can cause issues. Frequently, the neck needs a little push in one direction or the other to properly align the strings with the edges of the neck. My Tele needs to have the neck screws tightened while applying a little upward pressure to the headstock or the E tends to be too close to the edge of the neck.
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
So it's open between the neck pocket and pickup cavity?

This is a Player Plus Tele body.....

View attachment 560525
No sorry I meant it isn’t as thick a regular tele is supposed to be. For some reason Fender decided that the neck for this tele should be the only one that fit it. So if I happen to destroy the neck and need a replacement, the only way I’ll be able to fit another is to buy another tele player plus unless I’m willing to do some modifications to the body or the neck. But honestly for around 4-500 bucks average price, that’s about the value of a custom fender neck depending on the model.

but what I was trying to explain is that the wood is so thin there that I have seen visible bend in it. It’s not terrible to the point of it needing to be braced but if you look down the side of the guitar with the pickguard off, you can see a warp. In my mind (should it get so terrible I must do this) I could possibly get a small rectangle piece of steel and brace it against the wood, wedging it with slots on either side of the neck pickup route, but I think that the tele pickup is right up on it so I’m not sure. The room I have to keep my instruments in are not insulated at all, so during the day unless the ac is on 60 at the highest fan speed, it pretty much gets as hot as it is outside. My other guitars (god strike me down because I let this happen) have finally gotten used to it as we’ve been here almost 2 months, but this guitar (if being effected) hasn’t styled from the humidity change of its previous home. Just a theory though. I didn’t even know bolt on required more attention.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
16,208
Reaction score
13,631
Fender's don't generally require any of the sides or the end to be flush with the neck. So any bit of wood at the end of the neck rout is non structural essentially. Its the base of the neck and neck rout that are the key surfaces, which of course are the bits pulled together by the bolts.
 

Wuuthrad

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
1,549
Reaction score
3,646
I think you might just need to tighten the bolts, but don’t over tighten them.

I have a Fender Elite Strat with a hex key neck angle adjustment bolt as well as the 4 regular bolts.

If it’s making sound I’d take the strings off, tighten the bolts, restring, check and maybe retighten. You may want to avoid bending the neck too in general.

I’ve seen quite a few bolt on necks with a crack in pocket of the body of the guitar where the neck seats, but not enough to make any “gibson qc” complaints if you know what I mean.

None of these cracks have affected playability though.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
No sorry I meant it isn’t as thick a regular tele is supposed to be. For some reason Fender decided that the neck for this tele should be the only one that fit it. So if I happen to destroy the neck and need a replacement, the only way I’ll be able to fit another is to buy another tele player plus unless I’m willing to do some modifications to the body or the neck. But honestly for around 4-500 bucks average price, that’s about the value of a custom fender neck depending on the model.
It's not that Fender made a unique neck for it, it's an issue of it actually being branded Fender, but having been made in one of their Squier factories in Asia.
As such, US/Mexican necks may or may not fit properly.

But for $400-$500, they are a very nice series of guitars. They certainly are not "cheap crap" and don't let anyone tell you it is.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
I’ve seen quite a few bolt on necks with a crack in pocket of the body of the guitar where the neck seats, but not enough to make any “gibson qc” complaints if you know what I mean.

None of these cracks have affected playability though.
That is very common on Strats on the upper cutaway, not so common on the Tele body, as the meat is thicker in that area.

But ya, it's just a finish crack and nothing to be concerned about structurally.
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
It's not that Fender made a unique neck for it, it's an issue of it actually being branded Fender, but having been made in one of their Squier factories in Asia.
As such, US/Mexican necks may or may not fit properly.

But for $400-$500, they are a very nice series of guitars. They certainly are not "cheap crap" and don't let anyone tell you it is.
Oh yessir believe me I know. I gotta be honest here. A while ago I went to guitar center. Played a fender American performer tele a Gibson sg tribute a Jackson rr model with no finish on it a squier contemporary strat a bolt neck dean ml and an epiphone Lucille. The Lucille played better than all of them and the ml was just about better than the epiphone. This tele I have significantly plays above them as well. Of course I love really low action but not so low that the strings will slip under my fingers when I bend. I also like heavy strings. Higher tension plus longer scale could explain playing better than the other guitars but they also probably weren’t setup properly. Many don’t think about it but I’m my experience, it’s always the cheaper guitars that most people consider crap that actually turn out to have professional setups. I believe this is because they are workhorse guitars before they made their way into guitar center, setup by the player and many people play the high end models, never like them because of the bad setup and they just sit there. At least in guitar center that I’ve been to.
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
Three words: Hot Hide Glue!

