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Storing Bass Neck For A Refin...Tighten Or Loosen The Truss Rod?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by petrus61, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    That's pretty much it. Just want to know the best way to store my Precision neck for about a week, until my refin is done curing. I have searched and there seems to be a bit of conflicting info...some say loosen, others say keep it a little tight. Any help would be great. Thanks!
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    a week won't matter, don't worry about it.

    for years-on-end storage, adjust the neck (whether strung or unstrung) to be nice and straight.

    the bad things happen when it gets heavily bowed and stays that way for a long time; the wood gets used to the new shape and doesn't want to straighten anymore.
  3. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    So tighten the rod? I'm just hoping the neck doesn't favor the position it winds up sitting in. I've seen some necks get pretty wonky for good after just sitting around for a few days without string tension. My concern is that it's a relatively green neck (2013) and the wood isn't exactly 'cured', for lack of a better term. I favor a medium/low action.
  4. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    The wood on the neck is not green and it will not get destroyed no matter how you store it for a week. I would leave it just as it is. The strings will pull the neck to it's set relief after you restring it.
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    If you're at all concerned about it... there's no harm in loosening the truss rod until you're able to restring it.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's really unlikely, necks just aren't that "malleable".

    a couple more adjustments after it's strung up again, maybe including a good push on the middle of the neck in the direction you want it to go, should be all that would ever need to happen.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Store it like you would any wooden baseball bat. Why do people think that a neck is more delicate than a baseball bat? Notice how tough a neck is: http://youtu.be/u8SnGc7djLc
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Because you don't try and make music, stay intonated, and go without fret buzz or excessive string height with a Louisville slugger!
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    like i tell folks who worry about stuff like this, a guitar is not a hockey stick, but it's not a crystal chandelier either.

    if the OP is not scared of tweaking the rod later to get the relief back where it was, then there's no harm in loosening it so the neck is straight while it sits for a week.
  10. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    I take the neck off and throw it on the table....you are splitting hairs.
  11. Back it off (loosen) about 1/4 to 1/2 turn. Before you put it back on tighten back up to where it was.

    As your neck sits there, take a look every day and it will probably be nice and flat.

    It's that easy!
  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Please quantify the effect of 1/4 turn of a truss rod.
  13. It is all relative - that is why I gave a range.

    I took the neck off a P bass to modify the body finish, and it was off for about a week. I loosened the truss 1/2 turn and checked it every day. Dead straight.

    Before remounting I twisted up that half turn, and after completing the setup it was exactly where I wanted it.

    My best guess? 1/4 turn is roughly equal to the missing string tension depending on the strings and neck. Mine had high tension strings so I backed off 1/2.
  14. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I purchased an old short scale bass (that had one string on it that looked like a regular guitar string and the other strings were tuned up fairly high), and it had a lot of tension on the neck. It had been stored that way for decades. The neck was badly bowed. I loosened the strings, and tried to use the truss rod to straighten the neck, but it felt like there was too much tension on the nut. I thought about giving up on it, because I thought the neck may have been permanently bent. I un-strung it, and put it away, (and sort of forgot about it for about three, or four months). Last week I took it out, and saw that the neck looked fairly straight. I put a new set of strings on it, and everything is as it should be. It seems the neck actually returned to its original condition while sitting unstrung in the case.
  15. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    So there is no way to quantify the effect of a 1/4 turn. Or a half turn, for that matter.
  16. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member


    So anyway, I reattached the neck. I loosened the rod about 1/4 turn. It sat for 2 days. I reattached the neck and set relief and string height almost exactly where I had it before (judging from fretting at the 16th and 1st). I took into account the new, thinner finish which was originally about a mm thick under the bridge.

    I have buzzing in the area of the 18th/19th fret and at various places along the neck now and something seems off. I tried a few different relief and action placements but can't seem to dial out the buzzing now. It seems like I can't set it where it was before without excessive buzz and backing off seems to leave the relief too high for my taste while retaining the fret buzz up an down the neck.
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you just need to get the setup right again.

    adjust the neck to be close to straight, then adjust saddle heights to where the strings ring clear.
  18. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    That's the thing...optimal personal setup is now yielding poo poo results. I had recorded the relief and action for this purpose and now it's just playing like crap. Witness points on the strings are fine, but I think they might be a partial culprit here. I'm going to order another set with slightly more tension than what is currently on there, leave it where it is and hope the new set pulls the neck a little more into my comfort zone.

    So far, everything I feared would happen by detaching then reattaching the neck has happened. I'm sure the funky NY weather is playing a role too.
  19. No way two days did anything to the neck. And let's say that it did - two days back under tension would bring it back to "zero"

    If there really is a change, my guess is that the neck is at a different angle with relation to the body.

    Was there any work at all on the neck pocket? Including maybe just sanding off some overspray?

    You might need a shim.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.

    And pics of that new finish are mandatory!

  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Now is a good time to do some basic prophy maintenance: remove & lube the truss rod nut, check & adjust tuner tension, satinize back of neck if desired, treat fingerboard, etc.