finished bone nut later in the assembly
process. (If you’ve ordered a neck with
a pre-installed, pre-slotted nut, you’re
already set and can skip to Step 3.)
Tip: If you don’t already have a used
pre-slotted nut, synthetic pre-slotted and
shaped nuts are available from such
retailers as Guitar Center and Musician’s
Friend. Stewart-MacDonald sells bone
nuts that are cut, sized, and slotted for
Fenders, and starting with one of these
and then modifying it for baritone
strings can be a real time-saver.
13. Drill slowly and carefully into the tuner-screw pilot holes. I’ve used a red Sharpie to
mark maximum drilling depth.
14. When installing the tuner screws, be sure your screwdriver
is the correct size so its tip doesn’t butcher the
screw heads or slip off and hit the headstock.
Attach the Bari neck
Next we’ll bolt on the new neck, string up
the guitar, and check the neck alignment.
1. Place the baritone neck heel in the
neck pocket to see if it fits properly.
On this guitar, the fit was perfect—
not too tight, not too loose—and
the fretboard extension that includes
the 24th fret cleared the top of the
pickguard, exactly as it’s supposed to
2. With the guitar face down and the
neck seated in the pocket, thread the
original neck screws through the neck
plate, work them down through the
body, and gently introduce their tips
into the screw holes of the replacement neck (Photo 16). During this
phase, I was delighted to see that the
Warmoth’s pre-drilled holes lined up
perfectly with the holes in the body.
If you’re installing a bari neck on a
Fender guitar, this is a real benefit to
buying a licensed Fender neck.
from the strings to the edge of the
fretboard. On a pre-slotted nut, you
have to widen the 6th string slot to
accommodate the low B.
This is also where you confirm that
your 6th string fits the tuner (Photo
17). If you’ve done your homework,
you’ll be good to go.
Again, we were lucky: The two
strings lined up exactly where they
should, and the distance from the
edge of the fretboard to the strings
was perfect. Could this project go
any more smoothly?
15. Check how the neck fits into the body. You want
to neck heel to fit securely into the pocket, and any
fretboard extension to sit just above the pickguard
so it’s not forced down against it. A miniscule gap
below the extension is good.
16. Attaching the
neck. Go around the neck plate tightening each
screw a little at a time.
17. Getting ready to install
the outer strings to check neck alignment.
Tip: Rather than fully tightening one
screw and then another, I like to tighten
all the screws a little at a time, moving
in a crisscross pattern around the neck
plate. This gradually joins the neck and
body using even pressure. Make sure the
screws are nice and snug, but resist the
urge to over-tighten them—you don’t
want to strip the screw holes in the neck.
3. Once the neck is attached, install the
1st and 6th strings and use them as
straightedges to check neck-to-body
alignment. I used the temporary, pre-slotted nut to hold these strings in
place while measuring the distance