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best method for drilling holes on fender neck heel?


I need to drill the four heel holes on a tele neck.

What's the best method of drilling the holes?

I've done it a few times but this time I want to make sure they'll be perfect and straight this time.



Senior Member
Why are you putting holes in the heel? If you mean the attachment screw holes, use a drill press and level the neck

Ron Kirn

plug the existing holes in the neck... now place it in the neck pocket..

flip it over, place the neck plate in place... if the existing holes mean the neck plate is crooked relative to the geometry of the neck heel, plug those holes too... square the plate to the body's heel.. mark the location of where the holes SHOULD be... drill 'em with a 3/16 brad point drill bit.. Brad points do not "Drift" near as much as they hit the varying densities of the wood, thus they come out relatively straight... Oh, remove the neck from the pocket before drilling..

now replace the neck in the pocket...take an awl or icepick. or drill bit.. and mark the location of the holes through the body... drill 1/8th inch diameter pilot holes about ¾ inch deep.. in the neck... put wax, soap or similar n the screws.... assemble it all..


Ron Kirn


Silver Supporting Member
Drill press. Once you have the hole locations properly marked, you have to make sure you have the neck aligned and held in place so the holes end up perpendicular to the necks rear face flat after drilling. This is tricky as fretboards aren't typically flat...so it takes a little thought and planning.

Also, after drilling the holes in the neck, I find it's a good idea to very slightly countersink the neck holes so, as the screws enter the wood, they don't form a little ridge around the holes...which makes for better wood to wood contact when the neck is seated in the body pocket.

Also, make sure the neck mounting screws slide freely through the body holes so there's no binding as the screws are tightened.

And, a little wax on the screw threads is a good idea to help cutting new threads in a neck.
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dewey decibel

Some of us make the holes in the body bigger than those in the neck, so the screws aren't actually threading into the body, just the neck.

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