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Odd Truss Rod/Neck Problem: any ideas please?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Doctor Hugocat, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. The other day a singer I work with gave me an old Martin Stinger bass he's had in his apartment for years and years. It needs a few bits and pieces like a jack plate, so I thought I'd have some fun with it: strip the body, drop in a set of inexpensive pickups etc.....

    The thing is, that there's an odd issue with the neck and truss rod. The neck is dead straight, measured with a straight edge: no relief, no back bow. If I turn the truss rod anti-clockwise, the neck stays still and the truss rod goes 'floppy' and loose: if I turn it clockwise it goes tight immediately and won't turn.

    I've set up a bunch of guitars in the past but not had this issue: can anyone help? I like the neck, so it would be a shame to waste it. Thanks!:bassist:
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    The neck may have developed a slight back bow, it can happen if it stays unstrung too long. This can be fixed by mounting a very heavy jauge for a while or even if you're not easily frightened, by the neck on blocks and suspending a heavy weight at the 12th fret. I did it before on a cheapo, it worked. I even let the neck rest in a tub overnight to make sure it would quickly move.

    Another possibility would be that the trussrod is stuck in thightened position. When you unscrew only the nut moves but the rod stays under tension. This would be harder to fix, injecting lubricant inside and yanking the rod could work but I have no real life experience about this.
  3. Thanks Jazz Ad, I'll try the weight trick! As I say, I like the neck and it's supposed to be a fun project, so I'll try something new. :D
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Good advice above.

    Stripping and "having fun":

    Unless there is less than twenty five percent of the original finish on the instrument, please leave it alone. Even then, leave it alone. While it will (probably) never achieve the value of a '57 Precision, it has a certain value in the vintage market today. Somewhere, someone who fell in love with it in high school is looking for that instrument. Decreasing the supply by one would be a shame.
  5. Thanks for the thoughts, 202dy.....I appreciate your perspective: my hobby is classic cars and I always feel sad when a good original car is modded and the originality taken away. I'm not sure what I'll do with the Stinger: it's really in pretty poor shape except for the neck, which is oddly perfect (apart from the bow). I intend to leave the neck alone, whatever I do to the body. We'll see. First I'm gonna find out if I can save the neck!