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Trust rod installment question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Worshiper, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    I ordered a hot rod trust rod from stew mac and I've run into two main problems with it.

    1) It's a strange width- 7/32". I was thinking of using a 1/8" router bit and using it twice, overlapping the cut a bit in the middle. Any other solutions?

    2) What kind of glue do I use? the parts that get glued into the neck are metal as opposed to wood.

    Thanks in advance
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    stew mac sells a router bit to cut the channel. do not glue the trussrod in. Cover the channel with welders tape; it has adhesive on either side of the tape but none in the middle.
  3. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    what? Sorr, I don't understand
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Buy the router bit from stewmac.
    Route the slot just deep enough so the brass ends are flush with the top of the neck blank when itis pushed in. put a few spots of standard household salking in the slot AWAY from any of the exposed metal ends. Push the truss rod in firmly. Use 3/4" masking tape and tape over the slot/trussrod. Then spread your glue of choice, I use regular titebond, all over the neck blank where the fingerboard is gong on. Lay the fingerboard down with the side the strings will be touching facing down. Remove the tape from over the truss rod and carefully lay the neck blank down on the fingerboard. Don't slide it into place. Clamp the :eek: out of it! Go away for at least 6 hours. Unclamp......... :hyper: ...t
  5. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Now by "eposed metal ends" do you mean the brass ends or other wise? I just am having a hard time understanding for some reason what to glue down exactly. Sorry.
  6. No, away from the threaded areas. The caulking should seat the brass threaded couplings just to keep them from rattling.
  7. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    ok, so glue on the brass. got it. Now what about the red covers of the hot rod trust rod? Can I glue them as well?
  8. No. essentially, you want the whole truss-rod area to be glue free. that includes the channel. You have to let the rods be free-working so they do their job. Any localised patches of glue can imped this, and thru enough pressure, could make the neck wood fail. This truss rod design is meant to be removable, in case of failure or whatnot...so the entire unit needs to be free. Just a dot of caulk under the brass ends to keep them put, and tape over the channel, trim said tape about a 1/16" or so on either edge of the channel the whole length down, then glue and clamp the fingerboard. Clean up the excess glue, and let the mating pieces cure for (imo) at least a day, clamped.
  9. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    that's really all it takes, just some calk? I would think that that's not strong enough. But if you guys say so.
  10. "I would think that that's not strong enough"

    strength has nothing to do with it. The caulk is there to keep the rod carrier ends from rattling freely inside the rout. String vibration "wakes up" the neck and the instrument vibrates as a whole...so the caulk helps quell that vibration. The rout channel is a tad oversize to allow expansion of the materials around the rod (wood tends to do that, thru climactic change). If the channel wasn't a bit oversize, when the wood expands too tight around the rod, the neck *could* crack.

    The strength of the actual neck comes from glue and the wood around the rod.

    The rod is there to reinforce against string tension.

    If you bind this channel up with glue it won't work properly.

    They are two seperate systems working together. The neck for play and the rod for reinforcement.

    You really need to realise how these sytems work as a whole before you attemp an installation. I hope I've helped, as well as others here who have done this time and again.
  11. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Stew-mac has some very clear instructions on their site. I use these truss rods and they work great. I use a small dab of silicone on each brass end and one small dab at the halfway point of the red pvc sheilds per the Stew-Mac instructions. The rods will still move freely and flex like they're supposed to.
  12. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    this has helped me so much. Thanks you guys. I have a much better understanding of trustrods and how they work now too.
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    FYI so that you don't sound unintelligent when discussing it with someone.. it's "truss rod", not trustrod. :)
  14. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    I've been saying it wrong my entire life... :scowl: whoops :smug:
  15. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    OTOH...it's good to be able to trust the truss rod. :meh: :D
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, now I know which custom-made basses to avoid if I ever visit New York! ;)