Pull out truss instead of removing FB?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by syisrad, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. syisrad


    Oct 28, 2008

    I'm after some advice,

    I've recently re-made a neck for one of my 5 string basses but kept the original rosewood fingerboard.

    I was setting it up on the body before doing the final finishing and had the joy of busting the truss rod. (bolt sheared off).

    I've seen the SM repair kits but its not an option. Because the way it behaved prior to it breaking, in hindsight indicates there's a good chances something mechanically is wrong with it.

    I'm trying to avoid having to remove the fingerboard again as the first time was a bit messy but I had room to shave off the bottom of the fingerboard given I was making the neck to suit it. There's no tolerance left if it comes off messy again.

    My question is,

    Has anyone had any joy in pulling out a truss rod?

    This one is accessed at the heel via a hole, and my thoughts are to remove the wood around the hole enough to open it up and access the routed channel where the truss rod sits and simply pull it out.

    In theory a new truss rod could be slid back in, then repair the heel back to its original state (of sorts)

    What's holding me back is how hard could it be to pull out? I use a small amount of silicone when installing my rods which shouldn't be a problem, but if there is tension in the neck will that make it next to impossible to pull out? and pull out with what?

    Thanks for your time.


  2. syisrad


    Oct 28, 2008
    I've attached a couple of pics.

    Attached Files:

  3. syisrad


    Oct 28, 2008
    It's off this bass
  4. syisrad


    Oct 28, 2008
    take 2

    Attached Files:

  5. syisrad


    Oct 28, 2008
    Progress report.

    Thought i'd update my post in the off chance someone else thinks of doing this and stumbles across it while googling.

    Well I've just pulled out the truss rod. Wouldn't say it was easy but i'd easily do it again if had to.

    Here's how,

    - Drilled holes outlining the area I wanted removed (the width of the trussrod

    - Chiseled and scrapped out a cavity to access the end 5mm of the rod (in my case it was the block end as the thread and nut had sheared off

    - At this point there was no way I was fitting pliers in the cavity to attempt to pull out the rod and even if I could have got a purchase on it pliers wouldn't have held.

    -Scratched my head then ended up drilling about a 2mm hole into the trussrod block (right angle to the rod)

    -First attempt I threaded a guitar string through the hole, tied it in a know then had a crack at pulling out the rod.. No way it was going to budge

    -Ended up putting a small screwdriver in the hole and pretty easily begun to level the rod out to a point where I could start pulling it out.

    -About half way it got really tight so I ended up putting a guitar string back through the hole, putting the neck in a vice so the cavity was facing down and with my foot in the loop of the guitar string, pushed it out.

    -Cleaned and squared out the cavity and made a block to glue back in place.

    Next step will be to push in the new rod although I'm pretty confident it will be easier to put back than it was to take out. The busted rod dragged out the silicone I installed with it and that played a big part in being painful to get out, that and the fact position of the rod was under tension when it broke.

    On a side note i'm going to de-fret the board and take it down from 12inch radius to 20inch, firstly because I want to but mostly because the board had moved and warped a bit when I took it off its original neck. I want to make sure it's 100% rather trying to take even more off the frets which are getting to their limit.
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