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Neck Bowed. Truss Rod Nut Max'ed Out, add Washers. Simple, No?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dtripoli, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Well, yeah, it is a simple fix but there are a few things to consider.
    Finding the exact size washers is pret-near impossible. I went to a mom & pop hardware store and handed the guy the truss rod nut. Found brass washers the exact outside diameter but the inside hole was a little small. Fortunately brass is soft and was easily able to hold the washer in Visegrips and bore the hole wider with an 11/64" drill bit.
    Now, how do you get those small little washers to drop down exactly onto the truss rod that is almost an inch deep in the access socket?
    I put the 4 washers on a small hex screwdriver shaft. I then turned the neck upside down with the headstock down and put the head of the screwdriver on the top of the truss rod. Gently turning the neck back to upright, the washers slid down the screwdriver shaft and on to the truss rod shaft.
    Put the truss rod nut back on and she tightened down good. Still gonna take a few days of tightening to get the neck to where she won't bow forward under string tension.
    My only question is: Is it ever possible that a bass neck can be bowed beyond adjustment repair?

    eric_B and iiipopes like this.
  2. ive found adding washers without clamping the neck into back bow to not be as effective as clamping/washers.
    JLS likes this.
  3. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Good point and I do have it back clamped as we speak and had it back clamped 2 days prior to adding washers.
  4. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    They can be beyond repair with a bad twist, but you can also repair a lot of bass necks with a heat press (a good guitar repairman can do this).
    Lownote38 likes this.
  5. with clamping and washers i havent had a neck not respond yet. i like a super straight neck with little to no relief and my 74 jazz and 79 ray necks have held. the 74 jazz for over a year now. i have a squier bullet neck that i did this to and a little relief crept back in. ill be clamping that up again soon.
  6. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Just a quick follow up...
    OMG, that really did the trick. Added washers, back clamped, applied heat and then left clamped overnight.
    Next day I tighten the truss nut slightly.
    Put the neck back on the body, strings installed and *Bam* that freakin' neck is.....Ooops, beyond straight and now slightly back bowed and strings are a-buzzin'
    Didn't think that would happen. Just a slight backing off of the truss nut solved that dilemma.
    My craigslist rescued Squier P-bass is now house trained and doing tricks like all of his friends.
    Gilmourisgod and JLS like this.
  7. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    What is this clamping you speak of? I have a Squier neck--I turn the truss rod & it straightens out for a day but it seems it eventually comes back. I don't want to keep turning the rod & break it--I've broken one before. It's an inexpensive bass/neck so I don't want to throw money at it. What do you all suggest or how do you clamp it?
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I did a post on here last week about a badly bowed MIK Squier II I picked up. The neck was bad but awesome maple and seamed to be maxed out. I clamped it for a while and then found It had more travel than I thought.

    I tried a washer and ended up getting it stuck so I went with some back pressure and truss rod turning and it worked out great. I hope holds and so far it has with no issues. I might try the washer trick again if not but it makes me nervous to try.
  9. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Use a straight beam of some sort along with two blocks placed at either end (small radius blocks are good for this) then place a clamp at the center releaf point.
    Gilmourisgod and JLS like this.
  10. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    Thanks. Basically you're bending it back
  11. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Yes, it is "just bending it back"
    And, I did not have clamps, workbench, luthier tools or even a garage.
    D.I.Y. method:
    1. Remove neck
    2. Place upside down on Scissors keyboard stand, pad the ends
    3. Hang weights from center of neck(bag with books in it)
    4. Place a table lamp over neck to heat

    3 days later neck is straight thanks to the Mickey Mouse method
    (Note: I did add 3 washers to truss rod also)

    Attached Files:

    imabuddha, ATLbassist, JLS and 3 others like this.
  12. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    That rules thanks all.
  13. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    I'm gonna try this!

    I recently scored a 2006 G&L L-2500 with the Truss Rod maxed. With the strings it came with it was fine, but I like Beefier Strings cuz the B doesn't seem to Flop as much. When I changed the strings the action was a tad higher. The neck is still straight, so I'll see if popping 2 - 3 washers in there will give me the leverage I need to get these beefier strings down flat.

    Anyone know the size washers I'll need for a G&L? I'll do a search as well...
  14. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    No idea what size washer. On mine, I simply took the truss rod nut off and at the hardware store matched up a washer to it.
    Simple. Make sure the outside diameter of the washer is not greater than the nut...it won't fit in the truss rod slot hole
  15. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    A 4mm Washer is the PERFECT Size! But the hole is too small. For $.30 I got 5 washers, and then I clamped them to a scrap piece of 2 x 4 and drilled out the hole to 11/64, and put them under the truss rod adjusting nut. I put 4 washers on a Bolt the same size as the truss rod. (The 5th one got away!) With the bass laying down I put the bolt on the truss rod and stood the bass up. The washers came off, and I worked them onto the rod with Soldering tools. (Kinda like Dental tools.) Once I could see a few threads on the truss rod had Popped through the washers I put the adjusting nut back on and screwed her down, and adjusted the neck.

    After getting the neck where I liked it I still have about 1/4" left of adjustment. Not a lot, but the neck is perfectly adjusted with .130 -.050's, and it cost me 30 Cents and took about an hour, including the drive to the Hardware store. I'm sure with lighter gauge strings I'd have more turns left. Time to go Rock Out!
  16. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    This is awesome. I may try this with my Jazz 24 - even with light Circle K's on, there is still way to much relief.
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Another option for drop-in washers, much more expensive though:


    FMIC repair part

    Attached Files:

  18. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    I just caught this thread, and thanks for the posts on clamping.
    New info is great!

    For washers I found while it takes me an extra 10 minutes, I found some brass lock washers with the perfect inner diameter, but slightly to large outer. I just dremel the outsides a bit to fit.

    I'll admit that there have been times where I've put in too many washers down there, and its is a serious pain to get out. Anyway, it's a good idea to get a good look at how much truss rod thread there is inside.
  19. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    How much are these Bad Boys?
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    great info sub'ed
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