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A Bit of a Problem...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by andvari7, Jan 17, 2005.


  1. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    My friend recently purchased a bass for $40, and there are a number of problems with the fingerboard. First, the epoxy finish (what the person put on there before he sold it) is really uneven. Second, when I play the bass, I cannot get anything other than horrible buzzing until the seventh or so fret, and then it sounds great. I suspect it's a truss rod issue, which leads me into the third and hopefully final problem: the adjustment end of the truss rod is stripped, and I cannot use an appropriate Allen wrench to adjust. What can I do about this?

    BTW: We have no idea who made it, but it's a P-clone with a body-adjusted truss rod, no headstock angle (like a Fender) and a maple fingerboard.

    Thank you.
     
  2. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I think I remeber seeing several threads in the setup forum about stripped truss rod nuts, you might try a search over there. Theres also plenty of truss rod adjustment info there.

    The uneven finish could have an effect on that buzzing too. If the finish is REALLY high in places i think it could keep the string from getting enough downward force on the fret. The best way to really fix that is to pull the frets and replane the board, but thats quite a bit of trouble for a 40 dollar bass.
     
  3. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    As cheap as this bass was to buy, it sounds really good, and it has great tuners (old Grovers from the eighties). And it was fretless to begin with - sorry for not mentioning that.

    Replaning the board would be a good idea, but 1. Epoxy is strong stuff, and that would be tough on a plane, and 2. it will get rid of the fingerboard radius.
     
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Fretless then fretted, thats interesting. When I said replane the fretboard, I didn't really mean running it through i planer, I guess I meant just giving it a good sanding down and leveling. Sorry for the confusion.

    After all that you would probly need to get alot of fret work done too. Maybe this thing was just meant to be fretless :D
     
  5. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    One can only hope. And it was originally a fretted, but was hastily de-fretted and epoxied. Again I apologize for any confusion.
     
  6. adolganov

    adolganov

    Jan 15, 2004
    What you have is a backbow IMHO due to the owertighetened truss rod. This explains stripped nut, too.

    For once in a while the Dremel could be useful: get the fine hss or carbid cutter and cut the slot in the nut deep enough for flat srewdriver. Enjoy your work :)
     
  7. jvbjr

    jvbjr

    Jan 8, 2005
    For stripped automotive screws you use a device known as an EZ Out.

    Basically you find the one that is the right size and hammer it into the stripped hole, then turn it counterclockwise and it digs into the stripped hole and makes it turn for this one time shot. After you get the nut out, you will have to replace it, but at least you can get it out.

    For the lumpy epoxy, I'd sand it with wet/dry sand paper, under a damp sponge so you do not dig in too much. Start with a grit around 330 and work up to 1200, then use automotive compound, then automotive polish to remove the scuffing the sanding created while flatening.
     
  8. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    I managed to get the nut out, which is a good thing, but I'm still a little mystified by the suggestions about the fingerboard. What kind of sponge do I use?

    EDIT: The fine folks at the guitar shop really screwed up. Instead of selling me a new nut, they managed to get it stuck in there, and now I have to remove the rod. Yay.

    Additionally, I still don't know how to remove cured epoxy.
     
  9. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Double post (though it makes some sense...).

    I'm having to resort to stripping the epoxy from the board with a knife. Are there any ways to make the removing of cured epoxy go quicker?
     
  10. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I've never had near that much trouble with epoxy. on places where i spill it or what not I just use a palm sander and it zips right off. Just make sure you get tough sandpaper, like aluminum oxide (i think thats what it's called?).
     
  11. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    UPDATE: I had to buy a new neck. I got a really good deal on a really nice one, but unfortunately, in typical me fashion, it doesn't fit. That means I have to try to fill in the uneven spots (where the removing of the board went awry) with sawdust and super glue. Should I do this, or something else?

    EDIT: Is finding sawdust as problematic for anyone else? I tried contacting LMII and StewMac, and apparently I have to go to their HQ - something, as a resident of WI, I cannot do.
     
  12. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    there's nothing that either duct tape or Gorilla Glue wont fix.

    this sounds like the best oprotunity for the latter. Polyurithayne glue will fill up all the uneven spots. just keep the board clamped tight, and watch for glue coming out the edges.

    on another note, once you get the board on, it's not going to come off again. ever. without a saw, so make sure you've got everything right before you glue it.
     
  13. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Unfortunately, as I had stated in a message that I deleted for some twisted reason, the fingerboard is quite gone. In order to get a new rod in there (which I did without too many problems), I had to take the old board off. What I wasn't expecting, though, was for it to split into a million pieces. No, I'm referring to the chips and whatnot in the actual neck. Since no other neck fits, I'm pretty intent on salvaging this one.

    So Gorilla Glue, eh? That'll do the trick?
     
  14. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    In what way does the new neck not fit? If it's slightly oversized you could always route out the neck pocket to fit (or scrape/file/sand). If it's undersized, it's pretty simple to fill in the space with either epoxy or some other filling material (wood putty! woo!).
     
  15. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    The neck is oversized, and I don't have access to a router (or time to scrape, file, or sand). Besides, the neck I bought is really nice, and I want to use it on a good body now.
     
  16. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    UPDATE: I know this is really not a smart thing to do, reviving my dead topic, but it's the same project, so...

    Anyway, I now have a nice cocobolo fingerboard blank, with a 12" radius. And those chips, divots, tears in the neck are still there. How do I go about filling them? I was told CA and sawdust was not a smart idea, but I wasn't told what would work.

    Why wouldn't CA and sawdust be a good idea?
     
  17. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    FINAL UPDATE: The neck will be finished come Saturday. Unfortunately, that means I don't get it back until Monday, and then I still have to put finish on the board. That means come Tuesday, I'll be finished with my first repair job (well, I did as much as I could; I don't actually have a bandsaw or a sander).
     
  18. Man, that's one disaster after another. Make sure you plan the solution to all problems and implementation of all fixes prior to attempting the fix to prevent further issues. :)

    I've never had any problems working with epoxy coated necks either. It's obvious that it's no longer an option, but I would have thought sanding with a radius block would have done it. Sandpaper depends on how thick the coat is and how much to take off.


    Regards,

    Michael
     
  19. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Yeah, but it's all for the better. That fingerboard was in no condition to be salvaged, and the truss rod thing wasn't my fault. Now all I have to do is wait for a few days, get some other things done to it (finishing the board; that will take about a day, maybe less), and get strings on it.
     
  20. OK, hope it all goes well.