you understand the process and potential pitfalls, and can make a better judgment about
whether you feel up to the task. When in
doubt, consult a qualified luthier.
Before I do any mods or repair work, I carefully interrogate my clients about their playing style, and take detailed measurements
to document how the guitar is currently set
up. This information establishes where we
are compared to where we are going, and
allows me to identify anything that may
be out of adjustment or unusual about the
guitar. It also helps me correctly set up the
guitar after I’m done with any mods.
Tip: Save yourself time and possible
grief by carefully measuring pickup
height, action, and neck relief before
you begin modifying your guitar.
Prior to installing a new neck, I look it
over and take note of all its features. For
example, our maple, 28 5/8"-scale Warmoth
neck had a rosewood fretboard. Warmoth
offers many sizes of fretwire, and the owner
had opted for 6230 vintage-style frets. He
also specified a satin nitrocellulose finish.
Incidentally, .072" is a tight fit. Anything
thicker probably won’t fit in the shaft of a
6-on-a-side, Kluson-style tuner post.
Tip: Before having the tuner holes
reamed, do your homework. Always
check that the baritone 6th string
will fit into the set of machines
you plan to install.
Warmoth necks are available with pre-installed synthetic nuts, but the owner
wanted me to install a bone nut, so he
ordered the neck without a nut.
Tip: Shaping and fitting a nut is
a tricky job. If you want to save
yourself time and effort, consider
ordering a bari neck with the nut
already installed. Some companies—
including Warmoth—offer synthetic
nuts that are not only shaped, but
pre-slotted at the factory to match
your fretwire and fretboard radius.
Disassembling a guitar can be fun, but
before you begin, be sure you have the correct tools for the job—and always save all
the parts you remove. (An empty pickup
box is handy for collecting screws and
parts.) Here’s the process:
1. Remove the strings.
2. Unscrew (counterclockwise) the
neck bolts, remove the original
neck, and compare it to the
replacement (Photos 1-3).
3. Inspect the neck pocket and clean
out any debris (Photo 4).
1. When removing the original neck, guide
the screwdriver shaft to prevent it from slipping
out of the screw and gouging your guitar.
2. Compare the baritone neck with the original
by aligning both necks at the 12th fret (the
octave). Here, you can see that the 24-fret
baritone neck extends both lower and higher
than the stock Tele neck.
3. Warmoth baritone
necks are licensed by Fender, so they sport
iconic Fender headstock shapes and the heel
is sized and drilled to Fender specs. To ensure
a snug fit, we’ll remove the red sticker before
installing the neck.
4. Before mounting the new
neck, remove any debris, stickers, or tape from
the neck pocket. This ensures a tight, secure
fit for optimal sustain.