Fretboard crack - overstressed truss rod?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WavyGravy, Aug 13, 2013.


  1. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    So 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. 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:

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  2. ddhm

    ddhm

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis Tn USA
    Might wanna ask in luthier's corner. You'd probably get a very concise answer to the issue and how to repair it. Good luck man.
  3. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Good point, should of checked by there first. Sorry!
  4. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Wow, I hope luthiers corner has good answers and that its fixable ok for low cost.
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  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    I'm not a luthier, but I slept at a Holiday Inn.

    Yes, I have seen those cracks happen from overuse of the truss rod -- not on any of my own basses, thank goddess... but back when I was first learning DIY setups it's a mistake I could have made. Truss rods have to be tweaked gently.

    Anyway... sorry about that, hope it isn't a big deal.
  7. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks. I'm not really upset to be honest because I bought this to be my gig bass/beater. I'm just happy that the truss rod wasn't stripped or anything. I added some relief to the neck and am in the process of doing a proper setup. As for the crack... I guess it will fill up over time with sweat and dead skin cells, right?

    All the best. I'd delete the thread but don't see an option anywhere.
  8. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I'm no pro by any means but if your plan is to leave it then i recommend at the very least filling it with superglue and seeing if there's a way to get the gap on the crack to close. Maybe my finding a setting with the truss rod?
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    Yes, that's a typical stress crack from the truss rod. I have a MIM Jazz with exactly the same issue. Loosen the strings until slack then slack off the truss rod completely. If the crack closes it will be easily repairable. Here's how.

    Retighten the truss rod until the crack opens up again. Drizzle a little lacquer thinner into the crack and wait for it to completely dry. That will help to rid the surfaces of the natural oils in the rosewood (a good idea to promote glue adhesion). Then force some glue into the crack (yellow carpenter's glue is just fine for this). The way you force the glue in is to run some on top of the crack and massage it in with your fingertip. You will be surprised how easy it is to massage it in. Just be careful not to put too much glue in the crack - we don't want it getting into the trussrod channel.

    Then slack off the trussrod again. Some glue will squeeze out - clean that up with a wet rag and dry it off. Let it set up overnight and it should be good to go.

    I wouldn't leave the crack as it is - it is likely to get worse.
  10. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    ^THIS! This is what I was thinking. Never done it myself so I was unsure.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    If you lived in a dry part of the country I would sat the crack is from the wood drying out.

    Try treating the whole fretboard with lemon oil a couple of times and store the bass in a humidity controlled room where the level does not go below 34%

    But it is probably from the truss rod.
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    BTW, the nut looks a bit dodgy, especially on the G string. I think a new one is in order.
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    The only thing I would add is that I would completely remove the nut, lightly coat the threads and the outside of the nut with grease or vaseline, then do the above - that way, the trussrod threads are lubricated, and there is no chance of any excess glue sticking to the trussrod nut....


    - georgestrings
  14. WavyGravy

    WavyGravy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thank you all so much for the replies!

    I'll go ahead and follow your instructions, but how would I get rid of the excess glue left over on the fingerboard afterwards? Should I carefully and lightly sand it off, then buff with 0000 wool and then oil the s**t out of it?
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    I'd do a superglue/baking soda fill and recut the slot...but that's just me.

    Also, if I felt inclined to lube the trussrod nut I'd use a dry lube.
  16. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    If you wipe the area properly after the glue squeezes out there shouldn't be anything to clean up. On one person's "DIY" repair I had to clean up after I used the blade of my SAK to scrape off a bead of glue followed by 0000 steel wool.

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