Stew Mac truss rod repair kit

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by heatheroo1, Feb 26, 2018.


  1. heatheroo1

    heatheroo1

    Dec 14, 2009
    Ephrata, PA
    Anyone ever used one of these?

    Here's the story........got a little overzealous tightening the truss rod on my '77 T-Bird last year and snapped the end off. Luckily I had installed a few extra washers under the nut so there is still a stub of rod protruding. After cursing my stupidity, I installed a new nut and carefully tightened it down. It seemed to be OK but I have fair amount of bow in the neck to the point that the intonation is out at the 12th fret, particularly the E & A strings and I can't tighten the nut any more. I left it as is but now I am contemplating a real fix. First off the threads that are visible are pretty buggered up and I can't get in there with a normal die. It looks like the stew mac thread cutting tool would be the way to go. But if I buy the kit, I might as well go all the way and deepen the pocket to expose more rod.

    Questions/Thoughts -

    the kit is ~$250 and I'll only need it once so I am inclined to find a repair shop that has one and let them do it and setup the bass while they are at it.

    The neck to headstock area is so freakin' thin already (hence the multiple T-birds with head stocks snapped off) that I am hesitant to remove anymore wood in this area

    Recommendations?
     
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Several members have bought and used the tool with success. I agree the tools is too pricey to justify a purchase that would be for a single use. I would do a cost comparison for a neck repair versus a new neck and go with the least expensive option. You are talking about removing a minimal amount of wood and I wouldn't factor that into my decision.
     
  3. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    A new neck really isn't an option for a set neck instrument like the OPs - and I'd have to say that a '77 'bird is worth putting some money into... I bought a Fender MIJ Mustang re-issue pretty cheap this past summer that had a busted truss rod - my local luthier was able to remove the fretboard, replace the trussrod, and re-install the original fretboard - all for under $200, but I tipped him to a total over $200, and considered it money well spent... If it were me with that bass, I'd strongly consider going a similar route...
     
  4. heatheroo1

    heatheroo1

    Dec 14, 2009
    Ephrata, PA
    As mesa said, the T-bird is a neck thru so replacement is not an option. I visited a local repair shop that has gotten good reviews. They agreed the Stew Mac option was the only way to go but they don't have the tool. I agreed to buy the tool for them and in exchange they will do the repair/setup. Seems like a fair deal. They wont have the tool in until some time next week, so I will have to use my Squier fretless until the Bird is back up and running. Thanks for your replies.
     
    dukeorock and 96tbird like this.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Cool deal you cut there. I hope if you ever need it again they’ll do you up free again.
     
  6. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    It's a great tool.
    Remember to buy a nut driver, because your Gibson wrench won't reach the nut anymore.
     
  7. heatheroo1

    heatheroo1

    Dec 14, 2009
    Ephrata, PA
    pretty sure I am never touching the truss rod nut again if I get my beloved 'Bird back in playing condition. I have been playing this bass for 40 years...........really not sure what I'll do if this fix doesn't work. Has anyone heard of removing the fingerboard from a 'bird and replacing the rod? To make matters worse, I have been unemployed for the last 2 weeks so putting $ towards the repair vs. paying the mortgage is a pretty tough decision.
     
    dukeorock likes this.
  8. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Maybe you shouldn't rush into this, then - seems to me that a bass like that already doesn't have the strongest area around the nut to begin with... Where about do you live? - maybe there's a couple of luthiers in your area you can consult before going any further? If a fretboard can be removed and a truss rod replaced on a bolt on neck - and it certainly can - then I don't see why the same can't be done on a set neck instrument... If we were talking about a cheap bass, that would be one thing - but a 70s T-bird is worth a few $$$, and certainly worth having repaired properly, IMO... I'll shoot a link over to the T-bird Club - maybe some of them could offer a good suggestion...
     
    dukeorock and heatheroo1 like this.
  9. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    I had the fingerboard removed, and a truss rod replaced on a vintage Gibson guitar. $700. Gibson quoted a new neck for $2500. (Yes, I know you can't reneck a 'bird)
    The stewmac tool removes very little wood.
     
  10. 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.

     
    Jun 20, 2021

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