Stress Crack at first fret?
I posted this on the Basses subforum but was redirected here, so here goes nothing.
I bought a used Fender Jazz for a really nice price, and while taking off the strings and neck to check out everything under the hood, I seemed to have caused a crack at the first fret.
I know for a fact that the crack wasn't there when I bought the bass, so this was without a doubt my doing. The bass is about 15 years old and is in superb condition. Still had the original plastic on the pickguard. I'm assuming that the bass, having not been touched for a very long time, responded negatively to that ridiculous change in pressure so unexpectedly.
Now, aesthetically, I could care less about the crack. However, I am worried about the crack getting bigger as well as the deeper underlying problems of this.
What caused this to happen, anyways? Should I give the rod a little relief? What do I do, talkbass? :confused:
the common fix is to fill with superglue then scrape smooth; done right it's invisible.
Gravy, do you know if humidity was a factor where you stored it? (Was it left to dry out?)
Isn't that a spot where a curved truss rod pushes against the fretboard? That might be more than a cosmetic issue.
The trussrod should push against the fretboard more at the center of its length to counteract string pull, not the ends.
Could be that the wood is a bit dry (or not) but the lack of string pull against the trussrod caused the neck to backbow a bit, 'expanding' the fretboard, and the stress will first show up at the ends.
Also, some materials like wood are more compliant and tolerant
of flex if used (flexed/vibrated) regularly. First stress after storage may have caused it.
I'd let it rest a couple days to stablize, then if the frets look to be set good, CA glue it then wipe excess off right away to preserve the grain texture.
Also, changing one string at a time in the future will help to keep it stable.
The idea with the Fender rod is that as it's tightened, it will try to straighten itself and then the idea is that it will take the neck with it. IIRC only rods with embedded anchors work this way. Stew-Mac rods, for example, don't have anchors and can work the way you said (thought they don't have to if mounted upside down).
70's basses with the bullet nut are notorious for wrecking the fingerboard between the nut and first fret. According to some people that's why they got rid of them.
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