solving truss rod issues... just add a washer or two?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Bass V, Apr 11, 2018.


  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's said that extending the reach of the rod with washers may help overcome whatever is plaguing my V's bowed neck which may be maxed / stripped / ? / hopefully not broken, and with those few clues I'm asking those in the know here just how applicable this remedy may actually be and exactly how to go about it. it could be self explanatory simple, and I'm assuming this isn't a new thing or in fact is rather common.
    here's the genesis; steaming off a unique vintage Fender rosewood board - truss rod content
     
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Remove the truss nut. Insert washers. Reinstall nut. Setup bass.

    If it’s maxed, it works great.

    If it’s stripped, it may work if you can: A. Get the nut off, and B. Fit enough washers on to space the nut far enough back from the stripped threads and still have enough threads to put the nut on without stripping more threads.
     
    -Asdfgh-, Matthew_84 and Bass V like this.
  3. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    thanx!
     
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yeah, but......Remember, adding washers under the nut of a truss rod does not add any additional strength or power to the truss rod. When a Fender-style truss rod "maxes out", that means that the nut has run out of threads on the rod. The only reason why a truss rod runs out of threads is because the neck is warped enough that the rod is way overloaded. Enough that it is crushing the wood at the anchor end, literally pulling the rod out of the neck.

    Okay, so you add a few washers under the nut, which moves the nut back and gives you a few more threads back on the rod. What do you think is going to happen when you resume cranking on the rod? The neck is still warped, just as badly as before. And you haven't made any of the truss rod parts any stronger.

    The "washer trick" is a quick patch which, if done carefully, may make a damaged neck useable. But it's not a repair that makes the neck right.
     
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  5. Try the washers. Then you'll know. If it doesnt work, it doesnt work.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Bruce is right, as usual. Washers will buy you time while you save up enough $$ for:
    - a new neck; or
    - having that one fixed the right way.
    But, no, it isn't a "fix". Just a stop-gap, temporary solution. But, 'temporary' can be a pretty long time, too, so... up to you.;)
     
    96tbird likes this.
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    After all, life is just temporary.
     
  8. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I appreciate the extra input.
    what about the heat / press treatment to solve the bow aspect and inserting a new rod? this seems the easiest fix.
    the shop in GA I'm talking to is keen on not hurting vintage value and I'm on board with this if possible.
    is the V's rod standard fare or unique?
    if I settle on the above or go for the skunk stripe, can the job be done without having the body in hand to refit the neck and gauge accuracy? shipping a neck is obviously fractionally cheaper than the bass w/case, can any good shop handle the job?
     
  9. Warpedneck.com
     
  10. You are about to experience a torrent of sales pitches. The wood is compressed. It may or may not compress any more. A washer or two may fix it. It may buckle the fretboard. No one knows.
     
  11. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    thanx for the link and reply! at least somebody cared to chip in, I was about to cry... ;)
     
    bobdabilder likes this.
  12. And yes you can just ship the neck for repair, whomever does the repair won't need the body.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  13. Glad I clicked this thread. Maybe 5 years ago I had a USA P Bass that had a maxed out trussrod. I added two washers under the nut (was sure to make sure they were fairly narrow in diameter to not catch the wood on the side) and was able to get a few extra turns to get the relief I was looking for.

    Decided to sell the bass about a year later and never considered the fact that the neck may have actually been compromised... I hate the idea of selling a bass with issues to someone. Thankfully, my only stress relief is that I did disclose the issue and that I added washers in there.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm relieved and rather shocked to find this to be true. now my issue is if the rod is generic / easily swapped or if that'll be extra concern / delay / expense. I've emailed the warp team and am awaiting their response, but just $75 for the basic job is a happy surprise. I may get away with saving this critter easier than expected!
     
  15. Consider that if you want the bass setup or frets leveled, they will need the whole thing. Goodluck whatever you decide. Keep us posted.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  16. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's had a few lifted frets for years so a redo on the board will need to be addressed and can be done locally.
    I've always considered this V to be a prime candidate for a fretless conversion and long ago figured to go that easy route and just level the board for such purpose... but I'm a procrastination proponent and once again it's paid off by leaving it be til now. as I get further educated on the matters at hand it's looking more and more like I can bring it back to original form without compromising anything except for some upper frets. I'm leaning towards keeping it fretted, this keeps guilt at bay, especially since my Peavey T-20 FL covers all that in spades.
    thank you for your interest and input, I'll be happy to report back as this slowly progresses, likely with more questions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    ????
    Setup - yes. Frets leveled? Why would you need the whole bass for that?
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  18. True, on a bolt on, I typically remove the neck to level and crown the frets.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  19. Tension on the neck.
     
  20. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I keep sending people to this video. The thing is don't expect the truss rod to take a bent maple stick to position, that's a major cause for messed threadings. It's designed just to hold it in place. Your rod might not be maxed but unable to bend the wood the other way by itself (it'll certainly feel like it won't go any further, as if maxed).

     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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