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Provision to Remove Trussrod in Future?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gilmourisgod, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I'm at the point in my Ric 4001 Clone build where I can cut out the headstock shape. While it's still square and easy to use use and edge-guide on a router, is there any utility to extending the 3/8" wide trussrod access slot I have going here until it exits the angled headstock face? The TRC will be standard Ric shape, which extends beyond where the slot would exit the face. I see some do this, others not. The truss rod is a BBG double action rod. If it ever breaks, it would be nice to have a way to get it out short of removing the fingerboard. I have about 1/8" of solid maple at the neck heel end which would prevent removal at the heel. I'm adding a volute under the nut, so I still have a fair amount of meat to work with even if I extend the slot. Headstock thickness is 5/8", and the TR slot is a little over 1/4" deep.
  2. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I don't see easy trussrod removal nessessary. If you bend the neck by hand and use the truss rod for just holding the curve you are very unlikely braking the truss rod. You have cf rods in the neck. They will help the neck to be stable and lessen the need for neck adjustment.
  3. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I like to make truss rods removable. I've had to do it once, but it was a stewmac hot rod, not a BBG rod.
  4. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    (Not my joke but felt appropriate.)


    Radio, spaz21387, Shortie and 3 others like this.
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Extending the adjustment route could help with removal, but in most cases, how to grab the rod/nut with sufficient force to pull it out? Maybe just drill a small hole (or make the hole during the neck construction) to drive it out from the heel end?
    I don't see the truss rod (if dual action [or single action] and welded on nut) being pulled out the heel end anyway, since the nut is larger than the rod and route.
    I've seen single action rods with the weld at the heel end broken, and they could've been driven out the headstock end with a longer route for a straight shot out.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I was thinking the rod would be pulled out through the extended slot in the headstock, the allen key head is wider than the bar, So no way its going through the heel end. My real concern is if its worth the slight reduction in headstock strength for the possibility or removing it later. Of course, if it breaks halfway down the neck id be screwed either way.
  7. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    A break, if it happens, is most likely to be in one of the welds.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  8. TonH


    Jan 26, 2011
    The Netherlands
    You can leave the slot in the headstock as it is right now. If in the future the truss rod should be removed you can always extend the slot then.
    Gilmourisgod and Will_White like this.
  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Thanks for advice, I think I'll leave it as is and hope for the best. I've never broken a truss rod, but I have no experience with Double Action rods.
  10. PDX Rich

    PDX Rich

    Dec 19, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Well, if somehow it breaks, you get to learn another lutherie skill! :D
    spaz21387 likes this.
  11. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Broken truss rods are caused by one thing: warped necks. Or rather, broken truss rods are caused by people trying to correct warped necks using the truss rods. Truss rods don't have the mechanical power to straighten a warped neck. They will break if you push them too far.

    Warped necks are caused by poor choice of wood, and lack of care in the storage and build process. It's mainly a problem with inexpensive, mass produced instruments. When the manufacturer is trying to squeeze every penny out of the costs (as almost all are), they skip steps and accept that a percentage of their necks will eventually warp. The lower the price, the more warped necks you'll see. More expensive, hand-made instruments have fewer cases of warped necks, because they put in the extra effort.

    My point is, you are building this neck slowly and carefully, I presume. If you build it right, it shouldn't warp, and you should never be loading the truss rod enough to break it.
    Gilmourisgod and PDX Rich like this.
  12. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    This. I've never needed to tighten the trussrod on my selfmade necks more than just a bit to stop it rattling. Also if you try to bend the neck with just trussrod you'll easily brake it. If you use your hands to bend the neck you'll likely not brake the trussrod.
    JustForSport and Gilmourisgod like this.

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