:rofl:
You know, believe it or not I’ve actually researched plugging a bolt on neck and neck pocket. Obviously it will NEVER be as strong as a foot long les Paul neck tenon, but granted that the bolt on has enough room for a secure bolt on attachment, it is indeed strong enough for setting. Like I said it will never be as strong as a dedicated set joint but it will do. I see em mainly on 70s style telecasters.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
I see em mainly on 70s style telecasters.
Where?
70s Fender Teles were 3-bolt.
There are some imported Fender models that have a set-neck... it's almost a neck-through design.
Neck-through designs started becoming very popular in the late 70s, and it seemed like a lot of designs were based on the Tele. Carvin had both single and double cut bodies.

There is nowhere NEAR enough contact area between the neck and body on a Fender style neck pocket for glue to survive string tension for very long.
You've got maybe 6 square inches on the bottom in tension, which is a crap joint, you have another maybe 1 square inch in compression, and maybe another 2 on the top side in shear, which is your strongest joint, but not enough of it.
You have virtually nothing on the cutaway side.

Even the short-tenon Les Paul is still DEEP... plenty of material on the sides to hold the neck in shear.

Here's a comparison... not a Les Paul, just a cheap kit, but it's still a valid comparison for the glued area on a set neck.

Now add in the finish.... Glued joints need to be tight, and they need to be wood to wood.
Your neck and body have a finish on them. That is going to need to be removed... and then the neck will have a sloppy fit.
You effectively have a 3" long lap joint, and will be putting 100 pounds of string tension on the pivot point.

Snaaaap!


Neckpockets.jpg
 

Davey Rock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
325
Where?
70s Fender Teles were 3-bolt.
There are some imported Fender models that have a set-neck... it's almost a neck-through design.
Neck-through designs started becoming very popular in the late 70s, and it seemed like a lot of designs were based on the Tele. Carvin had both single and double cut bodies.

There is nowhere NEAR enough contact area between the neck and body on a Fender style neck pocket for glue to survive string tension for very long.
You've got maybe 6 square inches on the bottom in tension, which is a crap joint, you have another maybe 1 square inch in compression, and maybe another 2 on the top side in shear, which is your strongest joint, but not enough of it.
You have virtually nothing on the cutaway side.

Even the short-tenon Les Paul is still DEEP... plenty of material on the sides to hold the neck in shear.

Here's a comparison... not a Les Paul, just a cheap kit, but it's still a valid comparison for the glued area on a set neck.

Now add in the finish.... Glued joints need to be tight, and they need to be wood to wood.
Your neck and body have a finish on them. That is going to need to be removed... and then the neck will have a sloppy fit.
You effectively have a 3" long lap joint, and will be putting 100 pounds of string tension on the pivot point.

Snaaaap!


View attachment 561855
83341A85-4D7F-4C5F-B1EC-706CBA0524CA.jpeg
1F355030-8799-48AE-9527-42403FCCF2F7.jpeg
6DC26598-F596-4836-84B4-14358823E58D.jpeg
6723AB75-27B8-4403-88C2-4339F79AD46A.jpeg
97804C50-EAC0-4025-8796-DC1977F969D4.jpeg

Obviously it’s a whole lot easier to just get a set necked guitar, but this can also be a fun project. The main mod I see is the neck is modified with extra heel material to is shaped down to match the body just like this les Paul style up above. In the case of this three bolt tele, heel was also added, but is shaped down to a slope unlike the les Paul. Like I said this will never be as reliable as a vintage long neck tenon or how a firebird wings are glued but it is possible and can become reliable. Again, not as good, but just as reliable in the since you take care of it.
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
10,025
Reaction score
21,402
View attachment 561890 View attachment 561891 View attachment 561892 View attachment 561893 View attachment 561894
Obviously it’s a whole lot easier to just get a set necked guitar, but this can also be a fun project. The main mod I see is the neck is modified with extra heel material to is shaped down to match the body just like this les Paul style up above. In the case of this three bolt tele, heel was also added, but is shaped down to a slope unlike the les Paul. Like I said this will never be as reliable as a vintage long neck tenon or how a firebird wings are glued but it is possible and can become reliable. Again, not as good, but just as reliable in the since you take care of it.
The first one and the last one have plenty of depth in the neck pocket if the heel is any indication.
The next two... no telling how they were done. The one with the wooden plugs may still be bolted together, with the heads recessed and plugged. Furniture builders do it all the time.
The one that is painted, likewise, no way of knowing how that is actually attached since it's painted.
The one that is raw, I can't tell how that is done, but it may actually be a one-piece.


Just saying that YOUR Fender style guitar will be an unsuccessful glue-in conversion as it is today.
 


Latest Threads



Top