frequent truss rod adjustments

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Barmy, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. Barmy

    Barmy Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2021
    Hey all --

    I recently dug out an old bass I hadn't played in years. It's an Ibanez Blazer and it plays very nicely, except for one problem. I adjusted the truss rod to eliminate a bow and straighten the neck, and a few weeks later I noticed it had re-developed enough of a bow to affect the action on the 12th fret. I adjusted it again, and now about a week later I think I'm seeing the same thing. Is it possible the truss rod is slipping back after I adjust it, and what's the smartest way to deal with that problem? I feel like adjusting the truss rod every couple of weeks will end up causing some kind of damage. Thanks.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Truss rods don't slip out of adjustment. If it has been out of adjustment for an extended period it may take several adjustments over the next while until it stabilizes.
  3. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    The problem can be exacerbated if it has changed environments recently, as well - if you "dug it out" of your attic, basement, garage, or other area with poor climate control, for instance. It can take several weeks for the wood to stabilize at "normal" conditions.
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Keep in mind that it is advantageous to manually flex the neck while tightening the truss rod. Secure it between your knees and give it a good pull backwards with left hand and forearm while making the adjustment. You'll have a better outcome plus it's safer for the rod. If you overshoot, not a can "relax" the rod until you achieve the desired relief.

    Jamie_Funk likes this.
  5. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I don’t think there is much chance of causing any damage as long as the truss rod is turning freely and the neck is moving in response. I have a couple basses that have the opposite problem. When I adjust the truss rod, the neck responds. In a day or two it has continued to respond past the point I wanted, so I have to reverse the adjustment some. It’s a PITA to get those two basses to the desired neck relief, but I have learned about how much to adjust to get the neck where I want it to end up after it stops moving. Your issue is a little simpler....