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How many of you have had truss rods and/or rod nuts break, and where was the rod from

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, May 19, 2005.


  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I remember reading that a few people had problems with truss rod nuts breaking, and I believe it was one of the welded-nut variety. Was that the type from LMII? I'm going back and forth between the LMII dbl action and the StewMac "Allen Nut Hot Rod," and am looking for coments from anyone with experience with either one.

    The neck will be a 5 piece lam., wenge-purpleheart-wenge-ph-wenge, so will be pretty firm. To offset, I'm going to thin it out a bit. I've been following other posts on just how thin to go, and will be careful of breaking through to the T.R. channel.

    So, basically, I'd just like to hear from those of you with experience (or know of others with experience) with either of these rods. Good? Bad? Breakage?

    BTW: I'm definitely not looking to blame any one retailer or manufacturer for dealing in faulty equipment. I've got to order a TR soon, and remember reading here that a few people had some problems with a few specific rods.


    Thanks!

    paul
     
  2. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I've used both with no trouble. I've stuck stuck with LMI because it is more solid (less slop) and the Hot Rod is taller than I want to deal with (deeper neck route = thicker neck). I'm pretty sure the trouble you're remembering is with the LMI double action breaking. I've never had a problem, I always put mine in a vise and work it back and forth a few times before I glue it in.

    Do a search.
     
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Yeah, that was probably it. I did quite a few searches, but just couldn't find the right combo of keywords. Maybe I was using LMII instead of LMI.
     
  4. I've installed 2 hot rods, one broke. I've used LMI since.
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've now broken one of each. The nut seized on both and I probably could have averted the break (the nut broke off on each one), but if the nut ain't working, then the truss rod is broke anyways, right? So on each I tried to coax it back to life with oil on the threads, then heat applied to the nut.

    The LMI rod was the one I used for my first ~16 basses. That's the one that broke. Too many of the rods felt tight fresh from LMI (this was probably 4-5 years ago) so I switched to the Hot Rod. The Hot Rods have lasted from ~ bass 17 - 100 with this last one seizing and breaking only a couple weeks ago in a bass that is a year or two old. I'm not sure why this one seized up as I have never gotten a rod from Stew Mac that did not turn freely out-of-box.

    I'm tempted to try the LMI rods again since they are not as deep. I may do that when I run out of my current stock of Hot Rods.
     
  6. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Does anyone here suggest some sort of pre-lubricating of the threads and nut before installation?
     
  7. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    That's a good idea, not least to avoid rust over time.
    Use any kind of grease, but preferrably molybden grease, which kind of never ages...
     
  8. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks for the help guys. I went with LMI's dbl-action rod, and decided to add a couple graphite strips. Although wenge and purpleheart are pretty darn stiff, I figure that if there is any bowing that occurs, I'll need the extra reinforcement.
     
  9. Just in case you didn't know, and to avoid breakage of the TR,
    If you're building a laminated neck, with graphite bars, make sure you (or the owner) knows how to properly adjust a trussrod before attempting it. You must loosen the strings and in the case of multilams with graphite, clamp the neck on the direction on which you're adjusting the neck ...for example, if correcting a forward bow, make sure you put force in the neck forward, to take the stress out of the truss rod.
     
  10. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    So, apply a bit of outside force in the same direction that the truss rod will be working, so that it makes it easier to adjust the TR in that direction?
     
  11. correct! I belive the hotrod I snapped was because the neck was too stiff. If I had used this method, it would still be alive today.
     
  12. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Bingo!

    This is especially true with basses, and even more especially true (great grammer skills, eh?...) for basses with more then 4 strings. You've got a 6 string bass with a truss rod and two graphite bars and it is strung up and tuned to A440, and you try and move the neck back for less relief against the neck wood, the graphite bars and the tension of trying to pull all 6 strings sharp with a truss rod that is a 1/8" thick piece of threaded brass (some are, mind you...). Snapper-ooo!

    When moving the neck with the truss rod on a bass, I always take all of the tension off of the strings first, and for a really stubborn neck, I use the following method taken from Dan Erlewine, which has already been described above (excuse my rough drawing, but you get the idea).

    [​IMG]

    By applying a slight bit of clamping pressure with this setup, you move the neck in the desired direction and then tighten the truss rod up to it.

    I've got one of my basses that I built that has a center of coco bolo, with maple stringers and outers of padauk, it's a bit thicker than normal necks, and has two graphite rods in it. Trust me, the truss rod won't move that neck so when I first set it up I had to use this method as well on it.

    Yes, I "pre-lube" my LMI truss rods. I place them in a clamp at the nut end, turn them as far as I can without stressing them to expose the most threads in both directions and put a small amount of lube on them.

    :^)~


    :^)~
     
  13. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Excellent description! So, rather than using the TR to force out bowing, apply external force to correct it and then adjust the TR to aid in holding the neck in the proper allignment. Do I have this right?
     
  14. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Yeup, dat's it!

    And of course, like any TR adjustment, make one small adjustment, let it settle for a few days, check it and re-adjust, repeating over a few days just to be sure.

    Oh, and be sure when using the above method to put something between the clamp and your fingerboard and neck to prevent marring or denting it....

    :^)~