Vintage Pedulla double truss rod nightmare
I have this Pedulla-Orsini bass that`s in near mint condition except (naturally) the end of one of the truss rods broke and some point and somebody dug down into the wood to find enough thread to save the neck. Trouble is there wasn`t enough thread left to straighten the neck. Anyway with the fingerboard off you can see that when the rod was originally installed both rods and anchor channels were back filled with putty or wood filler so that the surface of the neck was all smoothed and flat before the fingerboard was glued on. I`m not a luthier and I haven`t seen this before so I`m wondering what sort of filler I would need to re- do the neck (or if I even need to refill it at all). Also, It looks like I`ll need to replace about 1/2 " of missing wood up around the adjustment nuts (assuming I can find truss rods to fit). I thought about converting this to a single truss rod by removing the wood between the 2 channels but I`m afraid it might weaken the neck. Any help is welcome...Thanks!
If I were to be working on your bass, I would contact pedulla to see if they could send me a replacement rod.
It's worth a shot and even if they cannot directly help you, they could point you in the correct direction to fixin our problem.
+1 for contacting Pedulla.
I would probably just cut and silver solder two regular compressing TR's onto a new anchor block tough.
Cheap, fast, and at least as good as the old one.
I would also measure whether there's enough room for dual action TR's. Just in case ;).
Since You're dealing with compressing TR's, even though I do know I'm stating the obvious, do make sure that there's enough bow on the installed TR's, otherwise they won't work.
The filler/putty sounds strange.
Doing that would more or less freeze the TR and render it inoperable.
I have never heard or seen anything like that.
Some manufacturers of NT instruments do have a raiser strip between the neck and the FB though, but that's always wood AFAIK.
Agreed with contacting Pedulla. What I wanna see is pics of the rest of the bass.
Someone needs to make up a new custom truss rod set for it. Neither Pedulla or any one else is going to have a stock part set that fits. But it's not a big deal to make up. Two steel rods, threaded on the end, cut to length, and pinned or brazed into a twin anchor block. You can send me the dimensions and I can quote you a price to make up a parts kit for you, or for someone else to install.
Like T-Bird says, these are twin single-acting, single-rod compression style truss rods. They are installed into a curved channel, and that geometry is critical to their proper operation. Normally, a maple filler strip is glued in on top of the rod. The rods can be completely surrounded with glue (waxing the rods first), or encased in thin plastic tubing. It depends on the builders' preference. The putty filler that you describe was probably done by the repair guy, not Pedulla. Putty isn't a good idea, because it will probably crack and shatter under the vibration, and may eventually rattle or buzz. I personally embed my truss rods of this type in hard epoxy, but there are other installation techniques.
Overall, this neck needs a custom repair job, but it should be able to be done by most competent Luthiers. I'm too busy to do one-off repair work like this these days, but I can refer you to other Luthiers who specialize in neck work. Keith Horne is near me here in Burbank, and we work together on jobs like this. I have the machine shop, so I can make up any custom metal parts. He does the installation, fretwork, detailing, etc.
Here`s a couple more photos. It looks like somebody started routing out a spot for the anchor and then changed their mind? and moved it an inch farther down. I was thinking if I moved the anchor up to this spot I could just re thread the rods and be good to go (the upper hole is still over the thick part of the heel). The putty was a pain to remove...I`m still working on getting it off the underside of the fingerboard...(Pedulla can`t help since the rods have been altered)
A hardwood block there would eliminate the wood compressing that plagues almost all compressing TR's at some point during their lifespan as well.
As an Engineer and a hobbyist machinist, I would advice against re-threading the truss rods -or any threads for that matter- with a cutting die though.
If You must thread Your own, roller dies are far superior and are standard equipment in most machine shops that form threads.
Rolling the threads do require smaller OD stock though, obviously.
If roller dies aren't available for some reason, at least do polish the threads very well, otherwise rough DIY cut threads will IME seize and the rod(/stud/bolt) snaps in two.
But, why bother since the single acting TR's cost about $10 each?
What sort of filler to use?
How about real wood. Some good hard maple. Why would you consider using anything but real wood?
You'd have to mill it (or chisel) out square but if you seriously want to save it, that's the only way.
Thanks for all the help...I know a lot more about what I`m dealing with now
If I had to keep the bass - I would make inlays for both rods making it all wood again.
Make a jig to cut new slots fitted to dual action rod(s), The blue teflon covered ones that best bass gear gets ideally and then re glue up. No filler - all wood. Yes it will take longer but IMO it is the right way to fix it simultaneously correcting the hack job done before you. The rods are junk in my mind if they have broken twice.
Stew mac does make a specific tool for broken trussrods. I seems to be effective but I have never used it. It routes wood around the rod and threads more of the rod at the same time.
Well I managed to make it all work with a couple of blue Teflon TR`s from All Parts. It now has 2 TR`s with separate anchors instead of one but the neck is all good now...just have to clean up a couple of spots where my fingerboard removal was kind of gnarly. At least the next time I have a TR problem I won`t freak. Thanks again you-all!
If so, those are pretty low cost indeed :).
Two anchors instead of one will pose no problems.
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