Truss rod nut too big for headstock hole?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by chemicalwill, Mar 27, 2022.


  1. Hi all,

    I got ahold of some cheap beat up basses I wanted to fix up for fun and give away as starter basses. Started with cleaning and truss adjustments, figured if I can't do that they're next to worthless

    After getting some rust off with WD-40 I noticed that while the nut isn't stripped at all, it looks like it rusted through, so I'm trying to replace it.

    Squier Affinity PJ from the early 2000s.

    The thing is, I can't back it off all the way because the hole in the headstock is too small. The guy I got it from played in the tropics a lot (explains the rust) and I'm guessing the hole swelled up over time.

    How can I clear out enough wood or shrink it to back this nut off?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  2. Relevant picture if it helps

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  3. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    Check for a black plastic insert in the truss rod hole.
     
  4. Not seeing an insert. Just bare wood.

    Backing out the nut I can see it catching on the wood.
     
  5. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    If there is no insert, drill or ream the hole out by using incrementally larger size drill bits BY HAND!
    Just use your head. It's a Squier Affinity but, still No need in Mucking it up.

    as you stated Cheap Beat-up Basses.... some will say Bring it to a luthier I say perfect to learn on.
     
    C Stone and chemicalwill like this.
  6. Well at least I'm on the right track, this was my original plan, just not sure how to do it by hand. I guess a hand drill or a big unpowered electric screwdriver might do it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  7. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Reamer is the correct tool. But might be more expensive than a drill bit if you don't already have a set. There are several styles of manual hand drills.

    The nice thing about a reamer is it cuts a smooth hole and you can get sets with more precision than a drill.

    As alluded to above, one reason people recommend taking it to someone else to repair, is the tools might be significantly more expensive than having someone else do it. For a one or two time project or something you won't likely do again for years, it is just cheaper to take to someone else or replace it.
     
    chemicalwill likes this.
  8. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    I would use the drill between my fingers, twist it blow out the chips, use the next # drill repeat.
    Power tool BAD idea.
    Thing is, you need a proper dill set. Numbered drills. You can do it! as I have done it before. Alot less risk of damage then with a wobbly power tool
     
    five7 and chemicalwill like this.
  9. I definitely have a good numbered set of drill bits. I had no idea a reamer was an actual tool.

    Re: power tools, I have an old electric screwdriver that died and I use as a pseudo hand drill from time to time.

    Will try a full manual when I get some time and report back :thumbsup:
     
  10. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    20D295_AW01.jpeg

    That is what a reamer bit looks like by the way. The benefit is it doesn't cut grooves in the wood and would have an even cut all the way to the end. They make adjustable ones that let you increase a hole more precisely, but I think they normally have a blunt end that would get into your way.

    71FTxnQXk0L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
    This is an example of a cheap manual hand drill. You can do as described above, but these can make it easier especially if planning on doing this regularly.
     
    chemicalwill likes this.
  11. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    He say.... I want to fix up for fun and give away
    Save your money it's an easy task... if you use your head drill it sandpaper on a penciled will clean it up some

    Did you not see the Gnarled up hole !

    Learn on it! fix it up and enjoy the pleasure of giving to someone less fortunate
     
    chemicalwill likes this.
  12. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    The hole doesn't look like the gnarled part. The truss rod nut looks cut and there is a flattened bit of metal on the back side of the hole. I'm honestly not sure what I'm looking at in the picture. But rust doesn't explain it. Nor does the swollen wood.

    My point about tools was unless you plan to do stuff or just want to, a replacement Squier affinity neck is like $65. If it is an easy fix, fair enough, but eventually your time could be worth more than a replacement. I'm not recommending getting all of the tools per se.
     
    chemicalwill likes this.
  13. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    Don't be afraid of it.
    That tool you described sounds fine.
    So, find out what size the Affinities truss rod nut is. Creep up to that size drill.
     
  14. To be entirely honest I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at either. I just expected this end of the nut to be rusted. Have been trying to change out some other stripped nuts and use it as an opportunity to get them all on the same size wrench.

    But the neck feels good, action is nice and low, frets look great. The bass has clearly been well-loved by the previous owner, so I'm planning on cleaning it up and giving it to my dad.

    Some relic means he won't feel bad about dinging it up.
     
  15. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    Lol, the time spent posting here = He'd be done!
    It's always good to ask for opinions.
     
  16. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    ok then,
    No more W-D40 for starters.
    I still think there are remanence of an insert in there.
    If it plays with good action maybe spend alittle more quality time on it.
    Is the Nut loose now, and you know it functions? The truss rod works? If it works and plays well, why mess with it.

    Only you can decide if it's worth the expense of 2 or three reamers a 30bucks a pop ! I still say NO
    Some of the Squiers came with a black plastic insert in the truss rod hole. To hide shoddy work or to keep the nut from getting lost, who knows. But once you get the nut out, depending on how it goes, you may want to put a "trim ring" in after you install the new nut.

    As for getting all the basses on the same size nut .... I don't think this will work. a quick search shows 4, 5 and 6mm nuts. for Squiers Though a search will get you the correct size for your bass. I have three Squier basses all a different size wrench.
     
  17. I don't like the hole in the nut -- seems like it will cause problems in the future.

    As for WD-40, I'm not familiar with any problems with using it on wood. An old post I found recommended a very liberal amount for a stuck nut, so I sprayed quite a bit in there and the rust came off and loosened the nut right away.

    I'm happy to try it by hand. Just won't be able to for a few days with work. Maybe tonight, if I'm lucky.

    Worst case, I can't get the nut out, and I use it as-is until I need a new neck for it. But since the bass needs quite a bit of other work, I'd rather get it fixed up as cheaply as possible, or else I will wish I had bought a newer one! :roflmao:

    Thank you both for all the suggestions. I'm very excited about it.
     
  18. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    20190405_183419 (Medium).jpg
    Yours look anything like that ?
     
  19. No. No sleeve on this one.
     
  20. DECOSTAJ

    DECOSTAJ

    Dec 23, 2002
    CT
    cool
    there's no way that neck swelled up more than a few # size drills. Easy task
    Enjoy it, I'm sure Dad will love it.
     
    chemicalwill likes this.

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