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Advice for a painted truss rod nut?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by phishaholik, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I picked up a really nice bass on Craigslist recently, but the factory painted over the truss rod nut and truss rod is difficult to turn. I have a 4mm ball-end, t-handle hex wrench coming today. My plan is to just try and wiggle it back and forth a bit and see if I can free it up.

    Does anyone have any good ideas passed that? I have a feeling that anything that would chemically soften the paint might cause damage to the unprotected wood in the truss rod channel, but don't really know.

    I don't want to damage the nut and I have a really good repair shop local to me. I just want to see if I can do something about it before I pay someone. I have a lot of experience doing set-ups and I enjoy doing most of my own work.


  2. If you can find a dental pick or another small, metal utensil, even an old guitar string you can probably scrape most of the paint out of the hex part of the nut.
    phishaholik and EpicSoundtracks like this.
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    1. Back edge of an X-acto knife with #11 blade.
    2. Dental picks.
    3. Small file tangs.
    4. Anything else that looks like the above.
    All used as scrapers against the paint.

    If you're over forty optics are probably a good idea.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    phishaholik and Lownote38 like this.
  4. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    as stated, just scrape and pick. depending upon the severity of the gunk i'd maybe get a q-tip and dab on a spot of Liquid Wrench on the threads. paint generally isn't overly penetrative so most of the threads are probably not jammed up.
    phishaholik likes this.
  5. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    My favorite, find a nut with the same threads,
    2. Cut nut in half
    3. Put nut on threads then unscrew.
    4. Repeat several times.
    phishaholik likes this.
  6. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for all the replies!!

    I found a tiny flat-head screwdriver that came with a glasses repair kit and I've been studiously scraping away and making some very light taps with a ball-peen hammer. I don't think the paint got on the threads. It looks like they just went a little too low or forgot to mask when they spayed the head-stock. The nut is clear on about 60% of its circumference. It looks like a little of the over-spray ran down next to the nut and dried.

    I don't want to try the truss-rod before the new hex-wrench gets here. I have a 4mm bent key, but only the very end of it fits in the nut because of the head-stock angle.

    Thanks again!

  7. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon

    I used the small flat-head screwdriver and got most of the paint around the nut off. I received my 4mm t-handle wrench and I tapped it into the nut with a hammer and after some wiggling back and forth it came free.

    I'm going to replace the nut now, as it was a little damaged at the opening since the hex key wouldn't go in all the way at first. I just need to find the correct thread size for the new truss-rod nut.

    Thanks for the help! My bass plays so much better now that the neck is straight!


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