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Truss Rod! How much?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by majortoby, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    So,I've decided to remove that foul bow from my beloved J's neck. And, I already gave the truss nut 1/-1/4 of a clockwise turn, and the difference seems a bit minimal. Should I keep cranking on it, or give the wood time to "stabilize" or something? I just don't want to sit here with a broken neck wishing I'd not made that last turn. Thanks all! :help:
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Did you retune afterwards??? - you should be way sharp after that much adjustment... Retune, check relief again, then adjust accordingly...

    - georgestrings
  3. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    If you've cranked it 1-1/4 turns with minimal movement, I'd be very careful. You might consider loosening the rod all the way and carefully put some good lubricant like Krol around the rod opening and let it creep in. Then go back and tighten a little at a time. You're best bet is to check the stickey's and threads already posted here. There are several and very informative. Believe me, the last thing you want is a broken truss rod. :cool:
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Keep turning the nut until one of these things is true:

    1. The neck exhibits proper relief.
    2. The nut emits a squeak.

    The wood in the neck is stable. The neck does not need to "rest." If it is new the wood has been kiln dried to ~6% moisture content. It may continue to dry some as it comes to stasis with the micro climate in your area. If the guitar is older, it has already done this.

    Adjusting the truss rod will not break a neck. A bass neck is roughly half a bass ball bat. A single action truss rod is at best 3/16" of mild steel rod pulling the neck into compression. That would be like breaking half a baseball bat by squeezing it end to end. Dual acting truss rods work more on the fingerboard but still cannot exert sufficient force to crack or separate a properly glued fingerboard from the neck.

    Truss rods can be broken. Most often the break occurs when too much torque is applied to the nut. The nut will "twist off" the end of the truss rod. This is relatively easy to avoid. If you are mechanically inclined and experienced you know what "too tight" feels like. If you're not, when it squeaks, quit.

    When you reach either point post your findings. If you require further assistance, someone here will help you.
  5. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    wow that seems like a lot....usually 1/4 turn will do it, any more than that than just slightly.
    I agree with Oren.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    It's best not to straighten the neck by turning the trussrod nut, instead bend the neck back a bit and tighten the trussrod nut to hold it in position. And I always, always, always, always loosen the nut just a bit first to be certain it moves and isn't locked up somehow.
  7. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Whoah! LOL typo....I meant 1/8-1/4 turn lol. I got it pretty much where I want the relief now :D....and yeah, I know when it's "too tight".....it's about flawless now :hyper:
  8. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Congratulations. Now you know how to do this whenever it is necessary.
  9. I think it is important to relieve string pressure when tightening the nut.
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    One of the best expressed and wise bits of advice I have seen for a long time on TB. Well stated brother.
  11. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    On Ric 4001's, this was necessary as the truss rod was a hairpin style where the neck had to be physically pressed into position over your knee, then the nut tightened. But on any bass with a conventional truss rod design, and no neck quirks, relieving string tension is not necessary or even recommended.
  12. You are welcome to your opinion, but you are wrong.
  13. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    I relieved string tension....it made sense to me. YMMV
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    And the arguement rages. There are enough that do it without loosening and nothing catastrophic happens. Accounting for that, do as you see fit; it matters little.

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