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Graphite Neck Reinforcement Bars: Location

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by noahbass, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. noahbass


    Sep 12, 2008
    guitar builder
    So I'm wondering if anyone puts graphite bars in their bass necks. The ones from LMI. I ordered one just cause and I've been thinking about placement for the last week or so. I've got a few ideas:

    1. Glue in one long strip down the bass side of the neck about 3/8" from the truss rod.
    *I have to wonder though will this introduce a twist in the neck? or will it be just fine? hmm

    2. Cut it in half and just glue them in from the end of the tenon to where ever they stop.

    3. Find out the center of the strings rotation (i.e., where it's rotation is largest) and start them there on either side of the t-rod and have them go down towards the tenon so I don't impede the relief/forward bow.

    Maybe I'm over-thinking this.
    Thoughts? Theories?
  2. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
  3. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    I did mine with one on each side of the trussrod about 1/8" away.
    I haven't finished building yet, so I can't comment on how it works though.

    I think you'll want to do something similar. You definitely don't want only one on the bass side, since the tension is usually higher on the treble side.
  4. +1

    that's how I did mine and so far, so good.


    The bass is pretty much done now (aside from final finishing) and is rock solid and plays better than I expected (being a first build).
  5. If you are building a 6+ stringer, I would suggest that they be parallel to the edges (taper) of the neck.

    Actually, for a 6+ I'd use 2 truss rods and probably 3 graphite bars, depending on thickness.
  6. stevetx19


    Sep 28, 2006
    Denton, Texas
    what's the difference between following the taper and keeping it parallel to the truss rod?
  7. Pretty much exactly as it sounds. The truss rod typically is running dead down the center of the neck. Instead of running the reinforcement rods parallel to the truss, you run the left one parallel to the left edge of the neck and the right one parallel to the right edge - the edges taper (go from wider to narrower) from body to nut.
  8. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    I think he means in function, not implementation.

    My guess is there would be a small increase in resistance to twisting. Nice to do if it works with your design, but if it doesn't, don't sweat it.
  9. Ah... I thought the question was self explanatory!

  10. stevetx19


    Sep 28, 2006
    Denton, Texas
    thats what i thought...ive always run mine parallel to the truss so i can use the same jig...
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    In my opinionated interpretation of theory, the difference in torsional stiffness would be significant. That is, comparing, say, two rods that are .75 inch apart all the way down to two rods that are .75 inch at the nut and 1.75 at the heel.

    Having seen a few references to the significance of torsional vibration in dead notes, I would go for the taper as a potential improvement with little cost other than some additional setup time.

    But no, I've never heard of someone building two necks that were identical except for that detail.
  12. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    Well, I'm just going with my gut, but it seems to me the difference shouldn't be that large.
    I agree that the contribution to torsional stiffness would be much larger with them diverging to follow the edges of the neck, but I have a feeling that in both cases the contribution of the rods will be quite small on that axis.

    Like you say, in most cases the extra work is pretty trivial so you may as well do it, but if a guy's already got jigs set up that do parallel rods I'd just use them.

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