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Reasonably Priced Source for Carbon Fiber Rods?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gilmourisgod, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I bought a set of 1/8" x 3/8" carbon fiber neck reinforcing rods for the Hossenfeffer Bass Build a couple years ago from Best Bass Gear. As I recall, the price including postage was around $25. Now it's up to around $40 including postage! This seems to be typical pricing + postage for all the sources I've checked. Did CF rod suddenly become a high demand item? Dragonplate has a minimum $50 order, so that's out unless I want to stock up on rods. Anybody else found a reasonable source for these rods?

    Best Price I've found so far, $10.97/rod plus $7.45 shipping.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  2. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    yeah, CF is getting pricey these days. your figures are actually cheaper then other resources like MCM, LMII, etc..
    carsbybigd likes this.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    They are certainly going up. I found some rods cheaper locally at a hobby/craft store, being sold as wing reinforcements for model airplanes. The only pain is they are only 24" long.

    I've been trying @Bruce Johnson 's suggestion of 1/8 x 3/8" aluminum bar stock as stiffeners, and so far, I'm happy. I've been purchasing a single 1/8"x3/4"x36" length of bar stock for $6 CDN (like 4 bucks USD), and then cutting it in half lengthwise to get 2 9mm or 10mm wide bars. They are little less deep than 3/8" when in the neck. They are light, very easy to machine and work with hand tools and stiff enough for what I can tell. Just a thought... :)
  4. Huw Phillips likes this.
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, I saw that, but didn’t need two sets of rods to make the Dragonplate minimum order. If I don’t see anything cheaper, I’ll probably order from Bitterroot. I re-read Bruce’s thread about carbon fibers and epoxy, may have to try that next time.
    Carbon Fiber Truss Rods 17 3/4" and 24" lengths available
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yep, somebody said that...
  7. And we thank you for your contributions Bruce! I'll be looking up and re-reading your posts on the matter before my next build.
  8. Well if you're going to build one bass, chances are pretty good you're going to build another one...:D
  9. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    LMII's pultruded rods are cheap and work really well.
    EdwardofHuncote likes this.
  10. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    @Gilmourisgod I might have a deal you can't beat (which would not be in violation of the fact that I'm not a supporting member because it's not selling anything) on enough 24K TOW to get you done if you want to try @Bruce Johnson 's method. I kinda went for the bulk discount...even accounting for the ebay vendor fibbing slightly ("brand new" yet the gross weight is less than the net weight) I'm sitting on over a mile of it. I'd be open to extending that offer to anyone in the Winter Walnut Whackadoodle Workfest, though I don't know how difficult/expensive it would be to mail it to Denmark/Poland, and many folks are already done with their necks.

    Have to figure out how to mail a small amount across the state but that may not be a serious problem, particularly if keeping it untwisted is not a big deal for this use (as packaged it makes much of having never been twisted, which matters more for some of the other applications, I think.)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    b3e and Gilmourisgod like this.
  11. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Dragonplate is the manufacturer of most of the better carbon fiber that the other folks sell. They buy it from Dragonplate and then double or triple (or more) the cost when they put it on their website.

    Dragonplate is a very cool US company, great people, extremely helpful, and sells it direct for very reasonable prices in thousands of shapes:

    DragonPlate Carbon Fiber Composite Components - Carbon Fiber Sheets, carbon fiber tubes, carbon fiber structural, carbon fiber connectors, carbon fiber design
  12. I just checked the BBG site, and I can see $15 per rod (has not changed in the last couple of years). I’ve never paid postage (always order >$100) so I’m not sure where the $40 is coming from.

  13. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    He wants two. 15+15+shipping.
  14. Weberman


    Apr 8, 2014
    Nilbog, Ohio
    Did someone say "carbon rod"?

  15. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    How do you cut it? Where do you get it? I’m In Calgary. I’ve got a cheap Chinese DB that had a bent neck. I’ve cut off the fingerboard and straightened it over time with weights at the headstock. Now I need some stiffeners before making a new fingergerboard. 1/8” sounds like a nice dimension for cutting a slot. I would probably go with a deeper section than 3/8”. I’d have to measure.
  16. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The CF rods are very nasty to cut, they produce tiny razor sharp fibers that get under your skin like metal splinters (personal experience) so avoid cutting them if possible. I used a hacksaw, never again! Bandsaw maybe? They are available in a few lengths standard, 24” good for most long scale basses. I ordered two from Bitterroot guitars, 1/8” x 24” x 5/16”, $10.97 each plus $7.95 postage, best price I could find after hours of searching. Dragonplate is still the best deal if you buy at least two sets, which I don’t need. If I was a pro producing lots of necks, I’d buy a bundle.
    Search Bitterroot Guitars for your hardware, customizing and building needs for acoustic, bass and electric guitar
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  17. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Thanks for the offer, generous TB spirit on display! Already wussed out and bought the Bitterroot rods, but thanks again.
    rojo412 likes this.
  18. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    :( i was going to make this joke
  19. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I got the Dragonplate ones and was pretty happy with how they look for $6 each. I was paying $14.50 each with the Allparts account and they are very close in looks and function, with the DP ones looking more finished off, as opposed to the rough AP ones.
    They are going into the WBO bass, so when I get that finished, I'll have some test results.
    james condino likes this.
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Please excuse my ignorance, but would a CF tube work? I’ve made turnbuckles from both pultruded rod and woven tube with threaded inserts glued in and the tubes make for a much superior turnbuckle, stronger, lighter, and less flexy. I’ve used kite tubes, arrow shaft blanks, and ski pole blanks and they all work well. Since they don’t taper they are a continously woven tube of fabric (think chinese finger cuff) so there is no “spine” to deal with.
    As for cutting CF, i have the best luck with a dremel running wide open loaded with their HD composite cutoff wheel, then smoothing the cut with the same tool with a sanding drum, also running wide open, then finish by hand. With the usual personal protection of course.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.

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