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Adjusting this truss rod?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Poop-Loops, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Ok, so this is for a guitar, but I figured I'd put it here instead of the DB forum. :p

    My guitar's truss rod is adjusted at the base of the neck. How do I get to it? I can't fit an allen wrench where it is, so do I have to take the neck off? Or is there something I am supposed to do?


    If it helps. Sorry for the size.
  2. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Yeah, but probably not all the way off. Those are a pain in the butt. I had a Fender USA Bullet similar, but it was just the pickguard in the way - I cut it back so I could get to the adjustment. Dang - those can be a pain.
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I'm thinking of cutting part of the body away like that. I don't plan on selling this thing. I think I found my dream guitar. :)

    I'll have to see what kind of strings I really like first, then. I don't want to keep having to take the neck off whenever I put on a different gauge. =/
  4. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    What a bunch of punks! Good luck with that if you choose to cut. If you do, use a router instead. It'll do a nice, clean, and neat job.
  5. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Let me add one more thing....
    After looking more, and thinking about it....you juust MAY be able to get a hex wrench with a ball end in there.
    If you're not familiar with them, they are regular hex (or Allen) wrenches, but the tip on the long end is ground to a ball so you can approach the bolt at an angle. I'd try that first - you just may be able to adjust that without removing the neck.
    Example: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Truss_rods/Wrenches,_hex_keys/T-Handle_Ball_End_Wrench_Set.html
  6. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Those things are so much better than regular allen wrenches.

    But if I decide to cut it, I'll use my school's milling machine. ;)
  7. You may be able to cut down the appropriate sized hex key, it's pretty hard to see the exact amount of space available here, but this is what I did with a bass that I own.
  8. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    +1 on the ball end hex wrench. How stable is the neck? I would try that first and if I knew that I wouldn't have to make adjustments that off, probably just deal with having to take the neck off rather than route it and potentially ruin the resale value. (I know you said it's your dream guitar, but you never know) :)

    Man that guitar forum makes me appreciate playing bass and a site like this even more. 1) No one here would take a question like you asked and completely just to conclusions like they did and 2) Even if you had posted a "how do I adjust my truss rod?" question, someone would answer it and then *politely* advise you that you be careful and if you are really not sure, that you take it to a tech. Not treat you like a 5 year old who knows nothing about guitars and is going to mess up their "axe".

  9. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Your Tokai is just like Leo's original design. Yes, it is a PITA to adjust the truss rod but the procedure is simple.

    1. Detune the strings. There is no reason to remove them.
    2. Loosen the neck bolts.
    3. Insert allen wrench and make the adjustment.
    4. Retighten neck bolts.
    5. Retune strings.
    6. Check relief.

    This procedure may have to be repeated multiple times until you are happy with the neck. Yup, it's: Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat. Sorry.
    Ball end allen wrenches such as those made by Bondhus minimize the amount you will have to loosen the bolts.

    All other methods will cause damage to the pickguard or the guitar itself. Assuming the guitar is older, Tokai guitars have decent value
    in the vintage marketplace. Any scratches or modifications will negatively impact this guitar i.e. don't take a router to it.

    As an aside, older Fender guitars quite often exhibit pickguard scratches where the lazy or uninformed would insert a screwdriver
    and attempt to adjust the truss rod without loosening the neck. Sometimes chunks of wood will be missing. This is negligence,
    no vandalism, of the highest order. Later on Fender changed the pickguard design to incorporate a thumbnail or half moon bevel
    at the truss rod end to facilitate and minimize the amount the bolts had to be loosened. Unfortunately this did not stop the damage.
  10. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    It's banged up a bit, actually. It's from '84 and I got it for $300 with the original hard shell case. I think it's an awesome deal, since I don't care about the bumps that much.

    But I'll just do it the safe way you described. I just have to find a string gauge I like first, then I can adjust it once and hopefully leave it (climate doesn't change much where I live yay!).

    Joshua: That's fine. I didn't even think of it, but you're right.

    Thanks for the help everyone. :D

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