Neck is bowing, righty tighty....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cervusflies, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. or lefty loosey?

    My 97 American Jazz is bowing upward toward the neck. What to do? Which way to turn the truss rod?
  2. Yellow

    Yellow Guest

    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    Just tune down,... sorry bad joke, :rollno:

    You can actually see it move once you start turning.

    On my bass it is to the right if you are facing the headstock.
  3. OK, yeller, if this thing breaks I'm suing!
  4. yup, righty tighty!
  5. do you mean the neck is bowing up closer to the strings?
  6. No, it was dipping at the 12th and coming up at the nut.
    Twisting the truss rod right leveled out the neck and I adjusted the bridge a bit higher to lose the buzz. Action still feels a little high, but I never play the cadillac, Short scale only for a long time.
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've never understood how "righty tighty" helps anyone. Clockwise removes bow with most truss rods.
  8. I think its very useful. As you turn the rod right (clockwise) you can feel the truss rod tightening, against the pull of the strings, its as simple as that. Left loosens it, it becomes easier to turn as the pressure reduces and you feed in more relief.
  9. FunkyFrosty


    May 28, 2006
    This part could be misconstrewed, you are actually tightening the truss rod and relieving the tension of the strings not working against the pull of them, not to be picky but someone might misunderstand your comment.
  10. I went right, neck got straight. Simple science. If I had gone right and the neck didn't straighten out, I would not have let Jessica watch the game. It's as simple as that.
  11. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars Guest

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Not all truss rods work the same way. Best bet is to give it a quarter turn and then see what happens. You have to be patient. Give it at least 4 hours if not a day to see what the "final" result is.

    Greg N
  12. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    IIRC - turn to the right - however I could be wrong. I always have to go through a bit of a tutorial at first myself when I'm doing work on someone else's bass.

    Best thing to do here...

    1. remove strings
    2. zero out the neck (meaning adjust the truss rod so that the neck is as straight as you can get it without strings on it)
    3. clean the dirt and oils and everything off of the fretboard and frets with some sort of furniture polish or warm water with a drop of soap in it
    4. dry it off
    5. wipe it down with boiled linseed oil or lemon oil or whatever (there's a big debate over which is better - I've used both with similar results...linseed oil does smell funny though)
    6. put strings back on and tune up
    7. set your neck relief so the strings are as close to the board without buzz as possible (higher if you're a heavy hitter)
    8. set your intonation and retune

    All this allows the neck to relax a bit and get back to an easy starting point to work from. And a clean fretboard is a little easier to move around on than one caked with dirt and grease.
  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    My comment refers to the idea of going "right" with respect to a circle. As one side goes "right" the other goes "left".

    Also misleading is the idea of "tightening" the truss rod. A two way rod is being "tightened" whether you are removing bow or back bow.